Sunday, December 19, 2010

Manga Review: Aoi House

From what I found on tvtropes (which I suppose counts as my place of recommendation, it's more like the manga was online legally so I gave it a whirl) this was originally a webcomic that got picked up and a new artist when it got a print format*. So I'm calling it a manga and it's clearly meant to be read like a manga, right to left, and doesn't have a single drop of western comic ink in it.

Aoi House
 Summary: No it's not "blue house," it's the Yaoi House (the Y fell off), a college club with it's own house that needs more members and Alex and Sandy just got kicked out of their dorm. Did I mention that all the inhabitants of Aoi House are yaoi obsessed girls and Alex and Sandy are very straight boys? Hijinks of every imaginable, over the top kind ensue.

The Good: Well, if you're going to go over the top you may as well go waaaay over the top andbe done with it. Plus it was kinda cool that the series had so many little shout-outs (mostly visual) and the characters weren't preoccupied with pointing all of them out, it was more like a game for the viewer to see what they noticed.

The Bad: Even though it's fun that the series is over the top and unabashedly over the top, by the end it has almost no connection to the real world and, considering it started out with some it's a bit off-putting. Never been a huge fan of over the top stuff anyway but I was going to relegate this to "amusing for the moment, won't remember in a month" until I got to the ending. I don't know if the creator got bored and decided to end it in one chapter or if the editor told them they had to end it within a chapter but geeze, that was the worst wrap-up ever. Suddenly it's fast-forwarding through the rest of their college years and then it's a "where are they now?" epilogue for 10 or 15 pages. It was annoying and unsatisfying, at least I'll remember the series a little longer for that.

The Art: I'll never get why Western comic artists draw their stories right to left instead of left to right (I just don't see any reason for it) but there's nothing really wrong with the art style itself. Sure it's a pretty generic managa style that doesn't have any flares of it's own (except to look even more manga like than a lot of Japanese manga-ka now that I think about it). It works for the story at hand though, just wish it had been a little more innovative.

So, not much to talk about actually. I noticed the print copy in a store after I read it but don't feel any reason to buy it. I did read it legally online so no guilt over it either, and the set up for reading is okay. It's not flash based (thank god, although shojo beat has a decent flash reader set up) but you couldn't click the page or use the arrow keys to scroll forward which was annoying. So, nothing worth writing home about or reading unless you're really bored, there are much better comics about the various fans within the nerdom.

*And from what I found of the original the new artist was a good idea.