Gachipin - Reviews

nathandouglasdavis's avatar
May 22, 2022

If you only saw what I can see,
you'd understand why I want you so desperately.
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe
you don't know (oh-oh)--
you don't know you're beautiful (oh-oh).
That's what makes you beautiful.

Like songs from One Direction and other boy bands, this manga is built around the idea of a boy saving a girl from a state of insecurity and self-hatred. And on the surface, this can seem fine (since there isn't any inherent problem with trying to boost someone's self-esteem). But this relationship dynamic is actually steeped in maintaining the patriarchy and in romanticizing traditional gendered roles (where the man nurtures and protects the woman--who is portrayed in these dynamics as being essentially helpless until the man came along). Hazama Shunichi is literally likened to a gardener whose care for a neglected flower allows for it to shine beautifully once again, but the flower in this situation is a human being and humans shouldn't be treated as pet projects or as objects. The manga ends by having Hazama's assessment of Kageyama be vindicated--Kageyama was indeed physically beautiful and not "plain" as others had said--but by ending in this way, it's subtly implied that women should be treated as more valuable the more beautiful they are. Which is a pretty misogynistic perspective. Yes, the manga does indeed portray Hatta disregarding Kageyama's feelings as being a bad thing, but Hazama was also disregarding Kageyama's feelings throughout most of their interactions by pestering fem even after clearly and repeatedly being told "no." And yet Hazama's actions and attitude aren't portrayed as having also been bad. Even if Hazama does recognize the importance of consent to a certain degree, fe also fails to understand that legitimately caring about consent must involve a willingness to accept "no" as the answer. When Hazama tells Hatta, "I'll make sure you regret calling [fem] a plain girl," fe is actually saying that fe has no intention of ever accepting "no" as the answer to the question of whether fe could take Kageyama's photo or not.

In addition to all that, the beginning section where the three friends were searching the school for the mystery girl was laid out very poorly. And many of the interactions and conversations felt stilted and unnatural. There's also a lot of gratuitous fan service, with basically zero attempt to blend these aspects into the plot itself (so they end up standing out and just coming across as flagrant attempts at shallow engagement). The facial proportions can also feel inconsistent and I wasn't all that impressed with the artwork in general. The characters aren't interesting, the story isn't interesting, the artwork isn't impressive, and there are annoying misogynistic undertones. So, all in all, this was a very unenjoyable read for me.

1/10 story
3/10 art
1/10 characters
1/10 overall
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Curiousmadra's avatar
Mar 30, 2021

It’s a pretty mediocre one shot that I just wanted to waste time on. Basically it’s about a school guy who wants to be a photographer and he has his fathers fishing business to inherit. He then meets a cute girl from his school who’s basically timid as well as clumsy (the typical FL) and he wants her to be his model for his pictures. A lot of echiiness to this so yeah read this if you want a bit of ecchiness to your reading collection, this one shot is for you bros......

?/10 story
?/10 art
?/10 characters
3/10 overall
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