Mangaka: Toshihiko Kobayashi
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, Harem
After I finished catching up to Pastel I immediately started reading Parallel on my phone and after I managed to fix my tablet I continued reading on it. Parallel was just the kind of manga that I needed after reading such a long series as Pastel. It was only 20, technically 19 chapters, so it didn’t take long to complete and it was interesting enough that I didn’t feel the need to quite reading.
When I first saw the title of this manga I assumed that it was a story about people living in different dimensions or something sci-fi like that, but it turned out to be a nice romantic school days love story. In fact it reminded me a lot of pastel. The two stories share a lot in common. Both are ecchi, both are about a boy and girl living together due to circumstances beyond their control and both are about seemingly one sided love. It was only after writing this review that I discovered that both manga were written by the same mangaka (nice surprise).
So about the story?
The story is about a boy name Nekota and the girl that he likes Hoshino. Both characters seem to despise each other when you are first introduced to them, but it’s not too long before the ball starts rolling and Nekota’s true feelings for her are revealed, he confesses. After building up the courage to confess his feelings to her he is given an unlikely gibberish kind of answer. This confuses and depresses him so when he got home and his dad told him that he was getting re-married and that the woman and her daughter were in the next room he kind of snapped. To his surprise the daughter was none other than Hoshino. Their parents told them that they were going on a trip to try and figure things out and so the two of them would have to live together as siblings till they return.
Ok here’s the problem, how is a bloke supposed to live with the girl he likes alone without parental supervision and act like her sibling? The whole idea is absurd. Heck if it were me we’d be at it like bunnies all the time, but true to the usual manga archetypes Nekota is nothing like me. Yes he does guy like things like peeping on her and yes he tries to change their situation, but the way in which he does so is so manga like that it could only exist on the pages of a fictional story. Both characters given numerous opportunities to change their relationship status, but they just end up in some form of misunderstanding one way or the other. This is helped by some of the other characters that enter the story along the way who either likes one of the two MC and gets in their way.
Each of these new characters notice the interest the two main characters have for each other immediately, and either decide to try to help them or somehow use that to their own advantage. This is not to say that there are any bad characters in the story, because there really aren’t. They are just human in the way that they seek their own agendas. This is one of the things about this story that is inconsistent. The side characters are a bit more human than the main two and so I found myself relating to them more than Nekota or Hoshino. Nekota’s best friend for example is a straight forward kind of character that goes after what he wants and he is extremely perceptive. He serves as a sort of mentor to Nekota. Giving him advice on relationships and pointing out his flaws. Other characters like Hoshino’s sister serve as a comic relief and a way to give her character more of a back story. Each serves a purpose and they achieve that purpose successfully.
As for the artwork, it is of the appealing variety. The characters and scenes are well drawn, and the ecchi is not handled too raunchy to be considered hentai, instead it is done in a nice subtle way that still manages to tease the senses. 😀
Parallel is a wonderful short manga that has served its purpose to me, and that was to act as a short pause in between longer running series. It was the right kind of length and not complicated at all to confuse or irritate. The only seriously noticeable flaw about this manga is that it has a last chapter that is completely out of place. The chapter itself is good, but it’s just out of place because the events portrayed in it take place before the story ends at chapter 19.
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If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts on this series, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.