July 5, 2015
Maki Murakami – Tokyopop – 2004 – 12 volumes
It’s been years since I read this series. I read volume 6, then waited so long to review it that I was going to have to re-read it, then I realized I’d have to re-read the first half of the series. And this series is… dated, to put it mildly. Very nineties. Dated humor, dated art style, and… kind of annoying to read. I could not convince myself to start over, but I’ve been re-reading a lot of my favorites lately, and I remembered really liking Gravitation. On the other hand, I couldn’t get back into Fake (which is basically the same thing, except toned down 100x), so it took me a long time to pick this back up.
If you haven’t read manga from the nineties, I wouldn’t start here. If you have, you know there’s nothing quite like it. I’m generally annoyed by this kind of bombastic humor, but Gravitation passes good taste then keeps going. It got a couple chuckles out of me, even after the re-read.
Anyway, I’ve talked about the other volumes. Volume 6 (much like every other volume) offers us a huge turning point in the series. The main conflict here is that the cooking show fiasco from last volume, despite not making it to the television air waves, was captured by a photographer in the audience. So Eiri Yuki and Shuichi Shindo were caught kissing on camera, nevermind that it was actually Eiri’s brother. Everyone wants to ride this for publicity, which really upsets Hiro, who doesn’t want to exploit his best friend’s feelings for some quick sales.
Hiro and Shuichi’s friendship really is the best. Seriously. Few series really capture best buddies like these two.
Meanwhile, the press is stationed outside Eiri’s house, with Shuichi inside. Shuichi wants everything to go away. Eiri arrives from out-of-country… and Shuichi does something stupid. Then Eiri does something stupid.
Because this series is all about doing stupid things.
Even Maki Murakami seems slightly put off by how over-the-top this series is. That’s how you know it’s good. I’ve only been skimming her author’s notes, but they are solid gold.