Saturday, 7 June 2008

Manga: Karekano

Volumes: 21 (original size)
Rating: A
Strong points: Character depth, useful life lessons
Weak points: Drawing could be better, some times it's hard to identify the characters

Karekano is a classic series by Masami Tsuda, whose manga has been published in Brazil - one of the best ones, IMHO.

For those who don't know, it's a shoujo based on the history of Miyazawa, a girl who has always made everything to keep an apparency of "best student". She had no problems with this until she meets Arima, which not only shows to be a natural top-spot holder, but also ends up uncovering Miyazawa secrets (but also has its dark secrets).

The history goes around those two characters and their friends; what makes it a great manga is the depth to which each character is modeled. Even though it's all exaggerated for comic purposes, anyone who stops to think about the history will probably identify himself with some traits of the characters (and likely find out acting like that isn't really a good idea). To summarize in one line, it's a life lesson disfarced in a comedy.

For those who have watched the anime, the manga doesn't hold it's main flaw: There aren't big senseless retrospectives on every episode/volume. The history also goes on a lot after the place where the anime ends.

Highly recommended for shoujo or manga fans in general (and to those who throw their life concentrating only on studies and the other "serious" things).

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