Jun 2, 2020
Seeing as nobody has written a review for this, I take it upon myself to recommend a good work by a competent author that got overlooked because it was cut short.
In short, it's good, but a bit heavy for those expecting a light-hearted shoujo comic. It's very short and very much worth a read.
You may know Katsura Asuka from Blood+ and Billionaire Girl. I started to read her comic from Shinwa Ponchi which is quite recent, I admit that. I wasn't particularly interested in reading more after Blood+ and Billionaire Girl, both of which are competently written and drawn. Only after Shinwa Ponchi,
which I thought wasn't as well written though was axed similar to this, or so I hope, did I had an interest in reading more of her work. This review wasn't written after my first reading, but after my 20th times and randomly check for review on MAL.
Having admitted that, you probably can tell I prefer more light-hearted story. Blood+ and Billionaire Girl is rather heavy and a bit of a downer, with Blood+ just an adaption and Billionaire Girl lack that satisfaction for me. Which is what I should be saying about both Ponchi and this, but I would not.
The beautiful thing about axed works is the same thing that made it hurts: the unrealised potential. Though unlike Ponchi, which could have ended earlier or later would still be fun, Hanayashiki no Juunin-tachi should have ended a little later, but the way the author ended the plot is beautiful on its own.
All Katsura works have beautiful and rather refreshing art. That's not up for question. There's a certain way that she sets up the scene and the character facial expression that's unique to her. It's quite rare to find an author and illustrator that has a signature strength. Usually we remember them by their character design. Though, art is very subjective in this case, so I won't sing praises any more than that.
More importantly, the plot is the main pull. While it was axed, it left me a lot of impression, so much so that I still like to revisit it out of pure enjoyment, despite the ending being rushed. The central conflict between the characters is identity. I will try not to enter spoiler territory here but the few characters are very influenced by their parents to take on an identity of themselves and their identification of others. It sounds avant-garde but really, it's as old as Greek theatre. Having said that, the conflicts here are a joy to read. Each of the characters have a little spice in them, and while some is discovering their preconception of others can be misleading, others are trying to protect the identity that others have on them. It's all work very well together.
The last part that should be noted is while the conflicts are not completely resolved, the ending leaves everything very much open, well, since it was axed, in that short span of 3 volumes, all of the characters involved in the drama experience some manner of growth, and the story still has some filler left over. as a package, it has everything: comedy, drama, romance. The ending is satisfactory enough in that not everything should be resolved, but the characters experienced enough to have the strength to face them. I think it's very worth of being rated higher, though that's just my opinion.
I recommend this to everyone who wants a short but filled with fun and drama ride. If you are not in the mood for some serious relationship problem, I don't recommend it of course.
What did you think of this review?