Gravitation 3

February 29, 2012

Maki Murakami – Tokyopop – 2003 – 12 volumes

You win, Gravitation. The sense of humor really is the best thing about this series. It’s ridiculously dated, it’s really loud and obnoxious, and the jokes are not funny. By all rights, I should hate it. I hate series that are this over the top. But there’s, like, ten jokes per page. It keeps trying, and every time Shuichi turns around a freaks out, it gets a little funnier because it just happens so often, and the other characters simply take it in stride. Forays like the quiz show in this volume, meant to promote Shuichi and Hiro’s band, would be only mildly amusing in any other series. Here, it’s the absolute best fit. Shuichi and Hiro’s hyper personalities really do fit that of flamboyant celebrities, too, so it makes sense that they’re allowed to run as wild as they want.

And it’s romantic! The storyline with Yuki’s fiancee wraps up here, but it goes down much differently than usual. Yuki is as stoic and noncommittal to Shuichi as ever, but he gives back just enough to make Shuichi and the reader happy. Not that Shuichi cares. As Yuki has pointed out before, it doesn’t really matter to Shuichi whether or not Yuki loves him back, he simply continues to force his love on the man. In a prime example, Shuichi randomly shows up at Yuki’s house one morning with all his stuff and declares that he’s going to move in. Yuki protests strenuously, but then simply gives in to Shuichi’s high energy. Of course, Shuichi is melodramatic and over-the-top, as always, and it makes the scene even better than it needs to be.

A very dangerous rivalry with Ask surfaces in this volume. Ask is the band that was scouted from the concert that Bad Luck played at back in volume one, and this volume reveals that Ask is composed of several of the worst jerks imaginable. Shuichi seems unperturbed by their suggestions that Bad Luck is nowhere near their level, but the lead singer of Ask takes it upon himself to dig for the truth about the relationship between Shuichi and Yuki.

Speaking of creeps… Tohma. The president of Shuichi’s record label. He seems to have all the answers to everything, and is best friends with Yuki and married to his sister. What’s more, he… strangely seems to be on the side of Yuki and Shuichi’s relationship. But there’s something inherently creepy about his smiling face. I can’t explain it. I suspect he will do something insane later on in the series.

In the grand tradition of sad series of romantic music-themed love stories like Sensual Phrase and Zetsuai, Gravitation is way funnier. And that’s why it’s awesome.

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