Review: Watashi no Ookami-kun
I’m baaaaaaaack guys!
Since I started living in Japan, you’d think that there’d be more manga reading at the manga cafes and more video game playing, but sadly this is not the case for this intrepid writer. Working, job searches and alcohol take up a lot of time when I’m not reading mostly josei and seinen manga (it’s my boyfriend’s fault, I swear).
Anyway, here we are with a brief look at Watashi no Ookami-kun, a manga that I got into a few months ago, but want to talk about here. More info after the break!
Summary: Tokyo dweller Kusonoki Komugi lives with her mother, but can’t seem to connect with her classmates. Her mother’s impending business trip forces her to move to Hokkaido to live with her dad for year. At her new school, she finds herself sitting next to Ookami Yuu, and if you think with a name like that he’s a totally normal person, you’d be DEAD WRONG because he has a very predictable secret…
I took a bit of creative license with the summary just there. Hope y’all like it.
As much as I like this manga, I will be the first to admit that it’s far from a masterpiece. It’s a reverse harem shoujo manga. With cute boys. And supernatural stuff happens. I could have sworn I’ve read many manga similar to this in the past, and yet I can’t bring myself to pull away for some reason.
Komugi is super likeable. I like that she has a lot of emotional strength, and does her best to stand up for other people despite her past of being socially isolated. I also like that her reactions to the events of the story are totally believable, and resemble what I would do in a similar situation. There aren’t any negative things I can say about Komugi, so good job to Nogiri Youko-sensei on that one.
Ookami-kun’s predictable secret is exactly that if you know the meaning of the word “ookami” in Japanese (and it’s not a spoiler if you don’t look it up, guys). I actually really like him because he’s not an asshole and is actually trying to do what he thinks is best for Komugi’s well being. Bearing this in mind, his reasoning for his actions is actually quite plausible, and I really found myself rooting for him and Komugi at the later parts of the manga. The fact that he’s very attractive also doesn’t hurt.
The other harem members are nice in that there’s none of this “I’m going to treat the heroine like crap because people are into that salty personality” business. Everyone is generally nice, and has their reasons for treating Komugi the way they do. There’s even a tsundere, which is something that I appreciate. After the bonus chapter, I found myself liking Senri more and more, and I really want a spin-off series about him specifically! Nogiri-sensei, please make this a thing that happens!
Aside from that, Komugi’s parents and friends don’t really have much personality. I would attribute this to the length of the manga. Since it’s only about four volumes long, there’s only so much room to flesh out so many characters. Maybe if this was a longer series, there would be more depth to the universe, but as it stands, her parents and friends are believable humans, so I can’t voice too many complaints here.
Brief note on the art: it’s good. All of the male characters are attractive. Komugi is cute without being over the top, so it’s easier to get on board with the story. I can’t say anything bad about the art at all.
While I do have a lot of positive things to say about this series, I find that Watashi no Ookami-kun doesn’t really break any new ground. Within the supernatural subtype of shoujo manga, Nogiri-sensei’s characters have better characterization than a lot of other manga in this subtype, but there’s no immediately memorable feature about this series. It’s a good read for sure, but I wouldn’t put it on the list of masterpieces in shoujo manga. If you give it a try, you definitely won’t regret it, and compared to some recent manga, it’s much nicer. Just don’t expect your socks to be blown off and you’ll have a good time.
So that’s that. I need to go to a manga cafe sometime. I would shop at Book Off more, but I have a dust allergy and don’t want to start accumulating a lot of stuff I can’t keep dust free. Thankfully there are manga cafes, so I should put that on my list of things to do in the near future. I need the Japanese practice anyway.
See you all soon!