Manga no Tsukurikata Manga, Volume 4

January 10th, 2011

I believe it was during my review of the third volume of Manga no Tsukurikata (まんがの作り方) I kept asking myself “why am I reading this?” Now I’ve reached the fourth volume and the question has become “what is this manga even about?”

This not a rhetorical question, either. Originally, the series was about the successful-despite-her obvious-mediocrity Kawaguchi, a mangaka with no original ideas who decides to use a young woman’s affection for her to provide fodder for her Yuri manga – a theme chosen entirely because “it’s popular now.”  I have never found Kawaguchi even slightly sympathetic. Morishita, the young woman in question, was slightly more sympathetic, but is also kind of clueless and annoying. After you go out with someone for a year and they never want to touch, much less kiss, getting a clue ought to be high priority.

Then a third artist enters the ring – Takeda. Takeda is a jerk. She resents and dislikes Morishita and admires Kawaguchi. She steps in as an assistant, but it comes at the price of a constant stream of bitching.

Now, in Volume 4, Morishita’s editor (remember, Morishita’s a popular mangaka in her own right) cajoles her into moving to Tokyo – obviously to hit on her, but Morishita’s has been getting a lot of being clueless practice in, so she doesn’t notice. And even more bizarrely, her roommate of choice is…Takeda.

I just have absolutely no like for any of these characters. They annoy the living heck outta me. I honestly wish this manga would decide what it’s about and go do that or just wrap up and go away.

Almost every reviewer I read agrees that a series that is incredibly bad, offensive or annoying is still better than one that is merely dull. This series is dull *and* annoying.

There is no Yuri in this story. There is a totally boring one-sided crush that is shaken out every few chapters to appear relevant, but is actually very threadbare and full of holes.


Art – Okay
Story – Zzzzz
Character – Grrrr
Yuri – Ugh
Service – Probably

Overall – Whatever

And geez – do any of these three know how to draw a manga? The way they spill ink on paper makes me want them to them all to get a job at a Family Mart or something.

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4 Responses

  1. Pocky says:

    these kind of stories are what happens when someone who doesn’t understand, and doesn’t obviously want to write a Yuri story, does so anyway.

    it’s agonizingly boring to sit through this series, as it goes nowhere, and further proves that the author probably just did this with the intent to never do it again.

    It reminds me of that other series Renai XX (or sumfin, I can’t remember the name), in which you can tell the author has no interest in Yuri, yet made a “Yuri” (it’s yaoi with girls lol) min-series for the hell of it.

  2. George says:

    @Pocky: While that is almost certainly as bad as you say, when I read “yaoi with girls”, I’m picturing scenes between stern, butch girls wearing gakuran… and damn it, I want that series to exist ^_^

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lemme guess you’ve never heard of slice of life haven’t you?

    Seriously it’s shoujo ai for one thing, obviously there won’t be any Yuri for a long time probably never but I for one actually like it, as far as I can say it has a slow character development but I’d rather see that than porn that vaguely resembles a plot. :P

  4. @Anonymous – Yes, I am well-aware of slice-of-life stories. And yes, I absolutely agree that this is one. So are Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and Aria and, while both of them have much less Yuri, they are both infinitely better series.

    My complaint about Manga no Tsukurikata is not that it is “not Yuri,” or that it is too slow – my complaint is that it is a poorly constructed narrative with unlikable characters. I love slice-of-life tales. YKK is one of my top three manga ever. I do not like *this* slice-of-four-utterly-uninteresting-lives tale.

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