A few months ago, the manga Kaprekar, popped onto our radar and we reported it in the “Snatches of Yuri” segement of the weekly Yuri News report.
So I picked it up just to see what the deal was. Here’s the deal: Yuna and Uno are two girls with a past. At the end of their physical and emotional ropes, they sold their lives to the organization Arca, and were given new lives – and an amazing power to merge and transform into the magical/bad science being Karepkar when they kiss. Kaprekar fights “Craimu” – Monsters of the Day created by unsatisfied desires in the hearts of the miserable, hapless and hopeless. Kaprekar crushes the heart-shaped, blood-filled gems in the MoTD’s hearts to defeat them. Kaprekar’s (and therefore Uno and Yuna’s) handler is a guy they call Yamada (Provisional). He’s in love with Kaprekar and pretty mean to the girls, and is more an accountant than anything else. Because Yuna and Uno still owe loads of money to Arca for their surgeries, so Yamada makes them do work to pay back the loan.
Now all this sounds like it could be a decent story, but it’s not really. Because instead of developing the characters and their reasons for giving up everything to become Kaprekar, or looking at their lives and motivations now, the story does the typical service-y situations and focuses on bikinis at the beach and wacky school stuff.
Later in the book, Yuna and Uno rescuse a kid who is very close to becoming a Craimu, and decide to keep him around as bait, since his unhappiness will draw Craimu like ants to sugar. He’s a miserable little shota of a kid, who takes up the role of personal assistant to the girls and works his way into their hearts – but mostly only because he makes them food. He also supplies a series of role reversals as we get to see him sexually harrassed by a female classmate, only to have her turn into a Craimu that has to be defeated. I was shocked, I can assure you. ^_^
What about the Yuri? Well, Yuna and Uno care about each other – but the only reason they kiss is to turn into Kaprekar. I think it’s safe to say that yes, they do love each other. Other than that, it’s all in your head. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 6
Yuri – 3
Service – 4
Overall – 7
In the end, Yuna and Uno are no closer to paying off their debt than they were in the beginning. And so we look forward (or not, depending on what you like) to Volume 2 where, no doubt, more of the same will happen. ^_^