Maeda Hachibei is peculiar, because, when most males lusting after gorgeous females, he instead lusts after discrete parts. When he relocates to Tokyo to attend school, he finds himself living in a dormitory with five females, each possessing a distinct ideal physical trait he desires: gorgeous blue eyes, bullet-train breasts, a deep dulcet voice, and straight "anime-esque" legs. Can he manage to keep his wits when these women surround him? Although you would not be completely incorrect if you believe this is like Love Hina… Hachibei is no Keitaro.
For this review, I'll be analysing Ai Kora. It is by Inoue Kazurou who is probably most known as the author of Midori no Hibi. At the time of this writing, I have read 58 chapters of this manga.
Ai Kora revolves around Hachibe Maeda and his endless attempts to glorify his favourite parts. It is a creative attempt on the world of fetishes and takes the notion of "objectifying women" to another level. Each chapter is episodic, in that, they often highlight a particular fetish being promoted. In this sense, those who enjoy short quick shots of romance and comedy will definitely enjoy this series.
The art is good and matches the general feel of the manga. I particularly enjoy the wacky facial impressions and surprisingly detailed backgrounds.
The characters are fun and unique. Hachibei's character design is very creative and the girls each has their own special charm. However, due to the episodic nature of the series, there is little character development. Nonetheless, the characters are enjoyable to follow.
Hilarious stories, comical art, and enjoyable characters makes Ai Kora a joy to read. However, the stories are quite predictable. Once you get the feel of the manga, you'll probably end up knowing how the chapter will turn out after reading a few pages. That's not to say that you won't continue enjoying it. Rather, the surprise aspect has been tarnished.
While a lack of plot and a repetitive aesthetic may turn people off, anyone who's up for some light romantic comedy should definitely check out Ai Kora. It's fun, comical, and at times, adorable.read more
The beloved is the ultimate fetish. (Mason Cooley)
This series focuses around the daily life of Maeda Hachibei, a pervert who idolizes ‘Parts Love’.
There’s a big misconception among anime/manga fans that a pervert is someone with extreme sexual desire or fantasies. In truth being a pervert means to think, act and follow the paths which are opposite to the normal standards set the world. Having weird/abnormal sexual tastes and desires indeed comes in that but it is not only limited to that.
In a sense ‘Parts Love’ is a perverted thing and in another sense it is not.
Parts Love is a common norm among teenagers. The times of our lives when we’re fooling around and haven’t set our goals (in terms of romance), ‘Parts Love’ is a blessing for us. We often see teenagers admiring, fantasizing on models, idols, actors, celebs etc not because of their work but because of something else. I mean it is not rare that we hear sentences like ‘I don’t like her acting but her boobs are hot” :P
Going by above explanation, ‘Parts Love’ is not exactly a perversion but a teenage habit that fades away with time. We all grow up and chose partners and those choice are hardly effected by things like ‘Parts’ but by ‘Personalities and mutual understanding’.
However, a key part of perversion is that it takes things at an extreme level. And Hachibei does that time and time again in this series. He takes his love for parts to such an extreme peak that it becomes a fetish. Normally that is plain madness, but here it is something very interesting to see.
This series also throws lights on interesting topics like types of parts fetishes, thinking habits of a fetishist, real love v/s parts love etc. This series has very little (almost none) nudity in it, but despite that it is regarded as one of the greatest ecchi series out there.
The ending has been left on the reader to decide and hence the reactions might be change from reader to reader. None the less it is an exciting and insane comedy which will grab the hearts of the readers.
A great series can’t be completed without its cast and the characterization in Ai Kora is great indeed.
The lead character appears to be a hype active teenager who doesn’t love parts but worships them. But that’s not all there’s to his personality. He’s strong and caring person and his moto “If you love the parts, you must also love the owners of those parts”, differentiates him from normal perverts and fetishists and makes him a hero who is willing to help and protect his loved ones at any time.
The overall cast is also great. There’s a vast and exciting range of characters to look out for, especially the types and habits of perverts that appear in this series.
The art of this series is very cool and easy to catch. The sketches and expressions increase the beauty of the characters and make this manga even more hilarious.
Ai Kora has insanely hilarious jokes and situations in it (something that is plus point of Inoue’s work). These things take the series to greater heights and make it one of the best perverted comedies out there.
TARGET AUDIENCE: -
Teenagers who like insane and whacky comedy will love this one.
Don’t read this series in one go. Reading it slowly will increase its effectiveness and epicness.read more
Honestly I feel a bit like I wasted my time. It's not really bad or anything but it's not all that great either. The story is a cliche among cliches. Boy gets to live in a girl's dorm. Wow. Haven't seen that before. I expected better from the mangaka.
The characters are weak. They don't evolve. They are stereotypes and have stayed the exact same up to the last volume I read (the fifth). I would be lying to say I could distinguish all the random scenarios in this manga from the billion other similar ones like Love Hina and so on. Heck the characters even look the same as in all other typical harem manga. For Christ sakes, not yet another bipolar girl with pigtails that likes the protagonist but doesn't realize it. And yet again, she is apparently on track to be the protagonist's main love interest. Sigh. And oh, what do we have here, the glasses girl with big tits who is yearning for attention but doesn't get what she deserves. And the sexy teacher. Yawn.
Okay, I'll be fair. It's not all garbage. There are some original parts. The protagonist has a specific fetish for "parts" of females. He doesn't believe in aesthetic gestalt, he appreciates only the specific parts of a girl. And in no terrible act of coincidence, the girls he meets at the dormitory each have only one part he wants. One girl has great tits, another has great eyes, and so on. A decent premise, actually. But the mangaka (a famous one too) seems to waste all the potential by jumping on the cliche train for everything else.
One thing that is a bit unusual, and the reason I didn't bring the character rating down to a 5, is that the protagonist, at least, has some actual balls in this manga versus all the other typical harem manga. He's not a weakling and is very straightforward about what he wants. He doesn't get all emo and whatever about random stuff. I'm not sure this is enough to salvage the overall rating to more than a 6 however.
This all said, it's not actually *bad* per se. Just somewhat trite and repetitive. If you haven't read very much harem manga it'll be a decent read. Even if you have, you might still like it, if only because ecchi manga is basically the Japanese equivalent of pulp fiction. Easy to read, quick to understand, and steadily consumed by all males with a pulse no matter how ludicrous the scenarios get. Enjoy, guys. read more
(This review is based on having read the first chapter.)
I think Ai Kora would really be worth reading if it didn’t feel so much like a Ken Akamatsu rip-off. Akamatsu, as you recall, created the famous Love Hina and infamous Negima!, two harem comedies that redefined the genre. Ai Kora does no more, it seems, than copy Akamatsu’s technique.
Two of the four girls in this manga look like descendants of Asuna and Nodoka from Negima! Identical appearances are fine by me - except that they also seem to share the same personalities. One, named Sakurako, has long orange hair and a feisty hatred of Hachibe, the protagonist, while the other, Yukari, has shorter hair and is so timid that she says nothing when the he is fondling her breast the first time they meet (don’t ask).
Then there are the usual Harem clichés: at the moment Hachibe commits to do good, he winds up walking in on Sakurako, who is in a state of undress. Skirts fly up frequently. Hachibe has to move into the girls’ dorm (Love Hina, anyone?).
Ai Kora’s one masterstroke is Hachibe, a character that belongs on that ever growing list of Characters that could Only Exist in Anime/Manga. This list is composed of characters who are so eccentric, if they were to spend a limited amount of time in the real world, they’d probably commit suicide.
Hachibo nears the top of this list. Essentially, he’s a pervert, but what he craves in the “ideal girl” is highly specific. What he wants, explained in a brilliant monologue that would make Quentin Tarantino proud, are four body parts: 1) transparent blue, cat eyes, 2) a husky voice, 3) breasts shaped like the tip of a bullet train, and 4) legs that are the same width from the thigh to the feet. This last desire is where the character would commit suicide, since having such legs is humanly impossible. (But I digress because, after all, this is a manga, so logic is not applied, nor is it wanted.)
Unfortunately, while this trait makes him interesting, it doesn’t place him high on likeability. We could connect with Keitaro of Love Hina because his needs, if not his actions, were more down to earth. This protagonist wants what no what can understand, and most likely wouldn’t want to. He is all alone.
The plotting of this manga scares me with its contrivances. The protagonist moves to Tokyo to go to school and find his “ideal girl.” However, upon reaching the boys’ dorm, he finds it has been burned to the ground. Why? So he can be moved into the girls’ dorm, of course, where, by astonishing coincidence, the four girls (well, three girls and the teacher) all happen to have one of the four traits he desires in a girl. Talk about fate.
Immediately we get drenched with stereotypes: the two girls I mentioned earlier, and another named Kirino who seems to be a ninja (anime rule 8: if a manga/anime casts more than two lead girls, chances are the third one is a ninja, samurai, or something of that nature). They start out hating him because they think (correctly) that he is perverted. Out of grief, and after seeing Sakurako nearly naked, he leaves.
And that’s where things go straight down to Hell.
A stranger assaults the girls because he wants revenge on the teacher. Why? Who knows. You see, it was he who burned down the boys’ dorm so he could show the teacher who’s boss. The three problems I had with this were: 1) if the intent was to get revenge on the female teacher, shouldn’t he have burned down the teacher’s living quarters in the girls’ dorm to make a stronger point?; 2) where are the other boys who would’ve been living in this dorm? Shouldn’t they have been with Hachibe in the girls’ dorm?; and 3) why wasn’t Hachibe immediately notified? Why is the teacher so calm when she explains to him what happened?
The answer to all these questions is that the author failed to find a plausible (there I go applying logic again) reason to have Hachibe have to live with the girls, and clumsily added the bit about a fire as the plot device. And none of the characters find this strange. Love Hina and Negima! at least had the decency to realize how ridiculous they were. read more