Synonyms: Ribbon Road
Published: Aug 13, 2004 to Oct 13, 2007
Authors: Kamio, Yoko (Story & Art)
Score: 8.521 (scored by 6039 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsdrama romance shoujo
Nov 5, 2008
The story, however, truly begins when she comes upon a special school called El Liston, a free school for "strays" like herself, people who don't really belong or fit in anywhere. There, she meets Rei, Momiji, and Kouichi... and through them and other people, she learns to live, finds courage and eventually, her own direction (and of course, love too.)
Note: There shouldn't be any spoilers. Apologies, however, for the lengthy review ahead (usually not the kind I write).
Story (9.7): I'll say now, though, that while the summary is accurate, it does the story no justice (as seems to be the case with many great manga). The premise is exactly that... just a premise. It's a simple story but yet it is so much more- one that can't be conveyed but rather, must be felt by reading it yourself.
There is depth and meaning in the story, the kind that is often lacking in typical shoujo teen manga. There's love, but it's not your typical HS girl meets boy and hopes he returns her feelings kinda thing either. Rather, the best way I can describe the romance in this story is something like a journey- both in discovering oneself, the other person, and love itself. There's drama, but it doesn't drag nor is it the meaningless melodramatic kind that happens for the sake of conflict and cliffhangers. There's balance as well. Cat Street isn't all about romance, all about friendship, or all about drama... it's everything blended in at just the right amount.
I said earlier that the romance in this story is like a journey, but to be more accurate, I should say the entire series is like a journey. The timeline spans several years, from mid-teens to early 20s and utilizes time-skips towards the latter part of the story to move things forward. The pacing is great and the plot is constantly moving forward. The ending is fulfilling as well. While I wish there were more of Cat Street for me to devour, I wasn't left with the feeling that the manga needed to be longer or shorter. It all wrapped up beautifully, with a meaningful conclusion and a certain symbolism that really just fits the story, the characters, and even the title of the manga.
Character (10): Loving all the characters in a manga isn't something that often happens to me, but Kamio-sensei manages it so easily with all the personalities she has created for Cat Street. Again, I must emphasize the depth here. The heroine has true strength... the kind that comes from deep within and not the so often misunderstood strength where a heroine is depicted as strong just because she can yell, get violent, and kick some ass.
There's a theme of trying your best and not giving up, but what's great about it is the fact that the characters treat this realistically and in a less shallow way (as opposed to countless "I don't think I can stop loving him after all so I'm going to keep pestering him until he falls in love with me" sort of thing). I guess what I'm trying to say is that the characters all feel genuine and human to me. The way they handle their problems, the way their personalities grow and develop throughout the series, and how each and every character has their own distinctive personality. I'm touched by all of them in one way or another- even the so-called villains. There are no villains for the sake of being villains type of characters here at all, and that to me is a mark of good characterization.
Art (9): I'm not one for saying much about the art unless it completely blows me away with its awesomeness or there's an aspect of it that I felt I needed or wanted to mention. So I'll just say that I personally adore it. The lines are clean and the scenes are nicely-done, with simple but good detail and without it being overcrowded. For those who have read HYD, Kamio-sensei's art is similar to how it was at the end of the series... likely even better actually.
My favorite aspect of the art is how all the characters (especially the main ones) each have their own distinctive looks and style. I recognize them all right off the bat, unlike some other shoujo manga where I sometimes have trouble being sure about who's who due to the almost identical appearances.
Overall (10): What else can I say? I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Cat Street... there was never a dull moment and each development was simply heartfelt. This is a case of where the story, the characters, and everything else just comes together perfectly- the kind that makes the leap from great to a masterpiece. read more
Feb 22, 2009
The story starts with Aoyama Keito, a lonely girl traumatized by her experience as a child actor. Years earlier she suffered from stage fright and managed to successfully ruin her career. Now she spends her days at home in a state of apathy. The manga essentially focuses on Keito's progress as she starts to interact with society again, starting with her enrollment at El Liston, a school full of students with similar backgrounds.
Story - 9
Cat Street is heavy reading. It's emotional and deep - not something for shallow readers. Seeing as some of its main themes are depression, unrequited love, and general angst, this is hardly surprising. But it's also about putting things behind and moving on, creating lasting friendships, and finding true love. Cat Street suffers a little at one point with a strange kidnapping, but it sorts itself out in the end.
Art - 10
Cat Street's art really stood out in all the right ways. The facial expressions of the characters (especially the eyes) portrayed so much emotion, I sometimes forget I was looking at a simple black-and-white drawing. The characters also age really well (the manga covers several years).
Characters - 10
And we have a winner. Cat Street is character development at its finest. We get to watch the four main characters grow up and confront their pasts, moving on and learning from past mistakes. None of it is forced. Kamio Yoko (the mangaka) understands people in a way that blows my mind. She develops her characters in a way most authors (of every medium) can only dream of doing.
Enjoyment - 10
Cat Street tugged at all the right emotions; the characters became real people. I could easily identify with the entire main cast. Keito's journey as a person was wonderfully written and the art was beautiful.
Overall - 10
Cat Street is an emotional ride, best read slowly. I strongly discourage marathon reading. Cat Street takes place over several years (despite being only thirty-five chapters long), and reading it too quickly will kill the effect. Cat Street is something you would want to savour anyway.
I highly recommend Cat Street to any shoujo fan looking for something that's a little more than the usual high school romantic comedy. read more
Jan 25, 2011
Most of us want them, some of us need them, eventually we all feel lonely without them, Friends. Not just any friend, true friends. That’s what Cat Street was for me, an extraordinary story of friendship. This manga is proof that even if you think you’re a misfit, wounded, or no one understands you, there are still people out there who will appreciate you for who you are, no matter who that is.
In Cat Street we follow Keito, a successful young actress. All she wanted to do was live a normal life, got to school and have friends. Living in the shadow of herself and never having time made that impossible for her. Her acting career comes to an end when her best friend betrays her and Keito completely freezes on stage. Now, seven years she is an empty shell just going through the motions of living without any real purpose. One day, she meets a man who introduces her to El Liston, a free, no strings attached., come as you please and study what you want school. This is Keito’s story, about living with your past, surviving your present while moving on towards your future, wherever that may be.
Even the summary doesn't give this manga justice. Cat Street shows the lives of kids who are like alley cats, stranded and alone, trying to find their place in this big blue ball. The characters change right before your eyes and are beautifully unique. They become individuals while still maintaining the ingredients that make them who they are. The story centers around the life of Keito and her life’s journey of forgiveness, acceptance and the one we all want, happiness. All the characters bring some lesson or heartwarming individualism to the table whether it’s Keito, Kouichi, Momiji or Rei. All so very different but yet very alike. You see them go beyond their high school years and develop into working members of society.
I won't go into individual details but there is a character for everyone: Rei, the soccer all star, who' strong attitude cost him more than he wanted to pay. Momiji, is the creative outcast who was shunned out of her school because of her enigmatic taste in designing her own clothes. Keito, is the aloof wounded one who can't live with her past. Kouichi, the silent computer programmer who cares deeply for his friends but his introvertness makes it hard to get to know him .
The art is solid. The characters looks match their personalities and it all flows together to help you fall in love with them, one character at a time. The constant mood of this manga is melancholy. There are happy moments but they seem so real that even underneath them a hint of sorrow is there, through the art we could feel those moments as if they were actually with us.
All in all, Cat Street did an amazing portraying the lessons we learn early on in life, before we even learn how to speak it’s a simple one - if you fall just get back up and try again. That’s how we learn how to walk, so simple and yet as we get older, the falls get harder and the getting up feels heavier. We meet people who change your life with their humor, smarts, love and take a piece of you when they leave. Life through the eyes of high school kids was never this sorrowful or amazing.
“Just because you’re special doesn’t mean god will give you more time. You must sacrifice something!”
Dec 14, 2010
Sitting alone in my small dark room, clicking around on MAL as a countermeasure for my growing boredom, I come across ‘Cat Street’ – starting to sound ironic? Moving for those who have dreams of fulfillment, and inspirational to those who see themselves as failures, ‘Cat Street’ promises to touch your heart, if not correct and improve your understanding to the human psyche.
Keito at first is an anti-social recluse, but after being offered a chance to enter a ‘special’ high school, she discovers that friendship is the best way to heal scars of the past. Making friends who are lonely to some degree, but also elite in their own way, they become outcasts of society, ‘stray cats’.
Most would agree that the author/artist unconsciously made the ideas more complex, deeper than intended. The addition of Keito’s sister into the cast adds irony to the story, she who resents her sister’s anti-social behavior, becomes the epitome of unsociable. The romantic relationship between Keito and her friends allows us to cherish the suggestion of friendship before love. Finally, the idea that a single fault in ones personality can distract them from achieving greatness, but while faults and habits can be improved; their personality is like a finger print, what makes them unique, it can never be altered.
Nothing much can be said about the art, above average is definitely on the agenda, if it’s not I won’t read it. If your reason for not reading ‘Cat Street’ is “because I hate Shoujo art”, then I’m surprised you’ve gotten this far into the post, as people who lack the ability to tolerate and appreciate different styles, also lack patience, especially to some read random dude’s waffle. If were to really flatter the artist then I would continue about how the soft lining and subtleness is easy on the eyes, making the entire Manga enjoyable to read. And if I were to follow my 18-yearold-boy instincts then I would declare: “Keito is fricken hot!”, but aren’t all anime girls… Aren’t they all...
One the most admirable things about ‘Cat Street’ is that the ending is something which can be left to further develop, no possibilities are terminated and our protagonists are reunited with an intricately planned conclusion. What is more distinctly understandable, realistic, is that ‘dreams’ in ‘Cat Street’ is appealed to us as something childish, something which can only be achieved by some. Cliché as it sounds; a fairytale ending is perfect for those who seek fairytale chance, just as our heroine is confronted with problems, solutions come swift, and leave warmness within our hearts.
No character is left to rot in shame, antagonists are given a second chance, and our sympathy is devotedly shed to those who deserve it.
If you’re one of those pessimists that constantly enforce the idea of disillusionment, then maybe you should give this Manga a solid chance, it could change your life! Or it could make you gag whilst damaging your narcissist and egocentric arrogance – try hard not to do that smirk of utter self importance. Please.
Jan 2, 2009
Art was something I also look forward too. Everything was nice. Clean lines, the details was there, nice shading, general proportion & measurements of figures was ok. Its plain gorgeous. So, I can say no more on this matter..
I love all the characters even the so-called-villains. It was an unsual of me that I didn't have anyone to hate for ( a big surprise ) well, I don't consider them as that, maybe just some hindrances cuz somehow I can understand their feelings. hmm.. probably my favorite was Rei , it's all because he help Keito the most to gradually recover from her depression & he has a great love for her.. Oh, I'm not saying that Kouichi was a bad choice. Its just that I like Rei. He even help Keito & Kouichi to be together. I believe now, "Love is sacrifice".. ^^ even so, they are all lovable.. ^^
I pretty much enjoy everything in this manga, from the great plot, characters & art.. I got excited that I wanted to finish reading in one sitting ( can't do cuz of works).. & You'll have this mixed emotion & makes you think " what you really wanted in your life?" "giving up or chase after them?".. O.o.. One more good thing about this is that, it has few characters that can be easily remembered with a person like me who had a short memory haha.. XD
Overall, I must say that the concept of the manga was a masterpiece. Just like in making food, you need seasonings & ingredients in order to make a delicious one. what I'm trying to say is that, Cat Street have all the good qualities to be a great manga & will capture your heart.. Sure thing, you'll learn a lot of things from this manga. It's really a great read & worth your time.. Pick it up.. You don't regret it, promise..!! ^o^ read more
Nov 9, 2009
One of the first things I am going to do when starting off with this review, is to explain some things that people might not know, that if one goes into the Manga, that knowing will help one enjoy the read a lot more. If one is familiar with the Japanese culture, then one will likely already be familair with the setting and senario, and have an understanding of why the things go on as they do.
Here in America, and other European cultures, there is a high reguard towards the concept of individualism, so being really different and good at something is not a bad thing. However, over in Japan, the culture revolves around the group, rather then the individul, thus someone who can't be a part of the group gets left out.
And that basically sums up Cat Street. It is a bunch of kids so individualistic, that they end up being left out because of it, even at times frowned upon because they can't convert to the societal norms. Sometimes it is because they are made fun of, sometimes it is simply because they don't feel like they fit in.
That is the true charm in the storyline of Cat Street, that it deals with these feelings, of dreams, up and downs of life. Most stories that tell about acting, singing, being a famous star of some kind or another, they leave out the nitty gritty and focus mostly on the good times, but Cat Street gives good dosages in each.
The art... the artist was great at depicting the feelings of the characters to an extreme. All the changes were there, including as time passed on. The detail on making each character look different worked very well, and one can distinquish places and things.
At times, the main character can seem wishywashy, but one has to look at the fact of how she lived her life for the past years... shut up in a box. One goes and grows with her and the other characters, and it build strong contectiosn with the characters.
This was one of those novels that I had to put down and come back to, because there were points that I felt like something really bad would happen to the characters I had come to know and love. I didn't want their friendships to end. And bad things did happen to them, but good things did too.
There is a whole bunch of wonderful conections in the Manga, between the characters, and it is fun to follow the strings of how their relationships developed.
I fell in love with this work, and I am not a romance buff. I was rooting for the character the whole time.
If you are the kind who can't stand your favorite characters that you love having the simplist life hurts happen, it possibly isn't for you. But it is drawing and compelling. read more
Jun 4, 2012
Artwork, carefully planned by the panel and always creative to bring forward the deepest emotions of the complicated and kind main characters is a delight to read. While some have commented that the artwork in this manga is not one of the best, I feel that assumption is a little too harsh. What the mangaka (author) really tries to do, is to capture the tiniest details of the characters expression and emotive gestures that allow you to feel for them. You can even pick up the differences when you watch each character mature, and eventually 'graduate' from school - especially Kouichi Mine :)
Story is the mastermind at work here - with an inventive plot that takes the readers far away from normal high school scenarios plagued by jealous witches and complicated childhood friends, the story flows naturally and captures the true essence of 'chasing one's dream down the rainbow (ribbon, for Momiji's case) path. Laced with an array of interesting characters from all walks of life, the readers are given a balanced story that gives them space to relate to each characters circumstances. And it also withholds its share of plot twist and surprises for the readers though I do not plan to give it all away here so let's move on to -
Characters are interesting and well-developed - even an introverted character like Kouichi will tug on your heartstrings when you take a peek into his emotions. Moments like this marks the true brilliance of Cat Street - which brings me back to the point of how Kamio Yoko uses delicate strokes to bring each character to life - not with extravagant artwork or outrageous story lines but small characteristic that makes each character human.
To be truthful, I'm slightly ashamed at myself for putting this manga on hold for so many times. It's a brilliant masterpiece and my one regret on it is that I should have discovered this gem's hidden beauty much sooner! ^^ read more
Aug 16, 2009
I loved this manga so much. The summary really doesn't do much in making the story sound very interesting, but it's an amazing story. You'll really enjoy it, you just need to give it a chance.
Art - 9
I'll have to admit, the art didn't attract me too much at first. That's how I felt about HYD as well. (I read HYD before Cat Street.) I just need time to get used to it is all. I think I'm just too used to the other typical styles of art in most shoujo mangas. But, after I get used to it, it's really well done. Really detailed, very clean, it's really good. I only gave it a 9 because I always start out not used to it and not liking it too much...But I always end up loving it as the story goes on. :]
Character - 10
I love every character in this manga. Some more than others I'll admit but nonetheless. Nobody's unbelievably perfect in here, and nobody's pure evil. They're all lovable and unique in their own ways. I loved all the characters. :D
Enjoyment - 10
I enjoyed this story so much more than I thought I would. I honestly wasn't sure if I'd even try to finish it when I first just read the summary. By the end of it, I was totally satisfied with the entire storyline. I wish it was longer, yet I don't. Because it's already perfect the way it is. There's nothing in the story I think needed any change.
Overall - 10
This is my first time writing a review. I just had to write one for Cat Street because it's rare for me to enjoy a story like this as much as I did. I read a lot of shoujo mangas with all those cliche plots and everything. But this manga really deserves some recognition. I recommend this to everyone, it's a great read!! read more
Aug 1, 2010
This is why for the most part I'm copy-pasting off parts of an old review even if it does not pertain to a general audience - to say checking out Cat Street via it's premise won't be based on conflicting interest doesn't give due respect to how the premise can either seem silly and unrealistic or more realistic yet sillier.
Premise here being not just the synopsis but the first few chapters.
There will be elements that might get you hooked (and love it) if you are into these types of stories and there will also be nagging warning signals telling you that this series is going to be a waste of time even in the beginning.
At least that's how I felt and I believe depending on how I picked up this series, I might be rating this from a 10 to a 3. Such is the sporadic-ness of this series because before any plot or artwork or tale can be reviewed, the plight of the protagonist in the first few panels and the less "about boys" feeling contrasting it from Hana Yori Dango makes it more than a shoujo, romance or drama and in some ways enter the psychological comparison of social issues that includes Welcome to NHK, Serial Experiment Lain and possibly other quality series falling under the psychological tag.
In fact, it's probably no exaggeration that you can replace the entire plot of this series with a light but dramatic take on a rape victim who finally felt they were given an opportunity to move on after several years and most of the feel of the story will still feel the same way.
This is what makes Cat Street's initial quality or...dare I say "branding" excel to such depths that it would be unfair for anyone giving it a critical review to not point out and address this issue first because for most of the people who already plan to check and at least aim to finish reading this series if a review grabs them (like all those 10 ratings) the above section I feel is enough of a supporting layer to what the other reviewers here said.
But why the six overall then?
Like I said, depending on how and why you picked this up it could go as low as 3 because even if you are one of the people enamored by such series, it needs to be pointed out that there are major critical flaws in this series "if" you are judging it from the standpoint of a review rather than an enjoyable series. Equally jarring is how the overall plot concludes as a whole.
Despite the initial feel of the series, the way the events are eventually addressed can indeed feel more like a "fable" or "fairy tale" and after reading it all can feel like you've wasted your time because the series just isn't able to make the timeline encompassing the events to be as satisfying as it should be. Then again, it could be said that the series never aimed for such grand goals and even from the beginning it gave you this hint but you were just too enamored to trust your critical intuition.
The latter is what motivates me to write this review. Sometimes there is just a series that's beyond good and will always have a lot of readers (not just the hardcore fans of the author) feeling this is a highly enjoyable series but sometimes... there are people who just don't want to go through a quality series only to find out it isn't as great as it initially seem and all the paddling they did through the more series dropping parts of the series didn't pay off.
For these readers in which I am including myself, I offer this review as a counter-warning to all the highly rated counterparts tantalizing you to check out this series. Don't. This is a series that you are better off skipping if you are looking for a more depthful series.
Maybe the shoujo tag already convinced you to stay away (I'm a guy) but if it doesn't and the premise of a Free School manga really interests you then the below are my reasons for why this is not worthy of spending your time on:
Right off the bat, the whole premise is iffy. Without going into spoilers, the way the synopsis describes the series is very accurate in the way the protagonist is "pulled into" the plot. Really from the get go it's more about the mystery that will probably make you flip through the pages rather than any type of quality pacing or character development. That said, the art design in the beginning is really really well done and is one of the major contributing factors for what would convince you to read further.
"I knew I wasn't going to like this much when the manga opted for the popular "beautiful" and "highly skilled" loner.
It seems strange because this isn't something new to the genre.
You could say that manga has always opted for the aesthetically beautiful characters but...
I don't like this route because it makes the isolated life seem too easy.
Credit to the artist though, she was able to portray the isolated and introverted mindset well."
"It's not a top recommendation though.
There's too many cop-out events (even for a manga) to make me really consider this a top quality recommendation."
"All in all, I'm typing this while reading the manga (I'm still at Chapter 1), therefore watch out for a change in my opinion as I read along: The sections below could be the most important part of this entire review. (I'll try not to bring up any major spoilers.)"
Note: The quote below is because I was reviewing this from an analogous to Hikikomori perspective but really this series is more about a NEET and besides the premise around social withdrawal being similar to what a Hikikomori may experience the last paragraph is the main reason why I'm including this section of my old review.
"From where I am now, I'm really itching for a more direct message.
For example, I would much prefer if the free school was replaced with the internet rather than seeming like a metaphor for it.
(Don't worry. This isn't a major spoiler. It's actually part of the Wikipedia plot synopsis for the manga.)
Simply cause it would have changed the dynamic of the entire chapter and make it much more directly related to Hikikomoris. (or at least to me personally)
Yes, it's a bad way to review work by approaching it as if it was about me (especially when the lead is female and I'm male) but I really didn't mean it like that.
It's just that for me, "freedom" is a big deal, and when you have this character out there in the open urban world walking like she's her own person... no amount of past traumatic action really seals the deal for why she might have become a Hikikomori to me.
Again alot of it is because I've had that experience before pre-Hikikomori. I know most of the time it sucks but it's like the "best days of your life" suck and not the suck that makes one a Hikikomori.
An internet, while not the only reason or even the common reason for why one would have been a Hikikomori, would have been HUGE.
Difficult if not near impossible to plot for entertainment-wise but it would have been huge.
If even a hint of high quality penetrated through, it would have turned all that traumatic event the girl was recalling and turn it into a ball of shit that would really make me feel for the girl instead of reading it because I like manga and I'm supposed to be reviewing this."
Nope. I'm at Chapter 6 and looks like the events matches with my earlier impressions.
If there's one notable thing to expand, is that from my non-mangaka eyes, the artist's rendition of isolation is very elite at certain portions of the early chapters.
What I mean by this is that a notable artist should of course already have some expertise on how to break the rules without ruining the quality while still staying true to effective fundamentals with regards to how everything should work.
Active introversion to the level of this character's trauma though is especially hard to convey because you can't just stick some kind of bubble dialogue in there or else the thought process shifts into something else.
At the same time, you can't just make it high quality either.
It's like a modern day 3d physics engine trying to capture the exact ripple, swirl, detail and form of water, clothe, metal, blaze and realistic and alive eyes.
It's not that there weren't levels or tricks back then to create the illusion of quality.
It's just that even someone like me can see the difference between a SNES sprite and a top of the line PS3 game.
Yet at the same time, as the gap between technology and quality goes thinner, it can become so subtle that only a knowing master can spot and explain the difference in quality.
I don't know if this is how it comes off to experts but that's how these scenes come off to me.
Why it's elite is because it's also subtle. Not subtle as in I'm squinting my eyes because I'm trying to review and pay more attention to the image. Subtle as in even if you didn't look closely, the design as in other great art adds to your enjoyment without you specifically knowing or caring why.
Yet on a deeper level, if you've experience similar thoughts before and subconsciously was asking for some empathic link that adds depth and credibility to the flow of thoughts, the artistic choices fulfills that too without destroying the illusion that the character is not deep in thought but is just having thoughts while doing something extroverted.
What I mean by this is that even in high quality stories (I guess name any great thought bubble scene in your favorite manga/anime), thought is thought but there's often this gap in depth that makes it feel like internal monologue no matter how short the thought is.
I'm not saying I'm seeing Da Vinci level art depth here. (Hell, I can't spot or describe the greatness of the Mona Lisa nor of the Last Supper even after reading texts that describe why they're great.)
I'm just judging based on my own experiences as a person.
This execution is near impossible for me to envision being captured in still image because each thought scene is literally and should be different from another thought scene but you don't just switch it around and make it prettier.
Well... you could do that (if you're a great artist) and most people won't care but a true alignment of those thoughts to more fantasy-realistic quality requires the artist to be a master of being precise at molding the form and shape of the thought bubble but also in deciding what size and what angle you portray the character while they are breaking the fundamental constraints of the panel.
That is, unlike an artwork that just breaks the panel borders which is already hard enough to insert as it is, these scenes requires the thought bubble to stay static and lifeless (as if it were a thought) but placed in such precise and specific location that it is like a bursting pop each and everytime you read the next introverted scene.
Each page with internal thought must seep into that other page with another internal thought to the point that each introverted thought must give the impression of a panel with the words "Huh?!" and a surprised face
...but well beyond those words and well beyond that single example...
If the attempt is even off a little bit, the design loses it's airy but concrete structure and ends up turning completely airy and thus reducing the thought depth to the point that it seems more like the character has brain damage and is seeing everything foggy around her rather than battling between the fast but multi-layered introverted thoughts she is contemplating while existing in active motion outside of her head.
Not only that but if the page fails, this cascades into a domino effect that interrupts the next introverted thought later in the same chapter.
At that point it starts becoming more and more like a dream sequence mixed with orthodox manga scenes and the whole "elite art" dissolves."
[Con] Keito is... so easy to figure out.
[Con] You want to see the manga you like everytime right? To be honest, I wish that were possible.
"The downside is this is how some scenes (especially the latter ones) are coming off especially in Chapter 6.
Other quality reduction to point out are that the whole "pretty guy - pretty girl" romance is going against the theme of the girl's self-doubts.
This shouldn't surprise anyone though considering the target audience of the manga. (Yes, I'm purposefully not mentioning the word "shojo" here because it still confuses the heck out of me and seems like an otaku label and constricts the elements of manga into a "safer" but open-ended genre when part of what appeals me to manga and anime are because they are often genre busting.)
It's very easy to see that the artist has more than enough skills to tackle both subjects separately but by combining the two, you at least expect her to tackle both aspects to it's fullest development but that's not how it's coming off to me so far.
(Which is far from bad in this case. It's still a very unique manga that will satisfy many people.)"
[Con] Two months have passed since... Chapter 8
"This is a disappointing direction.
I won't say I'm surprised since, from the premise, it did look like it was going to be more of an Anxiety Disorder type of plot and wasn't a Hikikomori-centric plot from the beginning.
I'm kind of disappointed at how much it stuck to the formula with regards to character development.
The two months passing is a representative of that.
It just came out of nowhere and it felt more and more like the way APD was treated in the previous videos. (with the exception that the personality disorder in this manga isn't really clarified as any specific disorder)
I'm trying to avoid tackling the issue as an APD manga since it's not the perspective I'm reviewing from.
I'm also not trying to be overtly focused on Hikikomori though since many even among our group are not settled on a specific definition.
If you reached this chapter and it felt unsatisfactory, you would probably get what I mean by why it felt disappointing.
To expand my disappointment into a bit more details...
Disappointment from this chapter mostly comes from the expectation of what manga is.
I don't have this approach that manga should be perfect but with the way many of the previous videos felt artificial because they're anecdotal commentaries or tried to be single shot "victim" events that made the characters feel like easily butt hurt people...
A manga like this which has superbly (well as superbly as what you expect of quality manga on average) added layers to a character and presented the reader with a premise that trauma can take a long time to heal can go downhill quickly after such a "sharp" insertion of a long time leap.
The scene introducing the time leap also didn't help.
It's a dual problem.
Maybe even a triple issue from my perspective as a reviewer.
I don't want to over focus on a single category because that will skewer the review and you will eventually decide for yourself anyways...
it's also a notable shift downwards and like I said, I was already leaning towards not recommending this so what now?
it is what it is...
it's a major issue for me as a reviewer that I'd rather not have someone sit through several chapters to realize this sudden development."
"Whew! Finally... Chapter 13.
This is really taking longer than I thought...
Nothing major has changed but this looks like the point that can make or break the manga with regards to how much it relates to Hikikomoris.
Basically the series has gone normal great quality manga to me (with little to no elite scenes I praised earlier) but the darker themes are starting to be addressed.
This sounds stupid but depending on whether the series ends with a good ending or an inspirational bad ending... this may be the last checkpoint review I add here.
My guess is that It's highly unlikely there would be any major "review changing" twist from this point on."
"If... Someone finds a new path and leaves, no one can stop him."
"Well, that's that. Finally finished the last chapter."
End Quote (the con insertion may not make sense as they are paraphrased quotes from the series) read more
Dec 24, 2009