Imperfect Girl

Alt title: Shoujo Fujuubun

Vol: 3; Ch: 27
2015 - 2016
3.975 out of 5 from 300 votes
Rank #4,575
Imperfect Girl

“Looking back on it now, I realize that incident is what turned me into the novelist I am today. An author is someone who creates tales, but an aspiring author is someone who lies, and nothing more. This incident happened ten years ago, when I was in college, and merely an aspiring author. If those events never took place I wouldn’t have become much of anything at all, which is why I think I need to thank her, thank that girl …"

Source: Vertical

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First, tiny reminder: I won't be putting any spoilers out of the summary provided (Which will be kind of hard, since there are sooo many really good surprises) Wow! "Imperfect Girl" is definitely one of those hidden gems out there (I have no idea why its rank is so low, even among those short pieces). Though it is pretty short and there are only two characters, the story does a wonderful job at keeping my attention. The manga really deviates from a lot of the mystery cliches you usually see out there. So, onto the detailed review! (Each category starts from 5 and I add/subtract) STORY First of all, the pacing is pretty slow. Even though it is 27 chapters long, it only felt like I just read a one-shot, like a short story was spread out into 2 times its length. As a result, I found myself flipping through the pages much more quickly. [-0.5] Second, the cover art is pretty misleading. If you take a better look at the tags, there is no horror. There are some "mature" pages, but there isn't stuff like stabbing and beheading every other chapter. (I'm kind of reading stuff like that now, so I was looking forward to it... 🙁 [-0.5]) Then what's it really about? Mystery. But like I said before, it's different. There's a surprise every turn of a corner [seriously, best part +2], and information is gradually presented. You have the quality and density of a one-shot (so there aren't any boring chapters) [+1], but the spreading into multiple chapters makes it a lot more fun to digest [+1]. Next is the moral. Of course, the message is pretty deep (stuff about naiveness, failure...). But those stuff are integrated into the story pretty well in (again) a unique way. [+1]   Finally, the ending. Like a lot of other (good) stories, the manga ends with uncertainty. Yes, the mysteries presented were solved [+1], but at the end (epilogue?) it gives a new mystery for the reader to think about. I have mixed feelings about these types of endings, so I'll leave it alone.   ART So, only down side is part of the character design. Something I always look for is uniqueness, and this manga is again average. Both characters look pretty plain. But again, you only go black and white and you got to go with the norms, so no penalty here. (though I have to say the MC keeps reminding me of that mayor from The Lorax) Other than the characters, everything is pretty unique. I like how color/shading is all done with horizontal/vertical lines. (its one of those where everything is only drawn with either black or white, no gray). [+2] There's also the fish symbolism of feelings. And the somewhat crude drawing (which enforces the psychological part) [+2]   CHARACTERS The story is perfect, but the character development not so much. There is U (idk if its related to the english word "you" but whatever). She's a kind of round character: the perfect girl, but still imperfect. She also sees a decent amount of development over the story as the relationship with the MC develops and as more is revealed about her past. [+2] However, I think the main character is pretty shallow. Although he seems like one of those people from tragedy stories—an aspiring author who can't reach his dream—that's basically it. We have no idea how he came here, why he became an author. He also makes some weird decisions I can't quite understand (which I feel are just plot devices). [-1] So, there are only 2 real characters. Usually when this is the case, the setting feels very empty and lonely. But this manga does a good job at making the house (where everything happens) interesting. [+1]

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