Monday Manga: Fuuka Me or Fuuka Yuu

*Contains Spoilers*

Fuuka“Fuuka is a sequel to the 2004 manga Suzuka. The story follows Yuu Haruna, a loner and an avid Twitter user that made a promise with his childhood friend Koyuki Hinashi of starting a band. One night, on his way to buy dinner, he stops to take a photo to upload to Twitter. A strange high school girl named Fuuka Akitsuki accidentally bumps into him and mistakenly believes that Yuu is trying to take a photo of her panties, which causes her to smash his phone. Fuuka leaves behind a CD, which Yuu returns the following day. Appreciating Yuu’s personality, Fuuka starts a relationship with him, but this is complicated when Koyuki, now a popular idol, contacts Yuu on Twitter and invites him to attend her concert.”

~ Wikipedia

The following review is a hodgepodge of several thoughts on a review of the manga, Fuuka. TG didn’t get a chance to write this Sunday for Monday posting, till lunch on Monday. Therefore, it is an unedited stream of consciousness of being food starved. It’s a little messy.

Rating Summary

Art: 3 – Average

Story: 4 – Good

Dialogue and Development: 4 – Good

Overall: 4 out of 5

*Contains Spoilers* Tentacle writes about events in the manga in the 142 chapters currently out on Simulpub on CrunchyRoll.com manga section. Don’t want spoilers, stop reading. **Note: this only covers the Manga, not the recent season of the Anime**

Still here?

So from the above wiki entry you can see that this is going to be a common high school love triangle between Yuu, Koyuki, and Fuuka. While in some aspects this may be a little true it, it develops into a beautiful tragedy about the idea of love, fulfilling dreams (even if they don’t start out as your own), and moving forward in life.

So we start with Yuu Haruna who lives on the internet via his cell phone, with a specific focus on twitter. Yuu lives with his three sisters. Maya, who is the oldest and is the current mother of the house where they all rent. Hibiki is the second oldest sister that seems to lack cloths when on the page being condescending to Yuu. Then you have the young energy filled child Chitose, who has a touch of a serpent fang when she teases her older brother.

Let’s start with the opening scenes of the series. As you flip through the opening pages, there is our bumbling idiot (of course) the teenage boy named, Yuu consumed by his phone and playing on twitter while walking home. Within no time a young teenage female protagonist Atkitsuki Fuuka is seen leaping into the page with headphones on and music blaring. What do you know? The smack into each other with their material possessions flying everywhere. Fuuka accuses poor Yuu and being a pervert (are we surprised?) and taking an upskirt shot of the first (spoiler) heroine of the series. Of course she smashes the phone and runs off and leaving a CD behind. In his grief and embarrassment, Yuu picks it up with the intent to hopefully return it.
Yuu the pervert

Plot twist, it seems they go to the same school. This is where the intertwined friendship starts and a possible romance buds. They become friends and Fuuka helps crack Yuu’s shell of lack of social skills as the series progresses. We introduce Makoto Mikasa, Fuuka’s gay best friend, who seems to be the level head and silent logic of the group. Kazuya Nachi who wants Fuuka to join the track team and help lead them to victory (this plot never happens with good reason). He is the oldest and worrisome character of the bunk. Then we get Sara Iwami who comes off as a cold stoic female of the group and is actually a friend of Yuu’s (unknowingly) on twitter at first before meeting in real life.

So I’ve covered the beginning chapters  of character introductions and I’ll summarize the plot here. Fuuka is the lost soul who doesn’t know what she wants to do and Yuu is the fool who slowly grows into a person. Fuuka likes Yuu and he is confused in the beginning and figures they are just good friends. Yuu helps Fuuka decide what she wants to do in life and that is make music and be a singer. The group of four start a band, meet their idols who inspire them and just happen to be the most popular band in all of the past decade, the Hedgehogs.

Meanwhile the love triangle interest of Koyuki, who is a Teen Idol and a childhood friend of Yuu, makes waves in Yuu and Fuuka’s friendship to interrupt their budding relationship. Fuuka and Koyuki become friends and past secrets of love are spilled. Time goes on, all are friends, Koyuki declares her unrequited love for Yuu on a television show. Of course, Koyuki’s fans threaten Yuu and things get a bit rushed from there. So Yuu and the crew’s band are actually known and Fallen Moon, with their first concert at the student festival during the scandal. Things happen, Fallen Moon does a cool performance etc etc.

At some point the plot arc of the love triangle comes to a head, and Koyuki corners the two and asks Fuuka if she can still love Yuu while they love each other. It’s a hard blow to Fuuka and Yuu as the admit their feelings to each other and plan for it not affect the band. A cutie romance ensues and the band begins to attempt to make a name for themselves. On the eve of a big gig, Fuuka doesn’t appear. Why?
awwww

She’s hit by a freaking bus. Fuuka Akitsuki is dead.

Thoughts up to this point: Well that is the biggest freaking plot twist you do not see coming. It was shocking and angry when it happened. Thought it was the end of the manga, then you realize there are so many more chapters left.

More plot summary:  The tentacle is going to wrap this up as quickly as one can without talking the whole plot of the manga to you.

Grief becomes the theme of the story arc and how will Yuu and the rest deal with what went down. Well they decided to carry on and become the biggest band since the Hedgehogs, because that’s what Fuuka Akitsuki would want. They drop out of high school and focus on the band full time, going through the trials of tribulations of their first road tour and signing to a failing label ran by a former superstar producer.

Along the way you meet another bands like Le Bard, and the Rabbitz (which is a front for Koyuuki in disguise as she ends her idol career), along with assorted cast members as they try to make their way to the top.

So a key moment this tentacle hasn’t added yet during these stories is the entrance of Fuuka Aoi, a fellow singer who ran into Yuu as a street musician who is trying to make it big. They become friends and develop feelings for each other which is about where we leave off the current state, right before a big gig.

Lets rewind a second. During the push forward of Fallen Moon, Yuu and Aoi fates are intertwined from either the spirit of Fuuka Akitsuki or by the Hedgehogs themselves. A great stint sets up Aoi joining the band, where they change the name to Blue Wells. There is a little festival thrown by the Hedgehogs where they invite Fallen Moon and Aoi, along with other new up and coming artist to perform. The secret goal by the Hedgehogs is to see if the next great thing will show up. Little this, and little that, Fallen Moon performs a few of their songs with Aoi at a makeshift stage and draw everyone in the festival to them.

So that starts the chain of events where Fuuka Aoi and Yuu begin their love affair as they move forward as band mates. The authors treat us to a chapter where it seems Fuuka and Fuuka have met once during a summer vacation. Kind of lame, but you can see it coming. Major Spoiler: Fuuka’s dad was driving the truck that killed Fuuka.

So current state of chapter 142 is the band Blue Wells is missing Fuuka before a live gig. In the tangled web of miscommunication between her and Yuu, he rushes to find her.

Now you are mostly caught up from what this tentacle can remember of all 142 chapters.

Final Thoughts:

It’s pretty entertaining so far, and you get the classic high school love triangle serialization from the get go. That arc, in and of itself, develops over a progress story centered on Fuuka through the eyes of Yuu. Meeting friends following her dream of making music in a band with people she cares for.

Then much like the derailing of events that hit you like a bus (bad pun), the story switches the focus to angle on Yuu and the band as they progress forward with Aktsuki’s dream. But the catch is, it becomes their dream and their goals. They move forward.

While the manga does travel the length of Yuu becoming a person and growing, what isn’t covered here in this review is the break from Yuu and anyone named Fuuka. We gain character development of Mikasa and his family when he makes the choice to focus on the band and not follow in the family footsteps.

You get to see Sara grow in her social awkwardness but still maintain a life on social media that you see Yuu just drop. But Sara has always been able to put her phone down and live her life in a stoic like balance of her personality. She’s rude, crass and blunt to the point where she doesn’t know it. She’s one of my favorite characters. Even Kazuya has early growth when he decides not to focus on the track team and follow Fuuka down the path of music.

It’s these little plot points and side trips of story arc that drive the story forward. With regression for a part that is stretched a little too thin or just lame (see Fuuka meeting Fuuka chapter). I feel there is a bit of forced disconnectedness that didn’t need to be there. But so it is written, it has come to pass.

Blue Wells

Let’s sum it all up out of 5.

Art: 3 – Standard for this type of weekly manga. Nothing stands out as different from other music mangas.

Story: 4 – I have to say the story of the side arcs give this a boost from a 3 to a 4. Could be a 5 but the parts that felt forced deducted 1.

Dialogue and Development: 4 – There characters that this tentacle likes, hates, and could care less about. This tentacle is involved.

Overall: 3.6 round up to a 4

Drunk Tentacle Food: Bourbon Vanilla Waffles

Food for the drunk

2 cups flour (Tentacle Greg uses Hungry Jack, but a good pastry flour works best)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk (or almond milk, for the lactose inclined)

1/4 cup oil (canola, not olive) you could try butter, but I would butter not

1/4 shot of vanilla extract

1/2 shot of your favorite maple syrup

2 shots of bourbon (TG uses Angel Envy Expressions Port Finish, the Rum finish is also good)

*If you need it, use 1/4 cup brown sugar to add more sweetness. Try adding a dash of cinnamon and curry (or cumin) for a spicy taste.

Mix it all together and throw it on the waffle iron.

Top with powdered sugar or what have you.

Tentacle Recommends 3 Anime (pt 1)

Old and New

KonoSuba

KonoSuba

“Following an untimely and embarrassing death, Kazuma Satō, a Japanese teenage shut-in, meets a goddess named Aqua, who offers to reincarnate him in a parallel world with MMORPG elements, where he can go on adventures and battle monsters.” – Wikipedia

Thoughts: The second season of KonoSuba started recently and it has taken off in a better format than the first season. It’s a light heart-ed comedy with the fantasy D&D/RPG elements and a touch of fan service. If you liked Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? you will get a kick out of this one. Yes you get your elements of “fan service”.

See you in space.

Cowboy Bebop

“In 2071, roughly fifty years after an accident with a hyperspace gateway made the Earth almost uninhabitable, humanity has colonized most of the rocky planets and moons of the Solar System. Amid a rising crime rate, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set up a legalized contract system, in which registered bounty hunters (also referred to as “Cowboys”) chase criminals and bring them in alive in return for a reward.” – Wikipedia

Thoughts: Westerners first real taste of anime on the television (thank you Adult Swim). Cowboy Bebop is a classic tale of space opera bounty hunters trying to pay the bills. A classic, an oldie, and one you should take off your bucket list and see. Firefly and Killjoy fans, this is a predecessor.

(Special Mention: Space Dandy)

Tomoki is a perv.

Cowboy Bebop

Heaven’s Lost Property

“Tomoki Sakurai is a perverted teenage boy whose motto is “Peace and quiet are the best,” and often has dreams of meeting an angel. He finds it difficult to live in comfort when he has to put up with Sohara Mitsuki, his next-door neighbor with a killer karate chop; Eishiro Sugata, an eccentric pseudo-scientist bent on discovering the “New World”; and Mikako Satsukitane, their school’s sadistic student council president.” – Wikipedia

Thoughts: This is the anime, besides Bravo Girls, that reintroduced me into the game about two years ago. Yes it’s a harem comedy anime with a perverted teen male at the center of large buxom ladies. The heart of the story brings it home and even the OVA has a loose but direct tie in. Harem battle anime fans should at least give it 3 episodes to get into.

 

Until the next list: Happy Monday

~TG

Life in 2d

The start of a beautiful friendship.

 

Editing of the first post. This blog in and of itself will be the beginning of an on-going developer’s diary as a game designer. It will also serve as a review blog for anime, manga, and the wonderfully awful martial arts films that I so love.

In addition it will be post of musing of travel, complaints, positives and heart-felt feelings of life, friends and the like.

Welcome to the world of the tentacle. This one is named Greg.