Maga-Tsuki Volume 1 Review
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: 15 year old, Yasuke Arahabaki has been trying to confess his love to his childhood friend, Akari Inamori. However, when he accidentally breaks the family shrine’s sacred mirror,it releases a mysterious and busty young goddess named Seoritsuhime and unleashes her curse upon him. Now Yasuke finds himself forced to always remain in physical contact with Seoritsuhime for if he doesn’t, he dies and the only way to revive him is a kiss from this goddess of misfortune. How will Yasuke ever confess his love now that he has to spend his life attached to another girl?
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
If you haven’t already guessed it from the synopsis blurb, Maga-tsuki is a harem comedy…and a bit of a generic one to be honest. Harem manga has always come up with convoluted reasons for how or why the male protagonist becomes the centre of a harem of desirable females and so even having a somewhat peculiar premise doesn’t necessarily make Maga-Tsuki rise up from the eons of harem stories available in its medium. As a female reader, it wasn’t particularly endearing to have our first introduction to Yasuke Arahabaki be a display of his “psychic” like ability to correctly guess what panties a girl is wearing while he and his two buddies crouch underneath a staircase and look up the skirts of their passing female classmates. Yes, it’s done with a comedic tone and no, you’re not evil for chuckling at it. It just doesn’t make for the most charming lead introduction. In its defence, harem stories are generally aimed at a male readership so the intended audience might not necessarily have a negative reaction to it. And while Yasuke may not necessarily redeem himself completely within this volume itself, he comes off a lot less sleazy as the story continues.
When it comes to the other characters, almost everyone feels like classic harem fodder, You have the busty and carefree older sister who has no qualms about snuggling her 15 year old brother into her ample bosom and who acts as the catalyst and enabler for some of the more farfetched aspects of the story, Then you have the love interest, Akari Inamori, who’s clearly besotted with Yasuke, too shy to admit it to him openly but can’t control herself once she has competition. Then there’s harem participant number 2, Seoritsuhime or Orihime as she is later renamed in the story. Orihime is shy and timid and very very busty and probably many a young teenager’s wet dream. Wrapping the cast up, we have Danzou Matsubara and Eiichi Nitta, Yasuke’s close friends who for now, seem to exist mainly to be bitter about how he is surrounded by beautiful and desirable girls. None of the characters really sparkle with charisma, and if you’ve seen or read enough harem, none of them feel all that original either. They are all relegated to very one note personalities but since we’re only in the first volume, that isn’t necessary a major flaw as they still have plenty of time to grow and it wouldn’t be fair to harp on it too much.
One of my personal favourites about the story so far is a character I will keep under wraps for now to avoid spoiling too much. This character is surprisingly very supportive of the idea of Yasuke and Akari ending up together and acts with whole hearted gusto to help unite them. They’re pretty funny and adorable and you end up wanting their wish to come true just from how genuinely committed they are to that end goal. It could be just me though as I haven’t seen too many characters like this in harem stories and to be fair, I have only read and watched a handful of them.
Moving on to the art, a harem is often either mixed with action and /or comedy and in the case of Maga-Tsuki , it’s all about the comedy, Its art style and details are actually very appropriate for the humour and in some cases, they actually help to make tired old cliches feel somewhat funny thanks to the use of amusing freaked out expressions and reactions. It’s not ground breaking by any means, mind you but if you are a complete sucker for comedy in the form of over the top expressions like I am, you’re likely to find yourself somewhat amused by this volume. I have to emphasize though that you NEED to really, really enjoy such kind of comedy or be completely new to it because otherwise, it’s hard to ignore just how cliche and trite a lot, if not all, of it is.
When it comes to the story itself, there are harem cliches galore awaiting you. From our hero repeatedly getting himself into accidental kisses to waking up to find his face buried in breasts to our hero accidentally grabbing breasts, Maga-Tsuki has it all. Even when the story introduces a major new character, their personality and their role in the story will be easy to guess for seasoned readers. However, I will give the story props for including a decent final twist to the situation in the very first volume itself which might not necessarily redeem it completely for worn out readers, but should impress and engage new ones.
As negative as this review has been so far, I have to mention that I enjoyed reading its first volume for the most part. I’d credit that to my affinity for its exaggerated reactions and expressions art, and the fact that I love most comedies and haven’t read enough harem to be completely burned out on the cliches that plague it. So if you’re someone who fits that description as well, this manga is a decent time filler. However, if you are looking for a more unique harem series, this may not be the one for you.