I bought this solely because Infinity Studios presentation rocks. The first volume was pretty bland and terrible, so I wasn’t expecting much out of this one. I was really surprised when things took a turn for the much better.
It’s still not all that good, and I’m still very conflicted since the main relationship involves a grade school girl, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Admittedly, her crush is one-sided and they handle it in the most tasteful way possible, but it still makes me feel bad reading it, especially since one of the gags involves the main character’s friend’s interest in “younger girls.” This has been toned down considerably since last time, but is still brought up once or twice.
The focus this time is mainly on fleshing out the main character’s two relationships, one that he wants, which is between him and a classmate, and one that he doesn’t want, which is between him and the girl next door he grew up with and is like his little sister. Because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, he pretends to be her boyfriend, but she acts very clingy and strange around him, so he has to decide whether or not to break the news to her that he doesn’t actually want to go out with her. For a comedy series, this part was surprisingly well-developed and looked at all sides of the issue in a very serious way. It completely changed my mind about the quality of the series.
There’s still lots of little gags that fall flat and things that are harped on endlessly, but there are a few things I found funny about it. The main female character launches an elaborate plot against her teacher to get him to change her class assignment, and that winds up to be pretty funny. At this point, I see it as a really bad comedy series with decent relationships.
This volume was also surprisingly hard to get, since for whatever reason it wasn’t in any of the comic stores around here or the online manga shops I use. I found it in BORDERS, of all places. Probably not worth digging up, but I liked it all the same.
So I’m basically just testing this out. Is it okay to talk about other publisher’s work in here? I assume it is. I bought Sweety after I’d been wanting something I could like from Infinity Studios for over a year. I must say I’m impressed with what I got. A lot of color pages, an insert, and a cute jacket along with some stiff paper, though the stiffness of the paper caused the binding to split down the center. Oh well. I liked their presentation just the same, probably the best of the stuff I got outside the Drawn and Quarterly.
The manga (or manhwa, I guess, it’s Korean), sadly, is very much like an anime where everyone overreacts in the most extreme way possible to every little thing, and it just misses the funny mark every single time it tries to make a joke. The plot, which is about a boy in High School who’s neighbor, a 6th grader, suddenly decides she’s going to date him the same day that the totally hot girl at school decides she’d like to date him, should probably have been a big red flashing warning light to me that I wouldn’t like it. The title being Sweety though… that made me think it was going to be a little more romantic and less of a comedy. It’s gross comedy, though. Everyone calls the main character a pedophile, and there are pages after pages of those jokes. He’s got a best friend who IS a pedophile, of course, and he just likes spreading the rumors. The rumors start when the little girl kisses him at the school gates and, of course, everyone jumps to conclusions and assume he’s a kiddie fiddler. I hate these types of things. I’ll probably get volume two… let’s see… no idea how long it is, but for someone who is a completist, I probably won’t stick with it long unless it shapes up.
The one thing I did kinda like about it was Yu-Ri’s dad. He was way, way stereotyped, but the fact he was a psycho-protective mob boss that beat up the gorilla faced kid was pretty funny.
It’s a real stinker. It’s an extreme disrespect that few manga feel when I stop collecting them. This one’s just THAT BAD.