How does a girl declared by her childhood friend to be gloomy and anti-social transform into a cutie “as sweet as sugar” and every boy’s dream? And does every boy really dream of girls “as sweet as sugar”? Or is the rich and deep taste of coffee better than sugary glitter? The story of a girl who may not be sweet, but sure is as addictive as black coffee!
PLOT: Sentaro and Kurashima are childhood friends, the former being very popular at school... the later, not so much. But Kurashima has a secret that might change that, what will Sentaro do when he founds out?
Although not a very original story, I found entertaining this love/hate interaction between the protagonists and kept flipping pages to see how it was gonna end.
CHARACTERS: I started reading thinking Sentaro is your typical playboy mc and Akari, your typical gloomy glasses girl mc. To me, the characters seem to be acting on a whim and looked shallow for the most part BUT appareances might be deceving... and that is
what this manga is about.
ART: Nice character design, above average for a shoujo manga. The mangaka does a great job conveying the characters' emotions through their facial expressions, gestures, etc. The panel composition is very dinamic.
ENJOYMENT: Kept me hooked until the end. Not a master piece but I think something every shoujo fan will enjoy.
Black Coffee is a very simplistic one-shot, which only left me feeling it had some wasted potential, it was definetly entertaining at some points, but it definetly feels like the manga ended up just feeling rushed and the ending forced, let me explain why:
At the beggining of the manga first I was impressed by the comedy, it mixed really well with the art and the environment, and it made me look forward for the other comedic moments that might come along. The premise of the manga also caught my interest, it seemed like although there wasn't anything complex about it, it could add up to
making an interesting story and taking the characters to different places where comedic situations could spawn, but right after that I felt the manga started taking itself too seriously. I honestly felt it was building up to be like a long series, where the events that happened in this one-shot, would be presented in the right moment as the series went along, and I'm not saying all mangas should be series, don't get me wrong, it just feels like this manga was being written as a series first, and then the artist remembered things had to happen and just rushed the plot to progress way too fast. I also felt the romance so thrown at me, I had no real investment in the romance of the characters, I was invested in them and what would happen, but the romance felt stale the moment it arrived. I feel that's exactly the biggest flaw of this manga, everything feels to be happening too fast and too forced, all of the important events needing plot convienence to happen, like the sister remembering all that stuff and telling his brother just for the fuck of it, and him knowing where Asaki was...don't know man, feels dumb man.
I still have some criticism to make, but it's kind of too subjective so I'll save it for myself. To sum it up, Black Coffee is not really bad, it has some strong points to it, it just feels bad for me as I feel it had the potential to be much better, all the strong point of this manga are not given as much importance and use, and all the weakpoints are put on the spotlight too much, that's why it's important for artists to know their strenghts and weaknesses, and I feel this manga needs more selfe awareness. I still read through it though, it really was fine, that's all I can say at the end, it just was fine, all of it, the art, the characters, the plot, they were fine...but "just fine" should never be what we settle for...