Cafe Kichijouji de Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: 1-56970-947-5
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Cafe Kichijouji de Vol. #03

By Sakura Eries     July 26, 2006
Release Date: April 30, 2006

Cafe Kichijouji de Vol.#03
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by Yuki Miyamoto / Art by Kyoko Negishi
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
Adapted by:

What They Say
In this final volume of the series, the wackiness reaches fever pitch as the conflict between Taro the neat-freak and Maki the slob escalates into all-out war! The staff recounts how they spent their summer vacation, but mayhem erupts when Toku's summer homework assignment turns out to contain the item Minagawa had been searching for.

The gang is forced to enter a local athletic meet, where they much compete against the employees of other shops... or else! And finally... has Skekiyo the cat gone missing?! The guys had better find him before Minagawa's devastation affects them all!

The Review
Cafe Kichijouji kicks off this final volume with a six-page color fest! We get another glimpse into stressed boss Mitaka's dreams -- which includes a Cafe style magical fighting shoujo! Then it's back to work at the cafe... well, not really. With the arrival of summer, Mitaka gives everyone a few days off for vacation, and no sooner do they return than everyone starts squabbling over the unusual plant that Toku has brought back with him. Then it's out and out war when tensions between neat-freak Taro and super-slob Maki explode into pandemonium at the workplace. But the two of them are going to have to get over their differences for the annual shopping district athletic meet because, if they don't work together, they'll suffer the punishment that falls to the team that comes in last. Finally, Minagawa loses his customary cool when Sukekiyo the cat goes missing, and who knows what measures he'll take to get him back!

Overall, this title has been consistent in art quality, and I've really enjoyed Negishi's artwork. The content, however, was starting to get a bit stale. While Chapters 11, 13, and the final chapter served up fresh material (Toku versus the eels was pretty funny), Chapters 10 and 12 just felt like rehashed recycled material. Not that it wasn't entertaining, but a series can only go so far when there's zero character development. It's no surprise to me that Cafe Kichijouji is stopping at Volume 3.

A few of the color pages got bound too close to the spine, and a word got cut off at the bottom of page 19. However, I still gave it a high rating for packaging as all the other elements (colored pages, clean print job, and beautiful dust cover) were wonderfully done.

To sum up, Cafe Kichijouji de is a beautifully drawn series with an episodic comic storyline that has a broad audience appeal. There are a number of Japanese terms and cultural references that DMP unfortunately doesn't explain and won't be understood unless you're a Japanese native, a hard-core otaku, or have a helpful Japanese friend (like I do) who can explain to you who Otoha is or what an odaiba is. However, there is enough universal silliness going on at Cafe Kichijouji that even an average reader can enjoy it.


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