Manga Village

Puri Puri Volume 7

May 8, 2009

Series Description: Masato Kamioda is a devout Christian aspiring to become a priest. He is the only male student at the Saint Sophia Girl’s Seminary as part of the reform to repair the moral decline and the lax discipline at the academy. But not all welcome the him to the fold and the Vice President is determined to expel him.

What kind of person has Ayano-chan has been abducted by?! But, before he can rescue her, Kamioda, who has been chasing Ayano, has to face Sherrice D’Arc first!

By Taro Chiaki
Publisher: DR Master
Age Rating: 15+
Genre: Comedy/Harem
Price: $9.95

Well, they can’t all be winners.

If you read my review last week of Case Closed volume 26, you’ll know I’m trying an experiment: I’m diving into series cold, well past the beginning volume or volumes. Manga series have stages, and there’s no question that a 26th volume falls into the late stage of any manga we’ve seen in the West. But the 7th volume? That’s either end-of-the-beginning or beginning-of-the-middle, for the most part. By all accounts, it should be close enough to the beginning as to not confuse and muddle as much as this volume did.

To be fair, much of the comedy of this kind of series–goofy boy chased by many women–comes from the insane piling on of characters with baroque levels of connections, background noise, and wacky characters. And I loved it when I read Rumiko Takahashi series like Lum and Ranma 1/2, or the great series that followed in her footsteps like Oh, My Goddess! and Tenchi Muyo. Aside: yes, I’m old. What of it?

But there’s two problems I had trying to even get through this volume: first, the premise is, to me, completely amateur. And maybe you can argue with me about this, but I just didn’t buy the ridiculous permutations of cheesecake the plot pursued (and had evidently tried pursuing for several volumes). Nuns as pin-up girls, nuns as half-nekkid amazon warriors, nuns as cos-players… There was no consistency of character or setting–instead, the plot jerked the characters into whatever situation best set up ripped clothes, panty shots, and jiggling boobs.

And the other problem I had with this is an extension of the haphazard plotting–the characters just aren’t strong enough to rise above the material at hand. They are fairly generic; character types that felt old and second-hand to me when I encountered them over a decade ago in Antarctic Press comics.

Again, I have to qualify this opinion, after all, I haven’t read the preceding half-dozen volumes. I mean, have you ever tried handing somebody volume 7 of Death Note? Or the 7th volume of Battle Royale? Or, perhaps more relevant, volume 7 of a comedy like Love Hina?

Had I read volumes 1-6 first, it’s entirely possible I would enjoy what was going on. After all, one succinct review of this volume I came across simply said: “It’s volume seven now and I’m still buying it. So what more can I say?” However, I just don’t think there’s enough here that isn’t done better elsewhere.

About the author

Justin Colussy-Estes

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