Thoughts on Baketeriya

Hmm. So I CAN finish things I had left on-hold for over a year. I’m proud of myself.

Now then, Baketeriya. What a waste of time this was. This was recommended to me by an old friend of mine, due to her infatuation with the character, “Icchi.” I read the first two chapters, thought it was interesting. A little later, I read chapter three… it felt off. It seemed more like something I wouldn’t really get into. A battle shounen type of story that didn’t really appeal to me (the main character didn’t help). As it turns out, reading on, it isn’t really a battle shounen type of story at all. In fact, it’s more like a slice of life than anything, with a bit of cliche romance and supernatural elements sprinkled in. That, I believe, was the most disappointing part of the story.

The main character is the main character. There is nothing more to say.

But there are others! There’s Icchi, the character that influenced my friend to recommend this title to me. She has two sides: 2cool4school and 2school4cool. She’s graceful, powerful, and caring. She’s also self-indulgent, rude, and sarcastic. Which of these groups of personality traits apply to what category? I don’t know. I just felt like saying 2cool4school.

There’s the foreign girl who hates men (except the main character because why the hell not?). She’s the tsundere role, except she kind of isn’t. She has the tendencies, but not the full on personality. I didn’t care for character early on. As the manga continued, I’ve come to dislike her.

There’s also what’s-his-face-glasses-wearing-weird-guy. He was my favorite character early on, with his aloof nature and whimsical pranking. He seemed like he knew what was going on in every situation, yet never cared to lift a finger to aid his comrades. My kind of guy. Later on, he becomes serious after his past is revealed… and then I didn’t care for him anymore.

I believe that’s it for major characters…. Speaking of characters, this manga likes to add characters only to drop them after their role is over. By the way, most (if not all) are pretty, young women. I see what you’re doing there, Baketeriya. You’re too shameful. I can recall three different times where this happened, with every story spanning just one chapter. I guess Baketeriya recycles regularly enough.

Speaking of recycling, the plot of the story doesn’t like to show up for half of the story. What does this hve to do with recycling? It comes back… and it’s pretty much the same. They also throw in a “twist” ending. It wasn’t very effective, seeing as the main character is unlikable, and with most of the manga focusing on developing a relationship that will most likely never happen, they didn’t leave much time to develop any sort of connection to the main character or his past. Ho-hum.

The art wasn’t amazing. It seemed as though the story only cared to draw the most bustiest of women. Er, excuse me, women. Sure, there are plenty of male characters, but they’re mostly henchmen. The women actually get involved with the plot to some degree, specifically those who join the gang after their “defeat.” Sure, the main character is male, but he’s bland and only there for love triangles and stupid harem cliches. Sure, weird guy with glasses is male, but he isn’t really important until the end. It’s just this: girl, girls, girls. If you’re in it for the ladies, this is your style of artwork. Although, I’ll give it props for grossing me out a couple times. This story is truly gross.

It seems my friend has bad taste. Ho-hum. If not for Icchi, would she have even cared to pick up this story, I wonder? I probably would. The premise is interesting enough (they all are). It just delivered in mundane fashion and prioritized glitz over pure story telling. Baketeriya isn’t anything to hold with disdain, it just tried too hard to be something grand. However, without any emotion toward the characters in the story and a shaky plot, that’s very hard to come by.

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