Akira arrives in Tokyo from the countryside to start a new job but instead discovers that not only has his company disappeared but also his housing. Unemployed and homeless before he's even started life in the big city, life's looking pretty grim but maybe someone's looking out for him after all because who should text him at that moment but his childhood friend Chihiro. Providing a home, cooking meals, and even pocket money - just why is Chihiro doing so much for someone he hasn't seen since he was 10? Why does he consider Akira to be his best friend? And just who are those serious looking guys in suits? There just may be more excitement in the big city than Akira's ever dreamed possible.
Childhood friends, a prominent family, bodyguards, tentative romance, a strange living situation, a bad social life, job problems, kidnapping, a message sent in a balloon...is this starting to sound like a little bit too much for a manga that's just barely seven chapters long? Well, that's because it is, and that's the main problem with Omamorishimasu, Dokomademo.
Let's start with the story. It's all over the place and can be very confusing at times. There's too much happening, and it never really makes that much sense. It might be an interesting story in a longer manga with more chapters to flesh out the plot and time to find out about side characters, but this isn't that manga. Consequently, it feels rushed and not very satisfying. The story kept wanting to be something more, but it's very obvious that it couldn't quite reach the heights it was trying to attain.
The art, however, is wonderful. I've read all of Junko's other work that's been translated in full, so this was no surprise. She has a really clean, nice looking style that’s easily recognizable. Her characters are distinctive and emotive and she has a great grasp on movement. Whenever reading something by her I have to stop at least once to admire something in a chapter, and this manga was no exception. There are times where she gets a little sloppy, but those times are far and few between, and aren’t very noticeable.
The characters suffer as a product of the wishy-washy plot. Because there are so many side characters and plot threads being introduced we barely have time to get to know our main characters. We're told a lot about them, but it's a lot of tell and very little show. In the end, I really don't feel like either of them had anything to them beyond a few basic character traits. They weren't terrible, just underdeveloped and unexplored. Junko has a talent for writing fun, likeable characters despite her mangas being short, so the seeds are there, they just aren't sewn properly in this one.
As for enjoyment, it’s solid, but average. Honestly, I expect more out of a manga by Junko, so I was disappointed, but it wasn't a complete waste of time. There are a few moments that make a read worth it, but in the end it sort of feels like a lot of rising action with no real climax or resolution. Again, this was a manga that really would have benefited from either more time to tell its story or a story more befitting of the length it was prescribed.
Overall, what I'd recommend to anyone looking to read this is to read everything else Junko's done first. As I said, I’ve read most of her other works and I would call myself a fan of hers. This manga got a 5/10 from me, but everything else she’s done I’ve scored with a 7 or above. In general, her other stories are simpler than this one and the main characters are focused on more so that the reader can get to know them and care about them despite the small amount of chapters devoted to each story. This is a rather lackluster sample of her work and, as such, I would not recommend it being the first thing you read by her. However, if you've already read all of, or most of, her other mangas and enjoyed them, then there's really no reason you won't like this one at least a little bit. It still has that Junko spark, it's just not her usual fireworks.read more
At first, you might think it’s fluffy, but Junko has a surprising way of inserting dark elements without breaking the tone... The story has it’s equal parts and Junko doesn’t try to hit you too hard with tension and it all seems very natural. I really like how Chihiro’s perception of Akira is a bit exaggerated around the edges about certain events that happened in their childhood (like what children do) and how the two of them both have to take a closer look at themselves so they could see the other better.
There are some flaws, the story line of the characters is very much a cliché. So cliché things happen a lot and the story is predictable, but it’s still rather enjoyable.
The characters are well designed and a have a unique look to them. I mean other than her uniquely fresh style, she doesn’t have what I like to call Yuu Watase Syndrome, where all the characters look the same even if they are not the same at all. Though, in regards to style, they don’t look their age. Chihiro is going to University, but they look very much like the two of them would be going to high school together.
Overall, it’s a good manga to spare the time, I don’t know if I’ll read it again, but I might if it crosses my path.read more