Posts Tagged 'houkago play'

Houkago Play: A Review

Okay, first things first I know I've been a bit of a 4koma binge.  Not to say that I'm biased or anything, it's just that lately I've discovered a lot of good manga that just happens to be you know…4komas. 

Houkago Play (After School Play) is created by mastermind Kurosaki Rendou.  There's currently two volumes out in this on-going series: The first volume is about a high school kid / gamer and his tsundere girlfriend, and the second is about another gamer kid and his non-gamer girlfriend. 

Both stories are of the seinen mold; you won't find any of that shounen, bishoujo, power up into insanely over-the-top battles here.  Just two simple kids who happen to be in love and unable to find a way to express it to the other.

Houkago Play volume one was pretty short as far as most mangas fare, but I can't remember reading a story that was so quick yet so perfectly developed.  Being a gamer myself, I was able to relate quite often to his unexplicable shyness.  Especially during his snappy remarks to his girlfriend.  He really seems to be able to express himself during those small moments, to his girlfriend's chagrin. 

I found those moments really telling of his personality in a very subjective view.  Probably due to the fact that I could really relate to the boyfriend — in my younger days, I definitely was this guy: a smarmy, cocky, asian whiz kid gamer who didn't talk much to anyone but had a lot of opinions. 

Personal note here: I was a very shy kid who didn't like to talk much.  Presentations in high school were a bitch too; I could've died in front of my class many a time, mark my words.  It was pretty bad until college, where I finally found myself.

As far as art goes, Houkago Play isn't really spectacular in any way.  There's not many detailed scenes, and hardly any panel goes by that doesn't have one or the other present in it.  The real gem here is the story development and the dialogue that goes on between these two. They never really say their names either — a nice touch, and one that really makes this a story that could've been told anywhere and by anyone.

It certainly makes that climax a lot more personal, if you know what I mean.  Especially those kissing scenes!

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