Animal Academy meanders along, just enjoying the sunshine and feeling good.
Writer/Artist: Moyamu Fujino
Translation: Alexis Kirsch
Adaptation: Ysabet MacFarlane
What They Say
The fun never stops at Morimori High School! Fune and friends are settling in to their classes and dorm life, but there are plenty of surprises in store as Fune learns more about the strange school rules, as well as some of its more mysterious students. And when it comes time to pick extra-curriculars? What will Fune do?!
There aren't as many introductions to be made in this second volume of Animal Academy, but apart from that this volume is much like the first. It has a story, and the story is going somewhere, but it's taking its own sweet time about it. This may turn away some readers, but I'm finding the series a refreshing one to turn to. It's just so...so pleasant.
Much of the story time the book has to offer is taken up in simple activities. The progression from the first volume is logical: that one was concerned with getting to meet people, this one with getting to know them. We see more friendships beginning to form; and they form just the way they tend to do in normal, real-world schools - by common participation in the ordinary daily activities. We're not shown daring adventures or exaggerated hijinks (even if a few characters do slip off the school grounds for a short while). It's the small things that count: helping classmates out, looking for lost items, trying to figure out which club to join, calling home for the first time, dealing with the first grade reports, trying to fulfill club requirements. The larger questions raised about the school and some of the people in it are only barely adressed. The identity of that peculiar snake who continues to pop up now and again is the only real item of mystery that the volume attempts. Even Fune's secret human identity is barely an issue.
Animal Academy is a kind of oasis for me among more ambitious, but not necessarily more enjoyable, stories. Every now and again I start to feel like every manga I try to read wants to put me through the emotional wringer. Animal Academy is best for those times when you just want to kick back and relax for a couple of hundred pages. The point isn't watching great events unfold or seeing people do shocking or incredible things. The point is, as the lead character puts it, "just enjoying the warmth." And sometimes that's a pretty good thing to do.