Ashita no Ousama

 Ashita no Ousama by Yachi Emiko

Ashita no Ousama by Yachi Emiko

Yu has found the stage full of dreams and happiness. Fascinated by magic of the drama, she struggles to be a stage director and a scriptwriter. This is her drama. – Wingtip Cafe

Glancing over the reviews at MangaFox, this seemed to be some hidden gem of perfection that I hadn’t even heard of. I found it in one of my rummagings through the Josei section, and I am glad I did. To me, it was not the flawless piece of perfection people felt it to be, with people feeling it was a master piece of natural real life Josei with a unique plot. Indeed I enjoyed its natural dialogue and human reactions, and felt its slice of life vibe coming through.  However, it was not, by a long shot, perfection.

The plot was good, strong and mainly unique (however, since my favourite manga Skip Beat follows along similar lines, I may be less impressed by its uniqueness) and not overly dramatic. The protagonist does, however, have some certain background issues that are never explored to give more depth to the character beyond her present self, who is by all account, extremely blessed in talent, luck and circumstance. In that I feel the real, underplayed tone of the manga goes off tune slightly- for such a down to earth manga, I expected more back story, development and struggle. The easy path of her career made for simple good reading, but I think it had the potential to be more emotionally investing.

The characters themselves are all unique from one another in terms of art, image, personality and reactions, and this helps to create the downplayed tone of the manga. The art was cute enough, slightly awkward in the mouths and faces sometimes, but this style fits with the manga as a whole and helped represent the characters. The protagonist isn’t unduly stupid or naive and the love interests are not some full on sudden intense emotion,  all emotion is developed subtly with human details and warning signs clear to the reader creating a sense of dramatic irony.  This is not to say you can BOOM straight off predict the path of the plot, far from it, the human reactions often threw me off track- clearly I am too used to over the top manga expressions and reactions.

The ending also left me a bit empty. “Is that it?” It wasn’t just a naturalistic open ending. It left half my projected plot to the wayside, and all the possible character development with it. Was it rushed? I swear she said something foreboding about not knowing what was round the corner only the chapter before? Ahh, It just made me pull a bit of a face. Part of a character development, with not much on background apart from some allusions to the grandmother which are never studied in depth as part of character psyche, and as such I was just at a bit of a loss.

But despite all this, It is still a very good understated sort of navy blue manga. Safe and strong, an easy relaxing read with a laid back naturalistic attitude to enjoy at your leisure. Nothing dramatic, just and engaging plotline, interesting characters and an interesting plot subject. I just wouldn’t describe it as “Flawless” that’s all.

4/5, nice and safe, but not perfection.

 

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