Saturday, June 9, 2012

[Manga Review] Kono S o Miyo!

So I recently picked up this manga called Kono S o Miyo! by Kitazaki Taku. It's about this boy who's got a major insecurity issue about the weird-looking birthmark on his butt. It looks like a tattoo though he considers it more as a stigma. Apparently, when he was a kid, his childhood friend, Makoto, saw the mark and made fun of it to his face, causing psychological trauma which lasts until adulthood. This, along with his unrequited love for another childhood friend, Chizuru, is the reason why at twenty-two he is still a virgin. However, due to a series of strange circumstances, he discovers that his birthmark has strange seductive powers, which can make any woman (so long as she's already had her first period and has not yet reached the menopausal stage) want to have sex with him.


You can tell this manga isn't for all ages. While I wouldn't call it erotica, there are a lot of sex involved, which I kind of expected actually and is often within context. What I did not expect was how this manga made me laugh. The premise itself is downright funny, add to that the hilarious adventures that the main character, Rin, has to go through as he discovers the scope and limits of his new-found powers.

There are some surprisingly deep and emotional moments, too. Rin's emotional scars due to his stigma run so deep that he can't really trust anyone. The only thing going for him is his cat-dog relationship with the tsundere Makoto and his infatuation for the beautiful but much older, Chizuru. Personally, I prefer Makoto because she's a pretty awesome character in her own right even though she pretty much sealed her own fate. Ah, but she's probably too good for Rin anyway. Maybe she should just end up with Takako-chan, the lesbian who took and had her own virginity taken by Rin in a laugh-out-loud episode where the two of them are pretty useless together.

The story is told mainly from Rin's point of view so we rarely get any glimpse into the minds of the other characters. This actually makes for a pretty compelling and unpredictable read. One moment, you think you know what the character is thinking or feeling, the next you start to doubt if your earlier conclusion was even right at all.

The manga is also somewhat unique in its portrayal of side characters. They aren't one-dimensional at all and you can actually imagine them carrying their own story lines even as the main plot takes its course. The only exception here is the antagonist in the story, who appears for the moment as a stick figure of the typical jerk.

The art is beautiful. The background is nothing to write home about but the characters are so well-drawn, especially Chizuru. Looking at her design, it's not that hard to imagine why Rin is still so hung up on her even though she's got like eight years on him. This is funny since I actually hated Chizuru for a while because she is obviously taking advantage of Rin, and for the sick fact that this has been going on since he was a boy of seven. Seven! What the eff.

Anyway, the manga is still ongoing at 11 volumes in its home country with seven volumes scanlated and available online. If you like this sort of thing, this is recommended. It was fun while it lasted. Now I may forget about its existence until the next chapter comes up. I've put it on my watchlist on Mangatraders just in case. :)