Entry #17: Momokuri (SoM/A 2018)

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I’m crying about being bad about the pace at which I read these, then continue to go disgustingly slow. I hate myself when I’m more interested in other things.

Regardless, I decided to move forward into familiar territory with my next manga series. For those unaware, I’ve already reviewed the anime version of Momokuri on my blog after it finished airing a couple years back. I was somewhat high on the show while also being a little despondent that it didn’t incorporate more of a focus on building the romantic relationship between the main couple. The manga version is essentially the same with more content, so one can immediately assume my thoughts on it run parallel to its TV version.

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Though not entirely true, mostly because I don’t remember the finer details of what I liked and disliked about the TV version, my final rating is the same (Spoilers for those who remember). Generally likable on the surface level with only some degree of underlying intrigue. Characters have somewhat artificial issues while the “twist” of the series being that the female lead is an obsessive stalker is played off for laughs more than anything.

How strange would it be to have a series like this, which looks like this, be something a lot more psychological at its core. We know that Kuri is an obsessive stalker when it comes to Momo, but we never know why that is so. She simply sees how cute he is and is suddenly an obsessive stalker. That’s not really how things work, does it? Shouldn’t there be some traumatic issue at the back of a person’s mind that allows them to overindulge in these potentially harmful behaviors? Like perhaps Kuri is trying to supplement the loss of a loved one (perhaps a father) by doting on a male figure in her life and never feeling comfortable living without them. It’d definitely be more interesting, though that isn’t to say the way this manga currently is isn’t interesting. It’s just about what I would expect from already watching the anime and the presumptions of what Japanese culture is more interested in. For reference, Animal Crossing is far more lucrative for Nintendo than Metroid is in Japan.

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Well by golly, I’ve come to this point without really mentioning much about the manga itself. Reason being is that after re-reading my thoughts on the anime version, a lot of the same criticisms and such still apply. While the anime didn’t show everything the manga has to offer, what is exclusive to its original source seems too superficial to warrant a jump to the anime version, which I suspect was their mindset. A couple minor characters end up fussing a little bit as to their romantic feelings towards one another—two characters I could seriously never see working out, curiously enough. It takes up a little bit of time near the ending volumes, though it never gets so dramatic as to make everything awkward for everyone. The “nice” thing about Momokuri is that it’s almost never gloomy or serious. It’s a nice fluff of cute and optimistic in a way that works insofar that people don’t tend to take it too seriously.

Speaking of cute, the artwork of Momokuri, especially in the first two volumes, is kind of bad. Really sketchy and out of focus, almost as though the mangaka was unsure as to how they wanted these characters to look, as well as trying to find their own groove with how they wanted the series to look. One distinguishable thing is that this manga is fully-colored, which definitely helps set the tranquil mood of carefreeness that it embodies by never taking anything all that seriously. By the later volumes, the art becomes much cleaner and more boldly varied in a way that was a lot nicer on the eyes. Even characters’ dialogue bubbles are colored in a way that notes who’s talking. One character has a pink background, one has blue, another has green, and so on, which is a really neat touch. Starts off rough, but eventually becomes cutie patootie.

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More than everything, however, Momokuri is a story for those looking for a more slice-of-life type of situation, where the most engrossing part of a story is the little conversations between two characters trying to build a relationship with one another. While it took me two days to actually pick out this story to read, it only took me about twelve hours (with breaks) to read this entire thing. It all blends together in a way that makes it feel like a continuous story unlabeled by chapters and numbers. It’s just, quite literally, a slice of life from the perspective of a group of characters. Add in a little romance and kawaii kookiness and Momokuri is birthed unto the world.

Again, it’s not a bad series, just something that isn’t particularly deep or insightful. It does what it wants to do splendidly, sacrificing the deeper impact of more dramatic or intellectual plot devices that could come from the mindset of the female lead. While I find that important in a series to have its place within my memory banks, the execution of its soft color palette does enough to make me not regret indulging in the simpler aspects of life with a stalker girlfriend. Scratch that, actually.

Final Score: 6/10

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

To see the ratings for all entries in this Summer and all others, check out the Summer of Anime Archive!

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