Status: Completed all 3 “chapters” of this manga anthology
Author + Artist: Fujii Mitsuru
Version: JShoujo Scans (English scanlation)
Choukyoushi Online: MyAnimeList, MangaFox, KissManga
Genre: Josei, Shoujo, Romance, Smut
I happened upon Fujii Mitsuru’s Choukyoushi by chance whilst checking out the offerings at KissManga today. I nearly didn’t continue after finishing the first story, as I felt irritated with the cast. However, the second story gave me hope that the author could write characters that were capable of sympathy. I don’t ask for much, but having characters that aren’t completely motivated by selfishness makes it more likely that I will care what happens to them.
It is a collection of three very different stories. It begins with an unsympathetic story about a girl cheating on her boyfriend with his best friend. The story that follows is one unravelling the mystery of why a woman committed suicide. The third instalment is the mildly comedic Shoujo romance between a good looking but reasonably nice guy that takes a fancy to a coarse young country girl that joined his social group after moving into the city.
You’ve probably guessed from my earlier comments that I really did not enjoy the first story. I found myself hating each of the characters, seeing them as horrible people because of what they were doing. I tend to find the concept of cheating one that gets my hackles up. It makes more sense if you have even an ounce of empathy, to break up with the person that you are with if you want to be with other people.
The second story was better, but even it had flaws. They were manageable though and I could more easily relate to the living cast as they learn more about the woman that committed suicide. It is the revelation that she was not the person that she showed in public, one that had issues that included murdering her husband.
The third story was the most enjoyable of the collection, one that I made me smile. It struck me as being a genuine Shoujo romance, but without unnecessary drama so often associated with the genre. I found myself liking the characters with relative ease, something completely absent in the first story. I am somewhat curious as to why the author didn’t start off with this story though and maybe remove the first story altogether.
I appreciate the variation in the stories, but I might not have finished the anthology had I relied completely on that first story. The Smut category also seems to be a stretch given that the only sex scenes were in the first story and even those were tame. Why add a tag when it only applies to one of the stories? That seems odd. In any case, if you do decide to read this manga, then I would recommend skipping the first story altogether, starting on the last one and maybe reading the middle story.
As for the artwork, I appreciate the work of Fujii Mitsuru. I can differentiate between the characters and the “sets” weren’t an eyesore. However, the style is early 2000’s, hence it isn’t as attractive as more modern manga.
In conclusion, the stories are hit and miss. In this regard, I find it difficult to recommend the anthology in its entirety. For those that do give it a read though, feel free to share your opinion in the comments section.