So if you all watched our latest video over on our official YouTube Channel, then you’d understand we walked away with quite a manga haul! I know three titles doesn’t seem like much, but it is a lot in our book! To start we purchased three titles, Bloom Into You, Interviews With Monster Girls and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid! All three titles are immensely excellent with the last two having brand new anime adaptations that you all should check out over on Crunchyroll! So let’s get right in the meet and talk about what we liked, loved and hated in regards to the manga that we just picked up! This is going to be a bit of a longer post so for those of you wanting to just read one, feel free to scroll down to the one you would prefer!
Bloom Into You: Okay this is hands down one of the most beautiful and emotional Yuri manga’s that we have ever read and that is saying a lot! Down with the smut and nude shots that generally perverse most, if not all Yuri titles, and enter touching romance and exploration as Yuu Koito tries to find that bubbly and mystifying feeling of love. Her character has the expectations we all share when wishing to experience love for the first time. She wants to be lifted off her feet and ensnared by the overwhelming powers of a romance; except she doesn’t feel it. She was confessed to in middle school and yet she didn’t feel that jolt of love like she has heard and seen from drama’s and manga. That is until she encounters student council and future student body president, Nanami Touko who takes initiative and profusely finds herself in love with Yuu. I love how soft and sweet the pacing is for this manga. While the introduction to the two in a romantic sense seems a bit rushed for a first volume, it has achieved it’s goal in making my heart beat for joy while reading this volume one. Where the manga’s writing gets us is just how connecting and relating this anime can be to one’s personal life. We all want to reach for the stars and yet we all falter and fail at ever catching that dream; it helps to have a relatable character like Yuu to engage with.
The art style is to die for, it is fluffy yet something that we as fans of anime and manga have come to appreciate and more-or-less expect from our titles. It has a very polished feel, but manages to sneak in a good few charms in terms of the cute and silly art style for funny expressions or reactions. In terms of artists character portrayal I have a wish that we continue to see a rather tame portrayal of the female characters. It is nice to not have to be consumed by a sea of breasts when reading a title that is relationship building focused. If it is added in, I hope that it is for at least the right reasons and not for shameless service sales.
Interviews With Monster Girls: Another title that I needn’t say much on due to its hugely popular success and following, Interviews With Monster Girls follows the daily routine of a certain, Mr. Takahashi and his interest in the demi-humans that exist in his world. These part human, part demi beings are a curiosity and while socially accepted into society, not much is known about their lives and how they feel and interact with the socially engaged world around them. I find this manga to be an enjoyable bliss and it’s anime adaptation has followed the manga so faithfully that I had a very hard time finding much differences. The only part that stood out was Takahashi’s visit to Hikari’s home where he engaged with her father to express his concerns over her grades.
What makes this manga/anime so much more different from the other monster girl titles out there is its soul. It takes the loved genre but adds in a man who is legitimately interested in their day to day lives, in how they see themselves fitting in society and how they deal with social bullying and pressures. He see’s them for their human qualities and also sees in them their wonderfully diverse demi qualities that make them who they are. It is an entirely charming manga that is making me hungry for volume 2!
The art style is really delightful and the cover art is simplistic in its coloring but still manages to shine when held up to one of the other purchased titles with the traditional glossy finish that shines and delights. What’s even better is how well the anime stays in tow with the manga’s original art styling and character portrayal in terms of expressions. All in all my only complain that stems from this manga is the fact that the anime left out Takahashi’s visit with Hikari’s family. I felt it would have been too soon in the anime, but it would have been wonderful to have seen that played out in the anime. Who knows, we may yet still see this pop up later down the road for the actual anime itself.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: A manga that shouldn’t need an introduction due to an immensely popular anime adaptation, Miss Kobayshi’s Dragon Maid is a rousing success and one that is delightfully enjoyable, so much as it is serviceable. While this manga has an oddly labeled “All ages” rating, it is a special manga that Doubly (D as in Dragon) excited about catching up on the manga while we wait in between anime episodes! What I will say is that the pacing between how the anime starts versus how the manga starts is an excellent one in favor for the manga. The anime seems to tackle a few of the daily shorts in a specific order, while taking it’s time to expand upon other aspects that aren’t shown in the manga. Regardless the manga tells the daily story of Kobayashi and her wonderfully voluptuous dragon maid Tohru and her many friends including Kanna! The anime reminds me very much of the slapstick humor that is prevalent from Nichijou, but I should better state that Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is vastly different in its humor approach.
The art style on the characters, especially Tohru is noticeable when looking at her design via the anime versus the manga. In the anime she seems much more alluring and less playful, yet the manga has more of a younger but still very sultry feeling towards her character design. Not being someone who is feverishly familiar with artistic stylization, I can unfortunately say very little into this aspect! The Yuri tones that are present in this manga are special and manages to win us over with their gentle moments of heartfelt kindness. Even the shopping market scene with Ms. Kobayashi and Tohru was special, her pure joy filled eyes as she got to hold hands with Kobayashi was special; so special in fact that Tohru will now never wash that hand again!. All in all I very much am loving how everything is playing out in the anime and manga thus far and look forward to what other random and silly characters pop up with the subsequent releases.
All manga were purchased from our local Barnes and Noble store! Bother Interviews With Monster Girls and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid anime can be streamed from the wonderful streaming platform that is Crunchyroll!
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