Kyoutarou is just an ordinary guy trying to lead an ordinary high school life despite the fact that he is the son of a Yakuza boss. Then comes Kumiko, his half-sister he's never met before, who's looking for a man with a centipede tattoo who killed her loved ones in the past. Will Kumiko and Kyoutarou be able to manage their family business? Will Kumiko ever find and avenge the man with the centipede tattoo? And will they be able to control their sexual urges for each other?
Gekkoh; a typical straight-forward revenge story, which would have been just that, if it weren't padded out with uninteresting subplots and needless sexual content.
With the seedy, corrupt, underbelly of the Japanese Yakuza as its main focus; Kyoutarou Higawa is a highschool kid who's caught up in the conflict between his family's clan and other clans. Then one day Kumiko Shizuki, a girl he has never met before arrives to disrupt his life even further; by claiming to be his half-sister, who happens to be out for revenge. So Gekkoh immediately establishes itself as some kind of political drama, of the coalition & conflict within
the Yakuza. With action & mystery being the main driving force behind Kumiko's quest for vengeance and even a bit of romance slapped in for good measure. However just because the story of Gekkoh has a lot going on, doesn't mean it has a lot going for it. Instead of trying to instil believability to the numerous plotlines, the mangaka takes the lazy approach to issues like prostitution & incestuous relations. And all that remains is a half-assed, convoluted storyline; with laughably bad dialogue, filling up the poorly presented panels.
This also leads to why the characters don't hold up well, in a positive light. Both main characters fail to have some kind of appeal, in my opinion, because they both come with some of my - maybe even your own - pet peeves. Kyoutarou is downright pathetic, from the way he reacts & interacts with members of the opposite sex, to how he always manages to get his assed handed to him. So with that, Kumiko should come as a breath of fresh air. A strong-willed, capable, female lead. The kind that I like... is what I would say, if the idiot mangaka didn't feel the need to degrade her so incessantly. The unfortunate thing is that both Kyoutarou & Kumiko have their good moments, but those moments are far too sporadic, to leave much of an impact. The side characters are generic in both design and motivation and are only there to give Kyoutarou & Kumiko more to do then just fool around. There are actually some side characters who are given interesting back-stories, but they never seem to be fleshed out beyond the basic requisite.
Kind of like the basic scrawls I find on a page that's supposed to represent the artwork of Gekkoh, which simply can be described as horribly inconsistent. Usually artwork that's rough around the edges can be forgiven, when the mangaka tries to express his/her own unique style, but Gekkoh goes from being alright to just a plain bad at a moment's notice. Also I find it a problem not being able to tell exactly what's going on in a panel, due to how poorly the character's gestures & actions are drawn and maybe you will too
In the end Gekkoh is a manga that leads a lot to be desired. It is by no means a horrid piece of literary tripe, which my largely negative review seems to suggest; I just expected more from it and to think this is the kind of manga, Serika Hirumo was able to produce with well over 10 years of experience. Just shows how little he's developed as an artist & as a storyteller.
There are plenty of times I've seen an anime or read a manga with low expectations, only to enjoy the work intensely. On the flip side, there are also works that, despite having an interesting premise, fail to deliver in the end. Gekkoh is one of the later type.
For many people, the Mafia, Yakuza, and any other organized crime group is a very interesting thing. As terrible as it may sound, people who have little to no regard for the law fascinate "us" and, as such, organized crime can be a very useful marketing gimmick for someone in the entertainment industry. When you combine that
with another selling point, which is female nudity. Guess what? You got something that is destined to sell.
Gekkoh does just this, it puts it's female protagonist Shizuki Kumiko in all kinds of risqué situations that almost always involve her either topless or nearly being raped. The bright side is that she usually willingly gets into the problems and almost always gets out of it thanks to her big brother Kyotaru.
In any case, the main story details Kyotaru trying to help his newly introduced younger sister, Kumiko, find the person responsible for her parent's deaths. Along the way, the two of them must come terms with their growing sexual attraction to one another and the fact that they are both the children to a Yakuza boss.
Most of the story is told from the point of view of Kyotaru, but regardless Kumiko is definitely the star of the show. Despite that, the idea of him coming to terms with his family being in the Yakuza was at the very least initially interesting, unfortunately nothing really comes of it.
In fact, the entire manga is littered with plot threads that are never followed through in a satisfying way. For example, a certain sub plot involving another young man's rise in the Yakuza just sort of stops after a certain point. Which was disappointing, as it was certainly the most interesting part of the story.
Also, the conclusion is done in a way that just reeks of the dreaded "sudden cancellation" curse that plagues manga. I don't know if that is actually true or not though.
I will say that the art is extremely well done, particularly the female characters have great designs. Of course, coming into the picture is the problematic and incredibly frequent fan service. There is nothing wrong with fan service, but it just get in the way for the most part. Though, the mangaka did at least have enough sense to come up with a plot thread to give a reason for the rampant sex and nudity in the latter half of the story.
In any case, I enjoyed this to a decent extent. Just don't go thinking you are going to read another Sanctuary or something, which is a work that had random fan service and Yakuza but was actually able to tell it's story well.
A decent, if clichéd, set up of a boy meets sister and tries to find her parents killer all told with back drop of the Yakuza and random sex. The organized crime bits are much more interesting than the main storyline, unfortunately all of that just grinds to a halt at a certain point.
Very good drawings, the girls are great to look at and the character designs in general are very good. Maybe a bit to much unnecessary fan service, but this may be one of the few things to actually make the manga mildly entertaining.
Kyotaru is a wimp, but so is Shinji Ikari and he's one of my favorite characters. The thing is this guy just is and he never becomes interesting or has any perfectly valid reasons for his attitude.
Kumiko and all the other female characters are hot and that's about it. She wants revenge for her parents, cue typical tragic childhood that just isn't emotionally engaging like it could be. She also spends a lot of time naked for seemingly no reason.
All the other characters are rather uninteresting as well, though some do get decent development but..I wouldn't read this for the characters.
It's decent fun, but people up for a good crime story should look elsewhere. As the backdrop is very obviously just to get people to read the thing. Disappointing is how I'd describe this manga.
Read it for the fan service, it's good at that. Not much at anything else, still it isn't terrible. It's mildly entertaining, but definitely on the lower end of the spectrum. Flat, uninteresting characters and a very generic undeveloped story combined with good art doesn't suddenly make the manga any better I'm afraid.Avoid this.
As usual, I'd like any feedback and such. Really, any kind of comments are welcome. Appreciate it.
Gekkoh deals with the story of a boy trying to figure out how to deal with his role as the son of a yakuza boss while helping his new-found sister uncover the story of her past. His other problem is the constant struggle with his own consciousness for being sexually attracted to his half-sibling, who tempts him at every opportunity.
At first, Gekkoh does not reveal anything that feels remotely engaging. The story seems cookie-cutter, the characters are flat and the pacing uneven. However, once you skip past the middle (around volume 5), things start looking for the better as more of the story is revealed
and the author regains some control over the narrative. You can see the main character develop as a person as a result of his feelings for his sister and the situations he has to go through in order to help her. Later on, some characters revel unusual personality traits and there are even a few jokes thrown in here and there. Expect a few predictable plot twists as well.
The artwork is fair, erring on the side of 'generic' but it gets the job done. Characters could benefit from a more artistic depiction but the environments and some of the background images are done well. The sex scenes are depicted with relative frequency but the author somehow manages to avoid making them feel excessive.
The author uses direction no just to advance the narrative, but also to provide an excuse for depicting erotic parts and sex scenes in the story. While this may decrease the enjoyment for some, fans of the 'ecchi' genre will definitely be satisfied.