Shizuka Maku is just an ordinary high school girl with only slightly above average looks. That wouldn't be a problem but her older twin brothers are the school heartthrobs and beside them she always looks plain. The only boys who have ever been attracted to her are chased away by her over-protective brothers. Shizuka is the only plain person in her family and now her brothers have told her that she might not be related to them by blood. Now she is supposed to pick one of them to be her boyfriend.
Upon reading the synopsis, I expected a somewhat typical shoujo manga yet with an original and unexpected twist in plot. And I was right. But don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this manga. And even though it's been a while since I've read it, much of the details remains fresh in my mind.
The story is starts off as the synopsis suggests. The atmosphere feels a tad deeper than I first expected. And even more twists and turns ensue in the suddenly unpredictable plot. However, the manga skilfully includes a good amount of comedy to lighten up the mood.
The comedic aspect in
this manga is something that I ALWAYS look forward to.
Usually, I'm not much of a laugher, but when I was reading this, I just couldn't help but re-read those funny pages repeatedly before I calmed down!
Speaking of re-reading, as mentioned before, the plot gets deeper with LOTS of twists. And so, there is confusion that is created. For me, I really did not understand some parts and the relationship between the characters at some point in time that I was forced to re-read a few parts to comprehend the situation. That is just something I feel that could have improved, though the mystery and secretiveness may have been intended?
I personally feel the art was great. The picture as shown in the display for the manga is rather small, but even so, the cover attracted me to first reading this manga. I'm not one to patronize big-eyed typical shoujo mangas and so I enjoyed the detailed and very unique art style.
For those smaller panels and what I call "cartoon heads" section where the art is simplified to a certain degree, I especially liked the protagonists' threatening look. It looked completely unlike the usual protagonists' expression that it just highlighted the comedy so much more.
In terms of character development, I must say it was well done for this manga.
It definitely did not give off the feeling of one of those COMPLETELY drama and psychological manga such as Mars (no offence intended).
The story does have this psychological aspect in which readers can empathize with even if just a bit, but as mentioned earlier, the comedy really lightens everything up.
The characters are not only (somewhat) realistic-ly drawn but also have a very human-like type of personality which is something I look for in manga - the realism of each characters and to see if the mangaka spent time developing each character's background and personality. It definitely shone through this time.
Especially for the supporting character of the protagonists' mother who is probably the one who seems the most complex in my point of view.
I really love this manga and it is definitely one of my favourites which I plan on re-reading when I somewhat (but probably will not) forget.
It is one of the manga which I feel the urge to finish before doing anything else similar to books that make you keep reading till the end.
Since there are obviously some faults that I can find with this manga, I would still give this a 9.5 for a high mark and an 8 for a low after more post-reading consideration.
Personally, I feel that this manga should gain more recognition than right now, so if you're in the mood for a manga with THESE conditions and genre, I'd recommend this one! Hope you'll enjoy this as much as I did!
To be completely honest, the synopsis of “Sonan Jyanaiyo” put me off at first because it sounded pretty weird: a girl finds out that she’s not actually related to her handsome brothers and is now in a love triangle with them. Who will she choose?
Thankfully (or sort of not), it wasn’t exactly like that sappy kind of borderline incest story it sounded like it would be (“Brothers Conflict,” anyone?) because it veered off with plenty of plot twists that left me confused about who was actually related to whom. I have to admit, though, that this manga gave me plenty of genuine laughs.
I get that
having twins with different-colored hair makes it easier for readers to distinguish between them, but come on. The fact that they are both hot but look different should tell everyone something! And their names, too, Tetsu and Retsu. Cute, I guess?…
Anyway, the way that both of them reacted to the news that Shizuka may not be their sister was strange to me. I get that they both love her, but in a moment’s notice they were willing to be her boyfriend and it was a little disorienting. Apparently their love for her in that way was always hidden, and the moment the truth came forth it made things clear.
The bulk of the story is dedicated to new characters coming in and the Maku family trying to figure out who is related to whom. Their usual family dynamic revolves around the secrets that their mother keeps, and for some reason she’s a woman who says a lot of humorous stuff but never anything of importance to them until much later. We also get to see more of the Shizuka, Retsu, and Tetsu by themselves, knowing that the relations between them are different once the truth is revealed.
Although the information that is uncovered muddles the characters’ understanding and riddles the plot with more questions, it makes for an interesting tale that differs from traditional shoujo tropes. I was taken aback by whom Shizuka actually ended up with because the romantic buildup wasn’t that obvious. The truth about who was whose brother still eludes me even though it was made clear at the end because I can’t remember whose aunt was in love with someone’s brother and other. The new guy who was introduced never ceased being a slimeball. You get the point.
What I found most amazing was the main character Shizuka. She isn’t the typical pretty girl even though she has two great brothers vying for her affections. Everyone looks at her and thinks she’s plain, and when they get to know her through her brothers’ eyes, they see that sparkle she has. Even if she can’t fight every meanie, she’s stronger than most girls her age and can teach them a thing or two if her brothers aren’t around. She can certainly speak her mind, though at other times she hides her feelings behind a smile if she doesn’t think she should say something.
The whole ordeal she goes through within the manga really toughens up her character, though. She faces rumors swirling around her and her brothers, comes to terms with her feelings about who she loves, and learns about what family really means. Shizuka really shapes up as an individual and the difference between her in the beginning and the end of the manga is startling.
While I did like “Sonan Jyanaiyo” a lot more than I thought I would, unfortunately it’s not one of my top reads for a multitude of reasons. The art isn’t super great to me; though I can tell the Maku brothers are attractive, most others are not. The ancestry of familial relations of who is who was way too confusing at the end. The way their mother was being so secretive was almost conniving.
But, I did laugh a lot reading at the antics of Shizuka and her brothers. Interacting with their difficult mother and some other idiotic characters was also a little bit fun. “Sonan Jyanaiyo” isn’t your poster shoujo that everyone should read, but it’s got its perks and would probably make a really great drama.