Choir! was one of the manga I picked up last month that, despite my best efforts, I found I did not hate. ^_^;
The color art on the back cover and inside really pushed my ability to tolerate and, in fact, upon revisiting this manga, I find myself repusled all over again by them. However, the manga itself is nothing at all like the color art, for which I am immensely grateful. So, should you be looking for a loli/moe school girl story about cat-ear girls, you will be disappointed by Choir!.
Choir! is a 4-koma style comic that runs in Comic Ryuu – the same magazine that gave us Nemurubaka – and is not unlike the many other 4-koma series about school girls published in magazines for men. Like Rakka Ryuusui or Tori Koro or Hidamari Sketch, 4-koma comics focus on situations that allow for wacky misinterpretation, or one cracked character saying a thing that is funny. Insert trombone, penny whistle, clown horn or kooky noise of your choice. ^_^
The premise of Choir!, such as it is, is about “Fashionable otaku girl” Mawata (a reference that made me laugh) and her friends in their day-to-day fun school lives. Because Mawara is an otaku, she does spend some time wearing cat accoutrement, and we get the inevitable Comiket chapter, as well as other typical otaku and school interests. And, of course, maid outfits.
For the purpsoses of art, Mawata is not above kissing another girl. But she’s not really the Yuri character in the series. The cover characters, Mawata’s friends, Shousei and extra moe Mayuko are. Shousei’s interest in Mayuko is evident fairly early on, and it appears that Mayuko, for all her protestations of innocence and disinterest, is being more a tease than anything. Mayuko appears to find it amusing to string Shousei along, then push her away. (Run, Shousei, run! Don’t do it!) However, in a massive reversal of all that is manga, Mayuko *admits* to jerking Shousei around and at the end of the volume is absolutely, totally Shousei’s girlfriend. Not what I expected, certainly.
There is a fair helping of service in this story. Bathing, dress up, Yuri, cat ears, general otaku drooling at their particular fetish and the like. This is another 4-koma that, should an American publisher pick up, the average creepy guy in the corner would probably like. ^_^
Art – 4 to *me*. If you like moe-ified high schoolers, then maybe a 7 to you.
Story – 6 It’s situation comedy.
Characters – 6 Like most 4-koma, the characters have the depth of one or two gags
Yuri – 7
Service – 7
Overall – 7
Not at all what I expected. I’m not displeased to have taken a chance on Choir!.