"Life arises from death. In order for the wheat to bud, the seed must first die."
This is my first time writing a review for a manga, so I apologize in advance if I sound like I'm giving this manga too much praise. I don't read manga often, I usually just stick to watching anime, so I can't compare this to anything manga-wise.
Of course, whenever it finishes, I'll rewrite this review.
Ahhh, The Grim Reaper and the Four Girlfriends. I'm not generally a fan of harems, mainly because I'm sick and tired of cliche'd ecchi moments mixed in with an impossibly dense
Thankfully, this series is different. It sets down an intriguing twist to the harem genre, one that actually makes you think. At least, for me it does.
I won't give you a summary of the story, since you can read the synopsis for that.
I love this manga. I really, really do. The story is actually very enticing. It's also very well written. It's unpredictable, in it's own way. The main character is forced into this harem, with the threat of the end to his own life. Later on, after a couple hilarious situations he's caught in, the story suddenly twists into something even darker that actually causes me to wonder. The story is simple, but what makes it great is what happens between the characters. Which I'll explain in the character section.
I don't really know what to say about the art, but I find it to be great. The drawings are fantastic. (Of course, after reading Nurarihyon no Mago my expectations for manga art has been through the roof lately... I should probably fix that.)
The story consists of mainly 7 different characters. I'm just going to talk about one of them... for now. For the others, one was just introduced so I can't really say anything about her yet. The Four Girlfriends are all different types of girls you'd see in the harem genre throughout different series; The Yandere, the Sadist, the Genius and the NEET. Well, I'm not sure if "genius" is the right word...
The main character, Kaoru, is someone who I'd love to talk about. He's a smart kid, and I feel bad for him. All his life, he's wanted a beautiful and pure relationship with a girl. One that grows slowly overtime and becomes something... more, but not inappropriately. This is mainly due to his addiction to Shoujo manga, he's found his ideal type of relationship. Though, because he's a loner, after being forced to date someone, he puts four love letters into four random girls lockers, expecting them to mostly decline. (Since he doesn't talk with anyone. At all. So they basically don't know him.) Of course, to his demise, they all accept his love letters.
Thus, his hopes and dreams of a pure relationship are completely crushed. Why? Because of a selfish grim reaper who kills him, and then decides she'll let him live if he can "make something out of himself". And this dramatic change in his life really shows in the way he thinks.
I remember in one chapter, he points this out when he's with the Shinigami;
He notices his heart beats faster when he's with her, that he may be blushing, too. But then he realizes that this is mainly because any boy could feel this way from an interaction with a pretty girl. Then he also points out he should hate her, and that he does. He should. She's basically ruined his life, and she continues to make it worse by messing around with him.
I don't know where I'm going with this. The latest two chapters have caught me off guard and were fantastic. I could rant on about this all day. (Which is what it's turning into, so I'll stop here.)
TLDR; He's a great main character who's smart and knows how to deal with his situation carefully. He isn't dense, and he genuinely wants a sincere relationship with someone. He actually hates the person who ruined his dream, and for a good reason, too.
I love this manga. It's hilarious, and it has an extremely interesting twist on the harem genre. The story is actually very well written, and I have a feeling it's going to blossom into something brilliant. Especially at the rate it's going. It is serious, too, it's just some situations he's in are funny. Very funny.
The only downside is how slow the chapters come out.
I feel as though I went a little off track there in the middle. It's late. I need sleep.
Either way, I full recommend this manga to anyone who loves harems with a twist, a dark and serious twist. It's great. Seriously. Read this manga.
Synonyms: Shinigami-sama to Yonin no Kanojo
English: Grim Reaper and Four Girlfriends
Published: Jun 22, 2013 to Dec 22, 2014
Serialization: Gangan Joker
Score: 7.211 (scored by 7,229 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.