Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Manga Review: Manga Dogs, Volume 1, by Ema Toyama

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Volumes: 3
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:


Kanna Tezuka is a serious 15-year-old manga artist, already being published as a pro. So when she finds out her high school is starting a manga drawing course, even she gets excited. But it's a fiasco! The teacher is useless, and the only other students — three pretty-boy artist wannabes — quickly adopt Kanna as their (unwilling) sensei. But they all have ridiculous delusions about being an artist, and if Kanna can't bring them back down to Earth, she'll never get any work done!

A sharp-witted satire of the manga world from the creator of I Am Here! and Missions of Love!


I was not quite expecting this. I’ve read and enjoyed both of Toyama’s other series released, and was looking forward to picking this one up as well. Her art is just so pretty, and her characters are also very enjoyable. And given that her two other series were rather different from each other, I was looking forward to seeing what this one was going to bring to the table.
I was definitely expecting a reverse-harem romance, along with some comedy. But this is actually pretty straight-forward with the manga-making parody. It’s full of comedy, and while there are some hints of romance (since Kanna is very inexperienced and is suddenly surrounded by three boys), none of it is really brought to the forefront. There isn’t really even a leaning toward one particular boy. It’s more comedy, all around.
And the comedy bits are quite funny. Kanna is a new mangaka, having debuting but still trying to make a name for herself. And the three boys want to become rich mangaka, only they’re thinking about everything but actually drawing manga. And the chapters are short, too, dealing with one of the boys’ ideas at a time, like a pseudonym or research by reading or what to do with the money. The boys are similar, but different enough—one a quiet ‘smart’ type, the cutesy boy, and the happy-go-lucky type. Then we meet a new boy at the end, who seems to have a problem with people debuting. Not to mention that they’re in a manga program at school, consisting of them, with no real teacher. It all adds up to a lot hilarity, and frustration for loner Kanna.
There are only three volumes in this series, and I’m looking forward to reading more, especially now that I’m expecting comedy. This should be good.

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