Mangaka: Seo, Kouji
There are some manga out there that you will start reading and maybe read 5 to 6 chapters every now and then. These are the bread and butter of the manga world. They’re familiar, and abundant, but then there are those that consumes you. They are the reasons for sleepless night, missed classes, and the dual sick day.
“cough I’m sorry sir I can’t make it in today, I still got that flu”
The manga that make it in the latter category may differ depending on the reader, but there are those that are universally considered to be gems among the rough, these are your One Piece. Fuuka has also become one of those “for me”.
I stumbled upon this one while doing some research on a series that I had previously read by the same mangaka called (Kimi no iru machi). Don’t ask me what the research was about, because quite frankly I don’t even remember. All I do remember was finding the character Fuuka in the character list for *KNIM, clicking on her link and finding out that she had her own manga with 80 plus chapters and counting. For me anything less that 60 chapters is a bit too new for me to follow and not get lost, so 80 is a sweet spot it’s not too much that I’d neglect work for too long, and not too short to be forgotten after catching up to the current release. Fuuka falls in the baby bear’s porridge category of manga, One that I think should not be missed by anyone that has even the slightest romantic bone in their body.
*KNIM = Kimi no iru machi
The story of Fukka follows a boy named Yuu Haruna, and not actually the girl the manga is named after. Fuuka Akitsuki is actually one of love interest of the main character, ok maybe we can call her the main love interest. She’s the daughter of a famous track athlete and Suzuka Asahina (had her own manga series; Suzuka). Yuu and Fuuka meet in the most unfortunate of ways, because Yuu is a bit of an awkward duck type of character. He is not very good with interacting with other people in real life, so he spends all of his time on twitter. Fuuka on the other hand is really popular because of her looks, talent as it relates to sports and her parents. Their first encounter with each other see Fuuka break Yuu’s phone because she suspected he was taking a picture of her panties while he was walking by checking his twitter. They become friends not too long after that first encounter, but not before another misunderstanding and loss of another phone. A few chapters later Yuu unwittingly convinces Fuuka to start a band and in so doing becomes entangled in the band she forms. The two new friends then seek out 3 other mates to join their merry group all the while becoming more and more captivated by each other.
Ok, let’s stop there with the story. I’d hate to spoil it for you, so let’s talk about another aspect of this wonderful tale of romance and friendship.
Just like Kimi no iru machi, the plot for this manga is well constructed, and very well written. I didn’t find myself lost or bored at any moment while reading (in fact I’m only writing this review now because I’m waiting for my table to charge just enough for me to put it back on to continue reading). It’s similar to *KNIM’s, but at the same time not the same as the mangakas previous work. I like this a lot, because too many mangaka try to recreate the former glory of their previous successes, and end up ruining not only their new work, but also the memory of their previous ones as well. Seo Kouji, is one managka that does not fall into this trap, but rather he takes what he’s learnt from his previous works, and builds on them. The characters in his manga all live in the same world, sometimes passing by each other, other times becoming side characters in each other’s story. This type of writing is so refreshing, because it reflects real life. In real life we are all the main characters in our own stories, and everyone else is a side character. We may pass each other from time to time, but we may never know the full story of another, because we’re already busy living our own. The story of Fuuka is just that. another story in the world that Seo sensei has created, a world I hope he keep adding to for many more years.
The art style of the manga is exactly the same as KNIM’s which is not a bad thing at all. That manga has some of the best manga art I’ve ever seen. It is very clean, well detailed and spotted with the occasional ecchi. Both the male and female characters are well drawn, albeit a bit too attractive sometimes, and don’t get me wrong I love the look of all the characters, although I can see where some readers may find a problem with them, because all the girls are really slender, well shaped and pretty, and the same can be said about the boys. That being said however, I personally don’t read these manga for the realism. I read for the entertainment value, and part of that has to do with the attractive characters on the pages. If you want realistic looking characters look somewhere else. Fuuka is full of eye candy for both sexes, and the ecchi is so well done that you may want to consider not reading this one while out in public.
Fuuka is the kind of manga that all romantics should be reading. It’s such a well written/illustrated manga that it will move you, as it has me. This manga will mess with your emotions, it will make you swoon, laugh, want to punch something and so much more. So If you have any room in your manga collection then I suggest adding this one to it.