Tag Archives: manga

Wife and Wife – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Fu-Fu

 

Genre: Yuri Slice of Life Comedy

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Has an adorable charm.
  • The liberal use of chibi art enhances the charm and cuteness.

Negatives:

  • No serious conflict or tension.
  • While pleasant, the lack of depth can lose one’s attention.

Wife and Wife is the story of two lovers who move in together and start referring to each other as ‘wife’ to signify the new step in their relationship. Each chapter focuses on the ordinary dilemmas of their new life, such as what furniture to buy. It’s a simple narrative. No serious conflict, but is pleasant enough.

Where Wife and Wife shines is with its cuteness. Every aspect vomits cuteness all over the reader. First, there are the characters. One woman is a romantic airhead, always trying to find new ways to show affection. The other is stern and serious, but has a soft spot for her wife’s silliness and charms. They have great chemistry together, complementing each other’s personalities. Then we have the art – blerrrgh *vomits at cuteness.* It uses a mix of normal manga art interspersed with chibi style to augment the charm of the characters – forty percent of the panels are in chibi.

Other than the lack of conflict, a noticeable problem is that every character introduced is a lesbian, a cliché in yuri manga. That said, if you’re looking for a pleasant manga coupled with cute art, then Wife and Wife is for you.

Art – Medium

Undeniably cute art, but the basic premise doesn’t allow for variety or creativity beyond the use of chibi panels.

Story – Medium

Though it lacks depth, the story is pleasant and oozes cuteness.

Recommendation: Try it. Read one chapter to see if Wife and Wife is for you. The quality and style remains unwavering throughout its two volumes. Disgustingly cute.

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

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YuriCam: Yurika’s Campus Life – Manga Review

Japanese Title: YuriCam – Yurika no Campus Life

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy

Length: 5 volumes

 

Positives:

  • A ridiculous premise you may find hilarious.

Negatives:

  • No real depth or quality.
  • The humour gets repetitive after a few chapters.
  • Utter nonsense if you don’t find it humorous.

(Contains high levels of nudity and sex)

I have never seen/read an anime or manga with a premise as ridiculous as Yurika’s Campus Life. Yurika attends a girls-only college and has been with 5,000 of its students (rumour), seriously hurting her chances of getting a boyfriend (in what universe?). Many of her lovers got pregnant as well (allegedly). See, she has this animal magnetism that makes her irresistible to women, even those who claim to be straight. When her socialite family goes bankrupt, she must use her “talents” as a gigolette in exchange for food and accommodation.

To give an idea of just how alluring she is, the opening page has a girl drop her dress because Yurika asked to borrow study notes. A dozen pages later, another woman throws herself at Yurika to forget her ex-boyfriend. As word spreads, more and more students crave her lurid services, which include mayonnaise bottles used as an extra “appendage.”

There is a lot of sex in this manga, roughly two scenes per chapter, all with comedic intentions, and while the most explicit areas use strategic censorship, innuendos more than pick up the slack. You will think this whole manga either entertaining or nonsensical. I personally found the one joke repetitive with a couple of chapters.

Art – Medium

The art is rather standard without much variety.

Story – Very Low

A repetitive and ridiculous premise of salacious activities. The absurdity may be funny to some.

Recommendation: So bad you have to read it to believe it. If Yurika’s Campus Life sounds hilarious to you, then give it a try. Just don’t expect any sort of depth or insight.

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

Pietà – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Pieta

 

Genre: Yuri Drama

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • It isn’t awful.

Negatives:

  • Characters so flat, I am not sure what their personalities were supposed to be.
  • The “twists” have no build up; they just happen for plot’s sake.
  • Has no subtlety, no nuance in between key plot events to bring life to the narrative. This also makes all the dialogue stiff.
  • The art is bland to the point where every facial expression looks the same.
  • The two girls have no chemistry.

Pietà tells the dull story of high school girl Rio with suicidal tendencies who finds companionship in the arms of a classmate, Sahoko, from her all-girls school. Rio has led a troubled life, her younger sister dead in infancy, mother abandoning her without cause, and stepmother wanting her dead.

Pietà’s main problem is immediately apparent with Rio. Even with the tragic backstory, she isn’t interesting in the slightest and I can’t fathom how the author expects us to believe her popularity in school. This implied popularity is a common problem in bad writing. We are told that a character is so amazing, so wonderful that everyone wants to be them, and yet we never see what it is that makes them so special. In Rio’s case, she has no personality, acts in a manner that would creep out people, not attract them, and has no discernible skills. Frankly, this applies to all the characters, but Rio’s faults, as the protagonist, are the most glaring. By the second chapter, the most significant interaction between the two girls is a five-second conversation where Rio wonders if she has seen Sahoko somewhere before. Sahoko then accepts Rio’s invitation as if it’s the most ordinary thing to be invited, alone, to a mentally disturbed teenage girl’s house to take care of her fever.

There is no chemistry between Rio and Sahoko; the interactions lack conflict and drama, unless forced by the author. For example, early on, Sahoko cancels a date to have dinner with her parents who haven’t seen her in a while, sending Rio into a spiral of moping. It’s forgotten within a few pages. The writer clearly couldn’t think of any conflict to fit the scenario. Need drama? Have Rio act suicidal. Need even more drama? Have Rio harm herself. Such laziness. The plot points on their own sound fine – having a suicidal character harm themselves at some point in the story is par for the course. However, the narrative has to build up to these key moments. Pietà has no such rise in tension or nuance to hint at the forthcoming twists. Even when dealing with the stepmother subplot, I just didn’t care. They could have beaten each other to death with waffles and I wouldn’t have blinked.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the manga is intentionally lifeless to make Rio’s depression relatable. Boredom does not equate to depression.

Art – Low

Looking at a single page of Pieta, the art looks decent, even if expressionless, but when you notice that it looks the same on every page, the artistry dies. It doesn’t help that a ‘happy’ character looks the same as when depressed.

Story – Low

Pieta’s story of a suicidal girl finding comfort in a classmate is an exercise in lazy writing. The author had the concept and key plot points ready, though forgot everything else – personality, depth, details, incidentals, etc.

Recommendation: Don’t bother. Pieta doesn’t have anything of substance to hold your attention. The characters are without personality and the narrative lacks all the details that bring depth to a story.

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