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Old 2009-07-11, 06:20   Link #1
Sol Falling
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Age: 25
Momo - Welcome to the Worldend Garden

lol wow, I'm actually making a thread for a series, and a shoujo at that. o_O

Anyway, here's the description from mangaupdates (which in turn seems to be from StarryHeaven, the scanlation group):

Quote:
On her sixteenth birthday, the unlucky, unmotivated and good-for-nothing Odagiri Yume saves the high-classed and lovely Momo, who claims to be the Devil. Yume confesses her wish to become special and Momo grants it: she makes Yume the representative of the earth! From now on her sixteenth birthday until her eighteenth, Yume has to give Momo seven good reasons as to why the earth shouldn’t be destroyed. The countdown for the destruction of the world has begun and only Yume can stop it.
The author is SAKAI Mayu, whom I've honestly got no idea about. This series seems to have some hype though, the cover pages keep screaming about being a new serialization and its onemanga rank is pretty damn high. lol 'k.


This series is pretty interesting, in the sense that, what with all the hype and promotional stuff surrounding it's opening, the first impression I got was that "this series thinks it's pretty damn good" but, over the course of several chapters, I was gradually hit with the realization that "hey! This manga actually is good, it's not just saying it!"

Although it's listed under 'shoujo' and 'romance', this series is pretty unique in the sense that the romance is pretty seriously out of the way. The focus so far has been fairly heavily placed upon the titular Momo, and the plot-based 'chase for the seven points'. The manga manages to keep this interesting because the acquiring of these 'seven reasons not to destroy the earth' are based on the main character (Yume's) ability to please Momo, a somewhat psychological question (seven things to make life worth living? Individual pleasures that, beyond any sort of intellectual understanding of "this is good" or "this is impressive", can generate a genuine and natural reaction of "this makes me happy"? To conciously pursue this, I'd say: a formidable challenge). And then you've got the central conflict between the logical acknowledgement of the certainty of a cold, unfeeling devil who will confront your failure by destroying your planet in unflinching adherance to the rules, and the fact that she is a warm, cute little girl who really seems to love you for the fact that you truly make her happy. There's a depth of feeling there; I think this manga is rare in the sense that, despite how stale it might sound in summary, there is real strength and exploitability in its completely original premise.

Then you've got the romance. I think the series is rather clever here, in the sense that although it has room (or, you could say smugly, it has created room) to indulge in all the usual (tedious) shoujo trappings, it refrains from it; or rather, has even shunted romance into the background. For example, although the manga is quick to establish a decently-sized harem around Yume who could be interested in her, the key romantic focus is narrowed down just as quickly (and without contrivance), while the others remain around as relevant side characters. Furthermore, although said character is granted an idyllic appearance and appointed a special position in accompanying her, Yume is repelled from considering him romantically and does not indulge in a feeling of superiority their relation could give her. The romantic interest, for his part, is not idyllically loyal/sensitive either; although he starts off treating Yume with a poor attitude, and they gradually grow closer, he does not simply 'do the right thing at the right time', as if his rudeness concealed a saintly soul which could automatically be depended on 'where it really counts'. All in all, the manga treats them as real characters, not escapist templates it assumes the audience is already emotionally invested in (and thus can be used to cheaply gratify by placing them in vicariously desirable situations).

A final point of strength is its art. Although it is generally attractive, there are a number of instances where the characters' cuteness (usually Momo's) really jumps out at you. There are quite a number of panels which have an inherent artistic merit, independant of their role in conveying the narrative.

All in all, I guess I'd say check it out. As a shoujo I suppose it wouldn't appeal to everyone, but I personally am finding a lot to like about it.
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Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game
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Old 2009-07-11, 15:18   Link #2
Irenicus
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Age: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling
The author is SAKAI Mayu, whom I've honestly got no idea about. This series seems to have some hype though, the cover pages keep screaming about being a new serialization and its onemanga rank is pretty damn high. lol 'k.
The super popular new series! With color pages! ... ...


Anyway, I thought it was rather good, but not as super awesome as it's purported to be. One of the things that really annoyed me was actually the romance. It was as if the author just went and thought, "he's a mysterious bad-mannered bishounen*, I'm writing a shoujo manga, conclusion: heroine needs to be attracted to him!" Pardon me, Ms. Mangaka, but it's been done ten million times before and I didn't like a single one of them! It's really not much deeper than "he's mean, what's with him! he's hot, what's with me?! he's mysterious, what is up? he's nice after all...wait, huh?" which I've seen ad nauseam. Maybe not being a teenage girl doesn't help, but still...

Thank the gods-, ah, the "Devil" I mean, for keeping it in the background for the most part.

The actual plot is more interesting though. The love interest guy is actually interesting there, too: his past, his resentment, his reasons, etc. Momo herself is also a good mixture of immortal fatigue and little girl excitement, and Yume of course at the very least is a likable hardworking heroine. The relationship between the two is far, far more interesting and heartwarming than that tacked on romance in my humble opinion. It's almost...familial. The way Yume goes around trying to show Momo the little things in Earthian life is almost like a big sister's mentoring, with just the right amount of sweet, funny, and sentimental.


*Isn't his real form something like an intergalactic slug?
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Old 2009-07-11, 19:56   Link #3
Sol Falling
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Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
*Isn't his real form something like an intergalactic slug?
lol, or some kind of cavernous plant, iunno. They threw out some sort of scientific name, but I think the actual picture was just Yume's imagination.

On the romance...:P haha. I admit it has all sorts of generic elements, but that's why I called it clever. It knows it is playing with a cliche here, so that's why it has shunted it into the background. While stereotypical reactions such as "I think he's hot, what's wrong with me" or "he's mysterious, I want to know more about him" might serve as the principal development or narrative motivators in other series, in 'Momo' the import of these sorts of feelings are subverted, so that Yume, as a character, only pursues goals or takes action on the basis of her plot-based motivations. However, by placing all these subdued and yet still recognizable roadsigns of a developing romance throughout the series, I think it has also made clear that romance will be a part of the series, and that it will get to it eventually. That's why, on the basis of it's 'genre-aware' treatment of stereotypical development it's featured so far, I hold hope that when the romance does come to the forefront, and starts to play a more motivating role in the narrative, it will be as compelling as the rest of the manga.

lol. I will agree however, that at the present moment, Yume's relationship with Momo is a lot more interesting. As the manga sort of emphasized via the recent 'other girl' arc, her relationship with Momo is also a positive influence for Yume. Yume's life without Momo is basically a dull, hard struggle for existance, as her negative luck has basically stripped everything from her, leaving her with 'nothing'; yet ironically it is through her relationship with Momo, where Yume's explicit role is to please her and give her more, that Yume is able to find a bit of joy and meaning.

lol oh shit, I think I may have just predicted one of the points. maybe.
__________________
Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game
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Old 2009-07-12, 00:17   Link #4
kirapika
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Join Date: May 2009
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Momo is a fun shoujo manga. Plus, I don't think that the plot is cliche at all.

What makes Momo interesting for me is that not only is this shoujo-fantasy having lots of redeeming qualities but there's actually hope for romance. Okay, call me a romance freak but really, aren't Nanagi and Yume just so cute?

All I can say now is that I always cannot wait for the next installment. Kudos to Sakai Mayu-sensei for this awesome yet somehow underrated (why!?) manga. ^^
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Old 2009-09-07, 20:30   Link #5
Irenicus
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
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Oh, zomg, the "Big Flashback." Looks like Nanagi isn't an intergalactic slug after all, but an "elven" prince...

...and Momo's form in his planet was of a very beautiful "elven" girl...

Aw, dang. It would have been more fun if he actually looks like Lrrr of Omicron Persei 8 or something instead. Plus points to the author for Everything Is Better With Princes, but minus for a lack of daring and innovation?
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Old 2009-09-07, 23:24   Link #6
Sol Falling
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Age: 25
I was pretty impressed with the technical explanation of the planet's heavily tilted axis and how that affected the local culture. That showed that there was some real thought put into this 'other planets' thing; not that I watch/read a lot of sci-fi, but that was the first time I've encountered such a planetary setup.

As for the slug thing, maybe that is actually Momo's original form? :P A somewhat unfortunate thought. That line in particular used 'we', if I remember correctly, but I wouldn't assume that Nanagi and Momo and that blond other guy all come from the same place. Actually, I think 'blond other guy's origins' might be the major backstory question now that we've had this flashback.

Anyway, I guess Nanagi being a prince is actually a bit cliche, but it did provide the bit of drama that came near the end there. I'm kinda curious how that situation could have lead to Nanagi's current resentment against Momo, though, as by the end of the chapter it seems both that Nanagi dislikes his current planet and also that it will be saved.
__________________
Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game
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Old 2009-12-23, 19:28   Link #7
Sol Falling
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Age: 25
It's kinda depressing. This thread doesn't even have 7 replies? Looks like no one else is reading this manga.

Chapter 15: I'm kinda wondering if this manga is being too clever with its romance. I mean, typically Kanaka would be an obsessed antagonist who gets in the way and screws everything up but still somehow manages to be sympathetic with his feelings thereby making the manga feel bad (not everybody can be happy). But this isn't the case here. Similarly to the subverted harem in the beginning, Kanaka steps out both promptly and gracefully. However, in the process something is muddled. Wtf? In the beginning it looked like Kanaka was the one who liked Yumi and Yumi just looked at Kanaka as a friend. But somewhere along the line this chapter, Kanaka's mom is made out to be the villain and Yumi's feelings are left truly ambiguous. Why did Yumi cry in the end? More importantly, why does Yumi support Kanaka's mother not for her own happiness but rather Kanaka's? Indeed, it puzzles me how she can even think that, that her discouraging Kanaka is for his sake, when he has made very clear that he loves her while she herself is falling for (and at least semi-aware of it) Nanagi. Is this really the case? Could Yumi actually be lying through her teeth and could the reason she doesn't hate Kanaka's mom be the fact that she doesn't like Kanaka that way anyway? Subconsciously maybe? I dunno. But in any case Yumi's true feelings for Kanaka are questioned. How bizarre.

Anyway, standard 'kyaa, they kissed!' (lol) here. I'm wondering if this might not be a subversion too--the not-kiss scene last chapter had way more tension (Is that good? Bad?!? I have no idea.).
__________________
Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game
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