A young man who discovers he can have out of body experiences, which he uses at first to have fun but quickly leads him to discover that his life isn't what he thought it was, and people he knows have lives he never imagined. And then he meets this girl who has the same power and much more control...
This manga was made by Aku no Hana's mangaka, Oshimi Shuuzou, and features some of his strengths as a mangaka, but is also plagued with some overt uninteresting aspects which bog it down considerably.
Yuutai Nova is a manga which plays with many promising ideas and although short, features quite a lot of anger, strangeness, out of body experiences, regret, and breasts. Many, many breasts and female genitalia. It also has invisible, spiritual peeping toms.
Seriously, I'm not kidding.
The premise is interesting despite out of body experiences being a common topic in stories. All of a sudden, this random boy named Haru Katsuragi, gets his
spirit taken out of him and begins floating above his body. He begins flying out of his house and soars into the dark night sky. No, he's not tripping from any freaky, psychedelic mushrooms, this is actually happening to him. So of course, the first objective he has on his mind is to go silently stalk his ex through all of her activities. This includes everyday things such as: watching her read, watch tv, eat, take a shower, etc. The perverted main character also proves his burning horniness by "fondling" her breasts. His hands literally just go through them. Apparently, he likes playing with nipples he can't actually touch. It also seems they broke up due to his uncontrollable penis rage when he was younger. After awhile, he realizes the grand lesson that people can change in undesirable ways, and he ends up meeting a wonderful new girl while he mopes. Many strange situations ensue which test his manhood and the story progresses into odd, new places. Unfortunately, what drags this story down are that things begin to go downhill towards the end. What started as an interesting exposition on how people you once knew can drastically change their personality, turns into a bizarre fight for a female character and other sorry attempts at story depth. The problem does not lie in the unusual nature, it lies in the storytelling and poor usage of the interesting themes. The mangaka set up an intersting sci-fi premise that could have been used to create something truly original with an actual, solid story. Maybe it wouldn't have been an intense, daring and thought-provoking social commentary, but he could have at least made an interesting character portrait. Or maybe even a weird but touching coming of age story with more development. Instead, we get this rushed latter half/ending that sacrifices all its stellar parts for a hazy, unexplained, lazy section that doesn't satisfy the reader and takes up half of the manga.
The character designs are standard. Many of them being the generic anime-eyes having characters we've all seen before. Shuuzuo's character art someewhat resembles the character art of Kouji Mori (Holyland, Jisatsutou). Nothing truly great, but nothing terrible either. The backgrounds are well done and actually have nice detail to them. The real reason it gets a "7" is because of the more expressionistic parts of it. The skewed manga panels and the nice uses of exaggeration whenever the main character is under distress is really a nice touch. However, there's not enough of this style or interesting uses of tone and color in the manga. I've seen the 'exaggerated style' done better and with more originality before, so I won't rate it higher... Oh, and the breasts are also well-drawn, just in case that's what you were wondering about.
The main character is the generic "soft-spoken, fairly wimpy unless he's put in serious situations!" kind of character. The girl, Mahoro Ikaruga, is the usual savior of the main character. She's dangerous and sort of takes risks. But at the same time, doesn't really do much but make the main character realize his ex is a horny slut now. Not much exposition or unique characteristics. The real killer though is that they are not fleshed out enough and ultimately lack depth.
Between trying to comprehend character motivations and wondering why there are all these perverts trying to grab at what their hands always go through, I actually enjoyed some of it. When some of the things in Yuutai Nova were introduced, I became interested and was enjoying myself. Like I said earlier, there are some genuinely intriguing ideas that are presented, but unfortunately they end up getting snubbed. I also dislike the ending and find it a hazy cop-out.
If you insist on reading this and wanting to view how good ideas ultimately become lost and stay half-baked, then be my guest. Some elements in this are good and overall it's definitely not godawful, but honestly Oshimi Shuuzou's other, more well-known work, Aku no Hana, is much better. If you want to see how he's evolved as a mangaka since he started then check this manga out. Otherwise, I'd say skip it in favor for a less disappointing effort.
Please, spare yourself and do not read this manga.
You might think there is something worthwhile here. The art is pretty good, and the premise seems interesting. The first few chapters seem like there might be something there.
But it's a trap. There is nothing of value in this manga. Stay away.
It was axed, so nothing is explained and the plot never comes to a resolution. Furthermore, every character except for the two mains is either a slut or a rapist, and the two leads spend remarkably little time interacting with each other.
So, most of the manga is spent with the
main character brooding about the mysterious power he has received (which is never explained), wondering what he can and can't do with it (again, never explained), wondering who the girl is (never fully explained), or wondering what to do about all of the horrible people he finds himself surrounded by.
So if you want to read a dark, brooding seinen romance, go look up Ciguetera or Sundome or Nozoki Ana. If you want a seinen romance with some fantasy or mysticism, try Umi no Misaki or Ashita Doborou. Just do yourself a favor and stay away from this one.