Shiratori Ryushi wants to become a picture book writer, and he moves to an apartment, Narutaki-So, in order to go to an art school in Tokyo. Narutaki-so is an old Japanese style one-story house which doesn’t fit in urban scenery. It is owned by the cousin of his mother, and the manager of the apartment is Aoba Kozue. She is his second cousin, and they met with each other when they were children although he doesn’t remember her much. She is in the second grader of a high school attached to Aoba Junior Collage.
There are five people living in Narutaki-So. First, Chanohata Kotomi is living in the room #1. She is a best friend of Kozue. Then, the resident of the room #3 is Momono Megumi. She is a kind of person who goes her own way. In the room #5, Kurosaki Sayoko and her daughter Asami are living. Asami is in the first grade of a junior high. Finally, in the room #6, Haibara Yukio is living with his puppet, “Johnny”.
They are all characteristic and eccentric persons. However, in fact, the most eccentric person is Kozue. She has a secret; when she is shocked at something, she changes her personality. Not knowing this, Shiratori moves to Narutaki-So to realize his dream. What kind of a new life will be waiting for him?
This is a very great story that the anime does not convey. People should definitely read the manga to get more emphasis on emotional parts of the story line. The character development is great and you learn a lot about everyone except the main character who doesn't seem to have much of a past but is ok.
The five main heroines do not appear as much as they should and there was a lack of involvement with the main character and the heroines. I think there should have been more touching moments between him and the girls to produce and even more dramatic end but you still get a slight feel. More scenes with him and each individual girls would have produced a more sincere feel. Overall it is a very good story.read more
The problem with comedies is that it can sometimes be difficult to convey more serious or dramatic situations without betraying the series. In a way, a rigid balance is usually established, wherein there is a huge shift in art style or heavy atmosphere to let the reader know that what ever is about to happen is serious. This is all well and good, but the real world doesn't work like that. In reality, there are no art shifts and people don't tailor their actions to fit your mood.
That is one of the major aspects that I loved about this series - It's a series that recognizes the need for drama but doesn't completely isolate that drama from comedy. The good comes with the bad and vice-versa. The result is a series that blurs the lines between drama and light-hearted fun. A series that, despite its clear departure from reality, feels more real than the majority of other stories I've experienced.
(An example of blending drama and comedy is a joke that is used fairly early on continues to get referenced until the reader realizes that this joke has turned into something serious, and while the concept of the plot point is funny out of context, the execution is quite emotional.)
If I were to sum up the series with one word, I'd choose the word "family." The residents of Narutakisou are nothing short of a family. They support each other in their times of need, they aren't afraid to be completely honest with each other every once in a while, and they have a prevailing trait of companionship that shines despite the comedic atmosphere.
Speaking of which, the comedy in this series can be quite good. Admittedly, there were some jokes that fell flat, but most of them at least got a snicker out of me (aside from a few that probably got lost in translation). There is a certain art style that will occasionally be used to portray funny moments (usually when dealing with slapstick), that seems to fit the characters (or do the characters fit the art style?) perfectly, and tends to make these situations funnier.
The characters themselves are quite well done. Each resident of Narutakisou has one or more behavioral quirks that are fun to speculate on. Why is Momono so obsessed with partying with everyone? Why will Haibara only speak through a puppet? Why is Asami so independent? Why is Sayoko so useless? Just WHO is Tamami? And then of course, there's Kozue and her alternate personalities.
The series does a great job of presenting likable characters that leave the reader wanting to know more - and then giving "more" in a satisfying way. Of course, the exception to this rule is Shiratori - the main character. The focus of the series is the development of the quirky personalities of Narutakisou. As a result, Shiratori is more of an "insert yourself here" passive type character. His actions are very generic and lack true meaning, particularly toward the beginning of the series. I don't view this as a negative. Shiratori is meant to be the basis for reality, the standard to which the reader can compare the other characters.
The series is a romance, alongside being a comedy and a drama, so I feel I should comment on that. The romance is there and plays a big role in the plot, but it differs from the usual teen romance. There is little focus on the "developing relationship" aspect that's used in other anime or manga, wherein total focus is given to the main couple in order for their feelings to develop. It avoids the awkward first date situation where both characters become either humorously or frustratingly nervous, it avoids sexual tension, and never does it mention the concept of a first kiss.
It does a great job of portraying an innocent relationship while avoiding the pitfalls of other series that have done the same. It takes a refreshing step away from the tropes of a standard romantic comedy and focuses primarily on the comedy, while still allowing the romance to bloom. That said, romance is not the primary focus of the series, and as such, should not be your reason to pick it up.
If you are going to pick it up, pick it up for the comedy or the psychological themes that invariably come with a fleshed out story about multiple personality disorder. Despite the series comedic mood, it can be quite dark and painfully insightful at times.
I'm not exactly sure how to wrap up my review so I'll leave you with this: Mahoraba is a beautiful mix of comedy and drama driven by well fleshed-out characters. It's not afraid to tell it how it is, and does a surprisingly good job at conveying dark or serious themes. It made me laugh and cry many times (sometimes both at the same time), and is a series that I doubt I'll forget. I have no reservations with giving this series a 10/10.read more
When I found this mahoraba, I only interested by the multiple personality theme, at first. But as I read it more, I realized that this is certainly not just that. And likes it very much in the end.
The first thing I come to notice is the characters. Mahoraba really excels by the work of its characters. All cast is really appealing. Even some that are rarely appears has their own impact to either the flow of story or comedic relief.
I, or maybe most of you, might often find a character trait(s) in mangas that are used so frequent it makes the character themself boring. Well mahoraba give you least amount of that possible. In case of me, I get the feeling, "Oh my, what will he/she do in this situation". And although the story might turns out to be cliche, but the act of the characters leaves their own taste.
As of the art, it might not be the best drawings you get out there. But, the style fits really perfectly. I especially like the yonkoma style in some occasion. It really refreshing. I give some bonus point in the art for that.
Well in the end, I do mention cliche. But still, mahoraba can give me a good laugh. And the romantic part is not half bad. If you seek for a relief from usual romantic comedy stuff, mahoraba is a good choice.read more