Oct 2, 2016
J no Subete is a rather interesting manga.
It’s a rather morose tale about a person named ‘J’ – yes, that’s the whole name – who supposedly looks like Marilyn Monroe and, apparently, likes to spend time singing dressing up as a woman. The manga presents his life in a rather matter-of-fact way; that is, there’s no great point or goal. You’re really just learning about the times and struggle of J.
In that aspect, the manga does well. Initially, J comes off as this sort of ‘doll’ that seem to live mostly for attention without any real thoughts. Roughly ¼ through the manga, though, things changes
and we slowly delve into his personality and thoughts. I speak on this because this, to me, is probably the strongest point of the manga.
J feels like a real person at times. At points, you think you begin to understand him and how he works, then he does something incomprehensible. However, it’s the kind of ‘incomprehensible’ that seems like you’re getting a look under the surface of what you normally see when you look at him. That is that even though J really does come off as a complex character on the surface, there’s still an underlayer that’s still yet more of the ‘real J’.
And that, in particular, is why I believe character development is the strongest point of the manga. The author succeeds in making J look human because real people are genuinely that complex. Furthermore, although I specifically spoke of J, the author really paid much attention to nearly everyone in the manga. All the characters (save for the very side ones) feel complex.
In regards to the other aspects, I also compliment the pacing. It’s a relatively short manga but, even then, the pacing is brisk but not abrupt. You’re experiencing things at a good pace and it helps the story pick up and remaining interesting.
Are there any flaws? Arguable. Personally, I found some of the scenes in this manga to be very ‘over the top’ breaking the immersion. This next complaint is also a classic and contentious one – the ending. That is, I thought the ending didn’t fit and flow well with the rest of the manga and, actually, the chapters leading up to it were a bit disappointing too.
Still, those two could easily be ignored in favor of an otherwise good read. On the whole, I think J no Subete is a pretty good manga.
What did you think of this review?