Midori's Days Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 191
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0254-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Midori's Days Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     March 26, 2006
Release Date: February 14, 2006


Midori's Days Vol.#04
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Inoue Kazurou
Translated by:JN Productions
Adapted by:

What They Say
When freaky otaku Shuichi finds out that Midori is no ordinary doll, his obsession for her increases! Then, an innocent motorcycle drive into the country turns ugly when a motorcycle gang mistakes Seiji for his rough-and-tumble sister, Rin. Ayase doesn't let up in her efforts to capture Seiji's heart, but it's going to take a lot to get through that thick skull of his.

The Review
Packaging:
Another solid job by Viz. Once again, they use the original cover art but give it a slight retouch. This time they use an orange-checkered background with a Polaroid of Midori and Seiji wearing their motorcycle outfits hanging out in an autumn forest. Beneath the Polaroid, Viz provided a logo that is almost exactly like the one used by Media Blasters (the studio that released the anime in the US). The font is very similar to the Japanese version and all three logos make use of the silhouette of Seiji's right arm in some form. Good job by Viz to incorporate all of those elements in their logo. The opposite cover has the volume description warped around an image of Midori in her racing outfit.

Inside the printing is clean. Lines are sharp and the tone for the most part is fine. If I could nitpick, I would like to say there are some alignment issues, but nothing serious. Viz includes a character bio page and keeps the original volume header and chapter headers. Viz has also included a summary of the story so far, a character bio page, an afterword called "The Days before Midori Days", a message from the mangaka and an omake four-panel manga.

Artwork:
Inoue has a fun style that works well for this title. First off is the obvious connection to yanki manga. If you look at most of the male cast have the standard characteristics - pompadours, squinty eyes with tension lines and gang coats. Inoue is even able to make tough gals look right. The facial expressions are vivid and the costumes show some knowledge of the trends at the time of printing. The look is a lot of fun, and is an interesting contrast to the cute designs used for Midori and Ayase. While the first volume have been a bit inconsistent, especially with the jaw lines, that has greatly improved. Now the designs have settled and Inoue has seriously begun to use yanki influences more and more. By using yanki concepts freely, he gives the entire cast a cool attitude that can be used for comedy or to present a growing influence from Seiji-kun. You can see that influence in the introduction of new characters and as Seiji's older sister gets more panel time " the fights between those two are straight out of a yakuza film.

Background art is okay. To be honest you do not get too much of them, but when they are there, they are pretty cute looking. The layout is simple. There is nothing but rectangular panels, but Inoue mixes up the sizes a bit. The perspective is good, but most importantly we get to see the action through some good angles. Unfortunately, we do not get to see the fights through much detail.

Text/SFX:
The translation for this title is pretty good. There is a bit of slang, many colloquialisms and a lot of attitude. All three come out rather well here. If there was anything that I felt was disappointing was the lack of honorifics. Having to read "my/dear Seiji" instead of Seiji-kun or even worse "little Midori" instead of Midori-chan rubbed me the wrong way. Moreover, situations like that tend to pop up quite frequently in this title. Fortunately, there are no real major context problems.

The SFX are translated with overlays. The overlays are similar in size to the original and have a very clean good-looking retouch. I am not a fan of overlays, but this does give readers an easy way to experience each "thwak"-ed skull in full force (and there are so many of them). Signage is almost always translated. Finally, the retouch is clean and looks good.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With every new day Seiji seems to get closer and closer to finally achieving true love. Unfortunately, he is not aware he is getting there yet.

There are women literally all over him. One is physically attached to him all the time. No matter what he tries there is no shaking Midori, but in all truth he really likes his "life partner". He just does not like his devil right hand like that, though. Then there is Takako. She will drug him, trick him and entrap him on the way to her goal of confessing her feelings. She really might not be ready for any real form of love, but from the looks of things neither is Seiji. Manga love is so complicated. And in a round about way, his sister is always on his back for one reason or another. Now that is the kind of love Seiji understands well. Then again this type of love ends up costing him money, leaving him hungry and causing him a lot of pain. Maybe Seiji knows more about love than he thinks, after all?

If only Seiji could open his eyes and look past the superficial. The poor guy falls for the women with the bazooka boobs and cute outfits, without thinking twice about who these people are. (Lay off the porn Seiji!)For all he knows he could be falling for a drag queen! Why try to impress so much, when she might be dating someone else! Especially when there is no shortage of nice good looking women interested in him. And their numbers are just increasing every day.

And there is good reason for his popularity. Seiji is much like a samurai. A little violent and often misunderstood but always there to protect his clan. If more people really decided to really get to know the young thug, they would at least consider him cool and honorable. With an attitude like that even dudes could fall for him! Some of them really respect him, but Seiji is not that type of samurai. Actually, Seiji in the end is hurting because he really does not know what he wants. Love finally walks up to him what should be his ideal package and he still does not handle it well. It is about time for Midori to teach him a lesson about love and romance. First and last lesson don't cheat on your right hand!

Comments
This manga is seriously starting to move away from the love triangles of conventional shonen romances to the love harem. Yeah, what was wrong with a simple love square around Seiji, Midori, Takako and Kouta has now blown up into something completely crazy. Moreover, if a living, breathing talking-hand was not enough Inoue-sensei decides to have characters in love with said hand! He has that hand in love with a human. He has guys and gals in love with that hand! There is BL and Yuri in this manga! There is cross-dressing reverse lolicon going on! And this has become the norm in Midori's days.

Midori's Days was always a standard version of a shonen-romance. Good girl in love with bad boy " you have seen it done thousands of times over. The interesting bond between Seiji and Midori made things very interesting, but that story could only go so far (and Inoue seems to dedicate in a chapter or two to that every volume). Now he is expanding on the day to day lives of Seiji and Midori. We get to see them hang out with their friends and family. It all seems so slice of life, especially when you consider how much we see them at home, work and school. The fighting scenes are going down and the relationships made along the way (romantic or not) are slowly taking over. Every new day, or chapter, has a new connection between the growing eclectic cast of teens in the greater Chiba area.

In a way this is really all a big distraction, way to stretch what could have been a really short series. However, I do not feel this is a bad thing with this cast. Yeah, you can turn your head off and watch the leads go on a ridiculous motorcycle ride through the countryside. But you can also see pay a bit of attention and get the cues as to what Inoue is trying to express in this title. Simply put, people never look beyond the surface. Takako saw through that with Seiji but he cannot see her love for him; even if she is really his perfect type! Midori knows what Seiji is about, yet he cannot see that she is with him because that is the only way she believes she can be with him. People think Seiji is a punk, but others think he is a samurai! We don't need to beat on the head with this, but then Inoue gives readers enough totally crazy moments that I don't think they care. Midori Day's are days you remember because they are so much fun and outrageous but most importantly so easy to relate to they are misleading.

This volume might not have been as good as the previous ones, but the series as a whole just gets better.

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