Suihelibe 2

April 1, 2009

I bought this because the same urge inside of me that makes it so I have to review every single volume of manga I read individually compels me to finish a 2-volume series I started, no matter how uninterested in it I am.

It’s not that this is a bad series.  It’s actually a pretty fun all ages title, but it’s the sort of thing a kid would get more out of than I would.  There’s cute little crushes between some of the characters, a school festival complete with dinosaur quiz, and even some friendship-building stuff like a Christmas party and a final exam-type situation for Lan that all the members of the biology club help her out with as unobtrusively as possible, since she’s supposed to be doing everything herself.

There’s still some cute and quirky jokes, and I really like the animals, or noidys/noidies (singular: noidy).  They are kind of cute and sometimes disturbing creatures that remind me a little of the cards from Cardcaptor Sakura.  Part of that association might have something to do with Lan’s tool that changes her into different costumes depending on the noidy, though.  That part was a LOT like Cardcaptor Sakura.

It’s just shallow fun.  It does what it does well, but there are better light humor series.  Probably there’s not many available in the all ages category though, and I like it when I see series like this for younger kids.  I just… sometimes don’t like reading them myself.

Suihelibe 1

October 31, 2008

UPDATE: I just got the finished volume, so I can say a little something about the art now, too (arcs are generally not good for showing off the art in a series).  It’s pretty cute and functional, with special care given to the various goofy animals that appear throughout the volume.  Plus, it’s got color pages, which is always very much appreciated.

This is another ARC from CMX, this time the title looks to have an October 29th release date.  The title is kind of weird.  It seems to be a contraction based on the first four elements of the periodic table, except the Japanese word for hydrogen, “suiso,” is used.  If nothing else, I learned something, because I had to look up the Japanese word for hydrogen when I started reading this so it wouldn’t drive me crazy.

Basically, a cute alien girl lands and causes a bit of mischief that only the main character sees.  He is somehow drafted into the Biology club as the only member, and in the position of club president and only member, he decides to stand up against student council to save the club.  He needs to get five members, and right away the cute alien girl joins as a new transfer student.  The girl’s mission on earth is to collect stray animal species from her planet.  Though these can be dangerous, they’re usually kind of goofy animals doing various weird things.  While doing this, the pair gradually finds new friends and recruits more members for the club.

It’s comparable to Kiichi and the Magic Books in that it’s a great title for kids.  There’s not much substance to the story, so it’s not likely something that adults will get hooked on, but I kind of like titles like this because I can sell them to kids at book fairs without guiltily thinking about all the breast jokes and panty shots the book may contain.  There aren’t very many titles I’ve read that I would feel good giving to little kids, but this and Kiichi are good because not only are they free of any objectionable content, the stories are also fairly engaging.  It’s shallow, but a fun read, so it’s something that wouldn’t be a chore for parents to go through with their kids.  While I don’t work with kids or have any children of my own, it’s still something I can appreciate.

For my own purposes… well, I liked Kiichi, because I like that kind of story, but light comedies like this are not so much my thing.  I got pretty excited because there’s a really weird, WEIRD joke on one of the first pages about one of the alien creatures (in this case, a bunny) growing to gigantic size and getting really funny/horrible expressions on its face, but the visual gags are kept to a minimum after that, unfortunately.  There’s a lot of random dialogue humor, which is okay (and sometimes pretty funny), but again, not really my thing, and more aimed at kids.  The plot is also sort of without direction at the moment.  The alien girl will continue to collect specimens, and the other characters have various slight goals, but nothing that really contributes to the direction of the series.  The characters are also very shallow, which isn’t a bad thing considering this isn’t meant to be a deep story, but there really wasn’t much for me to latch on to.

In short: light comedy, some funny jokes, great for kids, but kind of shallow and not really my thing.

July 6th 3:10