Aug 10, 2020
KingsofLeon (All reviews)
If you've somehow stumbled upon this overlooked manga, then thank whoever or whatever sent you this way. This is a great slice of life romance manga that is a cut above the vast wasteland of shounen and shojo romcoms/dramas. If that piques your interest then you should start reading Sekitou Elegy right out of the gate.

A heads up: there will be some minor spoilers as I get to unpacking what I think about this manga. Another heads up: while the manga has finished publishing, the translations have not and are currently at Chapter 74.

STORY (9) - The story along with the character development is truly the meat and potatoes (if you will) of any great manga. Fortunately, Sekitou Elegy excels in both presenting a realistic outlook on the lives of two young adults. One of the great things about this story is that there is a strong sense of continuity that I often see lacking in other slice of life stories; the ending of one chapter flows nicely into the next. Takashi is clearly trying to convey a cohesive story here and I think that cohesiveness does a good job of supporting the character development. All in all, the story doesn't have definitive arcs (maybe you could count the first one) and instead transitions through stages of the relationship between our two main characters. You'll see everything from miscommunication and arguments to awkward yet wholesome scenes.

ART (6) - Takashi's art is, to sum it up in one word, sufficient. You're most likely not going to be amazed at any of the panels or character depictions. Backgrounds in smaller panels will appear hastily drawn or there will simply be white space instead. Ok, well does the art improve throughout its publication? Kind of...I noticed an overall trend towards cleaner illustrations and finer detailing, but nothing significant. However, Takashi does a great job of drawing facial expressions that accurately convey the myriad of emotions that his characters go through. That is certainly his strength when it comes to his art.

CHARACTER (8) - The story is driven strongly through its character development which is a strength for Sekitou because of how genuine our two main characters are. Satoshi is depicted as a bumbling fool, but he can be brazen sometimes which leads to the furthering of his relationship with Chiiko. Over time, Satoshi begins to mature as the relationship progresses. He starts to question his place in the world (i.e Quarter-life crisis) as well as his future with Chiiko.

As for Chiiko herself, she begins to channel her brazen attitude productively choosing a career well suited for her. She also makes real strides in lowering her emotional walls. The progression is well-paced and more importantly, it comes across as a realistic depiction of what a relationship looks like. Why doesn't Sekitou get a perfect 10? Well, yes, the main characters are nicely fleshed out, but the side characters are one-dimensional resulting in the story heavily leaning on one plotline. At the very least there should have been more development on Satoshi's brother instead of for the sake of pushing the plot along.

ENJOYMENT (9) - I had a great time reading Sekitou (as much of it as there is currently out there). I'm sure that I speak for many out there when I say that it's hard to find a romance manga that truly feels relatable. This is about as realistic a depiction of a regular, healthy relationship in manga that I can think of.

OVERALL (8) - If you've made it this far then why aren't you reading Sekitou already? Unless you've cheated and scrolled down, and in that case, I'll reiterate: Sekitou is a great seinen slice of life manga that showcases a realistic portrayal of romance and relationship development between two young adults. Pick it up and thank Takashi later.