Hiroki Kamiya believes that women have it easy. Every day his sister Yui lazes about, playing games and doing absolutely nothing. One night, after Hiroki updates his "Observation Diary," he receives a mysterious message telling him how to become a girl. He dismisses it at first as a scam; however, after an argument with his sister, he follows the instructions to experience the carefree life of a girl. The method allows a person to swap bodies with a stranger—letting someone enter your body while you enter another's.
After spending two hours in a girl's body, Hiroki returns to his own but is met with a shocking sight—Yui's bloody corpse in his arms and a knife clenched in his hands. Who entered his body while he was gone, and why did they murder his sister? Hiroki's first lead is the girl whose body he entered: Mikuni Mikuriya, a famous idol. Desperate for answers, he will do whatever it takes to bring justice to his sister's murderer.
[MILD SPOILER ALERT, BUT COME ON, IT'S NOT AS IF IT'S NOT WRITTEN ON THE SYNOPSIS ANYWAY]
This is generally the type of manga you could sift through the whole afternoon with a cup of coffee at hand. After finishing you would mull over, stare at your laptop, and wonder if there's anything better to do with your life because this manga will leave you mentally blank.
Now there's no question that this manga is not pretty (but the cover is!) and while the horror of the murder did not even made me shudder, the whole atmosphere of the manga has this evident darkness that even I
had would suddenly jerk around feeling a lingering sense of dread.
While definitely body-switching mysteries are not entirely new, the blatant introduction to the main character's sister's murder flipped me over. Considering I did not read the synopsis, I wasn't prepared for a really gritty mystery. The description of the cross-method really drew in the mystery. I mean, I like mysteries when the whole process of murder comes under unnatural circumstances and the plot will have something to work on for the whole thing. This manga hits it off with a good and clean delivery for deduction. But do prepare yourself for a predictable ending!
Fancy-shmancy. Enough said.
Okay, this is where it gets hurt. The characters are total (if not at most) cardboard characters that were cut from various manga of the similar vibe. While the main character is calm and manages to stick to rationality, he is humanly incapable to be something better. Usually our idol heroine and our young convict does the work and it's kinda frustrating for me to see the main character this way. Our lady heroine is a tad embodiment of snark (and maybe an ounce of tsundere?) and our deranged (yes, there is justification for me saying that) smart convict is pretty much the same generic smart goody (Ushimitsu, I hear you!) and he's hard to be noteworthy.
This manga is good. It wasn't something I felt I wasted time with. But my enjoyment dwindles midway because the delivery became dragging, and honestly everything is nearly predictable. The ending made me feel so stupid because obviously there aren't enough characters for the author to pinpoint a murderer and it hopelessly became clear that it wouldn't get any more exciting. I still had a lot of questions in my head and I swore to god there are inconsistencies, but the author manages to flourish it off anyway.
Mind you, but as much of a queasy mystery this is, Mayonaka is good. The heroine makes me smile and I don't mind the happy ending and the sisterly cheesefest because it came all decently creepy and readable at the same time.
The Manga starts out with an interesting premise and is quite enjoyable to read. The characters are fun to watch and the mystery unfolds nicely. Also the echii is an eye candy and not too overused. You can't expect too much depth regarding the question what might drive humans to exchange bodies but the author at least tries to touch this topic. More than that, it focuses on a game of identifying persons that entered your body. Unfortunately the last few chapters try to force some implausible / cliche twists down your throat. This leaves you with a bitter taste, since the good impression you
had turns kinda meh.