Alt title: Reiraku

Vol: 1; Ch: 8
3.633 out of 5 from 331 votes
Rank #21,072

In this realistic view into the manga industry, selling copies is the only thing that matters. So what if your first series just ended and you have no idea how to start the next one, your marriage is breaking up, your pure love of manga has been destroyed by the cruel reality of the industry and nothing seems to fill the sucking void inside you… Find the secret combo for a new hit manga series and everything will be okay. Right?

Source: Viz 

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Well, this certainly feels meta. I'm writing an internet review about a manga which is, at least in part, about a manga artist trying to process the way in which people on the internet comment about feir manga. Should I be saying the same lines that were said in the blurbs and tweets? Like how fe captured the angst of youth or the struggle of the human condition or how the main character was beautiful in feir depressed selfishness? The main character, Kaoru Fukazawa, is depressed and emotionally lost. Fe's a mangaka who hates manga and finds the self-important outlook of other creators to be shitty. Just as much as it's a story about an artist trying to find the motivation and inspiration for a new series, it's also a story about sex workers. I appreciated the way this series showed Fukazawa consistently wanting to seek out the same sex workers each time, 'cause that showed that it wasn't so much about the sex as it was about the human connection, the relational intimacy. But can someone as selfish as fem truly develop intimacy with someone else? And isn't it ironic that fe's able to capture the human condition so evocatively while apparently being so crap at bonding with those nearby. The artwork is gorgeous. The building's are especially nice. I don't think I've ever just staring at a cityscape quite so much as with this series, with its detailed phonelines and fencing and stuff. The way the scenes transition definitely have a slightly off-kilter yet connected vibe that feels unique to this author. I found the use of thematically appropriate monologues to be an awkward narrative technique. I get that the author doesn't just want to tell a story, but also wants to muse and riff on a topic and on certain philosophical ideas. But it just comes across as forced.


*This is a spoiler free review* So first of all, this is not a happy go lucky story (as the title suggests). I got halfway through the manga before I had to put it away. It felt like it was trying to be depressing just for the sake of being depressing. I didn't feel that way through the rest of the manga tho. Saying I enjoyed it doesn't fit, but if I could go back in time and choose to read this or not, I would read it.  Side note - I didn't rate all the categories because I couldn't find a rating that felt right Story I like the concept of the story: A washed up manga artist trying to figure out how to continue on with life. The main character have a longrunning manga which is very popular,. After the last volume is out he doesn't know how to start with a new series, or what to do with life in general. Us readers are basiclly just following him as he is falling to rock bottom.  Art There are artstyles that I prefer over this one, but I would say it fits the story. It is not unsetteling, but kinda is (aren't I good at explaining). There isn't a lot to say about it. Characters The characters are pretty well made. The main characters personality is shown pretty well through his actions - "Show don't tell". As I see it, you're not really supposed to feel bad for him, but more like you're trying to understand him. I would say pretty much all the side characters had their purpose. Overall I would say that it's worth reading if it sounds interesting to you. It's not revolutionary in any way, but it's a solid story in my opinion. I like stories with dark themes a lot, the reason I rated this one a 7 overall is because of the first half and because this wasn't quite my type of "dark", if you catch my drift. That's all, thank u for reading U-U

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