Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Volume 1 Review
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou:
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: When Usa Kazunari’s parents have to move for work, he manages to convince them to let him live on his own to continue studying at his current school. Just as he is starting this new independent life and moves into his new boarding house, he finds out that the boarding house, named Kawai Complex, is occupied by all sorts of weirdos and his new independant lifestyle may turn out to be not quite as lovely as he’d imagined all along.
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Though tagged as a romance, and starting off with our protagonist, Usa’s first encounter, or rather the first time he lays eyes upon the female protagonist, Bokura wa Minna Kawaiso is through and through an eclectic comedy. It’s the kind of comedy that comes from having really strange and exaggerated characters and in the case of Bokura wa, it’s the supporting characters that carry and provide most of if not all the comedy. Our main protagonists themselves might feel a little bland to most readers as Usa himself can feel like the generic straight guy who’s surrounded by a bunch of loonies and falls in love with our heroine, Ritsu based solely on her looks and his intense desire to have a girlfriend. Ritsu, on the other hand, starts off EXTREMELY introverted and has the emotional range and communication skills of a brick wall. She might prove frustrating to readers who prefer more expressive or spirited heroines but to her credit, she DOES slowly develop and display more of a personality as the story proceeds. Just be prepared to watch her remain immersed in her books and rather shy for most of the early parts of the story.
Getting back to the true comedy stars of the story, we have characters like Shirosaki, Kazunari’s roommate, who is a perverted masochist and Mayumi Nishikino, a borderline alcoholic office lady, who has is desperate to find ‘the one’ and despises other happy couples out of envy. There are other characters but we’ll limit our discussion to these two as they are the ones who make an appearance and leave an impact within the fist volume. Shirosaki is a bit typical if you have read or watched a lot of manga/anime in that he is one of those perverted characters who does everything except the legally punishable and despicable crimes. He’s constantly asking to be tied and verbally abused and shamelessly makes his arousal verbally obvious. He’s constantly suggesting all manners of inappropriate things to his roommate and it’s very quickly obvious that his perversion is meant to be a gag in and of itself, like so many characters before and after him. As perverted manga characters go, Shirosaki falls more on the inoffensive side and stands a better chance of amusing those who enjoy those kind of jokes.
Mayumi, too is another somewhat familiar stereotype as in the aging office woman who is turning desperate due to her bad luck and bad choices when it comes to men. She’s both desperate yet harsh at the same time, and her first meeting with Usa gives readers a good idea of exactly what kind of a person she is. Combined with Shirosaki, the two of them make an excellent source of comedy, stealing the spotlight most of the time.
Most of Bokura wa’s appeal comes from its comedy. Even the series summary blurb on Crunchyroll’s manga page claims the series is “An adolescent comedy with a 3:7 love to comedy ratio!”. That makes it obvious that comedy is the main and integral content of the story and while the romance is somewhat less prominent, it definitely is present throughout the story as we follows Usa’s attempts to grow closer to his dream girl, Ritsu. The romance development in the story is extremely slow and I can testify to it as someone who watched the entire anime adaptation of this series. Do NOT pick this series up if you’re looking for a romance heavy story as most of the time, you’ll be reading about the crazy and strange antics the residents of the Kawai Complex get themselves into. That said, the romance in the series feels very organic as there is no sudden and intense love scenarios but plenty of steady and awkward interactions that slowly bring our main couple together but not into a conventional romantic relationship like boyfriend and girlfriend.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaiso is the kind of story you read to relax and unwind. It’s got some hilariously weird characters and a very subtle romance that defies most standard definitions of romance. None of the characters are extremely original or remarkable but the combination of all these familiar stereotypes makes for a comforting and amusing read. If you like lively and eclectic characters who can be mean or oblivious, you’ll most likely find yourself being won over by the side characters and being disappointed by the insipid protagonists. Ultimately, I would recommend this to fans of slice of life comedies that deliver jokes through some extremely raunchy and kooky characters and to those who would enjoy a very, very slow and illusive romantic development. And for those who are up for it, you could try the anime adaptation as it has some great animation and injects some extra appeal to the series through the visuals alone.