Pretty Maniacs (aka: Pretty Maniizu) Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 180
  • ISBN: 1-58899-300-0
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Pretty Maniacs (aka: Pretty Maniizu) Vol. #01

By Jarred Pine     September 03, 2005
Release Date: June 13, 2005

Pretty Maniacs (aka: Pretty Maniizu) Vol.#01
© DrMaster

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shinsuke Kurihashi
Translated by:Eimi Stokes
Adapted by:

What They Say
Takezou's sister Shinano takes center stage. With Big Bro off in the U.S. spreading the good name of otakus everywhere, Shinano moves into the Maniac Road store and begins her new life at a new high school. The love of all things manga and anime runs strong in Shinano as she searches for others with the same passion.

The Review
A spin-off of Maniac Road, Pretty Maniacs attempts to capture that energy around being a manga/anime maniac, and turning it into a relaxing, easily paced story.

The cover is the same as the original Japanese tankubon, featuring vibrant colors that look quite nice. The English logo leaves a bit to be desired, but does its best to mimic the Japanese text. The print reproduction is quite sub-standard. A lot of the tones are blurred or too dark, creating a muddy effect on a few pages. I am also not a big fan of the yellowish tinted paper that is used. Extras include a 3 page afterword from Kurihashi.

Kurihashi’s character designs are very average looking, as though I’ve seen them already many times before, but I do think their look works quite well for this type of story. The designs are quite cute with a lot of fun facial expressions, and then there’s the cosplay outfits which are a riot. There is not a lot of background art, with most panels featuring a lot of white space.

SFX are translated and subbed next to the original text in the panel. It’s a pretty good job, keeping the English text small and placed in areas that avoid covering of key art and creating clutter. There is quite a few instances of grammatical errors. One odd translation choice was changing yen to dollar, creating an awkward scene where the price tag on an object in the panel was still in yen. Honorifics are used and the dialogue reads quite clearly.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Pretty Maniacs is a spin-off of Kurihashi’s otaku manga, Maniac Road, which is also released by DrMaster. This definitely is not a sequel, as it follows Takezou’s sister, Shinano, as she comes to town to help take care of the store. With a new town comes a new school, and with a new school comes new clubs to join. In order to meet people she quickly joins the Manga Club, only to find out that there are no members, the current President of the club is leaving, and the club itself is on the verge of being shutdown. Being the true maniac, Shinano doesn’t quit and instead puts forth all her effort in order to do something with the hobby that she truly loves. From recruiting new members to creating a club manga to selling it at the big doujinshi convention, Shinano makes us all remember why we all fell in love with this hobby and became maniacs ourselves.

The story is very much light and easy fare with a good dose of humor thrown in. What I really enjoyed was how each chapter built upon the previous, instead of relying of short chapters with oddball situations, creating a nice, natural flow throughout the book. Shinano is a bouncing ball of energy, attacking every obstacle in her way with a full head of steam. Her personality is quite addictive, and in a story about achieving ones dreams, it is essential to have such a likeable character in the lead role. The other two club members that she meets also have fun, quirky personalities that are easy to relate, especially in the world of fandom.

The three maniacs set to save their manga club from becoming disbanded by the school by creating a club book that they will sell at the upcoming comic book convention. While it is entertaining to watch the trio try their best at overcoming each obstacle in order to achieve their goal, what I found interesting was how it seemed to rekindle flames inside of myself as to why I read and watch so much of the stuff I do. Watching them struggle to create something of their own had me grinning ear to ear, remembering just how much fun I have being a maniac.

A spin-off of Kurihashi’s Manic Road, Pretty Maniacs so far is a nice story about discovering that love you have for your hobby. It’s about being a maniac, knowing all sorts of useless information and becoming involved in doing something yourself. The story has a very light tone, keeping a nice flow from start to finish with a continually building storyline. There is a lot of humor surrounding anime and manga, some going well over my head. In an environment that is tense over edits and release schedules, it was nice to relax with a book that captures that pure energy about being a maniac.


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