Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Ugly: Flying Bunny

Ugh, what a mess. Nothing excuses a really messy manga. Not even cute artwork. The only thing I’ll give this Ugly is that the artwork was great. Otherwise, it was all over the place.

Honestly, I don’t really like writing reviews on mangas I don’t like, which is why I’m not going to spend too much time on this. The thing about this is that it’s actually quite randomly put together. If this was a well set out manga, I wouldn’t be writing this as The Ugly, but just as another review. This had the potential to be a good story, but it fell off in certain places.

For one, I’ll admit that I’m biased. I really really don’t like teacher-student relationships. I never really had a thing for any of my teachers in the sense that I’d fall in love with them. I had maybe a couple of cute teachers when I was at high school, but that’s kinda where it stopped. I find this a tad bit creepy and it makes me cringe every time I pick one of these up.

Actually, I’ll have to say, I read a one-shot that was worse than this. I mean, really terrible. I completely hated it – and it was another student-teacher one. It would’ve cleanly beaten this as The Ugly, but I disliked it so much, I deleted it before even thinking about it. Anyway, let’s see how this one goes. It isn’t as Ugly as can be, but once I unpick it, it’ll feel like it :P

Our story is about this chick who likes to run. Because I’m quite exasperated with this manga, I’m not going to bother with names – mainly because I didn’t take the time or initiative (or even just give a shit) to remember their names. She’s in love with her running coach – who in turn used to be in love with her mother when HE was a student, and the mother was the running coach. So we have chick, mom, teacher. Mom doesn’t really appear. Chick is really in love with this guy and she’s waiting to graduate first before she confesses to him – in a way, it’s like she’s learning from HIS mistake, when he lost his position as a student by confessing to his teacher – her mother. She says that when she saw him as a teacher, he didn’t recognize her and stuff, but she really totally digs him and maybe one day she’ll be able to tell him, once she’s graduated. And he’s all, shouldn’t you be in love with someone? And she’s all blushing and doki doki (although the sound effect wasn’t there. BIG minus points! I LOVE the doki doki!) and he’s trying to make heads or tails of it.

Yadda yadda yadda. She’s all “I’m going to wait to tell him!” He says “You can’t confess to a teacher!” she’s all “but I’m in love!” *blubber blubber* and he’s like “You’re her DAUGHTER!” – like suddenly, in THAT instant he remembered. Or her knew it all along! So then he’s all, oh, I almost couldn’t control myself because you reminded me of your mom. WOW. Way to flatter a girl. I’m not saying looking like your mom is a bad thing, I’m saying, this guy can’t stop thinking about you because he can’t stop thinking about your MOM. I mean – how great does that make you feel? Lovely, I’m sure. Very lovely.

She gets upset and loses her mojo, so she goes for a run. She nearly collapses and he finds her and takes her home. Nope – HER home (in case you smutty ones out there were getting a bit excited). She has some strange random dream about a bunny saying something wise, but she doesn’t really know what, or didn’t really hear. I thought this would be some kind of development or something interesting to work on – but that’s where it stops. It was completely random. She just dreamt about a bunny saying something to her and that was it. You never really find out what, there was no concentration on it, and it seems like it was something of no significance whatsoever – which is why we’d assume it was never mentioned again. So why is it in there? The mangaka seemed to be in the mood of drawing a couple of bunnies, jotted them down and then decided to make them a plot device – that went absolute nowhere. I don’t understand that. Was it just an excuse to have a bunny in there just so it could justify the title? COME ON. Mangas have the most random titles ever. None of them need justifying. I mean, the one-shot I reviewed before was called Just Stay Gold. What’s that mean? No significance! What if in that manga they had a single frame of a gold statue, just so the title would make sense? Didn’t happen, did it? Gah! I’m someone who picks up on things like plot devices and symbolism or imagery. When you put something out there for no reason, there’s nothing worse! But let’s not dwell on that. (Although I actually did.)

The next day, they get called in because there was a report that they’d been seen together. Technically, he’d been doing his teacherly duties by taking care of a student and it was FINE. No violations. But for some reason, she lies about it. I didn’t really get it. What’s she trying to do? Protect him from… what? Maybe it’s the paranoia that he’ll lose his job or something – but still. It’s strange. She then ends up telling him she’s not going to give up. And then that’s the end.

Tell me if I’ve been too harsh, but that manga seemed like it had no substance. Their relationship was non-existent because Teacher seemed hung up on Mom and not wanting to screw up, and Chick was having a one-sided thing. I think maybe it was supposed to be some insight on “Forget the past! Think of the future!” but that never really happened. I don’t even think the teacher was convinced. He never seemed to have any true feeling for her. There was no shoujo development of any kind. Half the time he was like “I really don’t want to do this” and she’s all “Okay, I’ll ignore you and touch your face!”

I really didn’t like this.

So as for it being really Ugly… It is. Don’t waste your time! The only thing I liked was the fact that the bunnies were really cute. The artwork is the only thing this manga has going. There weren’t any ‘moments’ or fluffy shoujo lines, and using lovely artwork to distract you from the fact that the story sucks – well, you didn’t fool me this time. Good luck the next time! Stupid bunnies.


(Image © FUJITSUKA Yuki. None of these images belong to me)