Currently Reading: Kirakira 100%

I’m finally back from exam season, AND I’M ALIVE! Now that I have a few days to relax and catch up on both my manga and non-manga related reading, I feel a lot happier than I have in a week or so.

Philosophy of Science is interesting, but it’s just not my strong suit (even though my essay marks are above average, STILL. IT’S DIFFICULT.)

Anyway, onto Kirakira 100%! This is something I just picked up today, actually. I had no intention of writing anything substantial when I started reading it, but I’m kind of enjoying it, oddly enough. Well, here goes!

Kirakira 100% by Mizusawa Megumi

(Should I keep the images this big from now on? Normally, I keep them smaller, but I think I’m liking it like this. Thoughts?)

Summary (From Mangafox): Miku is an ordinary girl, who has a crush on her classmate Shibutani-kun. Miku doesn’t have confidence in herself, and holds her feelings inside. But one day, after a makeover with the help of her guy friend Yuutenji, she ends up confessing her love to Shibutani-kun!

Thoughts so far:

Ignore the rather lackluster-sounding summary you see above. This manga is actually VERY readable. And mildly enjoyable, I might add.

In all honesty, the real title of this manga is “What NOT To Do In A Happy Relationship”. This manga basically goes through a whole ton of cookie-cutter shoujo problem scenarios, and deals with them in really fresh way. Sure, the end result was basically the same, but the journey to the conclusion didn’t have a contrived feeling at all. Now THAT’S something I can get behind!

I actually see a lot of my high-school self in Miku. I was definitely shy, but not like that, though. But the issues that she has with her appearance and lack of fashion sense are issues that my high school self can TOTALLY identify with. Back then, I was definitely more interested in band and my platonic friends than anything else, but I CAN EMPATHISE, MIKU ^_^ There are some things that annoyed me about her though, like her lack of trust in Shibutani and her overall impressionability. But there are people that are like this in the real world, I suppose. I think that part of her maturation process has to involve learning how to really trust other people, so I can’t fault the mangaka for writing Miku’s character like this; I guess it would contribute to helping other girls in similar situations realize that acting in a similar manner is a bad idea.

Shibutani is about as non-objectional as you can get, really. He’s pretty clueless about his girlfriend’s feelings a lot of the time, but he’s improving…slowly, but surely. I really don’t have any issues with him other than the fact that I don’t think guys as non-objectionable as him really exist in real life, XD But he’s caring, and kind, and I think he’s almost (read: almost, not IS) an exemplar as to how guys should treat their girlfriends: WITH RESPECT! Except when he forgets her birthday!

I really like Miku’s friend, Go-chan. I only wish more girls in real life had the sense that girl has. The other more “stylish” friends that Miku has don’t interest me very much. It’s like they’re only in the manga to make Miku feel like she’s inadequate (which is how the mangaka prompts Miku to do stupid things like using diet pills), but I guess that’s a semi-okay justification for them to be in the manga.

While all of these things may seem good, this manga really doesn’t break that much new ground. Miku, Shibutani and the other supporting characters, despite being surprisingly likeable, aren’t really that memorable in the sense of the roles their characters fulfill. All the major shoujo archetypes are here, and while it’s fun to watch play out, the whole exercise isn’t something I can see a lot of seasoned shoujo readers getting a lot out of, especially as these readers get older.

Overall, I think this manga is targeted to girls just starting high school – after that, your mileage may vary.

The art is very cute – and very representative of the shoujo genre. When I say that, I mean that I couldn’t pick up on any distinctive aspects of the art style that set this apart from a lot of the other stuff I read. The art is really nice to look at, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that it doesn’t serve to set this series apart from the other thousands of works in the shoujo genre – a glaring shortcoming with a series with this type of plot setup.

Basically, Kirakira 100% is a fun little piece of fluff, nothing more. If you don’t come into this expecting epic wonderful-ness on the Kare Kano scale, you’ll probably enjoy this on some level.

Rating so far: 7.0/10. (I think a solid bronze rating suits this manga just fine.)

+: A fun, inoffensive read.

-: Glaring stereotypicality, art style lacks unique flair.