Dec 5, 2014
To be clear, I have no touched the anime adaptation at all prior to reading.
Harem, harem, harem. This is pretty much introduced in the first few panels. Therefore, I expected a majority of the story to center around the character interactions and comedy; specifically male lead + each of his girls. That was pretty much what I got. Each chapter of the manga focuses on one specific girl for the story and they take turns alternating between the 3 heroines. There were 4 chapters designated to Rin, 3 chapters focusing on Kuriko, 3 chapters for Yuuna, 1 chapter on a late addition to the
cast and the final chapter served as a wrap-up to the entire series. Surprisingly, I liked this format. It allowed for separate analyses for each of the heroines and for the most part, equal amounts of screen time and enjoyment. The ending however, did not sit right with me. It felt out of place- rushed even, and left me with a bit of a "uhh, that's it?" kind of feeling.
Pretty good for the most part. Considering the manga dates back about a decade, the art style is still drawn well. The mangaka did a good job meshing the styles of a high school life with elements of magic/supernatural. To my surprise there were not much, if any, ecchi scenarios drawn. If I recall, even if there were, there were extremely modest and not like the typical ones we've come to know and love. Our females while appealing, were pretty damn innocent and cute- with the designs matching their personalities to a tee. As for the background work, there weren't anything special worth mentioning but it was sufficient enough in detail to know where and when a scene was taking place. Most of the details was focused on the characters, their expressions and reactions.
By being your standard harem characters, you wouldn't expect much in this area of the manga. However, I believe designing chapters focusing on a character at a time greatly helped the female cast. Usually in a manga with a broad cast, introductions are short, simple, and rarely tapped into further. In Maburaho, the focused chapters allowed each female to have a full explanation of their back story, their emotions, their relationship with each other and the male lead and so forth. Without saying too much, each of the girl's reason to get with the main character isn't as trivial as you would think, so that was a pleasant surprise. As for the male lead, he wasn't highlighted as much as his female counterparts and his character did a sudden 180 in regards to the story.
For what it's worth, this was still a decent manga to read. It was still standard fare as its genre tags go, but unique enough to standout a little from the rest. I might have enjoyed it more overall if not for the ending of the story. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have yet to watch the anime adaptation so I can't comment on accuracy, enjoyment and recommendations but I'll probably come back to edit this in the future when I do.
What did you think of this review?