Joshi Kausei Volume 1 Review
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: Joshi Kausei shows us the everyday life and friendship between three high school girls using zero dialogue, a handful of expositional introduction sentences, and lots of adorable expressions and panels. It features the pretty and silly Momoko, the cool and collected Shibumi and finally the cute and innocent Mayumi who hope to win their way into your heart through their silent escapades.
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Joshi Kausei is a very unique manga right off the bat as it does not feature ANY dialogues from the protagonists, relying more on visuals and drawn sound effects to tell its simplistic little tales. That in turn makes for a rather novel reading experience as most people are so used to relying more on words to explain what is happening rather than the images themselves, even in manga. The ‘plot’ of never gets super complicated which is expected and the manga DOES use some exposition on its title card pages to set the scene for what to expect in the ensuing chapter or to lay down some background..like telling the reader they are about to witness the very first meeting between two of its protagonists and how their friendship came to be.
The ‘picture book’ feel of the manga is actually rather calming and amusing at the same time. The expressions and reactions of the characters are drawn very clearly helping the viewers to understand not just the joke but also the personalities of the characters. It’s like watching a mime in some ways..cute mimes but mimes none the less as you watch three girls react to each other and communicate through nothing but actions and expressions.
The art in the series is very detailed and well done, which is necessary since it relies so heavily and completely on its visuals. Amusingly enough, there’s even a panel that ‘features’ a background music. The name of the song is just written down in the panel and it’s rather amusing for a manga to have background music for a specific panel. The girls are drawn well, and so far, never in a sleazy, revealing angle that one might fear from a series bragging of featuring three girls. Their personalities are very noticeable and discernible in the manga and there’s no question who is who at any point of the story. Though on a more basic level, it does help that they all have different hairstyles and one of them wears glasses.
Overall, Joshi Kausei is for lovers of the silly cuteness that only manga and anime is able to pull off so well. These girls are constantly engaging in playful activities, turning the mundane into a mirth filled incident. It’s the kind of story one could pick up when in need of a quick smile and a simple distraction. Its art is competent and stands up to the challenge of being its main form of story telling and information dispersion.
While the girls are somewhat limited to their simple personalities, in such a simple story, it doesn’t feel like much of a crime for them to be confined to their one note quirks. Their friendship is sweet and fun, and might even have you missing or longing for friends like them. It might not win any literary prizes but it does win points for standing out from the crowd with its silent style and eye catching art. Ultimately, if you like simple and cute slice of life stories, give Joshi Kausei a chance and prepare to witness some adorable and goofy high jinks but if you generally prefer more intense or complicated and intellectual reads, you might struggle to see the charm of this silent manga.
Joshi Kausei is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com.