One Sweet, One Salty: 2 Mangas About (Allegedly) Studying, Rom Com Style

Or an alternative title: 2 Recent Studying Mangas That Reminds You To Prepare For School, Cause I’ve Just Finished My Fill Of My Coursework For My College For Now.

Studying in School, not everybody’s favorite time of their life since except for maybe languages & math, you just didn’t seem to use the knowledge learned from school that often. Even most of the Japanese manga that I’ve read skipped the time where the teacher is teaching the class, cause face it, it’s boring by itself.

Well, except for some mangas that are exclusively about studying. In my opinion for the best studying manga: In terms of technique we have Dragon Zakura by Norifusa Mita, where the cast of 2 students learns the basics of their subjects from the best of the best, hired by a failed lawyer who should have been in the education department for a very long time. In terms of performance, we have Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui, where a group of students must study from an octopus, in both academics and assassination where the octopus is the target, along with fighting their own personal demons and a very oppressive school system.

(P.S: I’ll recommend the Korean adaptation of Dragon Zakura as it improves on every aspect of the manga.)

Opinions aside, it is time for the real stars of this post, the 2 new mangas in 2017 about studying, which you might have already guessed due to one being potentially marketable in the future if the mangaka doesn’t heck everything up and one being successful in Shonen Jump.

Sidenote: Baby Steps turned out to be canceled. What? With Ahiru no Sora & potentially Ippo ending, I feel scared for the future of sports manga in this magazine that is not called Days or Daiya no Ace, the former still being the recent popular sports manga…that is going through its 5th year and lost it’s chance of initial international appeal no thanks to the anime.

Also, what a strange time to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.

Sypnosis:


Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (We Never Learn)
by Tsutsui Taishi, serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2017, scantalated by Jamini’s Box.

Yuiga Nariyuki works hard every day to obtain a full-college scholarship from his High School to support his poor family. His headmaster promises that he’ll get it if he fulfills a small condition. He has to tutor two resident female geniuses, Furuhashi Fumino (Literature-genius) and her friend Ogata Rizu (Science-genius) so that they can get into their dream-college. The catch is that Fumino wants to major in Science and Rizu wants to major in Literature despite them failing constantly in those subjects.

Go-Toubun no Hanayome (The 5 Wedded Brides)
by Haruba Negi, serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine in 2017, currently having a scantalation war between LH scans & 4chan. Chose the second volume since I’ve alread had the first volume in my previous blog post where Magazine is invaded by Rom-Coms.

Meet a poor poor high school boy who has a cute imouto in his adventure to teach the 5 dumbest girls in the city while being tsundere about it and failing grandly to notice best girl’s feelings as the basic tsundere seems to win without trying at all.

Ok, sorry about that, here’s a more boring description. (This description is actually written in Batoto, for more than a week)

A poor but ordinary high school boy (Futarou Uesugi) is paid to tutor five girls (the Nanakos) improve their grades at school, and the girls are identical quintuplets.

About the Authors

Tsutsui Taishi: According to Baka Updates, he will reach the first decade as a mangaka after this year, and first series (Esprit) manages to go on for 8 volumes. He started his career in Mag Garden before moving to Shueisha in 2014, where he wrote a Nisekoi spinoff in Shonen Jump+. We Never Learn is his first debut in Shonen Jump, and it is the only that I have only read from him.

Haruba Negi: Compared to Taishi he is way more recent (with 4 going to 5 years in his documented career in Baka Updates), his debut is Rengoku no Karma, where he is the artist for the supernatural series about suicide that lasted for 5 volumes. Then he created a one-shot about a vampire neet. This is his second serialization.

Side Note: The author for Rengoku no Karma, Hirose Shun later had another series with artist Sanche Checo or San Nomie, who had a really strong art style, in my opinion, serialized the crown relationship chart thriller, Seishun Soukanzu, at almost the same time as Go-Toubun. Has a rougher start where the TOC placement for the year is at the low end (might be irrelevant, but there is a limit for being in the bottom on the TOC for so long), and high school bullying seems to be a repeating theme of his work.

Seishun Soukanzu

First Cover

WNL: Shows our main 3 female characters (Fumino, Rizu & the swimming genius, Takemoto Uraka) looking at us, with Rizu drawing our sad protagonist that would eventually appear at the 4th volume (with sensei Kirisu Mafuyu and legal loli university maid Kominami Asumi).

Go-Toubun: As mentioned it in the Rom Com post, gorgeous in its simplicity to the point that the second volume featuring Ichika come across as a letdown. The first cover showed all of the girls holding each other hand lying down to make a circle, surrounding them are flower petals. Though here it exclusively focused on Itsuki.


Tone

WNL: On the com side and most of the time it is quite light-hearted, cheerful and sometimes lewd, with some melancholy episodes from the characters now and then.

Go-Toubun: On the rom side. It is also quite tense at times due to most of the girls are not as motivated in studying in the first place and the main character himself can be quite an insensitive jerk. Strangely enough, after some initial chapters, the supposed physical fanservice has died down.

Progression

WNL: Quite episodic with small arc here and there. There are some confessions and assumptions (though these confessions are from the same character) here and there, though being less than 50 chapters in it’s still not nerve-grating, yet. Also, due to the episodic nature (and the addition of harem characters), some of the girls might be ignored for a while (first Fumino, then currently Rizu).

Go-Toubun: Between the small arcs of focusing on different girls, it has a long arc on the summer festival which mainly focused on the big sister. However, due to all the girls are closely related to each other, it’s inevitable that Uesugi can’t focus on one sister without striking a conversation with another sister.

Premise (or Amount Of Studying Tips Provided)

WNL: It’s a shame that the main focus of studying (best shown in Chapter 6-9 where Yuiga provided useful studying tips to the girls and the audience) kinda got regulated to harem rom-com antics. I especially like the cross summarizing method in Chapter 8.

Go-Toubun: Aside from the small snippets of Japanese History, there’s no specialized focus in studying at all. Additionally, about 20 chapters in and we only know one of the girls’ advantages for academics. Another point of contention is that we have another cliche plotline where Uegusi once met with one of the sisters before, which changed him from a wild type to a studious type.

Characters

WNL: A stronger aspect from this manga is the variety of the girls. Right now we have, a science genius that wanted to study psychology who maybe has a first kiss, a literature genius that wanted to study astronomy who is quite savvy about the way of love which is helpful when she found herself in a love situation, a swmming genius that had to study English for a scholarship who is also a childhood friend, a ice queen teacher that doesn’t have any confidence in Yuiga’s ways of teaching and a graduated ronin who wanted to study science in order to become a doctor to help her father.

Go-Toubun: Since they are identical quintuplets, even the girls themselves make fun to being similar to each other. Right now we have: The big sister who has started her notable screen debut, the 2nd sister who is still hostile towards Uesugi and feared being abandoned by her sisters, the middle sister who likes Sengoku games and being the first one to potentially fall for him, the 4th sister who is athletic and still has no information of and finally the 5th sister who started it all, a glutton who has a studying disability but has a hostile relationship with Uesugi as he gives her a horrible impression.

However, the sisters here started off less than likable, since one of the first things the girls did was drugging Uesugi to avoid studying. And another thing is that one of the sisters utterly dominated everybody else in likability & chemistry, even with the festival arc about another sister.

Though I think that the biggest strength comes from the male protagonists, both who actually have a character with some understanding of the human emotions, and even went through serious development from the past and in the present (though I felt that the one in Go-Toubun was stronger).

Similarities and Some Differences

Reading both of these mangas at the same time, there are a lot of similarities from both of them aside from studying.

-Both the main characters are poor and is hired to tutor the girls for a benefit. While Yuiga wanted to succeed to get a recommendation, Uesugi wanted to earn enough money to pay off their family debt (which seems to be a minor problem).

-The girls in both series have some sort of specialty and a weakness. Though while the girls in WNL has one specific weakness, the girls in Go-Toubun are bad at almost every subject, and 20 chapters in we still only know one’s sister specialty that could be useful in academics.

-A summer festival arc while the MC interacts with all the girls. The one in WNL is short and ends with a focus chapter, while the one in Go-Toubun takes an entire volume that started from an escort quest to a focused arc on a sister.


So there are my opinions of the 2 mangas, for readers who had read or heard about both works, what would you like to add on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s