***Spoiler freeish review***
It has been one long ride but after more than six years of weekly chapter releases, Kimi no Iru Machi has finally concluded. The problem? It should have ended a long time ago.
I wish I could rate this by arc because just like with Bleach this manga starts out incredibly great but really starts to lose steam as it chugs away. Part of the problem was that there were a lot of plot lines that either lasted way too long or were abruptly ended way too quick. It starts out as a romance high school type story but then migrates into a nauseous mess of "MUST GO HERE TO FIND 'X' PERSON WHO MAY OR MAY NOT LIKE ME". Problem with this is that the girl Haruto ends up really wanting was my least favorite out of the bunch. He literally tramples over like seven different girls heart's in order to get one.
All of this aside, there were good moments in the series. Unfortunately there was just way too much crap between. And that ending? Just when I felt like something fresh and new was about to happen....yeah the same ol' crap.
I very much enjoyed the art in this series. Character models were great both on the male and female side. Very detailed scenes in a lot of different parts of the story. I would check out the next manga the author has planned just to see some of the new character models.
Kind of a mixed bag here since Haruto and Yuzuki were by far the biggest factors of why I didn't end up enjoying the series as much as I could. The other characters however helped make the series much more enjoyable. Rin, Takashi, Akari, and Kyosuke really resonated with me since they had legitimate feelings, hopes, and dreams. There were even some really cute and awesome things that this cast accomplished. Too bad the main characters were total shit.
Like I said in the opening; I really enjoyed the start of the series. It felt like a normal high school romance in the making. It continued to evolve and move onto new ideas and areas. It however fell very short as there were large gaps in enjoyable content. The train has been milked as far as it could so onto something different.
Enjoyment: START 8/10 MIDDLE 5/10 ENDING 2.5/10
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To be quite frank, this was honestly the number 1 manga I've ever read. The only other manga that brought me into tears, joy, and in a rollercoaster of emotions was Good Ending. The amount of character development through the use of Harem and true human emotions quickly enforced the real nature of the human heart. It brought so much love and compassion towards each character and set them into their correct paths into their own future. The constant interruptions of one couple finding themselves and trying to be the best that they can be, even through hurting one another brought about a sense of panic, a sense that they couldn't live with out each other and held onto the very last threads of love. Honestly, I just love strawberries.
I tried to read through more chapters than I read, but I could not stand the male lead. All he was doing was whining and pouting about one thing or another. He was SOOO unlucky that a pretty girl came to live with him, then he was SOOO unlucky that she wanted to hang out with him. If the male lead was not a comple tool, then the story would have been better and would have continued reading.
A really good read for any first timer to manga, the story is really good at the beginning though it slowly begins to droop. It starts out amazing actually, it has a really good build up and you actually care about the main characters (Haruto and Yuzuki). The problem with this series is that unlike Suzuka (Seo's original work that this is based on) the side characters are really not all that important. The only ones you'll find yourself even kind of caring about are the females that are pretty much 'potential candidates'. Even then, slowly those characters will melt away and you won't see them sometimes for 10-20 chapters or more. Point is, it starts off really good but slowly becomes subpar as you are striken with endless filler and forgettable side characters. But if you pretty much just decide when you want the ending and read the rest as 'After the fact' in your own mind you can get past it.
Overall I'd definitely recommend it to someone that is a light reader, but I would be hard pressed to hand this over to someone who would look deeply into it.