The Andou family has just moved back into town after a six year absence. Atsushi finds he is now dealing of living in the specter of his big brother, being known in town as Big Brother's Little Brother. But he wakes up one morning to find quite literally being haunted by the ghost of his brother who died six years ago.
Odds are no one is starting to look work through Adachi's catalogue with this manga. So by the time you get to considering Q and A as the next one to read, you know what to expect. A nice comedic slice of life with some sports and romance thrown in, and hey, Adachi is even mixing it up a little bit here. A lot of the character designs differ from his previous series, and the dog isn't named Punch! Still, most of what you probably enjoy about Adachi is here. All of the charm that he and his characters possess isn't absent. It's just as
present as it usually is.
For a while I was bothered by the lack of that big goal that our main character is usually striving towards. For most of the series there is no Koshien, no high school boxing championship that we're getting closer and closer to. But eventually it became evident that I was only bothered because I was already used to that in Adachi's work, so it felt unnatural. Having the slice of life/comedy aspects take up an even larger ratio of what makes up the manga is fine. Just takes some getting used to.
The only major issue is the epilogue chapter. Which really pisses all over everything two times in a row and leaves you questioning the past 34 chapters. Doesn't take away how much I enjoyed those other chapters when reading them, but the aftertaste of the series as a whole isn't great.
....is what I would like to say when it comes to Adachi's manga Q&A, but I would be lying.
If your familiar with Adachi's past work, you would commonly know him famous for his genres on shōnen tales of sports with a touch of high school romance. Cross Game being the latest to add to his collection. In a few of his stories, the main character would lose someone important in their life who would eventually mold that characters future(if you've read Touch you'll know what I mean). In Q&A, Adachi has outdone himself this time by amalgamating
his past work, and added a supernatural theme with the story.
What if that important person who had passed, lingers on to mold your future?
Q&A is the story of Atsushi Ando and his older brother Hisashi(nicknamed Q or Kyu by the local neighborhood, hence the title Q&A) who at the beginning of the story, had already passed away. Whilst Ando was known for being 'the little brother' and nothing else, Hisashi was the outgoing type well known(and loved) for his athleticism and strength. Although Hisashi was blessed, he always took care of his little brother and prior to passing away made a promise to Atsushii he would always be looking out for him.
6 years after Q's death, the Ando family have moved back to their old neighborhood and house. Now the twist of it is that, who should be waiting for Atsushi when he moves in, is no other than the spirit of his older brother(who can now be classed as the younger of the 2) and so begins the tale of Q&A..
One thing I liked about Q&A is that the art seems more alive compared to Adachi's previous work. Some of the background seem to be a little more detailed. What I also love is that Adachi hasl kept his characters faces and looks the same to his previous work giving you that 'welcome to the world of Mitsuru Adachi'. If you've recently finished an Adachi manga, and start Q&A, it would seem like it was a continuation to your last read. Also to note, whilst Adachi has stepped on minor parts of ecchi in his past work, I feel he's gone to a little more detail with Q&A(which as a guy, is 2 thumbs up).
Q&A has an array of characters which I know you would like once you get into the story. You first come across Atsushi(15yrs old at the start of the story) the reserved type who pretty much keeps to himself if possible, opposed to his older brother Q, who after passing away remains 11yrs old and although still likes to play pranks like what normal kids that age do, still acts like the older brother for Atsushi. We also come across the lady of interest for the story Yuho, who comes across as a 'tsundere' on the first few chapters. You will also notice the supporting characters have the same feel to Adachi's previous work(from the parents, to the local bullies and rival) which give strength to the main cast and give you a laugh or two.
Although I've only come across 10 chapters, I already know this manga will be one I will be closely following for 2010. If you've read any of Adachi's manga, you will know he is known for flaunting his previous work and that hasn't changed with Q&A seeing that he's already advertising Cross Game in the earlier chapters. Q&A comes with all the right elements for a great read and I can safely predict a high rating by the time its come to the last volume.
If you like sports, high school, slice-of-life or even a touch of romance in your manga's, then Q&A is worth picking up.