Enmusu (aka: Renai Shusse Emaki En*Musu) Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: ADV Manga
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 202
  • ISBN: 1-4139-0191-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Enmusu (aka: Renai Shusse Emaki En*Musu) Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 25, 2004
Release Date: December 01, 2004

Enmusu (aka: Renai Shusse Emaki En*Musu) Vol.#01
© ADV Manga

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Seguchi Takahiro
Translated by:Yoshimi Sheridan
Adapted by:

What They Say
Young, meek Gisuke Arikawa has all but run out of luck. While he may not be the smartest guy around, he does possess a charm that may open the doors to untold power and riches. But he's got one problem - there are fourteen other charms, and only one person can have them all! With the help of his all-too-sweet maid Sofia, Gisuke sets out on a quest that will change his life. The future looks bright for Gisuke, and one precious key to victory dangles around his neck; find out whether or not he keeps it, as the quest for success begins in Enmusu!

The Review
While ADV has been regressing on the packaging of a majority of their new titles, EnMusu is a rare exception that looks like the ADV of 2003. Presented in a tall B6, ADV uses the original cover art and logo including the mysterious Russian text on the top left. The front cover features a genki looking Gisuke in front of a large image his new maid Sofia. The opposite cover has Gisuke and Sofia showing off their new charm - the EnMusu/relationships charm - to the right of the long volume description. Inside ADV keeps the volume header (in its original b/w), a message from the mangaka, fan letter info and a preview for volume two. The printing looks great. Seguchi's art tends to be heavy on ink and the sharp printing keeps the integrity of his art.

I like Seguchi's simple designs. There really is not much depth to them, as he does not put too much detail in regards to shading or texture. However, his thick lines and heavy inking really make his characters stand out. There are times when they are not to scale, but Seguchi usually does a very good job with proportion and form for his males and female cast (by the way, there is some male and female nudity, but not too much detail). He is not very creative with costumes or expressions. Costumes tend to be stale and lack variety; expressions tend to be strained when not genki, pleased or shy. Seguchi admits in his notes that he does not like to draw males, but I was impressed with how they looked.

Backgrounds are practically non-existent. Instead, Seguchi uses manpu to create moods for his scenes. I am disappointed with the lack of effort, but even when he does include settings they do not have much detail or originality. His layout is good, but it moves too fast for something so dark.

This is my first experience with EnMusu so I cannot compare it to its raw version, but I can say the translation sounds fine. ADV has some good notes at the end of the GN. The notes describe some of the details in for this series: Gisuke's porn stash, Sofia's Russian, and a bit of the Japanese school system. Having to deal with two languages, Japanese and Russian, is always tough and ADV appears to have done a good job with it.

ADV's SFX subbing techniques tend to compromise character art. For this series, they have decided to use subs that are similar in size and shape to the original. Seguchi does not have much going on in his panels, so it would not be a horrible idea. Unfortunately, their judgment on placement was not always prudent. I am not sure why they did not use smaller subs, as they have in other titles. Inconsistency in this aspect seems to be a problem with almost every studio out there.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In almost every crowd, there is one of them. You may not notice them. You may not talk to them. You might not even know their names, but they are always there. The runt, the punching bag, errand boy understudy to the group gopher is always picked on for reasons people forgot about.

Arikawa Gisuke is the Jishukan High School unofficial abuse taker. He is picked on, beat up, and made to do the bidding of his classmates to gain some respect. As Gisuke says, "an ant cannot stand up against dragons." Unfortunately, an ant cannot stand up against a score of other animals (Jishukan High seems to be filled with heartless animals). His personality is such that he chooses to take abuse if it benefits others in a way. In his mind, it will create a relationship that he has an important role in.

Those relationships - the threads that connect people - will eventually give Gisuke a chance to stand up to the dragons out there. He just has to make sure that he makes sure that those connections grow into something that will benefit all members involved.

Ever think about what people that are being bullied feel about those who abuse of them? What do you think they feel about the relationship they have? Under normal situations, one would think those who are bullied feel resentful. They likely feel powerless and weak. They possible hate their position in the social pecking order. In EnMusu, Seguchi-sensei has his lead character take a different angle on this by empowering the weak through extreme humility and kindness.

His lead character Arikawa Gisuke is short, weak, shy and not very bright. People take advantage of what they consider his weaknesses and without much hesitation, he usually accepts his role as the person on the bottom of the social pyramid. He accepts this abuse, for he considers this his role in a relationship. If he does not do his part, others will not properly advance themselves, as he believes they can. He definitely not self-serving in his actions, but that does not translate to anyone around him. Ideally, Gisuke is self-sacrificing and humble, both qualities that are respected. Unfortunately, Gisuke's community is so hard and cold it is quite difficult to relate to the young man's plight. He never wants revenge. He does not stand up for his individuality. Instead, he accepts his role in life as horrible as it might be. Even when his luck starts to change, he has to continue to receive abuse in order to aide other in their personal development. Twisted. Why not attempt to change as an individual? Why not develop the self to inspire self-confidence and help empower others? I guess that is not very entertaining.

I am having a difficult time with this title right now. Difficulty relating to the main character has turned me off on a fun but dark comedy. I guess if the character designs were not so cute, I would possibly come in with a different impression. Instead, there are conflicting signals that have made me want to avoid this title. There are five more volumes to this title so there is plenty of time for that to change, but right now I do not really feel like having a long term relationship with EnMusu.


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jnager 3/13/2012 8:41:08 AM

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