By Thea Srinivasan
While I have not read as many manga as other people, I can say I have read many types of manga. I can even say that I have read a decent amount of comedy manga. But I can honestly say I have never seen a comedy manga such as the one I’m reviewing. The following manga uses slapstick physical situations similar to Tom & Jerry and may not be suited for young readers. This is the only warning I will give for the following manga.
City is a cute comedy that doesn’t revolve around the main character. Instead, it uses different characters to explain various issues in their lives in a comedic manner. When an event happens to a character, that event usually influences another characters’ actions or coincidentally has another character in the background watching it all. Even though there are several characters and events that occur simultaneously, all of it occurs in a city where all of the characters live.
It’s a bit hard to describe the plot due to sheer ambiguous nature of it. But the best way to describe it is watching a set of different actions take place, yet only making a connection of said actions one or even two months down the line. A joke made a day ago only has its effects occurring in the present day. One action causes another reaction and this leads to events that make different characters interact with one another in hilarious situations. If anyone has read the manga called Nichijou, then people will understand how the story of City works.
The art style is the probably the best manga art style I have seen to date. Every detail is perfection and the balance between character design and backgrounds is beautiful. The character design for the manga is exceptional and the background stands out on its own. Without the background, the story would not be able to progress as it is a pivotal point in allowing the comedy to work itself out. While I am not an artist, I do believe that many other creators can learn from Keiichi Arawi. Even if the creator stops creating manga, I hope he continues drawing.
There is a multitude of characters throughout this manga. In order for the actual comedy to work itself, the characters themselves have to be slightly one dimensional. In other words, there is very little to no character development. Instead, the story is focused on the actions each character makes. One of my favorite scenes in the story revolves around a cat. Animals normally don’t have large personalities in stories, but this cat had a big one in the story and I found it really intriguing. I personally don’t have a particular favorite character, but I know that several readers will be able to find a character they identify with.
This manga is a unique comedy that revolves around an ensemble cast. Although each character plays their role, the comedy that comes together will make readers laugh their butt off. With a beautiful art style and a comedy style that makes people read the story from panel to panel, readers will be forced to engage with the story. This manga is for the person who likes to be a bystander and see how a comedic event plays out right before their eyes.
City vol. 1