Odette is an android created by the young talented scientist Dr. Yoshizawa. Wanting to find the ultimate difference between humans and his android, Odette decides to persuade Dr. Yoshizawa to enroll her in a local high school. Follow Odette's adventures as she ventures through high school, in search of the true meaning of being a human.
I decided to read Karakuri Odette because of Suzuki Julietta, hoping that it would be somewhat similar to Kamisama Hajimemashita. To those who came for this same reason, don't expect too much. Anyhow, let's get started with the actual review.
Story : 7/10
This is the only story that I've ever read that has androids/robots but isn't very sci-fi-ish. The story is more about innocence and discovering what it is like to be a human being. The usual topics like love, jealousy, friendship, yadda yadda are discussed. There's a teensy bit of romance as well.
I couldn't give a score higher than
a 7, mainly because the story was kind of all over the place. I know that many people were disappointed due to the ending. I, too, felt great disappointment.
Art : 9/10
Once again, as I am a fan of Suzuki Julietta's work, I loved the artwork.
Character : 8/10
Just about the only interesting character was Odette and Asao. I would've liked to see more of Chris, but he practically disappears in the middle of the manga. I thought something exciting was going to happen with Chris, but nah.
I also didn't like how the characters were underdeveloped (aside from Odette). I don't understand how all the broken, misfit, cold characters suddenly somehow changed their minds or way of living after talking to Odette. By this I mean the characters were too malleable. It's almost as if these characters were robots (haha see what I did there?)
Overall : 8/10
The manga wasn't terrible, so I won't give it a low mark. I had been looking for something lighthearted and innocent -- nothing too serious or emotional -- and this was perfect.
I have read a lot of robot themed manga, a lot of shoujo manga, a lot of fantasy monster race manga, and I have to say, this is one of, if not the best, manga I have read in those genres.
The art... is mediocre at best. It's typical shoujo, and I despise that art style. There are a few instances where it's not typical, but as I can remember less than 5 panels... I can't give it more. That said, the art wasn't offensively bad. The proportions and facial expressions weren't so out there that it ever took me out of the manga.
the characters. The main character, Odette, clearly evolves, and in all honesty, in every robot manga I ever read, they either have the robot always as evolved as they are, or the levels of evolution are clear, down to the chapter they change. This one had the evolution blurred to the point it's almost seamless. The only flaw is that characters that weren't main characters had no real character growth, that's not to say they didn't grow, but Odette's overshadows theirs so much that it's hard to really call what the others did growing.
Now for the story. The whole time I am reading this, I'm expecting an evil scientist to kidnap Odette to re-program her, and then, through the power of love and friendship, she regains her memories. This NEVER happens, thank GOD. There is an "evil" scientist, but realistically, he is a real scientist... It's hard to explain... There are scientists who would become emotionally involved with their creations, which Odette's creator is, and there are the ones that take a realistic approach to their creations, and always want to better them even at the cost of sacrificing old ones for parts, which the "evil" one is. The way this plot is resolved, I thought was the best way you could ever resolve it. It's never really done before to my knowledge.
This next paragraph is a minor spoiler, so skip it if you don't want a fairly minor spoiler. The whole time that I was reading this, I was expecting the emotional-friendship-with-robot-plot: the reveal that she is a robot plot, the body is destroyed and needs to be rebuild and restarted from a backup, only to be emotionless, but then her friends come into the picture, and through friendship, she remembers. None of these plots EVER happened; you have no IDEA how big of a relief this is that it never happened.
Overall, I consider this a must-read for anyone who is looking for an outsider wanting to fit into the style of manga, as I don't believe any do it better than this (limited to within the same style and genre of story).
Starting with the positives: Karakuri Odette is an enjoyable read. The female protagonist is very likable, and is what makes this series truely shine. For the most part, it makes you want to continue reading, and only becomes draggy somewhere in the middle. Nonetheless, Karakuri is a simple, light hearted read. If you are looking for a shoujo with a serious romance (I'd go as far as to say that there is no romance in this series and it's more about Odette and her friends) and solid plot, then I'd suggest avoiding this series.
The negatives: My main issue with Karakuri, is obvious lack of
direction it exhibits. Suzuki Julietta seems to be overly ambitious, and wastes time introducing a vast array of characters and plot lines, without being able to decidedly focus on a few and fully develop them. After promply being introduced, a character/plotline would then disappear from the rest of the manga. She does this consistently throughout the series, to the point where it became increasingly annoying. This is a real shame, because Karakuri is driven by it's cast, and there are a few great characters who had a lot of potential, and could have benefited from more background story development, such as the professor, Chris and Asao. Instead, Suzuki introduces even more characters very late in the story who we don't have time to be invested in. Also the ending was unsatisfactory and didn't tie anything up.
In conclusion, Karakuri Odette somehow manages to be entertaining with it's simple story and art. The series seems to have high ambitions, yet fails to fully act on those ambitions. Basically it has a lot of potential to be something greater, yet falls short due it's numerous plot holes and inability to utilize it's characters. Overall I'd give it a 6.5/10.
As I'm someone who hasn't read a whole lot of manga, I can't say you'll agree with the points I mention, but overall, I found Karakuri Odette to be an extremely enjoyable read.
To be honest, I picked up this manga because I found the premise interesting. I'll touch on this later but the primary reason I enjoyed it so was because of character exploration. If you like manga that explores characters, this is for you.
Firstly, the plot: It isn't heavy at all, it's a comedy after all, and this is something I really liked. The story itself starts out slowly and then gains
pace. There's a nice balance between action and getting to know people- pacing's great.
Artwork: The style is simplistic, but for me it contributed to the atmosphere. Overall I have no complaints regarding the artwork; I love the character designs.
Characters: If the characters are good, then the animanga is good. If the main character is good, the animanga is a work of art.
As I said before, I haven't read a lot of manga. I've read enough shojo with bland female leads though and I can say that Odette is definitely unique. You can't help but love her, and all the other characters for that matter. Yeah, everyone isn't as well rounded as Odette, but they're all lovable.
Character interaction is also well done.
Generally, I love Suzuki Julietta's storytelling here- she masterfully combines all the above elements into a light, sweet manga that doesn't disappoint. Karakuri Odette is interesting, filled with laughter and character feels. Give it a try!