Tom Aug 18, 2012
Serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump” from 2002 to 2005, this title is not typical of what I would normally pick up. Regardless, after the first chapter with mystery strawberry panties, I was hooked. Brought to the states by Viz in 2007, up to volume 14 has been published.
The Gist: The main character Junpei Manaka is the luckiest guy, period. Starting in middle school Manaka wishes to become a movie director. His encounter on the school roof with an unknown girl in strawberry panties is inspiring enough to encourage his film making pursuit. The mystery girl is one of several nubile teen girls that surround Manaka in this series, making him the head of this “harem” type story. After entering high school and starting a film club, the story focuses on Manaka’s many relationships with the four main girls, each which has her own endearing and distinct personality. Manaka’s indecisiveness drives the story. He tries to be nice to all the girls, and by doing so, will never choose just one. He keeps managing to get himself into situation after daring situation with the different girls, building the suspense for the outcome. Like a broken compass that doesn’t know which way is north, Manaka spins in all directions trying to follow his heart. Eventually he must make a choice.
I’m not going to highly recommend this series because there were times I was rolling my eyes with the fan service. I’d think guys would love it, though. If you can look past that, the characters are rather well developed and the story is an interesting one.