The challenge put out by YouTubers @YuriInRealLife is super simple:
1. Read one volume of manga (or the equivalent) every day for the month of February.
2. No skipping days.
Check out their full video here: YuriInRealLife's February Manga Challenge
I completely underestimated just how disruptive having both my mother's and my own birthday during the manga challenge would be. I spent quite a few evenings with family and friends, and did not read every day. Womp womp.
Oh and then there was that day where I devoured all five volumes of Tsubaki Chou Lonely Planet in an epic re-read.
Here's what I read in Week Three:
This manga did nothing for me. I did not care for the art. I did not care for the characters. And the plot bored me enough that I put it down half way and then had to convince myself to finish it later.
The plot is very simple. A school club of misfits randomly start body swapping and try to figure out the mystery of what is causing it and how to control it. It's a character driven story, but the characters and their relationships to each other were not strong enough to carry the story for me. You've got the detached smart girl, the insecure flirt, the tough tiny kawaii girl, the doofy lazy guy, and the wresting otaku...really? Why not give them all random obsessions, that might have been more entertaining.
The plot is supposed to become an "everything is more complicated than it seems" type of mystery, but alas, I do not care to find out more.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Seven Seas published this manga because Yamada Kun and the Seven Witches was such a success, but this is no Yamada Kun.
Princess Jellyfish continues to be a great josei manga title. Both Tsukimi and Kuranosuke have a similar family trauma which plagues them into adulthood. I love how they are both motivated by very similar desires. It really demonstrates how much they have in common, even though they come from 'different worlds'.
I am also really enjoying Kuranosuke's internal struggle. He is changing up his world view and learning more about himself in the process. I love the growth he is undergoing and the way he deals with each new realization.
And then there's that one scene where he is the knight in shining armor--err I mean shining blonde wig.
There is a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of this volume that really had me thankful that I had the next one ready to read.
In this tome, which includes volumes 5 and 6, the rest of the Amars really came to life. I felt so much more connected to the entire cast as we got more individualized personality, and backstory of the other gals.
I love the way Tsukimi is going back and forth between retreating into and bursting out of her comfort zone. Its feels very true to her character.
This volume had great pacing as it bounced back and forth between the Amars and Shoko Inari, the real estate developer. They are polar opposites, and yet, are all undergoing change.
I still love the direction in which the story is going.
Well, here comes the love triangle. I did not think there would be a love triangle in this series, but that was rather naive of me seeing as shoujo manga nearly always includes a love triangle.
I don't hate it. It makes sense and I see where the attraction is coming from, but I had hoped for something new from this story.
I worry that this series is steering away from the elements which were making it feel very magical to me towards something much more typical.
Alright, well the direction of the story has certainly gone differently from what I had initially hoped for, but I'm still on board because the characters are all very sweet and I would like to see what happens to them.
A mystery has revealed itself along with a possible puppet master, and now I fear that I can already predict the outcome. Hopefully it will surprise me.
I would really like to see more of Maruyama mountain and learn about the forces which allow certain animals to transform into humans.
Thanks for reading!
See you soon for Week Four!