Puri Puri Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, June 30, 2007

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Chiaki Taro
Translated by:Daniel Sullivan & Asako Otomo
Adapted by:Ailen Lujo

What They Say
Masato Kamioda has somehow managed to survive the initial temptations of being the only male student in a divinity school brimming with blossoming young beauties. But it remains to be seen if he can suppress his burgeoning passions long enough to avoid the chasms of sin that keep opening before him along his road to priesthood.

So far he has had only his desire for Ayano-chan to deal with, but more menacing temptations are in store for our pious little protagonist. The race is on as Kamioda has only two years left to complete a series of grueling trials before realizing his dream of becoming a priest.

The Review
I make no qualms about my love of harem comedies, its just one way I escape the real world. With that said, I’ll be the first to admit the whole genre becomes derivative after you have seen it done a few times. This is exactly why Puri Puri is so good. The protagonist isn’t some dorky guy living with a bunch of women, and no matter how hard he tries he can’t score. On the contrary, Masato could probably play naughty games with at least a couple girls at school. The catch is he can’t if he wants to reach his life long dream of becoming a priest. Ah, enter a new angle of conflict into the harem genre. But come on, he’s a red-blooded teenage guy who just so happens to be the only male in a school full of sexually repressed girls, and a twenty-something nun. Launch fanservice program. Dreams about classmates (check), stumbling upon girls changing clothes/bathing (check), get drunk and fall asleep with girls (check); by this point you should see where this is going. These jokes have obviously been done before, but this time the protagonist will be defeating himself if he gives into his lusts.

Naturally, no harem comedy would be complete without a love triangle. Masato likes Ayano because she’s nice and respects his passion to complete his life dream. Ayano thinks she admires Masato, but that feeling is morphing into more than she wants to admit to. And finally we have Ayumi who really likes Masato and wouldn’t be terribly saddened to see him fall off the celibacy wagon. Beyond these three, Puri Puri has a large cast of characters with new girls being introduced every few chapters with plenty of ecchi moments. With Masato learning he only has two years to complete the three year priest program, he has to kick things into overdrive and join all the monastic order’s clubs. Not only join, but he has to become proficient in each so the club presidents will sign his ‘Requisite Skills’ card to prove he did something.

The first club Masato joins is the choir club. Only it turns out to be a lot more difficult because the three club members have turned the club into their rock band. Yes, church rock, it’s okay, I gagged a little too. That is until the lead singer started jumping around in her short skirt and fishnets, drinking herself into oblivion, and then crying about her lost love and hitting on Masato while wearing only lingerie (how did she smuggle lingerie into her dorm?). Apparently, catholic rockers in Japan are a lot more liberal than I give their American counterparts credit for.

This volume isn’t quite as funny as the first, but still plenty worthy of attention. I continue to be impressed with Taro’s ability to draw so many girls without their appearances overlapping too much. And DR Master continues to put out cleanly printed books with nice French flaps.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
MSRP: 9.95
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1-59796-102-8
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Puri Puri