Thoughts on Umisho (Spoilers, Explicit)

Well, this was a fine mess.

What is it about comedy/ecchi titles with sub-par art styles that pushes my buttons? I loved the hell out of Onidere (though it wasn’t really ecchi), and B Gata H Kei remains as one of my all-time favorite manga. There seems to be that flare about them. That sort of magic spark that draws me in and keeps me from escaping its convoluted grasp. Umisho or Umishou or EWW-ME-SHOW or however it wants to be identified is a good example of this sort of convoluted whimsy. It’s appeal is only for those with the correct mindset.

If Umisho could be compared to anything, I’d probably compare it to chewing tobacco. You chew on it for hours, days at a time. You enjoy it while it lasts, however you know it’s slowly killing you on the inside. It’s piercing through your gums and flowing into your bloodstream. While chewing tobacco has nicotine, Umisho has tits. Umisho has a bizarre premise that starts bizarre, ends bizarre, and continues to be perceived in said light all throughout. It’s about a swimming club. But this swimming club isn’t all but water and half-naked adolescents. No. We have mermaids. While the vivid image of Spongebob had crossed my mind for only a moment, I can’t help but wish that Umisho hadn’t done the same with its progression as had this spongy forefather. After a while, Umisho simply became tiring. There were moments later on that felt genuine enough to remain heartwarming, but its overindulgence of fan service-themed plot devices and its tendency to spring romance out of nowhere in a comedic themed title feel little more than fresh bait. If Umisho was good for anything, it would be its commitment. Most characters stayed the same. The plot largely stayed consistent. The messy game of “who likes who” dragged on longer than Ikamasa’s hairstyle. A title this level of concrete could stabilize my house for decades. Although, that only adds to the thrill of whenever this title does decide to change… for however long it consists of is dependent on the situation.

I will say this fast, so try to keep up; Ikamasa is the best character. THE best character. There are no but’s, if’s, or how’s about it. His off-the-wall personality and love for everything chaotic makes Umisho more captivating than it probably deserves to be. If not for him, I may not have even cared for this title. Probably. Makio is interesting as well. Her behavior is similar to that of Ikamasa, however she is singled out by the title as a puppet character, with all of the author’s fantasies for a carefree, self-indulgent fetish fest exuding out of her pretty little face. Moving on to the more natural characters, Kaname is whatever you make of him. To most, he’s probably just the same archetype of a main male character one sees all the time from, frankly, any story now-a-days. However, if you wish to see it from a more optimistic perception, he’s not AS oblivious as others. Amuro is always happy and upbeat, but shows early on that she isn’t exactly the archetype for the main male character. Her presence in the story somewhat shapes the ideal world that Umisho tries to create for the reader: somewhere, probably not on Earth, there are young, beautiful girls who will shower in public and not chastise you for watching. Oridzuka is probably the most realistic character in Umisho. That being said, she automatically is given the burden of balancing out the story, trying to prevent everything from getting completely out of hand in any given situation or panel. She fails horribly. Early on, she’s hinted at having feelings for Kaname, which surprised me little. However, she then hints at having feelings for Ikamasa later on, which I find hilarious in itself. If I were to comment on all other characters who make any sort of impact on this story, I’d be typing until the apocalypse. I’ll simply state that Shizuoka is as unlikable a character as any of the rest of them.

Is there any particular reason why the very last page was so bold? Halfway through I had started to think that it wasn’t even part of the story. Though, who’s to say it is? Goodmanga might be painting their own ending for me. Bastards. The art style of Umisho is certainly subject to criticism. While at points, the character design looks absolutely splendid, the author chooses his/her/its moments of greatness wisely… because who wants good art all the time? Characters are drawn with more detail for the purpose of comedy, which suits the comedy well. However, if one were to come across this manga and flip through the pages, two things would become very apparent to them. There will be tits, and there will be a noticeable difference in quality between the boys and the girls. Can you guess who naturally look better? I think I might be the only one who’s pissed off. Regardless, Umisho’s art is that of a minimalist’s dream, in most panels.

I will now take this time to let out my most passionate feelings for this series: (Granted the ending I read was truly the end and not a dream) ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! YOU’RE GONNA PULL THIS “5 years later” SHIT ON ME?! CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITH SIMPLY GIVING US A SINGLE, STILL FRAME IMAGE OF AMURO WAVING HER HAND IN GLEEFUL DELIGHT? THAT WAS FINE. THAT WAS FUCKING FINE. BUT NO, GOD FORBID YOU GIVE UP ON THE SERIES BEFORE YOU GIVE US THIS HAPPIWY EVAR AFTUR GARBAGE. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED I COULD DIE. IN FACT, I THINK I’M ALREADY DEAD. THANKS UMISHO. YOU KILLED ME.

The love I have for this series is unexplainable. For whatever reason, I picked up this title and hoped for the best; it only disappointed about twelve times. The characters are complacent enough to hold up the reader’s attention, aside from a single masterpiece of a man. The story has enough tits to keep even the most desperate of adolescent boys around and the design grows on you… probably. I would recommend a type of ointment if that were ever the case. This will always be remembered for being something. What that something is cannot be explained thoroughly enough for any spoken language to understand. The only thing that comes close is “reprehensible mirth.”

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