Real Girl

Alt title: 3D Kanojo

Vol: 12; Ch: 48
2011 - 2016
3.792 out of 5 from 509 votes
Rank #9,335
Real Girl

Hikari Tsutsui is a high school boy who is satisfied with the virtual girls he encounters in anime and games. He does not have many friends and he lives in his own world. One day, when he is stuck on pool cleaning duty, he is approached by Iroha, a "real girl" who is showy and popular with boys.

Source: Kodansha

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In many ways, this is a story about a boy learning to appreciate the value of a real-life love, even if it means going through some heartache and drama that fe wouldn't experience with a 2D "girlfriend." However, the amount of drama that one can be expected to face is probably overstated. There's a point where fe says to femself "who would have thought it would be so difficult to just spend time together without anything happening?" (ch. 16), as though the drama, love rivals, and jealousies portrayed in this manga are normal or inevitable for relationships rather than just being the byproduct of the author trying to make an engaging story. The main reason I didn't rate this more highly is because of how overly dramatic and, at times, contrived the story felt and how it felt the need to tie all the relationships off in neat and tidy bows. I think all the relevant characters got back stories, so that's nice, but they also don't leave that much of an impression on me. For a while, I was planning to score the Art as a 1/10, but I eventually realized that wasn't really fair. It's not as though it's completely atrocious or anything. In fact, many of the individual drawings are decent and I can recognize that the artist has skills, but I also know that as I was reading this manga the art just felt off in several ways. The eyes feel glassy and empty. The mouths and lips are weird. The shading and backgrounds don't always feel quite right. The shoulders and body positions can feel a bit stiff. The way the clothes hang off the body and the wrinkles and stuff just feel slightly off. Several of the faces and characters can look overly similar.

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