Masahiko Yanagiba lost both parents and, following his mother's will, moved to his maternal uncle's family, the Wakanaes. Although Wakanaes' hospitality was heartwarming, he soon found out why his other relatives shun away from the Wakanaes: his "uncle" is a woman while his "aunt" is just the opposite. Turns out the couple took the appearance of the opposite gender, and now Masahiko has no idea whether his cute cousin, Shion Wakanae, is either a boy or a girl.
Gender issues are always a touchy subject and they are usually approached in a “gentle”, serious manner, but this is not the case with F. Compo. Not as much because the method is crude, but as its main focus is not the journey of self-discovery. F. Compo is all about comedy with traces of drama along the way. By all means, this is no recipe for disaster, although in this case a lot of things did not mix well together.
There is no profound story, or any actual story at all for that matter; it is about the everyday life of various characters and their daily adventures from simple things such as helping a friend to fighting with one’s self over accepting and being who one truly is. It is simple and nice and it could have worked great, if only the humor was up to par most of the time. Almost every problem, misunderstanding, joke, etc. revolves around a gender issue theme, be it either having the main character cross-dress against his will and thus, creating more trouble or having people turning gay at the drop of a hat, just because. There is no wide variety when it comes to comedy so it can only get stale after the usage of the same jokes, which most of the time are shallow and become very annoying in a long running manga.
The drama aspect of it has higher value as some stories portray better certain situations and circumstances and can make the reader empathize with the characters. Unfortunately, it is not enough to save the entire work, since the comedy is the strongest genre of it and sometimes affects it and also, there is unnecessary or badly executed drama at times. For instance, the romance is at a pretty low point, because it appears only to showcase a new (or repeated) problem with a dramatic finish and otherwise, it is forgotten. As a result, the pacing is pretty poor even for a seemingly relaxing slice of life manga.
The characters are also abused by the comedy, unfortunately. Especially the main character, whose main trait is naivety, so it is just so easy for various predicaments to happen to him alllllll the time. The development is small, since as mentioned, this is not a manga about any serious issue, so everything that happens is essentially for the comedy and often lacks a more thorough thought or explanation for the readers. That being said, at least it is not nonexistent and there is progress when genuine problems come up and we see the main cast, but also the secondary one to think more seriously. All of them are likable, though some can be really tiring with their repetitive jokes (again) and almost everyone has a story to tell, something that is always positive as the readers can see parts of everyone’s lives or pasts. However, most of the characters do not have any great impact.
F. Compo has a realistic art with a richness of facial expressions. It also manages to handle well the cross-dressing, yet there are times that I feel some characters have the same trait as Superman; just take off your glasses and no one could recognize you anymore. Sometimes it is just too obvious when who is dressed what and it makes no sense for other people not to realize this. The backgrounds are not notable and while most characters seem unique, some look more generic. All in all, the art is simple but sufficient and it delivers.
Personally, I assumed this would be more serious and although I was not discouraged when I figured out that it is not as I had imagined, it disappointed me greatly with its overuse of shallow gender jokes and then the lack of any deep thought at its majority or the misuse of such thoughts and the random events that happened that made me think the creator had run out of inspiration. This could have been so much more heart-warming, but it always ran around in circles.read more
Family Compo isn't your typical family story!
I enjoyed this manga very much. The beginning of the manga was a bit slow and stereotypical for me, since it follows the whole "Abandoned kid gets rescued by forgotten family member" plot. As soon as it hits the later chapters, alot (and I mean ALOT) of crazy stuff happens that will make you say "WHAT?".
The art reminds me of something that could be featured in Shonen Jump more than Shoujo Beat but it doesn't distract too much.
Yes, the story is about crossdressing females AND males but doesn't follow the "bishounen formula" for the males (which, let's be honest - how many male cross dressers truly look like females in real life? ...Not too many). I appreciate this 'cause it does make the story realistic and does make it seem like it could happen anywhere.
Please give this one a try. It doesn't look much but it really is a great story! read more
F. Compo is quite the hidden gem in my opinion, a Slice of Life comedy by the veteran mangaka Tsukasa Hojo, better known for the detective/action series City Hunter. It focuses on a young college student, Masahiko, who is adopted by his "aunt's" family after the sudden death of his father in a traffic accident- however, his uncle and aunt have swapped their roles as man and woman and live as crossdressers. Masahiko, too, is shunted into women's clothing as the plot demands, for both comic escapades and a light examination of gender identity, which generally takes a backseat to the romantic and humorous parts of the show but is nonetheless present.
The comedy, for the most part, works well. Masahiko himself is the most unassuming character of the bunch but his interplay with the others makes up for his relative lack of personality, especially his cousin Shion, a beautiful and sarcastic high school girl who he comes to fall in love with despite questions as to her true gender. Hojo's treatment of the genderbending antics that result in most of the jokes in the manga is light but sincere, unlike many genderbending manga where crossdressing exists only for laughs.
One thing that the reader may actually fail to pay attention to is the artstyle, which is fairly typical for the period but convincingly realistic, the characters faces and expressions conveying a sense of humanity that often fails to come across in the medium. The characters themselves are complex and deeply sympathetic, and it's likely that you as a reader will find yourself emotionally invested in what is not so much a story but a true "Slice of Life" in that it encompasses the family's life in its entirety in a over the course of a few years. In fact, F.Compo is really about family more than gender identity, and it conveys a sense of the beauty of family better than nearly anything I've read. Though it starts off fairly simple, I would recommend reading at least half of it to get a real impression of what it's about. read more
Family Compo is a unique manga, its gonna take you a lot of time to find something this strange and interesting at the same time.
Story - 8/10
I'll try making it short and without too much spoilers, the story is about a guy who always wanted to have a normal lovely family, but his mother died and later the same happened with his father, so, that can't be helped he thought, but then appears his mother's sister/(brother) and our main character becomes part of her/(his) not so really normal family. Why not so really normal? Well, would it be normal if you discovered that your aunt is actually a man and her/(his) husband is a woman? I dont think so but that's even not the strangest part because who knows who's they're daughter, a girl or a boy? Yet this special/strange family is what makes this manga really funny and interesting. Romance is here included as well but the author concentrates more his attention with the comedy part which this manga have a lot...
Art - 7.5/10
I really wish I could draw like that...
I think the art is very good and the most interesting part is how the author makes the characters look exactly the opposite sex, I'm talking about our main character when he's a girl because he looks really feminine...
Characters - 8/10
I could feel life in this manga, for me the characters were like real people and I enjoyed them all but not Youko, I think she ruined the lovely atmosphere of this manga.
Overall - 8/10
I really enjoyed this manga with all my heart but in the end I just wished for something more than that... I just think that this manga could be even better... read more