Aug 23, 2021
Having finished the manga just a short while ago, I am writing this review still high in feels and spirit. It might be a but informal however I think if I delay writing, all my thoughts regarding it will go astray or I might lose the motivation to review this outstanding manga that I binge read and enjoyed till the end. Thus, this is going to be quite long and I have tried my best to not include any major spoilers.
Akihito Kuze, at the young age of nine is forced to take over the duties of a Viscount after the death of his father.
As dictated by his father, Tomoyuki Katsuragi, the young and capable butler, will act as his guardian and take charge of the Kuze household until Akihito comes of age. Despite being an excellent tutor, Katsuragi always remained cold towards Akihito, maintaining a steady distance. However, things start changing once Akihito starts taking control over the Kuze household and responsibilities, thus coming into direct conflict with Tomoyuki. This is a story of how these two individuals mature, influence each other, discover their true selves and motivations as well as pave their future paths.
The art is amazing. I am not an expert and can't speak for the technical details. Yet, I think everything including the character designs and expressions, background details, paneling, etc. were well done. I can't point out any flaw with the art.
This is one of the aspects where I think Yuuutsu na Asa excels at. It has quite a large ensemble of characters who are well written and distinct.
Our main characters, Akihito Kuze and Tomoyuki Katsuragi receive exceptional development throughout the manga.
Tomoyuki Katsuragi is charming and smart, a capable man who knows his way around things and can pull off anything even if he has to resort to underhanded practices. "Everything is for the Kuze family", he says quite often. His loyalty is linked to his past, which is something we unravel as we read on.
Akihito Kuze, the young viscount, is a fine fellow. He is smart and kind. He disregards the class system, understands that it won't last and is thus always "looking forward".
We have a bunch of other important characters like Soichirou Ishazaki (Akihito's best friend), the Katsuragi family, the many people in the nobility, etc.
The characters are consistent, individualistic and unique. These characters won't fit into the animanga archetypes we know.
Here, I'd quote the mangaka "...the characters of Akihito and Katsuragi basically never did what I wanted them to. And if Katsuragi did this, then Akihito had to do that. But, it's not very Katsuragi-like for him to accept that so..."
The consistency in their characterization is what made them realistic and likable to me.
ENJOYMENT 10/10 (Need I say more?)
OVERALL 10/10 (Yes, a masterpiece)
I had read and liked Hana wa Sakuka by the same creator (Shoko Hidaka), thus I had expectations from Yuuutsu na Asa, that it certainly lived up to. Yes, it's a love story at heart but there's so many things going around you won't feel like it. There is no cheesy romance, in fact, it's quite dramatic and dark in several aspects. The characters argue (they almost always do) however it's not immature rambling. Things don't miraculously fall into place, we see the characters working on their plans to make things work. The manga is dialog-heavy and there is a lot of monologuing by the characters. Both our main characters are quite logical and have incredible insight which puts them into conflict because their approaches or ideals don't always overlap. What I am trying to say is that the dynamic between the MCs is very interesting. If you enjoy character-centric dramas, then you will quite surely enjoy this.
What did you think of this review?