It's a great series with a unique premise but I feel there's a lot of untapped potential by the end of it.
Asides from being a unique point for drama, the dichotomy between humans and youkai could be explored in a more fulfilling way.
Characters are introduced and forgotten quickly in this series and the whole thing comes off as a unique pretense for a typical romance story.
The story falls somewhere between modern fantasy and romance, without fully committing to either. I feel like it was made simply because monster girl series have been popular lately and while it tries to add something new to the growing
genre it doesn't go far enough.
In the past, I've encountered stories that attempt to be a slice-of-life setting about otherworldly beings or bizarre phenomenon. One way to assert the story's quality is to check if it establishes a setting to which it caters the outside element well enough to be normalized. If it does inject something you don't expect to be found in an everyday scenario, it must justify its existence by presenting a predicament that becomes the central focus of the story. Kanojo wa Rokurokubi falls short of exploring its eccentricities, and it has to do with how it unfolds its story.
The manga begins with an impression of
being a sweet slice-of-life story about a long-necked girl Natsuki and her blossoming romance with her childhood friend Itsuki. The supernatural element’s presence is there, though it’s usually restricted to Natsuki stretching her neck for various comedic efforts. The first few chapters are laid-back and comfy, with the occasional tense moments, which I enjoy. However, it developed some issues when it shifts to a direction of being a story about the dichotomy of humans and youkai. This could’ve been incorporated in the early stages of the story by being a heartwarming story about a youkai’s progressive acceptance of the human world. Think about stories like Demi-chan wa Kataritai or Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon where they manage to address the dichotomy issue while simultaneously be a relaxing and fun slice-of-life. For the case of Kanojo wa Rokurokubi, it fails to succeed in doing this which is why it feels so unfulfilled.
On a more positive note, I enjoy Natsuki's interaction with Itsuki. Their chemistry is something, despite that they fight from time to time. The slice-of-life element is there, albeit it gets drowned out by the forced drama that came out of nowhere in the second half. I also enjoy the character designs, as I find them quite charming and pleasant to look at. All in all, it's a manga that is not entirely without merit. Just because the manga fails to do something, doesn't mean it has no redeeming qualities. It indeed showcased a lot of potential, only for it to come to waste by ending prematurely. I'd still recommend this, but I've seen other slice-of-life works that have done better than this.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
Art: 6/10 Quite nice looking. It's sorta unique, sorta sorta. Character proportions were good. Character designs were acceptable. Girls were fairly cute. Main guy looked pretty good.
Panel Progression: 5/10 Nothing really fancy done in terms of panel progression and panel layout. Simple flow and nothing too confusing. There were some parts that could have used some extra panels for more clarification or flow. No two-page spreads or impact-panels which is a minus for this manga.
Characters: 6/10 Sorta likable. Main guy was boring and uninteresting. The main guy was just there to be there to make it a
romance. He didn't contribute much at all. His back story was introduced but never really and truly explored or concluded well. Girls were alright. Some were kinda cute, kinda. They were all sorta bland. That includes the MC girl too. The main girl was sorta bland too. Sorta cute. No real antagonists in this story besides the main guy's mom, but she was sorta just left in the background.
Plot: 5/10 Average romance. Tries its hand at being a SOL but never really takes off. The SOL parts were kind of bland and unamusing. The romance parts weren't really satisfying either. A lot of it was beating around the bush with not enough impact to make the steamy moments exciting or satisfying.
Development: 7/10 I personally liked the little twist where you find out about the whole two cities separated by a bridge, separating the Youkais and Humans. Also the little twist that the main guy has actually been living in the youkai side of the bridge. The little information that we're given and the mysteriousness behind the nature of the youkai/human separation and how everything is revealed around this plot point was done well enough in my opinion. This was honestly the biggest part of what kept me reading because the romance aspects and SOL aspects were unappealing and uninteresting enough to keep me turning pages.
Conclusion: 6/10 Sort of abrupt and not exactly an open-ended ending. It still is sort of open-ended. The extra omake chapter wraps the whole story up in a way that doesn't leave me mad or satisfied. Honestly the whole conclusion was weak. If not for the omake chapter the conclusion would have been a letdown and a mood killer. The final chapter's conclusion is just an abrupt ending with no clear direction or I would say meaningful ending. Another way I guess I would put it is that there are some trivial yet concerning questions that have yet to be answered as well as ones that arise all because of the conclusion that this manga decided to take. The omake chapter's conclusion doesn't do the story much justice and sort of feels like it's half-assed.
Overall: 5/10 The romance doesn't really feel as fleshed out as it should have been. 22 chapters is enough to get a good romance narrative in, but I feel that this manga wasted a lot of time with pointless chapters and tried too hard to incorporate slice of life aspects. It's fine to include SOL aspects and some funny chapters, but it should be supporting the romance. The comic relief of this manga seemed way too forced as well. Overall this manga tried too hard with its comic relief and SOL attempts that it detracted from the romance and ended up making any serious attempt at romance, steamy moments or meaningful character development fall short.
Since nobody has made a review yet I'll give it a shot.
(13 chapters released at the time of this review)
Kanojo wa Rokurokubi is about the everyday life of a teenage Rokurokubi, a person who can stretch their neck incredibly far. It takes place in a world where things like Rokurokubi and other strange supernatural beings are nothing out of the ordinary and live along side humans normally. Unlike most supernatural series, there is no bias for or against these individuals allowing them to use their powers freely and openly. There is no real plot (it's an SOL comedy after all) but the story does
move as the MC and her childhood friend start getting closer to forming a relationship.
The art fits the atmosphere very well. It's fairly detailed but becomes sillier when comically appropriate (i.e. funny/exaggerated anime faces). This adds to the comedy while still keeping the rest of the manga looking good. The supernatural aspects (i.e. long-neck people) don't look out of place and blend well with the world.
The main character, Kanoi, is a tomboy with no problems using her abilities as a Rokurokubi for trivial things, like sticking your head out the window while lying in bed or reading over someone's shoulder from 6 feet away. Her liberal use of being a Rokurokubi gives the story lots of wiggle room and keeps things interesting.
Itsuki, Kanoi's childhood friend (who she likes) goes along well with her. He's dense, but it's not to a ridiculous extreme and it makes the transition from "childhood friends -> eventual couple" relationship between him and the MC feel real.
One strong point of this series is that most of the characters have somewhat tomboyish and awkward aspects to their personalities making them feel realistic.
The antics of having supernatural abilities combined with the tomboyish natures of the cast make for an entertaining read. The author comes up with many clever uses of having an incredibly long neck that keeps the manga funny. Not everything has to do with supernatural elements however. At it's core it's still a SOL so the interactions between characters and their relationships still play a big part, the supernatural elements just help set it apart. Lastly, the somewhat awkward atmosphere between Kanoi and Itsuki makes their relationship as friends realizing they have feelings towards eacother feel real and makes for some funny moments.
if you like tomboys, SOL with supernatural aspects or just want something enjoyable Kanojo wa Rokurokubi is worth a try.