Yuri Manga: Swap⇔Swap, Volume 1 (すわっぷ⇔すわっぷ)

June 6th, 2016

swap^2You may recall that I recently reviewed Only ☆You~Anata to Watashi no Futari Bocchi Keikaku in which a reasonable premise went south almost instantly.

Today, we’re going to talk about Swap⇔Swap, (すわっぷ⇔すわっぷ), Volume 1, by Tomekichi in which a horrible premise manages to almost not go bad until the last few pages.

Ichinose Haruko is the dark-haired girl on the cover with the weird eyes. Nikaido Natsuko is the blonde. They have vaguely similarish names and are in the same class. Haruko keeps to herself and is a good student. Natsuko is fashionable and garrulous. And, quite suddenly and inexplicably, when they bump into one another lip first, they…switch bodies.

I know, I know. It’s a totally cringe-worthy plot device. And worse, when we learn that Haruko is also quietly obsessed with girls with large breasts, and they switch back and forth by kissing, one immediately starts to imagine where this is going. Only, it doesn’t. Not really. Not yet.

Neither Natsuko nor Haruko are particularly put out by their relationship. And they seem to have a solid grasp of where the “no-go” zone is. When Natsuko wants to switch in order to have Haruko take a test for her, Haruko puts the brakes on switching and instead studies with Natsuko to get her grades up. In return, Natsuko introduces Haruko to her friends and they all go out shopping and to the pool and other average fun. Most importantly, Haruko and Natsuko tell their friends about their weird relationship, and their friends…accept it. It’s  a normal slice-of-life comedy, in which they kiss to switch bodies and switch back. It peaks when Haruko switches bodies to give allergic Natsuko the chance to play with a kitten and everything is just kind of sweet and cute.

All is well, with mild humor and goofiness until we meet a second couple who can switch bodies. And suddenly, the editor demanded more service. What was a readable, mildly silly gag comedy becomes a breast-fetish gag comic without humor, for the last 10 pages. And then it abruptly stops. Presumably, there will be a second volume.  But I’m not sure if the thin veneer of Yuri in Haruko’s sort-of burgeoning interest in Natsuko will be developed more than the breast fetish, so I’m on the fence about continuing.

Ratings:

Art – 6 Not quite dreadful, but Haruko’s weird eyes help you know who is in which body.
Story – 5 There is no story, only a premise
Characters – 8 Actually kind of decent, which is surprising
Service – 2, rising to 5 by the end.

Overall – 7

I’m not going to say this was spectacular, but it wasn’t terrible, either. And if the Yuri is developed, it has some potential to be good. If the breast fetish is developed instead, it has potential to be dire.

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5 Responses

  1. bnt says:

    Well, it shows that once again no matter how stupid the initial setting is, it’s the writing that’ll make the difference. I’ve seen silly comedies get surprisingly deep and well-written, and what seemed like a good, well thought-out plot become completely stupid and bland. Personally, save for a few red flags such as “a normal boy ends up in a group of girls due to some misunderstanding/rare ability/whatever, bla bla bla”, I’ve basically dropped the initial setting as a criterion to judge the production of Japan’s mass culture.

  2. Andy Seasrs says:

    I really like this one, pretty funny

  3. Andy Seasrs says:

    and the art

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