Robo-kun's got a problem--he's got no personality! To the point that it's kind of creepy to his classmates! But when his best friend introduces him to the world of golf, his life takes a turn! What will happen when a robot tries to play golf?
Not a bad story by any measure, but... it feels lacking. On multiple occassions throughout the story, the author elected to include timeskips at points in the story where you would normally expect to find development and a deepening behind the characters. This results in other parts of the story feeling unresolved, and developments later in the series feeling surprising, or completely glossed over. While the story is decent as it is, I absolutely feel like it could've used another 30 chapters of actual development, especially before the first time skip. As it is, there are references to his parents (that are barely developed at all), references to training and competitions (that are almost 100% glossed over), and entire competitions with other top players (who are referenced, detailed, and then never actually shown off at all). There's basically no payoff. You'll read about individual games in a tournament with multiple detailed and named characters, but not the rest of the tournament, and it all just feels very... rushed and choppy.
Still new series at the time of this review. But as neither a fan of golf or sports manga/anime I have to say this manga has me hooked. Great pacing in the stroy thus far, interesting characters, really great art and character design.
Robato initially doesn't understand how sports are "fun" or why people get fired up and excited about competing against other strong players. Fe's emotionless and robotic and can't seem to compute how human emotions function. But after fe joins the golf club, fe slowly gets in touch with feir inner shonen-manga protagonist and realizes that fe loves golf and wants to compete against other strong players. So, even though Robato is expressionless and methodical in feir mannerisms, I'd still say that this story displays feir guts and passion just like one would expect from a sports manga. And they definitely go over the top with the cheesy passion. There's a reoccuring notion of doing things at 120%. Like when Robato puts in 120% into feir training exercises. Or when fe puts in 120% power into feir swings when fe's competing against Suzaku. Or when fe uses 120% concentration for feir "Ex-Laser" miracle precision shots. But they don't stop there! Oh, no. They go all the way up to 160% at one point. And I know that we've all long since become numb to people talking about giving 110% or whatever, but it's worth noting that this is an inherently ridiculous and stupidly hyperbolic way of talking. And only gives the shallow impression of drama, while not actually making the story any more intense than it would have been if they said fe was putting in 100% effort. This manga had a real problem with building up expectations for the story to play out in one way and then changing course. For example, we expect that Robato and Youzan will face off in the high school golf club tournament, and we see Robato working toward that goal for almost twenty chapters only for certain events to suddenly make it impossible. And again, in regards to the Vermillion Bird Tournament, we are introduced to the "seven wonders of Japanese golf" who will be competing in the tournament as well as Suzaku and we have the expectation that Robato will play against several of these people as fe works feir way through the tournament, but then Nope. When I first read this manga chapter-by-chapter as it was being released, I remember being disappointed when it ended. Largely because it left me feeling like there were dangling plotlines. Though I can understand why it ended (I assume it was cancelled) since it was a pretty cheesy and cliched story and there didn't seem to be much variety in the types of players Robato would compete against--basically there were brute-force players like Suzaku and Dorian and odd-shot players like Rion and Ginrou and that was it. Several of the character designs are almost identical, so it can be difficult to distinguish between people. Like Kazama and Ginrou are almost indistinguishable. And I also confused Tomoya and Rion for each other several times. Basically, 120% of the male characters have nearly identical spiky hairstyles, with only hair color to set them apart.
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