Kimi Wo Shinryakuseyo (Invade You) 001-003 – Manga Review

Synopsis: Hajime is a young Kayzian boy, an alien who was raised on Earth after his parents visited the planet. He does normal things like normal boys– he has friends, and sometimes he even runs late to school. Luckily, Kayzians are shape-shifters, so when he’s running a little late, he can just hitch a ride from someone else by transforming and hiding in their bag.

Aiba is a young human girl, and a curious one, at that. She walks in on Hajime just as he finished transforming, which makes her suspect that he’s an alien! He vehemently denies it, but Aiba is positive that she’s discovered something amazing and won’t stop trying to prove that he’s an alien!

Will Hajime dodge Aiba’s attempts to uncover the truth and live life as a normal human in disguise or will Aiba get her way? Only time will tell! (Official Shonen Jump Synopsis.)

Warning: Spoilers to Follow:

Review:

Kimi Wo Shinryakuseyo (Invade You) gets started right away. Direct exposition sets up the scenario in just a few pages, plus a few quick scenes to establish the entire series premise: Aiba, a rather dim-witted girl, becomes obsessed with exposing Hajime for the alien he is. The premise is simple, perhaps dangerously so, making it easy for the series to jump in and give us a clear idea of the basic concept week to week: Aiba seeks to expose Hajime, and he frantically works to keep his secrets hidden.

A number of these Jump Starts do a bad job setting up expectations, or have unwieldy enough plots that it takes three, or perhaps more, chapters to really set in stone the kind of series it’s going to be. Like most manga, it’s not until Chapter 3 that Invade You starts to show something resembling promise.

References.

Being a gag manga, Invade You is a lot more hit or miss than the Battle Shonen that liter Jump’s pages. In fact even the most popular of gag manga tend to sit middle of the pack in terms of readership approval. Invade You seems no different, producing plenty of gags that’ll carry a heavy ‘your mileage may vary’ element.

Invade You chooses to produce half of its comedy from sexual misunderstandings and body humor. It’s within the first chapter alone that both Aiba and Hajime end up in sexually compromising positions for side characters to walk in on. The 2nd chapter doesn’t do much to dissuade this notion, and it’s only in the 3rd and last chapter offered as part of the Jump Start service that we see the manga start to move away from that well. Because of its obsession with bawdy humor, Invade You is likely going to be a divisive title. But for me that isn’t the greatest issue.

To be fair, Nipples do look like buttons that should activate something.

The real problem is Invade You seems like an inferior version of Saiki K. A young man, with abnormal abilities, is trying to live his life as any normal person, but is constantly struggling to keep the truth of his powers a secret. Saiki K gradually becomes more about Saiki trying to avoid dealing with the nutters in his life in general, but the basic set up is the same. Invade You is so much more laid-back however, and seems to largely consist of two wells for to draw humor from: Aiba’s sheer ineptitude and Hajime’s outlandish attempts to hide the alien aspects of his life. Couple this with a generally laid back tone, the usual meek lead vs the crazy girl, and you’ve got a series that’s ‘okay’ at best. It doesn’t do anything inherently wrong, but it’s lack of clever gags, adherence to tried and true formula, and failure to subvert expectations, creates an atmosphere of indifference for what the manga does manage to offer.

Comedy feels mild, lacking in punch either due to delivery or the art itself. Most gag manga don’t boast incredible art, and when they don’t it’s even more important the writing feel snappy and engaging. The trouble is this is where Invade You’s simplistic premise kinda buckles. Because the set up is so simple it’s important that greater and greater complications start to arise. While that does sort of happen (Chapter 2 sees the introduction of Hajime’s alien dog and the efforts to keep him under wraps) It largely feels like the same type of gags we saw in Chapter 1. Comedy is about variety, and it’s important in a burgeoning series that we see off-shoots of that initial comedic strain, so we know the series has legs and depth to draw from. This can be anything from completely different veins of humor, to branch offs of the main offering. What Invade You does offer tends to start to feel predictable half way through Chapter 2.

Don’t worry folks! Nothing lewd going on here, juuuust a comical misunderstanding!

It’s only in Chapter 3 that Invade You starts to perhaps show more promise, really like most of these Jump Starts. We see that there’s a little bit of a harem component, as another girl, a childhood friend and school president, has an extreme interest in Hajime. There’s a bit more varied comedy here, offering more than “boy Aiba is stupid” and Hajime’s “Oh no! more outlandish alien things about me could threaten to expose my existence!” It’s not much, and both those two main wells are drawn from a lot, but it’s enough to make me wish we were getting another chapter, or two, to see if this series continues to grow.

Ultimately Invade You isn’t by any means a bad series, just an okay one. Much like Momiji I don’t have high hopes for this series surviving long in Jump’s cut throat landscape, at least based off these chapters. While it’s still a shame we only get these 3 chapters to tease us, and never get to experience these new manga to completion, I don’t think Invade You is long for this world anyway.

That’s it for today. Please let me know your thoughts on Kimi Wo Shinryakuseyo! (Invade You) in the comments below!

Kimi Wo Shinryakuseyo (Invade You) is published as a Jump Start in Shonen Jump.

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