Sep 16, 2009
To say that 090 Eko to Issho is a unique take on mobile phones would be an understatement. It's unfortunate then that this manga, in it's efforts to be original, has made the same mistakes that are prevalent in many other stories.
The tale begins with Chanomizu Hiroshi, a middle school student who finds a broken mobile phone in a pile of garbage. He has always disliked mobile phones, however he somehow has the feeling that this is the phone for him, so he takes it to be repaired. A short time later the phone is delivered to his home in a very large box....
can all guess what's actually inside the box isn't a simple mobile phone, andthat's where the originality in this tale begins. However, after this initial burst of concept the story quickly becomes a typical school based rom-com centred on mobile phones. There are some other original twists further into the story but, unfortunately, these can't really lift the whole plot to anything above average.
That said, this manga still falls on the enjoyable side as there are enough jokes and situational comedy to keep you going for a while, and the fact that each chapter averages around 13 pages means that you'll get through the whole story pretty quickly.
As far as the artwork goes, it's very simplistic, and maybe a little too "cartoonish" for some tastes. The character designs are a little on the childish side, especially with Hiroshi having the typical "guy who looks like a monkey" design found in anime and manga. Equally, only the bare minimum has been done to portray the various emotions of each character. On the plus side though, some of the gags that occur actually work better with this style as the essence of the manga is that it isn't to be taken seriously.
As main characters go, Hiroshi is pretty plain. The main story tends to be about Eko, however the student council president, Kawasumi Makoto, has some time devoted to her, as does the vice president, Tootama Shizuku. There's some form of character development in there however it's rather sporadic, which may be an outgrowth of the fact that this is more a gag manga than an actual story.
I have to be honest though. The real stars of this story, for me anyway, were the SMS message ninjas, especially Flying Sato.
On the whole this manga is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some genuinely funny moments, as well as some strokes of creativity. Unfortunately the series leaves too many unanswered questions, and the effort at drama in the last few chapters seems really out of place.
A good effort overall but, for all it's good points and comedy, 090 Eko to Issho doesn't quite fit together. There's something missing in the story that makes everything seem a little too forced and unnatural, and because of this, it can only really work as a gag manga.
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