Just My Luck Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Blu
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-1427802798
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Just My Luck

Just My Luck Vol. #01

By Ariadne Roberts     November 02, 2007
Release Date: October 30, 2007

Just My Luck Vol.#01
© Blu

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Temari Matsumoto
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Asahi might seem like your regular high school boy, but this kid's been down on his luck...his entire life! Thankfully, the sketchy but resourceful Rokujou is around to heal what ails him. Too bad it has to come in the form of a kiss! But when Asahi starts to want more than just a kiss, will Rokujou give in and break the delicate balance they've held so far? The fun doesn't stop there as Matsumoto-sensei ends the volume with a handful of delightful short stories, each with a unique and fun twist. Whether it’s the bumpy romance between a toy-maker and his android, or a perverted schoolteacher with a fetish for uniforms, Just My Luck might just be your lucky ticket...

The Review
It's disappointing to see two big stamps on the front covering up Matsumoto's pretty artwork. The Parental Advisory 'sticker' is pretty standard for mature titles, but the large Blu logo just seems a tad overdone – is it truly necessary? Does anyone browse with a particular publisher in mind?

On the back, "Shinobu Kokoro" is misspelled, the protagonist of Mechanism of Love is referred to as a "toy maker" even though he is only a toy repairer, and the blurb about the other stories says there are only two in addition to the title story – there are actually four total. Minor mistakes, but still avoidable. A very perplexing thing I noticed was a complete lack of credit for a translator. Poor little forgotten translator! I'd be less confused if the translation was awful (who would want their named attached to it?), but it's not bad at all, which just makes it weirder.

The most gorgeous manga come from professional illustrators, and lucky for us, Temari Matsumoto happens to be one. The artwork isn't revolutionary, but it is pretty, and never looks as though the characters are trying to hide behind their speech bubbles like in some comics. Sadly, the character designs are pretty cut-and-dry, and no matter the story, the seme is always dark-haired 'n' big-shouldered and the uke is always light-haired 'n' delicate. No real variety here.

They are few and far between, but the sound effects are untranslated. If they had been more of a presence, it may have been a problem, but the lack of translation didn't bother me at all. Honorifics are left intact, including 'sensei' and 'senpai'. The script was translated well, without any errors or spelling mistakes.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The volume is made up of four separate stories. The first is Just My Luck, which is the longest and naturally the source of the title of the book. It revolves around Asahi, a student who is chief of the Divination Research Club at school, and his relationship with Rokujou, the club's handsome but mysterious adviser. Asahi has such terrible luck and is so clumsy that Rokujou gives him a "purification ritual" each day – or in other words, a kiss that has a surprisingly calming effect and ensures a day's worth of good luck. Even he knows it's a little weird, but when he overhears students gossiping about the witchy practices of Rokujou, he jumps to his defense. This sparks a realization that bad luck or not, the attention from Rokujou just makes him happy.

The second story, Mechanism of Love, follows an antisocial, crabby toy repairer who sequesters himself away from the world and works alone in the mountains. That is, until his sister (who, for some reason, never gets a her face into view) decides he needs to improve his poor human interaction skills, and delivers a male android to take care of it. The toy repairer teaches him the tricks of the trade, and the android teaches him about human touch. When a toy sailboat catches the android's eye, it leads to a fateful conversation that reunites the toy repairer with someone he never forgot about.

School Uniforms and You is about a skittish student at a school with unusually traditional dress code and the (male) school nurse who just happens to have a passion for school uniforms. Miscommunication leads to the student to think the nurse only likes him for his clothes, but of course, it all gets straightened out in no time.

The final story, The Rumored Pair, is a very short story about the president and vice president of the student council and the gossip that swirls around them. They reassure each other that they're only interested in women, but the president doesn't let that stop him from experimenting.

If you don't mind a little cheesy fluff, Just My Luck is a good way to spend an hour. The rating may be 'mature' and the stamp on the front may say "explicit content", but in comparison to most BL/yaoi titles on the market, it's very tame and not at all graphic. To be honest, the best thing about it is the ridiculous plots and the way they are resolved. Each story has a less-than-believable premise that goes along doing pretty well for itself until the conclusion, where it inevitably has a surprise twist that is absolutely ragged with plot holes. I suspect that the stories are supposed to be touching and sweet, but if you can recognize bad writing and get a chuckle out of it, this is a very entertaining title.

This may all sound like criticisms to you, but it really is a silly manga that can be a joy to read if you're in the right mindset. And hey, even if you can't poke fun at the plot, the beautiful artwork is a good distraction!


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