When a local volcano erupts, the depopulated town of Kanematsu suddenly thrives as a hot-springs resort. High-school student Tomiyama, a cool character, can't accept this dramatic transformation, while his friend Sakurajima enthusiastically embraces it. This is the story of how their friendship is affected by changes in their town. The freely-drawn, casual style the manga brings to its portrayal of the shifting emotions of high-school boys has earned it many fans.
Our Eruption Festival is a coming of age story about two high school students that undergo a change as a result of a volcano eruption that turns their formerly average town into a thriving hot-spring resort. The premise of OEF is quite a simple one, of course you'd kind of expect this from a 16 chapter series. Regardless of it's simple premise and short length, there is quite a bit of depth in this story, particularly in regards to the themes of youth and change. I won't go too deep into the story, i'll just
say that I really appreciated how simple yet fulfilling of a story OEF was.
I'll be honest, i'm very fond of those loose, sketchy, freely drawn kind of art styles, and that's probably why I rated the art for this series so high. I don't regret it though, the art was very suitable for a series such as this, especially when it comes to character designs. Our Eruption Festival is a series soaked in realism and grittiness due to the coming of age themes, and the art is quite effective at representing this. You'll see quite a few some frankly ugly reactions and designs, many of which I can i've seen in real life during a similar age period of my life. Don't underestimate this series art-style, it's quite lovely.
At it's heart, this is a series about it's two protagonists, so how are they? Well, they're pretty great. I see a lot of series striving to create a chemistry between their characters and failing miserably (shounen are particularly notorious at this), OEF however pulls this off quite smoothly, and it's honestly one of the best things about this series. Even when they're not in the best of terms, I could easily see myself reading a longer length series about their shenanigans. Of course, they also go through quite a bit of development throughout the series, but i'll let you experience this for yourself.
Enjoyment (9) & Overall (9)
Something else I haven't yet mentioned is that it's actually quite a funny read too, maybe not laugh out loud levels of funny, but it made grin quite a bit and elicited a few chuckles. Thankfully, this adds a decent amount of charm to a story that is for the most part serious, and is a another for the series as a whole.
This is simple yet thoroughly enjoyable read, similarly in story and themes to a few of Taiyou Matsumoto, most notably Ping Pong. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you've read/watched Ping Pong and enjoyed it, you're almost guaranteed to enjoy this series as well.