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Review: Welcome to Wakaba-Soh (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Chaco Abeno
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: June 2009

Synopsis: “In the throes of his first love, Kentarou Sawai can’t even count on beginner’s luck to get him closer to Karen Toguin, the girl of his dreams. When he spontaneously enrolls in Karen’s high school just to be closer to her, his hopes are crushed when it turns out she’s on a leave of absence! Now poor, luckless Kentarou is stuck in a dorm full of girls who aren’t Karen and insist on pushing Kentarou to the brink of insanity! Can Kentarou hold on to his love for Karen, or will his new living experience make him swear off all women for good?!”

I think the first thing that really grabbed my attention about this book was the art. It’s fairly standard to the manga style, but it’s incredibly clean and crisp, which is always nice to see. The book is laid out very nicely, with each episodic chapter easy to read. Sadly, though, there isn’t a whole lot of plot to drive this story. It’s based on stereotypical gimmicks and situations that are, again, standard in the genre.

A classic harem manga, this volume mostly follows Kentarou Sawai. He’s fallen for a beautiful girl named Karen Toguin, and so has transferred to her school. This, of course, leads to him living in a boarding house that is primarily populated by girls going to his school. We mustn’t forget that his uncle, who is also his art teacher, also lives there if only for the sole purpose of pointing out his flaws and talking about how he was at a younger age.

I would offer more plot twists, but as there are so few, I fear that going over any of them would spoil what thin plot veils this fan-service. Don’t get me wrong, I am still pleased with this book. It’s simply that so many of its type have already been released and this one simply doesn’t offer anything new. It’s cute, it’s clean, and it certainly offers a laugh or two. It just completely lacks in originality.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone just starting out with manga of this type, or for anyone who can’t get enough of series like Love Hina. Personally though, as cute as it is, I’d rather just leave this one on the shelf and read something with a little more plot.

Review written July 29, 2009 by Shevaun Morrison
Book provided by Yen Press for review purposes

Shevaun Morrison

About the Author:

Shev considers herself easily distracted, and usually rather excitable. She doesn't really have a favorite type of anime or manga but will read or watch just about anything. Although she does have a tendency to like things that are extra shiny And/or have a punk/gothic look to it. Shevaun's a role-play nerd, and loves RPG video games too.

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