Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gacha Gacha (Capsule) - Manga Review

Rating: D

Synopsis: Kurara and Kouhei have been classmates forever. Kurara returns from summer vacation in Hawaii as school begins. Apparently, whilst in Hawaii, Kurara has developed multiple personality disorder, and one of her stronger other personalities, Arisa, is an incredibly promiscuous hedonist (as opposed to Kurara herself, who is slightly prudish). Kurara keeps her MPD a secret, but Arisa begins to attempt to seduce Kouhei everytime she appears. When Arisa turns back into Kurara, she has no memory of what's going on, and finds herself in compromising positions with Kouhei (who she blames). Kouhei has a crush on Kurara, and getting close to her means he is severely confused and abused throughout the story.

Note: This is a review of the manga Gacha Gacha (Capsule), not the following manga (Secret).

I attempted to read more than one or two of this manga, but initially I had a hard time following what was going on. Each one of Kurara's personalities are drawn as different people, so it was confusing at first. Then, once I got a hang of the idea that Kurara had multiple personality disorders, they spend most of the time getting Kouhei (who Kurara made promise to help her keep Arisa a secret) and Arisa into compromising position after compromising position.

When Kurara regains herself, she usually smacks Kouhei, and accuses him of attempting to take advantage of her. This scene becomes pretty much what the manga is about for the first book:
- Kouhei sees Kurara someplace (school, cafe, etc.)
- Kurara and Kouhei begin to talk
- Arisa takes over Kurara and sluts it up (usually getting as naked as possible and coming onto Kouhei as much as she can)
- Kouhei is confused, and indecisive
- Arisa turns back into Kurara, Kurara realizes she is nearly naked
- Kurara beats the crap out of Kouhei
End Scene

More personalities emerge as time goes by, such Meow (housecat), Alice (young girl), and Rin (martial artist). As the series develops, the shared secret that Kouhei and Kurara share helps their feelings for each other blossom into love. I'm afraid I couldn't read that far.

I enjoy mistaken identities and romantically confusing situations when handled in a comedic manner, but this one is very heavy-handed, and I feel sorry for the characters. There's not much amusing about the situations, and you begin to wonder why she doesn't get some therapy, as opposed to enlisting the help of poor Kouhei, who she spends most of her time teasing then abusing.


Amirali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amirali said...

Hmm, interesting review. Maybe I'm being too lenient on this manga because I haven't read any other ecchi mangas before, but I found it very entertaining. The way the male lead keeps getting beat up was so......Johnny Bravo:P. What can I say, I'm sadistic.
Besides, the male lead reminds me of the lovable loser, Charlie Brown. Even when one knows such victimization is not deserved, it draws a guilty chuckle, and sympathy for the poor schmuck on the receiving end.

As for the underdeveloped personalities of Alice and Arisa, a valid criticism that could be brought up........well, it becomes pretty clear by volume 2 that they aren't "real" people, but one-dimensional characters in a game, where the female characters are eager to please. Consciously portraying them as stereotypes shows that these personas exist only in exploitative media/fantasy.

The way I read it, along with routine fanservice, the manga also took a tongue in cheek take of the whole concept of "adorable lolicon" or "sexy slut". I've seen hentai portray both as mindblowingly hot , so it was funny to see the manga satire it as the overblown fantasy such sexual stereotypes really are.

Anyway, I don't mean any disrespect by differing with you here. Rather, I think u had some good points, and I'm just letting the fact that I found the manga enjoyable (if not exceptional) colour my opinions.

Am enjoying the reviews; will definitely check out a few of the reccommendations.

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