May 16, 2016
Disclaimer: As a guy I recognize that I may not be the target audience for this work.
If you have spent any time reading manga than you have undoubtedly encountered few that made you question whether or not the author had ever interacted with an actual human being before. I don't mean stilted, boring, or cliched characters. Those are issues that can be overcome with good storytelling. What I do mean are characters that act in manners that are so alien to the human condition that they make it very difficult to remain invested in the story.
In my experience what I am describing manifests
itself differently in manga written by women than manga written by men (but it sucks about equally in both). Gisele Alain is a textbook representative of the former. And this is a shame because there are chapters and arcs where what this manga should have been shines through. Unfortunately these moments only serve to highlight the flaws in the rest of the manga, when characters act in ways that are so utterable un-relatable as to be actively off-putting.
The people in this manga are neither people nor caricatures of people. Instead they seem have fallen into the uncanny valley that lies between the two. Its as if this was written by someone who had studied humanity in depth but was not, themselves, human. Even (and sometimes especially) the main character, Gisele, suffers from this. She is a strange combination of 2-dimensional and unpredictable. The mangaka attempts to portray Gisele as an embodiment of innocence and you can tell that this was their intention, but somehow the execution isn't quite right .
Anyway as I mentioned this is not an uncommon problem, and normally it is not something that I would bother to write a review about, but this was a manga that strung me along with glimpses of greatness and I would hate for that fate to befall some other potential reader. So if you understand what I am getting at in this review I would advise finding something else. Now, if you have no idea what I am talking about then go ahead and read it. This may not be an issue that bothers you, and if so all the better because there are parts of this manga that are pretty darn good.
What did you think of this review?