Monday, May 5, 2014

Manga Review: Instant Teen, Volume 4, by Haruka Fukushima

Rating (Out of 5): ~1.5-2
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: 2005
Volumes: 4
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Natsumi is a regular girl, except for one little detail--she transforms into a hot, curvy woman when she eats scientifically engineered experimental "Miracle Nuts!" A fifth-grader one minute, a supermodel look-alike the next, Natsumi isn't sure who she truly is or where she really belongs. The only person whom she always feels totally herself around is her childhood friend Asuma. But when he tells her that he's going to move to another town, will she lose her best friend forever?!


I was expecting this to be a cute, short series. I’ve read other series by Fukushima and enjoyed them. So I was disappointed to find that not only did I not like the story, but the characters even got on my nerves.
The character development was not good, and that was my main problem. Natsumi, the main character, is a kid who wants to grow up. Her feelings for wanting to grow up faster are childish, but not particularly in a bad way. My biggest problem with that is that she never really grows out of that, she never realizes that where she is now is fine and she doesn’t need to, nor should she, try to speed that up. Asuma, her childhood friend, is always there for her, and trying to get her not to grow up so fast, but she never really listens to him.
I just didn’t like Natsumi. She’s childish and selfish, she doesn’t think about anything before she does it, and she never learns. She makes similar mistakes over and over and yet never learns from them. She’s selfish in her decisions, and never learns to think about how they affect others.
The other characters never really get developed, either. There’s even a big time skip between volumes three and four, where side characters get married without actually showing the reader that they’re thinking of going in that direction.
Nothing really got enough attention to be developed. The characters and their reasons rubbed me the wrong way. 
I’m disappointed with this series, really. I was hoping for more than it gave me.

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