Gokujyo Drops – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Gokujou Drops

 

Related: Mousou Honey (same author)

Similar: First Love Sisters

Nijipuri

Shoujo Holic

Sky-Coloured Girlfriend

Brother, Dear Brother

Strawberry Panic

 

Genre: Yuri School Life

Length: 3 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Nothing.

Negatives:

  • Dime-a-dozen premise and execution.
  • Uses bad drama in an attempt to hide the reality that it’s no more than smut.
  • Not funny or entertaining.

(contains nudity and sex.)

At this point, I feel I could copy and paste a previous review to fit Gokujyo Drops (they did that with the facial expressions in this manga, so why not). I have read this plot type a dozen times already. New high school student -> all-girls school -> joins prestigious sorority/dorm -> becomes infatuated with a high-class senior -> bullied for not being worthy of her attention -> they become a couple.

Gokujyo Drops’ ‘twist,’ if you can call it such, is the increase in smut compared to the others. In truth, this manga isn’t being honest with itself; it tries to veil the random incest, sexual assault, and repetitive sex scenes with bad drama (“not-worthy of her affection, so we are going to lynch you”).

There isn’t more to say. It doesn’t even try to be humorous about it – why not satirise the clichéd premise for entertainment?

Art – Low

Basic manga art with little detail and no variety. Many of the faces feel copy-pasted – lazy.

Story – Very Low

There isn’t much here. You have seen it before many times.

Recommendation: Don’t bother. Not interesting and not even entertaining enough to warrant a look.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Hen: Strange Love – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Hen

 

Genre: Yuri Romance Drama

Length: 8 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Absolutely nothing.

Negatives:

  • At eight volumes, it’s too long. At one volume, it’s would still be too long.
  • Hideous artwork. When you can’t even keep a character’s eyes straight, you should get a different artist. (See first image below)
  • So many creepy characters and relationships.
  • The worst comprehension of human nature ever put to manga paper.
  • Insufferable protagonist and the most idiotic support cast.
  • Several useless subplots that masquerade as main plots.
  • Thinks that lesbianism comes from being raised in a largely male environment.
  • Protagonist sleeps with an eleven-year-old boy. No one bats an eye.

(contains high levels of nudity and sex)

I didn’t think it was possible to find something as bad as Hen Strange Love outside of fan fiction. Hell, there’s plenty of fan fiction superior to this. Where to begin? I nearly died of laughter on first page when I am told this character is unbelievably beautiful, but is drawn in the most hideous, lopsided art. Informed attribute if I have ever seen one.

Chizuru likes to manipulate men to get whatever she wants from them and has never been in love, but that changes when new girl Azumi joins her class. Chizuru becomes hell-bent on going out with sleeping with (let’s not pretend here) Azumi by whatever means necessary. You wouldn’t know this is the plot when reading the first volume, as it instead follows Chizuru’s perverted teacher, who invites her back to his place to sleep with her. What follows is the dumbest – the dumbest – interaction between two characters I have ever seen. She gets naked for him, they exchange the worst dialogue imaginable, they play rock-paper-scissors (taken seriously), arm-wrestle, and in the end it is irrelevant to the overall plot. They could have cut the first seven chapters, most of volume one, and it would have had no effect. This teacher only makes a couple of cameos for the remainder of the series.

The greatest crime in Hen Strange Love is Chizuru herself. I have tried, but I cannot think of a more insufferable character. Snookie from Jersey Shore, the whiny kids in any disaster movie, Jar Jar Binks, Andrea and Lori from Walking Dead, all have nothing, nothing on Chizuru. We are constantly told that she is amazing, the most desirable girl to any man, yet she is quite simply a bitch. Even if the art didn’t make her look like a sloughing lama, beauty only makes you attractive to strangers. Once anyone sees your personality, all that beauty vanishes. With Chizuru, there isn’t even a moment of beauty – she’s a bitch in her very first scene. Furthermore, there’s no way she would get away with being abusive and assaulting her teachers and classmates; however, because this is clearly the author’s fantasy, everyone bends over for her. Sleeps with an eleven-year-old boy? Aww, how cute. Bullies a kid in school, hijacking his film project? Wow, she’s so amazing! “Natural” double-Ds for a fifteen-sixteen-year old in a country of As, said seriously, not as a gag? Of course, she’s the exception. Ability to turn lesbianism on and off? That’s how it works! (*sarcasm) I wish Revy would blow Chizuru’s head off to remind us what a good character looks like.

Then there’s the gay guy introduced later who wants to sleep with a little boy (or has he already done it? The writing is so bad it makes this unclear). The guy then goes to the boy’s parents to ask for permission to marry him. Now, what do you think any parent would say to this? Call the police? Castrate the guy and string him above the front porch as a warning? At least tell him to GTFO? Nah, that’s unreasonable. How about they just say no because they don’t like the guy being famous. Sounds fair. (Just kill me now.) Of course he’s famous and no one questions him. Of course he can turn being gay on and off at will. Of course.

Complete arse.

Art – Very Low

Should have gone with stick figures. That face. I can’t stop laughing.

Story – Very Low

How is this even possible…

Recommendation: Have to read it to believe it. When teaching, I would use this as an example for what awful writing looks like. Art teachers could do the same.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Heart-Pounding Excitement at Mononoke Girls’ Academy – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou

 

Genre: Yuri Fantasy Comedy Romance

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Some creative demon designs.
  • A few good laughs.
  • Decent premise.

Negatives:

  • Doesn’t use its full potential.
  • The main dilemma throughout the narrative is resolved abruptly.
  • Overuse of smut, even for a work of this kind.

(contains nudity and sex)

When cutting through a graveyard as a shortcut to school, Arare runs into a woman who can extend her neck Mr Fantastic style (she often suffers from neck cramps) and forces her into the demon realm. This neck woman turns out to be a teacher at Mononoke Girls’ Academy for demons. Arare is now stuck in a school full of demon girls – there’s a ‘filth licker,’ half-snake women, some girl with bombshell babe lips on the back of her head, Cyclopes and more. The problem here is that Arare is human, a tasty morsel to the demons. Some want to eat her, others…a little something more…which would transform her into whatever demon-type ‘has’ her.

With the help of her cat-girl friend Kiri, Arare tries to fit into the school under the guise of a rain woman demon since she has bad luck with rain. Further trouble arises when she starts to have feelings for Kiri. Each chapter deals with salacious conundrums related to hiding her identity or an innuendo riddled personal problem.

Mononoke Girls’ Academy is rather entertaining in its premise. Certainly, there isn’t much depth and it doesn’t reach its potential, but you will find a few laughs here. Do remember that there is a generous amount of nudity in this, so if that isn’t for you, you may want to avoid this one. For everyone else, Mononoke Girls’ Academy is worth a try.

Art – Medium

The art is surprisingly good with a decent amount of creativity to the demon designs. Unfortunately, most of the monster appearances are fleeting.

Story – Medium

A funny story with a good idea and world that unfortunately doesn’t reach its full potential.

Recommendation: Try it. The premise and humour may be to your liking.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Brother, Dear Brother – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Oniisama e…

 

Similar: First Love Sisters

Nijipuri

Shoujo Holic

Sky-Coloured Girlfriend

Mousou Honey

Strawberry Panic

 

Genre: Yuri Drama

Length: 3 volumes

 

Positives:

  • The ostentatious art has good detail.

Negatives:

  • The greatest challenge is getting into a sorority. Seriously, this sorority is the greatest accomplishment in life.
  • So much fawning over senior students, who all have implied qualities, not actual value.

Who would have thought that getting into a sorority would be a greater accomplishment than solving world hunger? That’s the impression I get from Brother, Dear Brother, where protagonist Nanako is plunged into a world of jealousy and backstabbing all because she got into the elite sorority at her new high school (all-girls, of course) run by the most beautiful girls evar. Other classmates spread stories about her lowborn heritage, and a rumour that her mother stole her stepfather away from his ex-wife while he was still married. They even start a petition to get her booted from the sorority. All of this for a high-school club? I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter how prestigious you make the sorority, no one will take the drama seriously.

Then there’s the fawning. Bloody hell… in the span of seven pages, we have to endure every girl in school wetting their knickers over several senior girls for how magnificent they are – “Oh mah gad! So bootiful!” That’s what they consider character development in this. Yet another Twilight level cliché (coming across a lot of these today). Never mind the fact that half these idols look like men – by the standards of the manga at least, where the men are so feminine, I had to check a database to be sure of genders. The students look like mannequins with coiffed hair and masks of make-up, which isn’t too bad, similar to Rose of Versailles. But that 70’s anime hair…

Now, it’s not all bad. Beneath the fawning and idiotic sorority drama, there is a decent idea. It’s a shame that character motivations are nonsense and the drama is little more than mean girl pettiness.

Art – Medium

Nice art at times with good detail, though has several androgynous-looking characters and the literal stars in eyes is silly.

Story – Low

Centring the drama on a sorority was a mistake. Unless the sorority is full of vampires with a penchant for children’s card games, it’s a dull idea.

Recommendation: Don’t bother. No aspect is interesting enough to warrant your attention.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

First Love Sisters – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Hatsukoi Shimai

 

Similar: Nijipuri

Shoujo Holic

Sky-Coloured Girlfriend

Mousou Honey

Brother, Dear Brother

Strawberry Panic

 

Genre: Yuri Romance

Length: 3 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Nothing

Negatives:

  • The romance starts on nothing and doesn’t build up to anything meaningful.
  • Incredibly creepy subplot with the new English teacher.
  • The drama stems from the most inconsequential problems.

Chika studies her hardest to get into the same prestigious all-girls high school as her senior crush, Haruna; however, on her first day, Haruna no longer shows interest, pretending they have never met before. And this, to Chika, is the greatest problem in the history of the universe. Chika uses her persistence and bubbly personality to win over Haruna the introvert.

This initial setup encapsulates First Love Sisters’ major fault. All the drama stems from first-world problems- no, that’s too serious a term here. Petty is more accurate. Even if I ignore the choice of using the most clichéd yuri plot type (in love with a senior in an all-girls school), there is no trigger for the romance. It doesn’t even start with basic attraction or infatuation; instant true love before any redeeming quality is shared. And the reason for why Haruna ignores Chika…wow. Haruna has recurring nightmares that make her scream out in terror in her sleep because a senior rejected her…seriously? That is some Twilight level garbage.

Volume two introduces a new English teacher who, without hesitation or protest, starts hitting on several junior students. Not a single complaint voiced. Nothin’. It isn’t “innocent” flirting either. Yet, even without this creepy quandary, the drama is so lame. When the characters are sad, I feel no pity for them. Not. A. Bit.

Art – Medium

Standard art that offers little variety or creativity, though has nothing bad to it.

Story – Very Low

A lame plot that stems from petty dilemmas. There’s also that creepy subplot.

Recommendation: Avoid it. Simply rubbish.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Anime and Manga Reviews