ReCollection Chapters 1-3 Manga Review
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: Natsume Kanade wakes up to find several distressing things. One, he has amnesia. Two, he has a splitting headache and three, there’s a strange guy who won’t leave him alone and claims to be God living with him. “God” explains to Kanade that as long as he does what “God” tells him to, he will help recover his memories. Unfortunately, “God” seems in no rush to actually do that so Kanade is forced to do his best to figure it all out while dealing with this strange man, his apparent job as a highschool teacher, and all the people in his life who seem to have no idea about the trauma he is going through.
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
First up, let’s get the bad news out of the way. ReCollection only has 3 chapters out on Crunchyroll and seems nowhere close to being complete and doesn’t seem to have been updated anytime recently so if you pick this series up, prepare to be left hanging abruptly up in the air. That said, here’s the good. The 3 chapters you do get have a fair amount of content so you do get to really dive into the story though it is only 3 chapters at the end of the day so do not get your hopes up. This series is written by Ichigo Takano, the author for the manga turned anime, Orange and if you loved Orange, you will most likely be curious enough to check this one out as well as it does have her particular style and touch. The art style is very pretty and romantic to look at in some ways as everyone is drawn very attractive and they are drawn in clothes that ooze with style and whimsy but with none of those excessive sparkle and flowery effects one often sees in Shoujo and Josei. And the story introduces such a huge mystery right from the get go that you find yourself reading on wanting some answers too.
Kanade Natsume is the centre of this story and for the most part is a decent lead. While he isn’t oozing with morality and heroism, he earns your sympathy and interest because of his amnesia. Even when he behaves in a questionable manner, most readers should be able to forgive or understand that he is just a lost and confused person trying to get to the bottom of things. When he repeatedly struggles to take charge and rein in a classroom full of unruly high school kids, it makes sense. Anyone suddenly thrust into a life and body they can’t remember would most likely be more busy freaking out and trying to understand what is going on rather than playing the role of teacher that has been sprung on them out of the blue. Similarly, whenever there’s any situation presented to him and he acts in an irresponsible manner, it’s easier to overlook it or even warm up to him out of a feeling of sympathy.
Because the story is so heavily centred on Kanade and because we only have 3 chapters of this story, the other characters have a lot less time spent on introducing and exploring them but their interactions with Kanade are enough to give readers an idea of their personality. “God” is mysterious, dresses a bit like a hipster/K-pop boy band member on a casual photoshoot, and seems to be hiding some secrets of his own. Kanade’s girlfriend, Toyo Enoki is a bit of a tsundere, refusing to accept that Kanade genuinely has amnesia yet refusing to break up with him either. There’s a third character, one of Kanade’s students named Masaoka who turns out to be the only other person who can see “God” besides Kanade himself. These are the characters who seem like they would have had the most impact on the story had it continued but sadly, that ship might have sailed.
Going back to the story itself, it has a nice balance of comedy and mystery, using its comedy to lighten the mood and entertain you while the mystery gets you invested. The comedy is used at appropriate times and while the jokes may not have you burst out laughing or may not be the most original, they are still amusing. The mystery works well to help you warm up to and understand the protagonist and help you stay engaged. But ReCollection also features certain themes/topics that might make some readers uncomfortable, mainly the fact that Kanade is dating one of his high school students, something that’s a big taboo , especially in Western society. There’s no explicit interactions between them and ReCollection makes it seem like Kanade mainly dated Toyo because she wouldn’t stop pursuing him romantically rather than because of any romantic feelings towards her. But I figured I should mention it to anyone who might take issue with it all the same.
Now, should you read ReCollection? The fact that it is an abandoned/gone on forever hiatus series alone is a huge deterrent to recommending it to anyone. There is no best/worst case scenario. Either you read a bit and hate it, or you love it but are left hanging after chapter 3 before the story even had a proper chance to truly go anywhere. If you are one of the rare few who don’t mind picking up a story that may never be continued, or you enjoyed Orange a lot, or you simply enjoy slice of life stories that also happen to have a tinge of supernatural mystery, you could give this series a shot. Other than that, it may be best to leave ReCollection alone.
ReCollection is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com.