In the forest, there is a bear only children can see. If you can escape the forest after spending one day with that bear, you can become whatever you desire. A girl sets foot into the dense forest of legend and what she encounters there was…
The synopsis above is quite misleading. Reading it, you might think the focus of this story is some kind of magical bear, or forest, or the aforementioned girl...but you'd be mistaken. In fact, the Japanese title translates to something like, "Escaping Man" -- and that's what this manga's basically about: a man who "escaped", his reason for doing so, and what happens when that reason no longer exists.
Since it was serialized in "Manga Erotics F", I expected to see something naughty but the closest this manga ever came to that was just an implied sex scene. This doesn't affect my evaluation of it in
any way (OF COURSE), but I thought I should just mention that, for the benefit of any *cough* pervs *cough* out there.
The plot and characters are fairly simple, and the main draw for me was the art--it too is simple, but effective, and reminds me a little of Quentin Blake's sketchy, raw style in those old Roald Dahl books you used to read as a child (you know who/what I'm talking about right?), except with slightly tighter lines. Unlike a lot of self-taught mangaka out there, Natsume Ono can draw--she probably went to art school or something. I mean, just look at how she does the bear; it's not hyper-realistic or anything, but at least it's unmistakably bear-ish-esque...which is more than I can say for most of us, when trying to draw the same (go ahead and try it yourself--and NO, teddy bears DON'T count.)
There isn't much dialogue, which is how I think a comic should ideally be done -- let the pictures tell the story, otherwise we might as well read a book amiright? NIGERU OTOKO does a fairly decent job of that.
Bottom-line: it's an okay read, something mildly pleasant with which to pass the time.
This manga is simple, nothing extraordinary (don't expect a deep or crying story) , but yet the story is beautiful. It's a little bit mysterious due to the few dialogues and the sceneries, and talks about a man who ran way of his life in the city to live in the forest with a bear.
The art style is very unique. Well, it may look kinda lazy or "unfinished", but I think that's what make it beautiful and different.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to pass time and read a short and unique manga, without many dialogues, but yet pleasant to read.