Video Girl Ai 15

Yeah, Len’s story was just cute and short all the way through.  It was a good length, the ending was touching, and everyone seemed happy in the end.  The only thing was that they tried to pull a Moemi moment with the main couple where the girl is cornered by a bunch of dudes and molested, but that apparently… phased the girl less than I thought it would.  Better not to dwell on it, I suppose.  Even with what happened, I was still a little freaked out the girl didn’t have more of a reaction.

Haruno’s story was… bad.  It was badly drawn, and the characters weren’t very good.  The story was okay I suppose.  The plot was that the broken video girl puts the main character through test dates for two weeks, then when the actual date rolls around, the girl he was in love with… tells him something he didn’t know.  Haruno was actually a pretty cool video girl, though Len was better.  Ai, Mai, Len, and Haruno.  I wish… nah, the series is over now, I’m done with it.  I’m thinking of picking up the 4C artbook though, because I do love his color artwork.

One thing that I sort of had a question about in Len’s story was the use and misuse of expressions. Were they Japanese expressions that were adapted to the English language with rough equivalents?  Or were the characters using the actual English expressions, and that’s why they kept messing up?  Hm.  The world will never know.


Video Girl Ai 14

Len’s story is actually really good.  It’s a lot different than Ai and Yota’s story, I was really afraid it was going to be a rehash.  We get some familiar faces (Yota and the Clerk), but the rest of the characters are new, and they even feature different personalities than the main character’s of Ai’s story, unlike the cast of I”s.

Len is a lot like Ai, though.  The situation is totally different, though.  Instead of being shot down by women (which did happen, to be fair), the main character this time around hates girls because they do things like gobble their food and puke and perform other gross bodily functions.  He can’t deal with what the girl he has a crush on has to offer, so to speak.

The friends this time around are quite lively and on the main character’s side, too.  This story’s much lighter and lively than Ai, and I’m kind of pleased by its short nature.  Can’t wait to finish this one off and see Haruno, the third Video Girl take… though since Haruno is a prototype story for Ai, I have a feeling that it’ll be pretty close to Ai.


Video Girl Ai 13

So here’s the end of the main story.  The last two volumes deal with unrelated characters.  No more Yota, Ai, Moemi, Takashi, or Nobuko.  Ever. They all came back for this volume.  Even Nobuko, who we haven’t seen in forever.  She’s got a slightly different haircut now that Moemi looks like her.

I wasn’t entirely clear on what Roleck’s plan was in the end, and I think it was kind of silly to cram all that into the last volume, but it didn’t feel rushed or even like it was unexplained.  I have a feeling his plan was exactly what happened, but I was really confused as to the process that went behind it and how it was stopped, how the last thing that happened actually happened, things like that.

But the ending made me cry despite my boredom with the later volumes of this series.  I’m glad what happened did happened.   I still like it an awful lot too, and it’s probably the best shounen romance I’ve read.  I’ve still got two volumes left technically, so let’s see how those go.


Video Girl Ai 12

This series is good once again.  This volume had a ton of good romance and drama, and finally the characters talked face to face about their problems and get somewhere.  Moemi has an identity crisis which I was not happy with, but much progress is made between Yota and Ai, and there’s a very cute scene where the two celebrate a birthday.

I’m not so big on the promised drama from Roleck (apparently the man in the trenchcoat), who PROMISED if Ai fell in love she would be human.  I’m not too worried about it though, because we’ve only got one volume left, so he can’t stir up too much stuff.

Another character is introduced, a bearded guy who seems to be the main boss of Gokuraku and all associated Video Girl technology.  Past acknowledging he exsists, I’m not sure why he was brought in at that late date.

Plenty of funny comes back, too.  There’s one particular page in this volume (where Moemi climbs up on top of the school), which reminded me why I like Masakazu Katsura so much.


Video Girl Ai 11

Yay!  Finally the plot is moving somewhere.  There is a flurry of activity around Natsuki, a character that I liked but was barely mentioned.  For whatever reason, she was the cause for climax in the series, and it finally feels like everything’s going to wind down.

There are more or less two volumes left, if I am not mistaken, and in this time, if things are going to end on the Ai-centric note I’m rooting for, Youta has to break up with Moemi and start going out with Ai more.  Also, apparently they’re not going to drop the dream of writing the children’s book that’s been here off and on since the beginning, so it’ll be nice to see how that resolves itself too.

After the stagnation that’s been happening in the last few volumes, I was kind of happy to see this extremely sad volume.  Though, like I said, I liked Natsuki, I’m glad it finally got the series moving again and I can forsee a lot of action leading right up until the end.  It’ll be nice to read Len and Haruno’s story too.


Video Girl Ai 10

I’m starting to enjoy this series less and less as it drags its feet and keeps bringing up the same problems the characters have had all along.  Moemi cheating and tricking Yota the way she did in this volume put me off quite a bit, as Moemi is never described as being that manipulative before.  The entire scene with Moemi teasing Yota lasted entirely too long, though I know it was just fanservice and it is a Katsura manga.

I really also didn’t like the funk Ai was in the entire volume.  Nothing happened to pull her out of this funk, and really, I feel like nothing happened at all either plot or character-wise other than us finding out more about Ai’s current situation with her creator.  We also get a re-introduction to Takashi.  I don’t know how I feel about this, because what he did and the way he was abruptly dismissed from the series felt very wrong, but I don’t really want him around because I want the plot to advance, not more drama unfolding.

Yota and Ai’s various hits and misses were also annoying, and I really wished that the two would just meet up and talk things out.  As much as I wanted Yota and Moemi to get together at the beginning… it just doesn’t feel right here.  It’s soured for me since it happened, and I really hope other things start going on soon.


Video Girl Ai 09

I haven’t read this series in forever.  I think I forgot I had the rest of it until I was pulling out all my finished series to store at my parent’s house.

Volume 9 made me remember why I hadn’t been reading it.  The relationships in this series go absolutely nowhere, and yet it’s like crack.  Youta’s a limp noodle, Moemi’s neurotic, and none of the characters seem to have any backbone except Ai, who doesn’t stand up for herself anyway.  This volume was like a clips episode with the amount of memories everyone drug up, and I was so mad when Youta and Moemi were ruining their relationship throughout.  How is it that two characters try for 9 volumes to go out, go out, and then ruin it for each other?  Only in manga, people.

Now that I’ve remembered this series, I’ll probably blow through the rest of the volumes.  Though she’s used as a character almost never, I’m really looking forward to volume 11 with Natsuki.  I’m also looking forward to the resolution, as I don’t know whether to root for Moemi or Ai anymore.  I want them to all live in the same house and love each other equally, dammit.

This was one of the series that made me realized that shounen could be girly too.  I was in absolute denial of the manly nature of this series (though I was well aware of the ample fanservice) for a long time, and was even more shocked to find out it ran in Shounen Jump.  Totally not a Jump series, but it has been running a bit on the long side and retreading old ground for awhile now.  That should have been a tipoff.


Video Girl Ai 08

There is significantly less Natsuki than I’d like. Also significantly less YoutaxAi, and it sounds like things are brewing and becoming bad again, because Takeshi’s still hanging around, Moemi and Youta might not be very sunny… etc.

This volume just didn’t sit right with me in general. Now that the series is going down the path it was originally supposed to take, something feels too WRONG about it. Sure, things are brewing, but nothing’s happening. This isn’t Video Girl Ai without the drama, and everything’s going too goddamn good at the moment. Well, at least we get to see Youta happy, because God knows he deserves it. The one thing that did actually happen was to Ai, which was the last thing I wanted. She’s my favorite character, and although I love Youta, he’s too lame to be my favorite and I wish much less harm to Ai.

The next volume looks like it might be a bit tedious, but at least something will happen, and that something will probably bring Youta and Ai closer together at least… or hopefully, anyway. I’m having trouble finding 9, goddammit. I may have to order it from the internet.


Video Girl Ai 7

Masakazu Katsura – Viz – 2005 – 15 volumes
(this is the “shounen” edition, there are older, larger editions of the first several volumes of this series circa 2000)

I was sort of confused… it says that this volume had all the last Animerica Extra installments in it, but I don’t remember anything about the aftermath of Moemi’s encounter… and I thought the last thing that was in the magazine was Youta giving Takashi the cold shoulder afterwards. But that was years ago, and I have a faulty memory. Either way, we get either new stuff or the last of the stuff I’ve seen here, so I’m happy.

What I wasn’t so happy about was everyone’s resolve at the end of the volume to “go back to the beginning.” In the words of Jotaro Kujo, who gets a review written right after I finish this one, “Give me a $&*@ break…”

Not much Natsuki here, which made me a bit sad since I like her a lot, but I LOVED how things are working out for Ai as far as the Creator goes, now she’s the one that’s got to make it work. I’m also glad that Youta’s other girlfriend hasn’t reappeared, because I didn’t like her. And I liked the beginning of the volume a lot… but, like I said, Moemi reappeared, then the entire series just looped back around on itself. Dammit.

Well, we’ll see where this goes. It certainly can’t repeat itself. After all, Natsuki’s here now.


Video Girl Ai 6

Masakazu Katsura – Viz – 2005 – 15 volumes
(this is the “shounen” edition, there are older, larger editions of the first several volumes of this series circa 2000)

You know, I had thought the Animerica Extra serialization had ended with this volume… but I was wrong. It may have ended with the next volume, which makes me sad because I was hoping for some new stuff. But I’ll finally find out what happened to Moemi that one time after all these years. I should probably talk about that when the time comes, though.

I think I liked Moemi, and I’m glad she re-enters the story here. I’ve never liked Takahashi, on the other hand, and even knowing future events, he’s always been a jerk. I do like Natsue, because she’s awesome and it’s hard not to like Natsue. I also like the brawl that occurs at the end of this volume. I do not like this stuff going on still between Youta and Nobuko though. Is it over YET?


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