Chihaya-san wa Sonomama de Ii follows the life of an average high school girl, Chihaya, who thinks she is overweight and wants to lose weight. Unfortunately, its impossible for her to keep her appetite in check, especially with her childhood friend, Shima constantly bombarding her with food.
Can Chihaya resist her urge to eat and succeed in her diet?
Among romance series, it is often rare to find a gem that fits your bill. This is especially true if you're into light-hearted romance + comedy. Most often, there's either too much melodrama, too much fan-service, or both. Chihaya-san's Fine is one of those series that, for me, happened to check as many good points as possible: It is a super-vanilla romance with a conclusive ending, sprinkled with tsukkomi-style humor, wrapped up nicely in a relaxing 4-koma slice-of-life-school-life setting.
The story progresses at a nice pace. You never feel like an arc is being dragged out too long. You never end up feeling super teased
about the main ship. The best part, though, is that the drama is incredibly light, and yet the core story remains interesting. The author even satirically employ some common cliche drama problems as humor by presenting it as light-yuri. For me, this was a whole lot better than the alternative. In fact, this is one of the few mangas that actually used the "moving" drama properly, by showing subsequent interactions instead of just doing a timeskip.
Only downside: There are some parts in the plot that felt a little confusing and random, and others that felt just a little unfinished.
Not Picasso or anything, but the art really matches the characters' moods as well as the current tone of the story. Absolutely perfect facial expressions. Nothing to complain about. That is one realistic-looking panda.
Each and every one of the characters are properly developed and shows growth throughout the series. They also grow on the reader, so that you don't end up hating anyone, which would be rather unfortunate in a non-dramatic romance SoL.
I enjoyed it. It took a little bit in the beginning to pick up, but once that started, the story was captivating enough to keep me reading. Because it's more SoL, it also doesn't hurt to put on pause for a few days. Even towards the end, there was none of the usual rushed feeling of "I have to finish this and know the ending." It just felt like everything will work out.
For a medium-length manga, you can do a LOT worse, especially if what you're looking for is a nice, sweet romance-comedy with a SoL setting with no BS and no drama.
tl;dr: A not particularly deep but humorous and cute manga about a girl trying and failing to lose weight.
This manga was funny and really cute. It’s mostly structured as a 4koma with punch lines in each fourth panel, though it breaks from this quite often when it feels it wants to show something more in depth. It felt like there were some light themes about accepting yourself for you who you are but this largely didn’t seem to be the focus as Chihaya never really has any sort of realization around this regard and remains wanting to lose weight up into the ending. Hence, this aspect is
primarily used for comedic purposes, as well as being one of the key things part of the relationship between Chihaya and Shima. The relationship development between them is great and quite adorable at times, though ultimately I wish we ended up getting more of them actually doing couple things after that had been established. The other relationships, by which I mostly mean Rui and Kishibe, were less solid and actually felt kind of annoying in that nothing happened in the end. The art wasn’t terrible, but in general it was pretty rough, and the shots that felt like they were meant to be especially good generally didn’t look all that amazing either. Also, Chihaya doesn’t seem fat at all, though I’m not sure if that’s due to art style or my perspective based of of being an American where being overweight is a much larger issue that most everyone simply ignores.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
The character proportions and anatomy checked out 99% of the time; there was one or two questionable scenes such as one where Chihaya was straight-up cross-eyed or the male MC's questionable arm-hand anatomy during their kiss panel. There was also a lot of discrepancies in the impact shots giving detail to their faces. A lot of the impact shots clearly had beauty marks on Chihaya...but for some reason the beauty mark would switch sides on her face in the span of a few chapters...they would then disappear then reappear...? What? The the author decided to remove the beauty
mark for the latter half of the manga...The overall art though progressed nicely throughout the manga. You could see the author's art improve and they eventually settled into their style for that manga. There weren't many environmental or panoramics to note, but there were plenty of impact sequences/shots and showcases of the artist's skill in many of the final panel sequences. The final panel sequences of Chihaya suggestively eating was a unique touch that I appreciated. There were plenty of supporting tones too which was a plus. Overall, the art was fine. The detail was about average but the well done final panel sequences is something that is worth picking up this manga for.
Panel Progression: 7/10
The panel progression was nice. I gave this area a 7 because the panel progression, particularly the final panel sequences at the end of many of the chapters, was cool. The clarity of the panels and the dialogue was good. Things flowed at a good pace and the overall layout of the panels as well as the use of panel-cutting were nicely done. The supporting tones, the layout choice, and the flair were all good parts about this manga. My favorite part about this manga was the nice-looking service of Chihaya just eating lol.
I disliked how stagnate the characters felt over the entirety of the manga. For example, 70-80% of all of Chihaya's interactions and dialogue was based off of: "I'm going to get fat", "It's going to make me fat", "I want to lose weight", etc. Almost ALL of the jokes, dialogue, and dynamics around Chihaya revolved around her getting fat that it started to get stale and overused. Her gamer friend, the blonde girl, also suffered from the same things. All of her teasing basically just started or drew back on Chihaya's problem with food and weight. All the characters did not do much to deviate from this formula for almost 50 chapters which is a shame because it made the read a bit of a grind. The character designs were normal. Overall, I disliked this manga for the character dynamics as the basis for a huge majority of their interactions relied on the same over-used formula of Chihaya becoming fat.
The plot setup was a bit weak but the opening chapters were good at hooking me in with the unique take on service for this ecchi manga.
I disliked the direction the relationships took or how long they took to develop or that they weren't explored more. What I mean is that pretty much 50 chapters of this manga were fillers using the same formula. There was a lot of beating-around-the bush and detracting but that was fine. I disliked how long it took for there to even be some semblance of a romantic development. I also disliked how there wasn't much attention payed to the blond girl's relationship with the diet-boy; it was practically shelved and ignored at the end. The culmination of the MC's relationship was a bit worth it. I just didn't appreciate how long it took to get to that point with the stream of cut-and-paste dialogue and punchlines.
The final concluding chapters and sequences were the most enjoyable part about this manga. The fruition of their romantic relationship as well as for the side characters was cute. The point that Chihaya is fine the way she is (seriously, what was the point of the last 30 or so chapters then) was also very cute and appreciated. I liked the conclusion. I also liked the time-skip.
This was an entertaining and good read if you don't mind the overused formula for almost all of their interactions. The character development was a bit weak because the narrative started to stagnate around the middle. Overall, the great things about this manga are the unconventional service sequences and conclusion. The things that I don't prefer are the character and plot development as they became boring because of the overused "fat formula."
I usually don't write reviews since I'm bad at writing but it seems like there aren't many reviews for this manga, so I thought I would contribute. Chihaya-san wa Sonomama de Ii is a light 4-koma manga with seemingly no progression, just a nice slow relaxing rom com. However, the mangaka, unlike many choses to finish the manga in a beautiful manner, rather than milking it into 400 Chapters. If you've read some heavy drama/dark stuff recently, and need a nice change of pace, this manga is perfect for you. The charectars are all very unique, and manages to balance the cliches without being overused
and boring. The beginning of the manga is on the slow side, but picks up the pace near the end, leading to an extremely satisfying ending. It Definitely deserves an 8.5/10