World of Narue Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CPM Press
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 1-58664-962-0
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

World of Narue Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     October 15, 2004
Release Date: September 01, 2004


World of Narue Vol.#02
© CPM Press


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Marukawa Tomohiro
Translated by:Mayumi Kobayashi
Adapted by:

What They Say
Narue is a super powered schoolgirl who just happens to also be an alien. Her boyfriend, Kazuto, doesn't really mind that she is from outer space, but sometimes being with her can be strange indeed. When Narue and her friends start hanging out around town, that's when things REALLY start to get weird...

The Review
Packaging
Presented in right-to-left in a tall B6, the packaging for Narue is okay. The cover art used features the Narue and two new female cast members on a blue background. The opposite cover features Narue in summer dress under the volume description. I am not sure why CPM used an anime design for this image, but it definitely looks better than Marukawa's designs. CPM uses the logo they used for the anime here. It is pretty simple looking, and has this wonderful quote above it - "The inspiration for the hit anime!" Sigh! After the inside cover art - action scenes from the manga - CPM has provided a few pages for volume header and character profiles for five cast members. At the end of the GN, there are two ato-gaki and a brief interview with Marukawa-sensei. The printing could have been better, but I have to admit this does look like a step up from some of CPM's other titles.

Artwork:
Marunaka's art is, well, sloppy. His lines are not very sharp, giving his form an asymmetric look. His eyes are often off balance and his jaw lines are all over the place. The layout is just as bad. His panels are often filled with action manpu, and for a title that has been so laid back and slow I found the overuse of manpu just distracting. It also got me to a reading pace that felt too fast for the writing. In general, I wish I could have avoided the art completely because it affected my opinion of the writing.

Text/SFX:
For the most part, the translation for Narue is decent. The writing generally flows well and though I did notice a few typographical errors. The problems I had with the translation sounding to literal have cleared up in this release, which overall improved my reading experience.

SFX are now translated with small subs. This is a change for the better that really helped the pacing of the manga as the new SFX do not distract much or compromise art.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Despite living her whole life on Earth, Narue still considers herself an outsider. She considers herself an alien among humans and that has influenced her life from school to her friendships. For some reason she does not think she can relate to others and if she cannot relate then others cannot relate to her or her family.

In this volume, Narue begins to realize that she is just the same as everyone else around her. Even if she is different sometimes, there will be some people that accept you no matter who you are. Even those who you might think are against you might actually want to be your friend. Some of Narue's troubles were coming from her own misconceptions and with Kazuto's help, with her sister's intervention and her classmates' honesty she might realize that being alien can be as human everyone else. There may even be times humans feel like aliens, as well. The best action is to just have fun and hope one learns things along the way. Whether it comes while planning a surprise for a friend, helping others out or just hanging out, Narue will come to realize that human, alien and even machine can learn to love and real love is unconditional.

Comments
After two volumes, Narue continues to be cute fun, but it also continues to be one of the least memorable experiences I have had in quite a while. Slice of life comedy with bland characters is not a recipe for success, however, as the series progresses the reactions naive Narue expresses are so cute and sincere I found myself consistently falling for them. Narue is a good character because she has a good share of downfalls (jealous, cheap, and stubborn), how she overcomes these issues is this series strong point, as we get to see her grow and develop with her friends and family.

While I cannot fully recommend Narue, every time I read it I feel fuzzy inside. If the story tried to use the sci-fi element more; maybe, develop the cast more; possibly not be so episodic, that feeling would possibly last longer after I put down the GN. Instead, we get short often-random cute stories leading nowhere. There are plenty of pointless episodic titles but the good ones have something else going for it. Narue has less than average art and a bland cast, and while it tries to use sci-fi (mainly for comic relief) it is often poorly set-up and underdeveloped. Narue is just cute, however I do not feel that is enough to recommend this title.

Below average

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