By Dustin Cabeal
This review is my first time attempting to cover an individual chapter of a current manga. Fuuka, if you recall from the CBMFP, was a story that I feel in love with hard! I mean over a hundred chapters in a day. I forgot to eat at one point and wondered why my head hurt because I was so into this story.
The story in case you didn’t listen to the CBMFP or haven’t taken advantage of the “simulpub” offering that Crunchyroll and other legal manga distributors, is about a band. Okay, it’s about so much more than that. The gist is that a band formed in high school was meet with tragedy when their lead singer died. Her boyfriend kept the band together, and through a lot of trials, they’ve come together with the daughter of the man who killed their lead singer to form a new band. At the current part of the story, they’re touring Japan and have to sell all of their CDs to save their production company from going under.
This chapter is kind of a breather as the story just got out of what I felt was the weakest chapter of the series. The main character Haruna picked up another love interest as they came across a solo act that was going to retire from medical school so she could help her father. The story went from very believable and trenched in real life choices, to ending on a super happy high note which felt out of place, particularly in a series that killed its title character and second main character. It wasn’t bold or fitting with the story, and that was a shame.
Even though nothing, in particular, happens in Chapter 134, it was nice just to be rid of the last arc. What does happen is the band is lost in a snowstorm and forced to park on the side of the road and sleep. Haruna can’t sleep, and so he visits a shrine to make a prayer and Fuuka follows him. Oh, and he’s in love with Fuuka, who has the same name as his dead girlfriend and whose father killed his girlfriend. He’s about to tell her his feelings which took a back burner in the last two arcs when she tells him to put it into a song.
This series is at its best when the romance isn’t the focus. The music and the drama of selling CDs are the interesting part, and the sidebar romance just adds a level of intrigue. Lately, it’s been the focus, and that’s made it less enjoyable. Hopefully with the renewed interest in making another hit song the series will get back on to the music, which is why I had such a keen interest in it, to begin with.
The artwork is always beautiful. It’s detailed, it’s a house style of being well drawn and full of attractive people, but there’s something about Kouji Seo’s artwork and presentation that sticks with me. The way they present the music and the emotion that comes with it makes it stand out compared to other manga.
While this chapter is just a palate cleanser and the start of a new arc, it was still a decent chapter. Not great, but I’ll be back for more. It was still better than the five or so before it which dragged and dragged. Check it out before it’s an anime, because it’s going to be an anime.
Fuuka – Ch. 134
Creator: Kouji Seo
Publisher: Kodansha Comics