Synonyms: Chocolat Girl
Published: May 8, 2010 to Oct 8, 2011
Authors: Yoshihara, Yuki (Story & Art)
Serialization: Petit Comic
Score: 7.641 (scored by 224 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
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May 19, 2013
The manga mainly centers around the plot of a pessimistic artiste manager, Kyouko who in a bid to save her failing career finds herself accepting the challenge of recruiting a stage performer, Riku into the entertainment industry and taking care of him in the capacity of his manager. Its starts off with the skeptical-no-idea-why-but-I’m-so-unlucky woman meets cold-and-callous-no-idea-why-but-I’m-naturally-impatient guy.
However all that said, the entertainment industry is a mere veil that brings the two main characters together. The challenges and dark side of the entertainment field is NOT explored in detail and issues of career conflicts are kept within the minimal. Readers won’t find themselves struggling with the characters with career decisions (because they are hardly any, except the fact of whether should the heroine being in the capacity of an artiste manger fall in love with a rising male celeb).
Basically, the entertainment industry is loosely focused here and I felt that the mangaka could have strengthened the bond between the characters and instil growth in them by dwelling into the realities of the entertainment industry.
The thing that disappoints me much is really the lack of character development. It was like towards the end of the story, the main characters hardly change – except for the little fact that they realize how much they like each other and got together, in terms of personality and growth, it felt as though they barely graduated from where they were at Chapter 1. I wished the mangaka could have invested more efforts in developing the characters though a more thorough, well-though chain of events.
Further, even as I re-read certain chapters just to find out why, I absolutely couldn’t find a logical reason as to why the male protagonist fell in love with the heroine – basically she appears to be your normal girl-next-door slapped with tons of inferior complexes and a pessimistic outlook towards life. Although she did have her brave moments, it felt as though her complexes and lack of confidence overshadowed her strengths. Yes, it is believable to have men falling for women who are weak and needs protection due to the masculine nature of the former. However though I just can’t understand why someone would fall for someone who is always doodling with self-doubts and playing the self-blaming game.
The artwork is pretty fine. The main characters are decently drawn and pleasing to the eyes, although at times I felt that they lack a diversity of emotions, especially the eyes part. In a sense, there is a limited variety of emotions i.e. like only one expression for “crying”, one expression for “happy” and one expression for “angry”.
It would definitely have been better if there have been an array of expressions for the same type of emotions. It felt like something was missing (especially the male protagonist – he was illustrated rather charmingly but for some reason, it felt as though he lacked soul and hence, it seemed like there was a distance between him and myself as the reader).
The mangaka also has the habit of embellishing her art in intense situations by switching the characters into their chibi versions. The style is relatively extreme – you either like it or hate it. For me, I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate her style of turning something that was solemn a while ago into comedic chibis. I felt it sort of anti-climaxed the whole situation.
It was on the whole a mediocre read. There are many parts in the series which the mangaka could have utilized and delved more into but didn’t.