By all appearances, Sakura and her friends are normal, albeit sheltered junior high school girls who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together. However, they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious, gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life. Amid their peaceful lives, Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in an old book: dicks.
This manga had been sitting on my plan to read for so long that a weight was lifted off my shoulder when I opened the first page. And I'm glad it did.
//I don't know what counts as a spoiler, so I might have flashed a teeny bit that I shouldn't in this review. But I promise nothing major.//
Story (7/10): The plot itself is a happy-go-lucky one when you look at it at a glance. This manga is about our optimistic main character, Sakura, who lives in a supernaturalistic world along with her friends. Despite the peculiarity of the world Sakura lives in, there was always
a common ground that our world and their world has. At first, I couldn't understand why the world she lived in was very strange. So, almost reaching her adolescence, Sakura becomes intrigued with how the way things are, including this very peculiar object, called a 'dick', that was mentioned in a book she had read.
Art (8/10): When it comes to Fumi-sensei, she knows how to sweeten things up with her art. The fusion of cuteness and horror which creates a surreal universe in which our characters live.
Character (8.5/10): This is probably the one category that this manga has given me a bone-chilling feeling. If you look beyond the strange setting, I strongly believe that Sakura's character was a euphemism for an awakening. She's at the age where she's almost no longer a child and notices things don't occur like she had thought it would have been. After meeting a certain person, her outlook on reality had significantly shifted. The abnormal world she had perceived has become her norm, and yet 'our' norm seems abnormal to her. She realises the existence of the opposite sex's genitalia, for example. A sort of 'childhood ruined' moment that we've all experienced before.
Enjoyment (9/10): If I could use a word to describe this manga, it would be 'warm' - as in the comfort of warmth, a reassuring and warm hug. I found this manga to be a therapeutic read.
This is sort of out of topic, but I enjoyed re-reading this manga while listening to Kikuo's 'Kaleidoscope'. Bizarre and yet aesthetically beautiful.
Being a big fan of Bokura no hentai I wasn't sure of what to expect from this. Aaaand, well, no matter what I write will prepare you for the sight of pre teen girls dancing and singing "Dicky dicks!" on an alien planet. And seriously this is a non hentai work, made by a female author who's other work I mentioned is a serious take on transsexuality. So anyway, the first volume is incredibly funny, surrealistic, cute, and a bit sad. What impresses me the most is the art. In Bokura no hentai the art fills it's purpose, but it's very "female author slice of
life seinen x josei crossover" - which isn't a bad thing mind you. Here she really widens the palette from super cute chibi to her beautiful semi-realistic faces. And it works great by making the manga both funny, cute and serious at the same time.
As for the plot I'm not sure which direction it will take, but for the first volume I've really enjoyed the ride. Surrealistic sci-fi is a great genre, it seems very inspired by The French animation classic "Fantastic Planet". For anyone hoping for another Bokura no hentai I'm sure this first volume will be a bit disappointing, this is a completely different genre, and I'm looking forward for more of this from Fumiko-sensei.