Koganeiro is a short slice of life/comedy/romance/"coming of age" story about four high school students (2 boys [Kinata and Kose] and 2 girls [Kinbara and Michiru]). By the way, the mangaka of Koganeiro (Yokota Takuma) worked on both "Chikan Otoko" and "Onani Master Kurosawa," two very well received doujin manga.
Story - 9/10
Koganeiro begins with the four students currently in their second year of high school. They are looking for colleges and trying to begin their plans for their futures. Kose comes up with a plan one day for him and Kinata to go to Tokyo over summer break for a night in order to enjoy themselves and look a little bit into the colleges there. Due to Kinata's quirk of occasionally speaking before thinking, Kinbara and Michiru end up tagging along as well on their trip. They spend the first day sightseeing and making memories together. On the second day they each go around looking at different colleges they are interested in. Kinata soon realizes that he is the only one without a specific goal for after high school. After the trip he decides to change and try to improve his grades which he realizes is much more difficult than he expected at first.
That's about the end of chapter 1 (with a good amount of possible spoilers left out of course). The group of friends grows a lot closer from there with some twists and turns and unexpected surprises along the way. I thought this was just a genuinely good and nice manga to read. There's no fanservice, no comic relief (despite being a comedy manga the comedy tends to have a purpose most of the time), and the romance doesn't get in the way of the plot.
Art - 7/10
The art is good for the most part (especially when it comes to Kinbara's design), but it does slack a little with the guys at times since it is a shounen manga. Still, the city (Tokyo) and their school are fairly well drawn with no noticeable faults.
Character - 8/10
Kinata goes through quite a bit of development for a 3 chapter story. He and Kinbara are what made this manga truly enjoyable. Kose and Michiru are also interesting but are not given as much focus (especially Michiru who at times seems to be there just to even out the gender ratio). Still the relationship between all of the characters (whether comedic, romantic, or inspirational) is one of the best parts of this manga.
Enjoyment - 8/10
This is a pretty high rating for me to give to such a short story. The first chapter starts off a little slow but the story really picks up quickly towards the end of the first chapter. It's a really interesting "coming of age" story that I would recommend to anyone especially if you are in high school or thinking about your future at all, and while it's not really that similar to the more dramatic manga mentioned in the beginning by the same mangaka, they do still have similar "coming of age" values. read more