Mod Note: This review was initially posted for the one-shot, Koi no Kamisama, and was subsequently merged into Koi no Kamisama.
Many people will be familiar with Komi Naoshi, as his series [i]Double Arts[/i] has proven to be highly popular. However, the mangaka has received far more critical acclaim for his various one-shot manga, the most famous of which is [i]Island[/i]. That said, it should be noted that his other one-shots are also extremely good, especially as Komi is able to bring a certain... uniqueness, to his stories.
Koi no Kami-sama is a good example of this.
The story is about Tsuchibe Taichi, a boy who is [i]obsessed[/i] with shoujo manga and love. However his quest for love has proven fruitless so far, especially as he has confessed to over 50 girls in his school, and been refused [i]every time[/i].
Enter Kinokura Yasuko, a pretty young girl who transfers into Taichi's class. Upon seeing her Tsuchibe immediately asks her to go out with him, and thus the battle (and I mean that quite literally), begins.
You see, Taichi has a rival for Yasuko's love, and that rival is the most fearsome of all....
The artwork for Koi no Kami-sama is fairly plain compared to Komi's Double Arts series, however as this is a one shot it works fairly well. The simplistic style for characters and backgrounds is definitely more suited to the comedy element in Koi no Kami-sama.
As this is a one-shot, there isn't really much in the way of character growth, however I [i]did[/i] find myself rooting for Taichi - a testament to the strength of the story. All of the character are rather simple on the whole, and there isn't any real depth to them (maybe a veneer here and there), however this is pretty much irrelevant on the whole as the manga is only 49 pages long.
I have to admit that I enjoyed this one-shot immensely. The idea behind it ranks right up there with the "what if my right hand [i]was[/i] actually my girlfriend" concept for Inoue Kazurou's [i]Midori no Hibi[/i], and the comedy is a great mixture of slapstick and visual gags.
I'd recommend this to any fan of Komi's work, as it's shows another side to the mangaka's talents. I'd also recommend this to any fan of shounen comedy, or shoujo manga, as it makes a nice change from the typical fare available today.
Koi no Kami-sama is a very good attempt to bridge the shounen-shoujo divide, and is a great way to spend a few spare minutes of your day.read more
Mod Note: This review was initially posted for the one-shot, Personant, and was subsequently merged into Koi no Kamisama.
Personant is like a manga written by Akito Takagi from another manga called [i]Bakuman[/i]. It’s smart enough to stand out from shonen generics, yet simple-minded enough to appeal to a young demographic. In short, it has the makings of a successful manga.
The year is 3333 and we begin with the 100th anniversary of the personant system. Everyone’s wearing masks, which have this cool blending-into-face sequence that probably looks spiffy animated. The purpose of the masks is to eradicate discrimination, conflicts, differences in appearance and class, and was apparently essential in the building of a society of equality and peace.
A guy called Damore wants to rip that peace apart, a reporter gal gets roped along and a big bad guy gives chase. That’s it.
So as mentioned above, this manga is a manga of two halves. Stuck between shonen and seinen. Big ideas ripe for exploration, but quick and easy execution. Like a burger dressed up as a...as a cow. Or something. Anyway, you become aware of this juxtaposition when the author immediately starts putting sweat marks or stress veins in characters' faces, even though 90% of the people in this manga wear masks, and the author's entire point of the manga is meant to be how wearing these masks strips us of our individuality, yet ruins it from the get-go by giving these masks characteristics. Way to go buddy!
But it’s not something to moan much about, you have to be aware of the demographic the manga is aimed at. You just can’t have the manga be populated by stoic plain white masks with no facial reactions. The young readers would become restless quick. Well, that’s the reasoning of publishers and editors at least, who knows if that’s the case in reality.
The manga speeds along with no restraints, not bothered with the gigantic plot holes left in its wake, completely oblivious of the contrived coincidences and convenient plot devices. This is all just one gigantic shonen franchise condensed all into one chapter, like a greatest hits, or 101 Tips On How To Make A Shonen Manga.
Personant is a decent read if you're a shonen fan, as you've realised by now, but for shonen readers who also happen to be seinen lovers there is this slight hint of what could have been with this manga. There is this idea of an anarchist being the protagonist plunging the world into chaos which seems really cool, but in Personant everything's nice and simple, no edgy ideas at play, the good guy is good, the bad guy is bad, and what the good guy is trying to do is positive and not questioned at all in any way.
That is the difference between seinen and shonen at the end of the day, one author will ask questions, the other will just give answers.read more
Mod Note: This review was initially posted for the one-shot, Apple, and was subsequently merged into Koi no Kamisama.
Komi Naoshi does it again--deep, comical, and thought-provoking all in one VERY prettily drawn package.
Story: Unique and interesting--Earth creating an ultimate being? and that being's destiny is to save the Earth from disaster? AND THAT BEING IS AN OTHERWISE FAIRLY AVERAGE TEENAGE BOY?! Quite interesting if I do say so myself. It had the potential to be drawn out a few more chapters, maybe 5 at most, but still a nice read. The ending is quite funny, too.
Art: What can I say? I love his art I love his art I love his art I love his art.
Character: Fairly good. Everyone can learn something from the main character. His friend could have been devloped a bit more, though.
Enjoyment: I really liked reading this! I liked it almost as much as Fruits Basket or Double Arts, even though it's very short.
Mod Note: This review was initially posted for the one-shot, Nisekoi, and was subsequently merged into Koi no Kamisama.
This was the most well-written one-shot I had read at the time. It definitely got me interested in the main story and I still read it again time and time again. Anyways... xD I clearly don't know how to write a review :p
Kinda did this on a whim... but this a must read love-comedy :P
The main character, Ichijo, usually has a rude or direct way of speaking in front others and looks really unreliable. However, he can be very considerate of those around him and is always sticking into other people's business. Burdened with the pressure of being the next-in-line for the Yakuza, he is suddenly forced to act as a couple his the girl that kneed him in the face that very morning. Unfortunately for him, he has no choice, not unless he wants the city to be destroyed that is.
The sudden events that pop up time and time again are completely unexpected and original. Yet they do not feel rushed. It is well-paced and very interesting. There will be many laughs and 'Wow' moments.read more