Dec 24, 2020
Since this review ended up longer than expected, I’ll start off with a TLDR: While not an amazing read, it’s fun, and I would recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of the anime. This is especially if you loved Reo and Mabu, since they’re technically the only characters you see from the anime (if we’re not counting Sara as a baby)… as I imagine you could expect given the title and synopsis.
The primary theme of the manga is duo-fatherhood. It doesn’t go into too many baby-raising details, and doesn’t focus solely on Reo and Mabu’s baby-raising, but it captures a certain spirit. If you
love seeing stories about two guys trying to raise a baby together, this is a pretty good, if simple, pick.
This is a short manga, only 176 pages, but I had a lot of thoughts. I’ll go through all the particulars and all the sections.
The chapters are episodic much in the way the anime is episodic, if not even more so. Other than the first two chapters, the plot itself doesn’t progress. I almost had an issue with that, but in the end, I think I prefer it this way. The only issue I’m left with is wanting the following volume(s) that almost certainly will not be made.
What the synopsis promises is pretty much what you get. Over the course of the manga, Reo and Mabu deal with varying, often rather absurd, situations, whether they’re personal things like each other or raising Sara, or something associated with their job. These situations are funny and fun, and one is slightly touching. They aren’t anything groundbreaking, but in keeping with Kunihiko Ikuhara, they are at least original. The main thing that you shouldn’t expect is very many supernatural occurrences, or at least none in the extreme style of the anime. This manga is notably more laid-back and simpler.
The only things that progress are Reo and Mabu themselves… and even that is in small ways.
Reo and Mabu are very fun protagonists. They don’t change a whole lot from the beginning to the end of the manga, but their understanding of some things and aspects of their mindsets change. Again, no groundbreaking conclusions, but ones that are satisfying enough. To be honest, I don’t remember the anime well enough to say how similar they are here to in the anime, but there certainly wasn’t anything actually jarring about them that seemed “wrong” when I read this. They can be sillier than they are in the anime (Mabu being the most notable here), but I’m mostly owing that to the fact that this is their slice of life, while the anime showed them in plot situations. Here we see more of their personalities. I’m giving them a 7 mainly because they aren’t super interesting in this manga. Most of their aspects are made apparent in the first couple chapters, and that’s about it for the rest of the volume. While this is character-driven, it isn’t a character developer or character exploration – at least not to much of a degree. Maybe one or two degrees.
Baby Sara also has more personality than you might expect from a baby. But maybe it’s about to be expected from a manga baby. She doesn’t do much, but she’s definitely Sara.
The art is nice, clean, and fairly pretty. There isn’t much to say about it, but it’s pleasant to look at and gets the job done well. My only issue with it is that sometimes the speech bubbles connect in confusing ways. Two speech bubbles shouldn’t connect if each are coming from a different person!
It’s just fun. Sometimes not super fun, sometimes more fun, but overall notably enjoyable. 8 could be a little generous, but I think I have a bit of a soft spot for this manga and I definitely enjoyed reading it. Enjoyment was the main point of it, after all. I’m also a sucker for stories about/with two dads raising a child since that sort of representation isn't too common, so this was like a rare and favorite candy of mine that wasn’t the best I had had, but worked to satisfy something. It left me still wanting more but it certainly helped a lot.
Or, to be mathematically precise, 7.25. But to be personally precise I’d say it’s closer to a 7.45. It’s good! I like it! I’ll very likely find myself going back to it and re-reading random parts. It did less than I expected it to, but that’s alright. Sticking to expectations is a pretty bad thing when judging something fairly. And I can tell that all it really wanted to do was tell some fun, unique short stories with our favorite policemen and their magical baby. And that’s what it did. Well, aside from the one major takeaway that I got from its one little progressive element, that of the spirit of duo-fatherhood that I mentioned in my introduction. Overall, I like how it’s handled. It’s sweet and positive. It doesn’t approach the situation as if it’s already an entirely normal thing, but it does shower it with positivity by the end, and the theme gets a nice little climax of its exploration.
So, this is a fun manga. If you like Sarazanmai and you like slice of life, I’d recommend checking this out.
What did you think of this review?