Josee, the Tiger and the Fish

Alt title: Josee to Tora to Sakana-tachi

Vol: 2; Ch: 11
4.11 out of 5 from 102 votes
Rank #1,776
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish

Josee has been in a wheelchair since she was a child and has lived her life through pictures, books, and her imagination. One day, she meets Tsuneo, a college student, and while they clash at first, the two soon grow closer than expected. She takes this chance to venture outside with Tsuneo to experience a new world where surprises await.

Source: Yen Press

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Unfortunately, I dd not enjoy Josee, the Tiger and the Fish which is a shame because I was expecting to like it. It's a relatively short read so I thought I would. In the end, however, it fell short of my expectations.  Story The story itself started out fine with the protagonist being introduced. After minimal exposition, the inciting event and our two leads have a 'meet cute' of a kind. From there, I think the story was okay for the first couple of chapters. Maybe even the first volume as a whole. However, when the drama started ramping up, I thought the pacing was way off. The story was rather cliche and it didn't feel like it took the time to explore the themes it was trying to show. At least not in the detail I would've liked to see.  There was at least one memorable scene towards the end that I thought was well-done. A bit cheesy, but it was sweet and displayed Josee's character development rather well.  The ending was extremely lackluster and rushed, though. I didn't find the conflict at that point captivating. It was drawn out unnecessarily and the story ended just as the romance was resolved.  Art The writing is subpar, but the art is pretty damn good. I don't have any complaints here. The designs are well-done and it's definitely lovely artwork. So, no complaints in terms of the art. It would be nice to see this artist's talent paired with a better-written story, so I will look into other works they drew for.  Characters Character development, particularly Josee's, is perhaps the main point of this manga. She started out as an unlikable tsundere but, by the end, she came out as a better person. So, I'll give credit there because it was decently executed albeit not great IMO... which may be attributed to the story's short length.   Tsuneo, the male lead, was a 'fine' character but he felt pretty generic to me. I didn't particularly like him. He was more likable than Josee, but annoying in how oblivious he was. I don't think his feelings regarding the romance were explored very well. I couldn't even tell if he reciprocated Josee's feelings for a while.  The side characters were subpar. We didn't get to spend much time with the grandma - she felt like a plot device quickly removed from the storyline. They didn't expand on that element at all so it felt out of place/random outside of being necessary to progress the plot.  Speaking of shoehorned, there's also a love triangle! Woohoo! Mai is the typical [insert opposite-gendered acquaintance in close proximity who has one-sided feelings for one of the leads] love rival. It's such a cliche that I could tell right away it was happening. I'm not even sure why it was necessary other than her being spiteful and tearing the leads apart even more.  Hayato best boy. He deserves better.  Overall And that's why I didn't like this manga despite it having a promising premise. I suppose I can see why people enjoy this one. It does have a touching story. But, personally, it didn't reach me and I ended up mildly disliking it due to what I found to be subpar writing and irritating characters. It may be a good manga for those getting into the medium. I think I might've liked it better when I was first getting into manga and anime. I've already seen multiple stories like this before so the tired tropes grated on me more than usual. 

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