In real life, child raising is one of the last things I would ever expect to be doing in the near future. Moreover, I have no experience whatsoever when it comes to children and infants. Many of my friends would be surprised that I would ever even approach a seinen manga on such a subject. Simultaneously, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the manga and felt compelled to write its first review.
Yoningurashi is an extremely light-hearted slice of life manga that centers around the simple life of a wife and husband and their two kids. To be
honest, I am surprised that such a plain manga could even be published. There's nothing particularly interesting or hilarious about their daily lives, yet this manga has a unique charm that makes it altogether satisfying.
The story is quite simple: there is none. It's simply child-rearing between a somewhat dysfunctional couple. Admittedly, this manga is also more unique in this regard; most manga with a similar storyline are focused on the troubles of a single parent or someone who found themselves in odd circumstances that required child-raising. Yoningurashi is a simple and refreshing twist to the overly complicated plots that are often present in this genre.
In hindsight, the art is my only complaint for this manga. The art is extremely simple and barebones. Although there isn't necessarily anything wrong with it, the simplistic art style pushed me away initially. However, the manga does benefit from the art by depicting the children to be quite adorable. Moreover, the childish simplicity of the art is very suitable in comedy scenes involving the children's innocence or naive stubbornness.
Now we get into the meat and bones of the review. The characters of a slice of life genre anime/manga determine whether or not it is enjoyable. In this manga, the characters are not complex nor do they make you scream in their adorableness. The characters in this manga are realistic and pleasing. They appeal to some of the more minor emotions such as nostalgia and content. With their straightforward personalities and realistic attitudes, these are characters that the reader can easily relate to.
And thus, this brings us into the next topic. Usually when it comes to manga, I am a binge reader. I start in the afternoon and read for hours until I finish the series. Typically when it comes to slice of life, I tend to drop the series or avoid them altogether because their is simply not enough to compel me to keep reading.
However, in Yoningurashi, their is a mysterious atmosphere of relaxation and nostalgia that didn't let me tear myself away. The experiences of the two kids reminded me of my own childhood and the two parents revealed to me my own parent's struggles as they tried to raise me. The situations that arise due to childishness made me face-palm, yet I couldn't help but laugh.
Personally, I am not an expert in this genre or area of manga at all. However, the simplicity of the synopsis paired with the relatively enjoyable first chapters made me keep reading this manga. There's no surprises or drama or parts that will leave you dying with laughter. But what it does have, is some sweet and heartfelt moments about a couple raising their children that may make you chuckle along the way. Overall, this is a great manga is you are looking for a slice of life that isn't quite as outrageous about its way of presenting itself.