Camera Camera Camera Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B/B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-56970-757-X
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Camera Camera Camera

Camera Camera Camera Vol. #01

By Briana Lawrence     February 19, 2008
Release Date: November 30, 2007

Camera Camera Camera Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazura Matsumoto
Translated by:Digital Manga Publishing
Adapted by:Digital Manga Publishing

What They Say
Akira Togawa is a normal teenager: he goes to an average high school, he plays video games, he’s in love with his step-brother, he’s harassed by lecherous photographers, picked on by mischievous little boys, insulted by possessive young women… you get the idea. When a scruffy photographer by the name of Kaoru Nakaharu has a premonition of love (or so he says) and takes a campus photography job, he ends up meeting Akira and falls head over heels. Will Akira learn to love the persistent pervert, or will he cling to his beloved step-brother? Find out in this love pentagon (yes, pentagon) of soap operatic proportions!

All’s fair in love and war, but things can be considerably more difficult when you’re not quite sure what love even is! Enter “Camera Camera Camera,” the story of one boy’s rather unconventional introduction to a world where politeness is a façade, the ends justify the means, and anything goes. But while it’s true that passion is instrumental to winning the object of one’s affection, when the rules are thrown out the window, does that mean that love is too?

The Review
It’s not really a pentagon, more of a rectangle. But if more people appear in volume two we might have some hexagons on our hands.

The cover doesn’t stand out very much. It just shows Akira standing with Kaoru and Kaoru is winking. The characters look pretty dull on the front cover, a complete contrast to the spirally green and white background and the large, white text and flowers that make up the title. The back cover is where readers will get interested in the book, the description of the story is rather interesting with the odd love “pentagon” that’s going on. To the left of the description is a picture of Akira’s brother and the girl who is trying to go out with him. Both of them are dressed in the same type of school uniform, showing that they go to the same school.

In some manga, the front cover will have spectacular art while the rest of the art will be decent, but not as good as the front cover. “Camera Camera Camera” is just the opposite. The front cover art is o.k. at best, but the manga itself has pretty nice art. What I love most about it is that the characters actually look normal. In a lot of boy’s love manga the characters are unrealistically beautiful, but the characters in this manga all look and feel very real. There are the occasional cracky moments where characters turn chibi, their eyes go blank, and they sweat a whole lot when they’re nervous about something but it all flows well with the story. Another huge plus is that even side characters, like other students and even Akira’s parents, are illustrated in just as much detail as the main characters.

As usual for DMP, all Japanese honorifics are kept in tact. Any sound effects are kept in their original kanji and translated into English next to the kanji. All of the narration is done by Akira since the story is in his point of view. His dialogue, thoughts, and narration are consistent, as in, there aren’t times when he’s narrating and he sounds overly intelligent. He still uses words like “dude” or “what’s up” and even “OMG” because that’s the type of dialogue he normally uses.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The beginning of the story has me a bit confused because I’m not sure who the two men are supposed to be. It has a sort of flashback feel to it. After one guy tosses a wallet to the other guy, we jump into narration and a scene where Akira is a child and he’s meeting his new step-brother, Satoru, for the first time. I have a feeling that one of the men is Akira himself and he’s remembering his life, from childhood to high school.

After the childhood meeting of Akira and Satoru we go years later where Akira is completely in love with Satoru, and not just in the brotherly way. He actually wants to be with his step-brother and is even physically attracted to him. But things start to change when Akira meets Kaoru, a professional photographer. The two meet in the classic boy’s love scenario of knocking your possible love interest down to the ground with something, in this case--a bicycle. Akira’s so flustered by the accident that he runs off, forgetting his bike, but Kaoru is nice enough to follow him to return the bike. At least he seems to be nice at first because he ends up saying some rather perverted things to Akira and kissing him. Akira tries to brush it off as his school day goes on, but he finds out that the pervert is a photographer whose going to be working at his school!

If sorting out his feelings for his brother and dealing with a perverted photographer wasn’t enough, then dealing with Miyata, who is a very persistent admirer of Satoru, will surely drive Akira nuts. She is determined to steal Satoru away, declaring to Akira that she will be Satoru’s wife one day. Even worse, she knows how Akira feels about Satoru and openly challenges him, saying that she wants to win Satoru fair and square.

As the story continues Akira continues to deal with everything in one huge cycle; his feelings for Satoru, his hatred towards Miyata, and his developing feelings for Kaoru. But Kaoru is constantly challenging him, making him admit things about himself and his love for Satoru that he isn’t ready to speak about. And as Akira feels himself falling for Kaoru he has to decide who it is that he truly wants to be in love with.

In the world of boy’s love there are quite a few high school romances. There are also a ton of stories where the main character is trying to figure out what love is and if it’s o.k. to love another man. While “Camera Camera Camera” does have all of these elements, there’s something different about it that makes it stand out amongst the clichéd plotlines.

The best thing about this story is the characters. The manga-ka does an amazing job in portraying their emotions and their attitudes towards the situation they’ve been put in, Akira especially is very well written. While boy’s love is always full of confused main characters there’s something that makes Akira very interesting to read about. He’s in love with his step-brother, truly in love with him, and it’s wrong but at the same time Akira makes it feel like the most normal thing in the world. Akira is so in love with him, both physically and emotionally, that at times I caught myself rooting for the two of them then going, “Hey wait, that’s wrong, their brothers!” But Akira’s point of view is written so well that I couldn’t help but get dragged into his skewed definition of brotherly love.

It wasn’t until the appearance of both Kaoru and Miyata that everything started to get questioned. Kaoru makes Akira face himself, his feelings, and the entire concept of love. It gets to the point of Akira having to tell himself that he loves Satoru, otherwise he’ll have to admit that maybe it is just brotherly love and that maybe he’s feeling that special type of love with Kaoru. On the other side of things is Miyata, who challenges Akira in the battle of Satoru’s heart. She is quickly portrayed as the “evil witch” of the story, but at the same time she backs up Akira’s feelings for Satoru. In fact, neither Kaoru or Miyata say that Akira’s feelings are wrong, but by them saying, “You’re in love with your brother,” out in the open it makes Akira question everything.

I could not put this book down. Before I realized it I had been sucked in and didn’t stop until I got to the last page, and when I got to the end of the first volume a strange feeling came over me: I was disappointed that it was over because I wanted more.


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