I''s - mini review

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I''s - mini review

Postby MrDisco » July 23rd, 2008, 9:24 pm

Having been sick all weekend (and still currently am) I didn't feel like doing anything. Perfect time to sit back and read some manga that I never got around to finishing. First up is the shoujo title I''s by Masakazu Katsura (of Video Girl Ai fame). I leave Wikipedia to sum up the plot:

"The story's main character is 16-year-old high school student Ichitaka Seto who is in love with his classmate Iori Yoshizuki, but too shy to tell her. Again and again he plans to tell her his true feelings, but each time something (usually a misunderstanding of some kind) gets in the way. Things become even more complicated when Itsuki Akiba, a girl Ichitaka was friends with in their childhood before she moved to the United States and who had a huge crush on him, returns to Japan."

I''s was first published in Japan in 1997 and thankfully it doesn't date itself (unlike say Video Girl Ai which is reliant on VCRs as a plot device). Clocking at 15 volumes I found it to start off strong with Seto beating himself up trying to come up wtih a way to get Iori's attention. His awkwardness leads to many foot-in-mouth situations and he's often backed into a corner. Ichitaka is the tomboy girl from his past who comes to live with Seto and invariably cheer him on. Needless to say she has a crush on Seto but keeps it to herself.

From there the story kind of drags on and goes tepid as we get the inevitable growing cast of females who become interested in Seto and of course present an obstacle from his goal of getting Iori. Toss in the cliches of misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and the usual school hijinks (the class trip, the class events, exams) and you have your run of the mill shoujo title. This didn't bother me so much as it was my complete apathy towards Seto and Iori. They both spend 15 volumes fumbling over the feelings and Seto (who never learns his lessons) lies at every opportunity when caught doing something, like getting caught with another girl. By the end of it I didn't really care if they got together or not.
Spoiler:
They end up together.
. It also bugged me that characters like Ichitaka who were so prominent in the first half of the story, disappear completely in the second half. Later, Seto fails his exams yet no mention is made as to what his next step in life would be.

In the end I stuck with it as I liked the artwork. Katsura loves the panty shot and he draws with an above average amount of detail. There is some nudity in the form of nipples, though in the US release this has been censored in the first 12 volumes.

Overall I give it a B- for the artwork and predictable, if not annoying, storyline.
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