Goto Nagi has travelled to the southern island of Okitsushima, and ventures out to see Umi no Misaki, a striking cape jutting out into the ocean. But when he arrives, he finds that there is much more to this cape than a wondrous view. There is something peculiar about the cape, and about the island's inhabitants.
It is not often that you'd come across an ecchi harem manga, where the main characters aren't afraid to follow-trough and express their affections for one another, just like any real couple in an actual relationship. Yet that is exactly the kind of manga you've stumbled across. Umi no Misaki being an Ecchi, Harem, Slice of Life, with a greater focus on the Romance to enhance its relaxing story; revolving around an island community, with its own ancient customs and cultural traditions.
Set in the radiant & lush island of Okitsu; a city boy named Nagi Goto travels to such an isolated rural environment, for
both family reasons and to visit the "Ocean's Cape" his late mother talked about. It is there he meets a local girl, who he then becomes acquainted with, subsequent to a near-death incident. This is what kicks off a chain of events, whereby he eventually learns of the customs within Okitsu, which involves their traditions surrounding the island deity known as the "Dragon God". And Nagi eventually becomes a major part of it all.
This is what basically occurs during the 1st volume and the volumes that follow just further develop the story, in a slow yet more romantic sense. Now I must say that the romance that occurs in Umi no Misaki is quite remarkable for a harem and will keep a lot of readers hooked, even without much comedy or drama, which a lot of harems can't seem to do without. Even with its sluggish pacing and how it constantly skirts around the major issues, the mangaka seems afraid to address, the well done & tasteful romance is what makes this manga worth reading. Because beyond that, there isn't much to this harem's drawn out story.
Now for this to be recognized as a harem, a male protagonist is usually required and it comes in the form of our young adolescent/young adult (it's never really clear) Nagi Goto. In the beginning there’s not much to him or his personality, as Nagi feels just like one of those blank slates in the beginning of an average visual novel. However he quickly becomes very involved in the plot and to an extent, a rather charismatic character to both the readers and the girls.
The girls in question are not quite the one-dimensional, cardboard cut-outs, with labels like "dandere" & "tsundere" plastered on them. No instead of relying on such generic archetypes, they almost resemble actual girls (almost) that have been born and raised in a closed-off community and it's rather refreshing that it often shows things from their perspectives. The 3 main girls (Shizuku, Karin & Soyogi) all have contrasting personalities and it’s remarkable to see the effect Nagi has on each of them, over time. However it stumbles across the usual pitfalls of having interesting main characters and side characters that range from dull to plain annoying.
Yet one area this manga doesn't falter is in its incredible artwork, with a style that mixes realistic environments and stylistic characters. The scenery is beautifully drawn, with fine detail put into the building architecture, ocean waves and even the foliage. Whereas the characters are much more simple-looking yet well-drawn, with excellent facial expressions. Though their features can sometimes be out of proportion and the blushing cheeks tend look out of place and overdone, but I guess I'm just nitpicking here.
Overall Umi no Misaki is a harem manga I'll remember, not for its fanservice or generic scenarios filled with misunderstandings. But for the way it handled the romance, making it feel like a "true harem". Whereby the characters genuinely feel like they are in a relationship with one another and not just fumbling into each other. The whole island and its cultural traditions, isn't a unique concept in the story, but it is handled in quite the unique fashion and helps spice things up gives the romantic story some direction. Unfortunately the story lacks some much needed tension and even though it tries to shoehorn some towards the end, it comes across as rather sloppy and leads to a rather anti-climactic finish. Yet even with the way things drag on to a point that it could kill ones interest, I'll still recommend Umi no Misaki to anyone who enjoys a good romance or harem.
It really is quite a story. Umi no Misaki is very unique and can pull us into this lovely tale with suspicion, mystery, and a slight suspense that enthralls the ecchi and romance that surrounds the main character.
I liked the uniqueness and the suspense built into this manga. I didn't like the various awkwardness that was brought about, even if it added to the story.
Well, this is my first time reviewing a manga but after finishing this prime example of a harem manga, I thought I should write one.
Story starts with our hero Goto Nagi, who's a highschool kid coming to a remote island where his mother was a local. The background for the manga is pretty generic. "A used playground" is the correct word. Manga is based on that used playground, but it makes a great sandcastle.
For the few chapters, manga makes you think that this is a mystery manga and that the protaganist is trying to solve the puzzle, but that's not it. Not remote.
It's a pretty sweet story. We have our climax, our closure, our epilogue. I have something that I can't overlook though. In the first chapter, Nagi's dad tells him on the phone that his company gave him more work and Nagi should live alone for a year. I'm passing the fact that a parent is notifiying his child that he'll be leaving him alone for a year "on the freaking phone", but it is later said that Nagi's mom is a maiden. (Not a spoiler, you'll learn it pretty soon.) Which means that his father knows that the islands traditions, and who Nagi really is. (Again, first chapter, no spoiler.) So he knew the hardships that his child would face. I may not have let my kid go to that... island if I knew what would happen. Or maybe he didn't know jack so he let him go, but it's still a pretty big question not answered.
Art is quite... soft. It's silky. It's what makes this manga this manga. Few panels were badly drawn of course, but that happens in every manga. It was pretty much flawless.
Character is where the manga shines.You see, in many harem mangas/animes, the hero is a wimp. Yes he is. I'll never find out why Japan love their wimp heroes. This manga shows what a harem should be. No, it's the ultimate harem. I've read many harem mangas, and many much better mangas, but no manga or anime could beat the harem in this manga. It's a pretty good example of romantic harem. So far, Nagi is my favorite harem hero, he should be a role model to Keitarou (love hina). I never thought someone could beat Ichika's harem of mecha girls (infinite stratos), but someone did. No nosebleeds, no redness, no beat ups. No bullshit. Nagi is the man, man. He is everything a hero should be. He's there when he's needed, he's super nice, he's smart and most of all, HE CAN HANDLE THE GIRLS. HE-CAN-HANDLE-THE-GIRLS. No one does it. Eventually, the hero breaks down in a harem. No. Not Nagi. He goes 'till the end. He blooms the romance. He's not some pussy who can't even deliver the feeling of a man. (Yes, I'm looking at you Ouma Shu. Fuck you and your Guilty Crown.)
Some might not like him for being equal to all girls, but he's really equal to all. He loves them all. He's indecisive at that. I really loved the character development in this manga, because you literally see Nagi growing up as a person. Same goes for the girls. Each go through with their developments and become the flowers they are. Soyogi is my best girl of course.
It was a while since I've enjoyed a romantic harem manga. No, I didn't enjoy any other harem manga as I've enjoyed this one. Since my expextations was so low, it easily held a place in my mind. If you're a fan of harems, romance, and characters that are grown-ups, look no further. This manga may be in your top 5 after you read it.
So the comment field were full of comments saying things like "this is not your average "harem comedy", and guess what, they are all correct!
My personal theory on how this manga came about is that the author came up with this highly erotic setting; a desolate island in south Okinawa, a mystical and ancient sect, and three maidens who have been trained their whole life to fulfill the desires of the reincarnated Dragon God - if the Dragon God were to reincarnate that is. So when the mangaka was about to get off on this whole thing
he realized that the three poor maidens would really have a f***ed up childhood due to this, and instead of going full frontal, he decided let the protagonist actually help out these poor maidens and sort out their issues - while falling in love with all of them.
This concept actually works really well. It is done with warmth and humour, and the setting combined with the art is just wonderful, you can really feel the stingy heat from the mid day sun, the sand between your toes and taste of salt (from the sea - he did not go the hentai route, remember?). So the whole thing is an exercise of indulgence of beautiful girls, good food and a good enough story that you keep reading it. The depiction of the MC kind of suck though, he seriously looks like a mix between Goku (from DBZ) and Gatsu (from Berserk). There's one thing I've realized though, the mangaka loves drawing girls with outstanding ears! It's great! Why is he alone about this?
Character wise I think this is where it really hits the spot. These characters seem like real people. The three maidens have distinct, realistic and interesting personalities that you actually care about and everyone develop very realistic through out the story. You understand why the MC falls for all three of them, and you totally get why he is indecisive and insecure, and the interaction between them have a great flow.
As for the story, it is a harem comedy after all. Misunderstandings, jealousy and very unrealistic premises, of course. It cant really be helped. I'd rather read this than a manga about a polygamist mormon family. What I like with it is that it tries to be somewhat realistic within the premises, with a somewhat realistic take on polygamy. Compared to the generic harem comedies this is very refreshing.
Over all, as an indulgence of girls, sandy beaches and such, it's a refreshing take on the harem comedy that I absolutely recommend.