The manga follows an "angel-like" beautiful high school girl with a certain secret she has been hiding from everyone, and an idle hikikomori (one who abnormally avoids social contact) young man; the highlight of his day is seeing Mari at the convenience store. The story begins as Mari wakes up in her room, but something feels amiss about the room and even her own body.
Anyone else ever saw something that interested them with the story alone? The idea that sounds so interesting and you're genuinely excited to go and experience that unique idea? And as you're about halfway through you finally fully realize something that has been bugging you since the start of that experience? That you just wasted your time on something with a
. Meh Story
. Meh Writing
. Meh Characters
. Meh Character Development
. And a whole ton of wasted potential
From having an MC with an Awful Personality, Development, and Lack of common sense. To have the only character you like to be the one
that doesn't have any screen time at all and is just memories. The person that is the best is the original owner of the body.
I genuinely feel bad for the girl who had the body, to begin with. She now has some failure, Stalker and overall rapey type of guy ruining her entire life. He ends up ruining all her previous friendships. Is a slob and a pervert in her body and also went and ruined her public image of being a very popular and well-liked girl. I could go on but I won't.
There is so much wrong with this that I can't even do it all in one review. Now that I'm looking back on what I have written so think I'm being too nice on this. This could have been an enjoyable story to read but it was nothing but a chore for me to get to chapter 68.
The Two other characters I want to bring up beside the MC and Mai is the Mom and the new friend he makes. The mom, for the most part, was alright she did nothing bad really. But then out of nowhere her personality changes and she goes to yell at her Daughter who is in a comatose state and starts throwing crap all over her room and is about to hit her. This was so sudden that I had to go back an re-read it cause I thought I was missing something.
The new friend that the MC makes is annoying and just i guess weird is the only other word to describe her. She starts out as being a stalker at the start of the story and is obsessed with the original girl ( Mai ) For the first two days the main MC is going to school and trying to be Mai. In that time the Stalker has been able to figure out that it isn't Mai. How may you ask? Well, I'll tell you it's because the MC said Cute... Like really? She then pins the MC up against the wall and said's that the MC is an imposter. With no backing for such a claim. Then she starts yelling at the MC straight in their face and the MC for no reason decides to confess of the truth ( Gonna get back to that in a little) She then assaults her even if it's just a little. A little later she is getting all weird that she is in Mai's room. Leaving this here or else this will take too long.
Gonna bring up that confession the MC did. He could have done something smart such as not doing something that could get your entire social life ruined in seconds. I was expecting/wanting him to play the Victim card. Sink to the ground and start crying. Someone would come in and see this Stalker above one of the schools most liked students crying and draw the conclusion that the Stalker was bullying her. This could have led to feuds between them and give the story something to work with that might be interesting or even just have the Stalker constantly try to make it up to her. It should not have had the MC confess that he is some no life inside the body of some girl.
Last thing I want to bring up. Is that this story thought it needed a stupid romance happening in it. Like why? This should have been about the MC dealing with this and trying to fix it not have stupid not needed romances happening. It makes it worse that the romance is with the stupid Stalker. Oh yeah, that's another thing about the Stalker is that she is so bland that I can't remember her name and just call her Stalker.
Overall this could have been an alright story to read. Maybe get some laughs out of. But in the end, this story took itself way to seriously when the story should have been a comedy, to begin with. With some of the dumbest characters I've has seen and weird sexual scenes ( Oh yeah the MC in the body of Mai molested Mai's best friend) This is without a doubt in my mind one of the worst. I don't get mad usually with stuff. But this is an exception.
If you came for the gender bender part which was not fun at all. Then you will be very sad with this outcome. If you want a story that handles body swaps much better and is much more enjoyable to the point that there isn't a comparison here. I recommend Shishunki Bitter Change. A story that knows how to have Characters be likable and knows not to take itself seriously all the time and also has a message behind it.
For those of you who aren't looking to read an essay, I have decided to post a quick summary of the series first. This review is spoiler free (as all reviews should be). :)
Summary: Inside Mari is a captivating psycho-analytical manga, with dazzling art and a fleshed out protagonist. The premise is based off a body switching scenario in which a social outcast finds himself in the body of a popular female girl by the name of Mari. The story is thouroughly engaging and is only hindered by a few plot inconsistencies as well as the fact that it could have been condensed into fewer
chapters. Some of the characters could have been involved and dissected a bit more, but the development of the protagonist makes up for this. The author does a good job of conveying his message to the readers, and you will be lost in thought after you finish the manga. I recommend you read the first 3 chapters and if you don't find yourself hooked by then, this might not be for you.
My rating without personal bias: 7/10
Now firstly I will say that this was an enjoyable read, certainly bing-worthy and I read it in under two weeks. This is a psychologically motivated manga, and it's concepts are explored with a dark palette of colors. It is not for the faint of heart, so if you are unable to take nudity, sexual examination, bullying, ejaculation, depression, extreme social anxiety and a lot of fucking cringe then don't read this.
The basic premise of the story is about a socially awkward hikikomori who lives off the income of his distant parents who innocently believe he is spending his days studying and making friends at college. Ironically he actually goes to college at first, but over time the social atmosphere becomes too overwhelming and he finds refuge playing games in isolation at his apartment. He is infatuated with a girl named Mari who he casually stalks with no harmful intentions. One morning he wakes up to find himself inside Mari's body, but although his former self still exists in the real world, Mari is nowhere to be found.
I gave the story a 7, due to plot conveniences involving a supporting character as well as an inability to execute on its full potential. The quality of its narrative elements remains relatively stagnant throughout the story and by the end, the manga becomes defined by the progress of its psychological components.
The art is gorgeous, and I often found myself completely dazed by the emotional expressions exhibited in the panels. Each scene is crafted carefully, and the mangaka portrays the general atmosphere in every chapter with wonderful precision. I never found myself questioning the correlation between the art displayed and the actually events taking place.
There is a clear change in the mentality of numerous characters throughout the series. In the supporting cast, we see an evolution based on dialogue, facial expression, and the portrayal of their actions.The main character differs from the others in that the development is based on introspection. You are able to see every facet of the protagonist's mind, sometimes to the point of disturbance. So, in this case, the development is driven by introspection rather than self-action, although the two sometimes coincide. This, of course, is to be expected when dealing with characters who are socially troubled.
My rating with personal bias: 8
I gave this story an 8 because I connected deeply with it. Now, something like this might be new to you, but don't be discouraged. There are a lot of scenes that are uncomfortable to read, but I think it's important to note that this is intentional. Don't just skim past those pages, instead look over them and think about why they make you feel the way you do. You might find, no relatable association to these characters but that's not a bad thing. This an emotionally fueled story based on the sentiments a lot of people have gone through in their lives. By understanding them, you are allowing yourself to understand the feelings of more people in the real world.
Here's my take after reading 80 schizophrenic chapters of Boku wa Mari no Naka (I'm inside Mari) Shuuzou Oshimi.
How would I put this... Mari no Naka is not your typical body swapping manga since it is not a body swapping manga. It is is a story that dives into the psyche of the characters and their actions on given the circumstances similar to other of Oshimi-san's works.
In this mind bending story, we are looking the eyes of Mari Yoshizaki a seemingly perfect high school girl that everyone adores, and Isao Komori one particular college hikikomori (reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life)
that is obsessed with Mari.
The story started after one incident where Mari was on her way home from the convenience store, and was being followed by Isao when she suddenly passed out and woke up not Mari anymore, but "Isao" in Mari's body.
There is only a few out there that would appreciate this kinds of story about deconstructing the human psyche's inner workings through the experiences portrayed by the characters. And I am one of those people, as the story for me expose each of the character's darkest secrets truthfully in their own way.
Mari's character is one of the most interesting characters out there as she is able to create a sense of open mystery for you to uncover all throughout the story up to the last volume which held me as a reader to finish it in one go.
The supporting characters Isao, Yori and the others complements the evolution of Mari through each chapter of your read.
As with every Oshimi manga, the art is really based on the reader's preference, but it wonderfully works for me. It is the perfect art to push the story to stand out more. But keep in mind that there are sexual contents in the story so this is not for young audience.
All in all, if you are looking for an unconventional story that keeps you hooked with the thrill of solving a mystery and not afraid to experiment with new genres. Mari no Naka is the one for you.
With that said, I give Boku wa Mari no Naka 9 chocolate bars out of 10.
Note: I have intentionally written this review like this since I do not want to totally giveaway the story for you, but still leave a hint about the it.
'Hrmmmm' is what I initially felt about pondering the question 'is this manga good?' The more I thought about it, the more I've realised, no it really isn't. It certainly has its merits,I enjoyed the mystery aspect, psychology and in general found it a weird and interesting read. But for the most part though the story was only so-so, and despite being a pretty character focused manga, I didn't like a single one, nor thought they were handled well, in terms of both their character and the respective issues related to their flaws.
The story isn't too bad it mostly deals with a central mystery
to the events which transpire in chapter one, on what exactly did happen. I liked this mystery aspect as It gives you enough to figure things out for yourself way before the manga does, i think I did around chapter 40. This meant though the twist wasn't really a twist, when they finally came out and did it, it took the characters in the manga way longer than me. But this aspect was done well enough, it really did add up with everything and make sense so I like the mystery aspect of the story.
Though the story had issues, If I was able to work out the main twist by the forties, which to me was the biggest hook this series had going for it, then what else is there to do? Just read to confirm it, I suppose, the manga for me, for not only that but its actual content got a lot more boring towards the later half, i worked out the mystery, the manga as a whole was less interesting than it was initially and I was just waiting for it to end, which isn't really a good sign, I basically lost most of my engagement by the second half.
I'm going to give this a slightly above average rating which might be a little bit generous, I did enjoy the mystery aspect of the show, it was initially engaging and interesting to me. But I dropped of towards the end, it started to get stale, I stopped caring and just wanted it to end, though it wasn't painful or terrible towards the end, I just personally had gotten bored.
My least favourite element of this show was its characters, i like very degenerate characters, one which fall into depression or ills, but I also feel like they need to have a redeeming factor, or reasons of why they're there, they sort of do in this series but not really. Most of the characters are kind of just creepy and weird and aren't really likeable in the slightest this read has its fair share of stalkers or people who are just obsessive, any character who gets focus fits into this, its okay to have this but I think they lack a counter balance to actually make them likeable and interesting. Most of the cast I didn't care for it was the mystery which kept me reading and not them in the slightest.
Lets take the MC for example he is a hikikimori neat, who hates going outside, a university drop out. The show really puts him down by making him seem pathetic, he can't talk to people he spends most of his time fapping and playing video games and he has an unhealthy obsession with a highschool girl to the point the only time he goes out in a day is to watch for her and stalk her. The psychology of somebody so degenerate could be interesting, but he lacks the balance to make us find him likeable in some way, he just comes of as a bit creepy and weird.
A lot of the cast lacks this balance I guess their interesting, but there are a lot of stalkers or obsessive people, and they're not likeable or well balanced.
Mari is another main character and well in regards to her they do go into her through talking about her interactions and what she did, but I think towards the end I would of appreciated them being more thorough and whilst I learn a lot about her circumstances I never felt I really got to learn about her.
So I'm give the cast a low rating they're all kind of creepy and unbalanced most of them lack proper development and growth and the ones who do get it, i felt like it could of been done better. i guess glasses girl gained a lot of confidence and grew as a person, but she was so unlikable, I didn't care for her. She was an obsessive stalker who was constantly putting down are main character and just whining about things. Overall for characters I can't give this a high rating, I don't really like the whole cast, the development for most of them is weak, and their specific issues aren't really dealt with that well.
I'm going to give this a 8, I suppose I know its deserving of a score around there. Its high quality and clean, the panels are easy to read and its definitely good. Nothing really for me to critique here, more its just not the best manga i read in terms of art, I've had manga which really make me gush of how fantastic they look and this one doesn't really get me to do that.
This series nails a few things, the mystery is interesting enough to keep you going, the psychological pressure the character goes through is something you can really feel and its initially interesting for how unconventional and weird it felt. The enjoyment gets taken away a little bit with scenes which go a bit too far, there is a scene where a character decides to watch another masturbate, that made me uncomfortable and I almost stopped, there are quite a few like this through out, i guess I can appreciate the fact that it doesn't mind being explicit so it isn't a huge minus. The Characters are unlikable, and the mystery hook and my interest in its unconventionality dissipated in the second half which was as a whole a bit boring for me. I'm going to give this an average rating, as I did like it initially.
This manga is interesting, its explicit, the characters are weird and it certainly is non conventional, but is it good? No not quite, but it does have its merits and its not a complete waste of time, there is enjoyment to be found here despite its faults, but its definitely not up there with the best.
Overall I'm going to give this a 6/10 its faults unfortunately hinder it from me giving it a higher score, i do like how unconventional it is, there is enjoyment to be found here, but for such a character driven manga I don't like any of them, and I don't think the story is that good either so I'm only giving it a six.