18-year-old Manami Katagiri has faced hardships his whole life because he had to drop out of middle school and begin working in a factory to take care of his little sister. For reasons he's re-enrolled in high school to better his life but on his first day he encounters a "princess" who he claims has never had to work a day in her life. Is it love at first sight? or perhaps a rivalry?
This series begins in a promising way. Big brother who dropped out of school to take care of his little sister has problems at work. He then learns of a high school that he can attend as a part-time student. Some typical discrimination against the "lower classes" shows up immediately.
It's what happens later that makes this totally disgusting. A female character who is hired as a tutor is groped, sexually harassed, verbally abused, then told that the males involved are "just kidding" and it is implied that is it bothers her, it's her fault.
see this manga as good only for kindling in my fireplace.
I will be reviewing up to chapter 8 (I will update this periodically as more chapters are unveiled). Also note that this will contain some mild spoilers (that are tagged if you wish to read the review without any spoilers). Take note that I also do not review for manga or anime, unless I believe that it is worth it (and that as this is a review my opinion will not match everyone's) and I believe this manga not only warrants a good review, but also more attention.
Chuusotsu Worker Kara Hajimeru Koukou Seikatsu (a title that I will just call "Chuusotsu Worker" from
hereon out due to the ridiculously long name) is a story that revolves around a middle school dropout named Manami Katagiri. Due to some complications regarding his father's criminal history and the responsibility that he takes it upon himself to take care of and look after his sister. As an extremely poor person who struggles to makes ends meet and sensitive about his past, Katagiri has an inferiority complex and takes it to much offense when someone who graduated from college and a connection to his boss takes over the promotion intended for him. Katagiri deems his boss a liar (for his boss has sworn in the past to treat him fairly) and decides to go to a special high school where he meets the female main character Ouzawa Rio, who comes from an opposite background. Starting off on the wrong foot, Katagiri deems Rio a princess, but there's more to her than meets the eye as we find that she suffers from sexual abuse. Struggling to overcome his complex, throughout the story we find that Katagiri starts changing as he engages with other people and starts to learn how to rely on others; similarly the engagement between the two characters changes them for the better as Katagiri attempts to learn about Rio (and even aids her with her troubling sexual harasser).
Katagiri comes from an unprivileged background, where his father was a criminal that caused much trouble for his family. Due to this, he was forced to take on many burdens and draw much bad looks, even from his relatives who did not wish to be associated with the son of a criminal. Throughout the story, the theme of privilege appears quite often around Katagiri and is displayed quite interestingly. Though Katagiri comes off from an unfortunate background, others (such as his boss), state that he could be off worse. Though Katagiri acknowledges this and states that he is grateful for his situation (having a house, food, etc.), he states that it is still his pain to bear. Katagiri slowly evolves and learns to make connections, even with the privileged. This change stems from his care for his sister and the fact that she even acknowledges that his attitude towards Rio is often unwarranted.
SPOILERS END HERE------------------------------------------------------------------------
The art of Chuusotsu Worker is quite dark and gritty, which matches with the atmosphere and more realistic tone that the series takes on. Throughout the story, there are much shading effects and the art blends in well with the story, adding subtlety to it. As such it's appropriate for the setting. The characters are well drawn an defined, however it is also appropriate to say that due to the fact that this is a more realistic setting, it is appropriate to say that a little bit more "definition" on the characters would aid in the atmosphere. Though the characters are well-defined and it is easy to tell who is who, it might have been better to draw more defining features even if it did make a character less attractive. This way the trope of a "Cast of Snowflakes" would have applied here and made it much more expressive and perhaps would have added subtle details and tones to the story.
Throughout the story, the characters have been the central point and it is assuring to say that the character development and the characters are strong; they're likable and understandable, especially the main character Manami Katagiri. Throughout the story, Katagiri shows off genuine expression and care for his sister, while displaying a variety of other justified emotions (mostly anger) towards his situation. Another scenario that is appreciable is that Katagiri is extremely human, even in comparison to other characters in shoujo, seinen, or slice-of-life manga. Katagiri is not a genius, nor is he extremely special. He is not extremely good at anything and it is often shown that it is clearly difficult and exhausting to be working, supporting his sister, and going to high school all at the same time. His hardships are often shown and he often feels annoyed at how his unfair treatment.
Ousawa Rio, the female main character, though she is rich, it is apparent that she has went through her own share of hardships. Her family life have been shown to be unstable and have done damage to her emotional state. Though it is difficult to get into detail about her scenario in fear of spoilers, the way her situation is portrayed is realistically done and she attempts to change herself in order to escape from her situation. She starts to trust Katagiri through the story and attempts to understand his situation.
Chuusotsu Worker is a great story for people who are looking for a realistic story. It shows much emotion and displays the struggles that people may go through just because of unfortunate circumstances. It shows that they are no different from anyone else and that they may connect with the privileged or have an ambition to exceed expectations. Through and through this manga is quite enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys seinen, romance, slice of life (unless if you just want a light-hearted slice of life), shoujo, josei, drama, or a sad more realistic type of story.