Monday, October 25, 2010

Manga review- Kodomo no Omocha

Kodomo no Omocha (Child's toy) shortened as Kodocha is a popular shoujo manga. It is targeted at younger audience.

The story is about a child actress Sana Kurata who attends elementary school where she falls in love with Hayama, her classmate. Her mother is a famous japanese novelist and initially, she is in love with her manager. She struggles to balance love and work as she rises to become a popular actress.

The story was pretty average. Now the review- The series seems to be prettty popular in Japan with many celebrities voting it as their favourite series. The illustrations were cutesy, intended for young girls. The manga was ten volumes long.

I'll start with the pros. The manga is fine considering its demographic target. The manga ran in Ribon, a magazine intended for those girls starting out with shoujo manga. The readers are expected to be 10-13 yrs. of age.
The supporting characters were interesting and sometimes stronger than the protagonists. The back story connected to Sana was stereotypical but good. The artwork is professional and the love develops at a decent pace. As far as development of feelings is concerned, the manga is okay.

Now the cons. For me, the cons outnumbered the pros in this manga. I fail to understand why it is so popular. The first drawback is the age of the protagonists. I mentioned this in Ultra Maniac as well as Mint na Bokura. If the protagonists are too young, it is difficult for the reader to accept any depth in their love. At this age, friendship is often mistaken for love That's the case here too. The love develops well but the kids are too young for any deep relationship. It is a serious friendship and nothing more.

The second con is the protagonists. The two didn't have many similarities and neither were they contrasting. Sana is the kind of girl Hayama would never notice in his class and vice versa. Hayama tries to act to cool but leaves an image of naughty and spoilt instead. He does not show emotions many times and has no guts. While he had some good qualities like determination, he is cocky and lacks charm. Sana is not very dedicated when it comes to work. It is acceptable since she is a child but after reading Glass Mask I found it a negetive quality. The protagonist of Glass Mask is almost the same age with much more determination in the same field.

The third con is the ending. It was not the happy ending children would expect. The ending should've lived upto the expectations of its demographic.

Overall, the manga has more cons so, I didn't find it anything great. It is a below average shoujo. Younger audience might still consider reading it as it is one of the mangas with very less adult content and can be enjoyed by youngsters. A good manga for shoujo fans looking for anything stereotypical. I wouldn't recommend this manga.

Art-4/5
Story-3.6/5
Characters-3.2/5
Overall- 3.5/5

Pros

Art
Supporting characters

Cons

Ending
Protagonists
Lacks seriousness and depth

5 comments:

  1. Honestly, I think you have the manga all wrong. You say it wasn't serious enough, but in actuality it was quite deep. I think you failed to grasp what the manga was trying to say, you're only looking at the surface. Okay, now I'm going to go over the cons you spoke of.

    Age: The whole point of the manga was to show that the world of children isn't as childish as people think. It wasn't a "serious-friendship"; you've probably never been in love, or have forgotten what it's like to be a child, because you can find love that young. Sure, the chances are really slim, but not impossible. It's also true, however, that children can have deeper relationships than some adults. I can't just tell you this, it's something you have to experience for yourself.

    Protagonist: They are very different people. And I think, yeah, an ultra-gloomy guy would notice an upbeat girl. You know what they say, opposites attract. Hayama doesn't act cool, that's just the way he is; he's simply that person. Some people find it harder than others to express their emotions. If you read the manga properly then you should know that. You should also know that Hayama is far from being spoiled, and yeah he is a messed up kid, he had a hard life (I'm not saying that his behavior is excused...). He's cocky sure, why not? He's smart, considered cool, pretty good-looking, and an awesome fighter, and what does he need charm for? he can get friends and love without it. And about him having no guts...okay, you definitely have to read this manga again. You don't think Sana is dedicated? You don't think having the courage to walk out of a burning building with a sprained ankle (or something like that) in character is amazing? She could have crawled out crying and complaining, and nobody would've said anything because she's a child, but she didn't do that at all. Besides, this isn't a manga that center's around acting.

    Finally,
    The Ending: It was sweet and cute, and showed the true essence of the manga. Happily ever after's don't just happen, they're made; you have to work for it. You would be surprised how many 10-13 year olds understand that. I'm actually kind of confused though...why wasn't the manga's ending happy for you?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Honestly, I think you have the manga all wrong. You say it wasn't serious enough, but in actuality it was quite deep. I think you failed to grasp what the manga was trying to say, you're only looking at the surface. Okay, now I'm going to go over the cons you spoke of.

    Age: The whole point of the manga was to show that the world of children isn't as childish as people think. It wasn't a "serious-friendship"; you've probably never been in love, or have forgotten what it's like to be a child, because you can find love that young. Sure, the chances are really slim, but not impossible. It's also true, however, that children can have deeper relationships than some adults. I can't just tell you this, it's something you have to experience for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Protagonist: They are very different people. And I think, yeah, an ultra-gloomy guy would notice an upbeat girl. You know what they say, opposites attract. Hayama doesn't act cool, that's just the way he is; he's simply that person. Some people find it harder than others to express their emotions. If you read the manga properly then you should know that. You should also know that Hayama is far from being spoiled, and yeah he is a messed up kid, he had a hard life (I'm not saying that his behavior is excused...). He's cocky sure, why not? He's smart, considered cool, pretty good-looking, and an awesome fighter, and what does he need charm for? he can get friends and love without it. And about him having no guts...okay, you definitely have to read this manga again. You don't think Sana is dedicated? You don't think having the courage to walk out of a burning building with a sprained ankle (or something like that) in character is amazing? She could have crawled out crying and complaining, and nobody would've said anything because she's a child, but she didn't do that at all. Besides, this isn't a manga that center's around acting.

    Finally,
    The Ending: It was sweet and cute, and showed the true essence of the manga. Happily ever after's don't just happen, they're made; you have to work for it. You would be surprised how many 10-13 year olds understand that. I'm actually kind of confused though...why wasn't the manga's ending happy for you?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! That's three long comments.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, sorry it was so long. And I'm sure why it's there twice...

    ReplyDelete