Minaguchi Kaoru is nothing special. He's no good at sports or school, isn't in any clubs, and he's not popular. He has no friends and isn't even interested in any of the girls he knows. He's also teased due to the fact that he loves shoujo manga. Unlike the harem daydreams of his peers, he dreams of finding his true love. Unfortunately, a shinigami comes to kill him, simply because he's a "forever alone" sort of guy. When he gasps out his intention of embracing life with his final breaths, though, she takes it back! As long as he follows through on his intentions, he won't be killed.
To convince the shinigami that his plans are genuine, he declares that he will confess to the girl he likes, the very next day. Expecting failure with confessing to random girls in his school, he sends out love letters to four different girls. To his surprise, they all agree to be his girlfriend. Now, this shoujo-manga-loving guy has ended up in a kind of harem story, quadruple-timing four girls! Will he be able to stay involved enough with society to avoid an early death?
"Life arises from death. In order for the wheat to bud, the seed must first die."
This is my first time writing a review for a manga, so I apologize in advance if I sound like I'm giving this manga too much praise. I don't read manga often, I usually just stick to watching anime, so I can't compare this to anything manga-wise.
Of course, whenever it finishes, I'll rewrite this review.
Ahhh, The Grim Reaper and the Four Girlfriends. I'm not generally a fan of harems, mainly because I'm sick and tired of cliche'd ecchi moments mixed in with an impossibly dense main character.
Thankfully, this series is different. It sets down an intriguing twist to the harem genre, one that actually makes you think. At least, for me it does.
I won't give you a summary of the story, since you can read the synopsis for that.
I love this manga. I really, really do. The story is actually very enticing. It's also very well written. It's unpredictable, in it's own way. The main character is forced into this harem, with the threat of the end to his own life. Later on, after a couple hilarious situations he's caught in, the story suddenly twists into something even darker that actually causes me to wonder. The story is simple, but what makes it great is what happens between the characters. Which I'll explain in the character section.
I don't really know what to say about the art, but I find it to be great. The drawings are fantastic. (Of course, after reading Nurarihyon no Mago my expectations for manga art has been through the roof lately... I should probably fix that.)
The story consists of mainly 7 different characters. I'm just going to talk about one of them... for now. For the others, one was just introduced so I can't really say anything about her yet. The Four Girlfriends are all different types of girls you'd see in the harem genre throughout different series; The Yandere, the Sadist, the Genius and the NEET. Well, I'm not sure if "genius" is the right word...
The main character, Kaoru, is someone who I'd love to talk about. He's a smart kid, and I feel bad for him. All his life, he's wanted a beautiful and pure relationship with a girl. One that grows slowly overtime and becomes something... more, but not inappropriately. This is mainly due to his addiction to Shoujo manga, he's found his ideal type of relationship. Though, because he's a loner, after being forced to date someone, he puts four love letters into four random girls lockers, expecting them to mostly decline. (Since he doesn't talk with anyone. At all. So they basically don't know him.) Of course, to his demise, they all accept his love letters.
Thus, his hopes and dreams of a pure relationship are completely crushed. Why? Because of a selfish grim reaper who kills him, and then decides she'll let him live if he can "make something out of himself". And this dramatic change in his life really shows in the way he thinks.
I remember in one chapter, he points this out when he's with the Shinigami;
He notices his heart beats faster when he's with her, that he may be blushing, too. But then he realizes that this is mainly because any boy could feel this way from an interaction with a pretty girl. Then he also points out he should hate her, and that he does. He should. She's basically ruined his life, and she continues to make it worse by messing around with him.
I don't know where I'm going with this. The latest two chapters have caught me off guard and were fantastic. I could rant on about this all day. (Which is what it's turning into, so I'll stop here.)
TLDR; He's a great main character who's smart and knows how to deal with his situation carefully. He isn't dense, and he genuinely wants a sincere relationship with someone. He actually hates the person who ruined his dream, and for a good reason, too.
I love this manga. It's hilarious, and it has an extremely interesting twist on the harem genre. The story is actually very well written, and I have a feeling it's going to blossom into something brilliant. Especially at the rate it's going. It is serious, too, it's just some situations he's in are funny. Very funny.
The only downside is how slow the chapters come out.
I feel as though I went a little off track there in the middle. It's late. I need sleep.
Either way, I full recommend this manga to anyone who loves harems with a twist, a dark and serious twist. It's great. Seriously. Read this manga. read more
I really enjoyed this Manga. At it's surface, it's "just another harem story", and for the most part, I tend to agree. So if you don't like harem stories, you probably won't like this one any more than the rest.
The story follows Kaoru, a borderline social outcast who becomes the target of a grim reaper, who demands he either get a girlfriend or lose his soul. Having only 24 hours to do so, and fearing failure, he asks 4 girls, who all say yes. Then, because harem animes be harem animes, the grim reaper demands he must remain in a relationship with all 4 for 3 months or else they will all dump him and he will be killed. A little contrived, I know (at least two of the girls make it abundantly clear they don't want anyone to know he's dating them, so he could have dumped them and made his life a little easier), but either way, I'll bite.
What makes this story different is that the main character starts out by dating all of these girls, and has to keep his relationships separate, even as they continually run into each other. This differs from the standard formula of every girl holding a one sided crush on the clueless and indecisive guy. As a result, it's more like "The World God Only Knows" than "Shuffle", as a character whose not usually a playboy is forced to act like one.
The female characters are surprisingly unique. Yes, they all fall into certain molds. Ones a closet pervert, ones a Kuudere/Tsundere, ones a Yandere, and the final one is a sadist (You'll never guess which is which until they get behind closed doors). It helps each personality pop, and also allows him to play on the girl personalities to help him keep his secret. This felt like an interesting mix of characters, and never felt cliched, even while playing with the cliches.
The genuinely loved this manga, but the main reason i didn't give it a hire score is because it got axed and rushed an ending with only 19 chapters. Half the girls really were under developed, the ending isn't satisfying, and I would have loved for this story to go on another 20 more chapters. There were so many things that could have been done with it.
However, if my biggest complaint about the manga is that there wasn't more of it, I'd say that makes a manga pretty worth reading. read more