Final month Kodansha Comics launched the primary quantity of suspense-filled josei manga One thing’s Unsuitable with Us, which supplied one thing totally different within the style. Now VIZ Media have introduced the primary quantity of Not Your Idol to the West, hoping to equally provide one thing totally different within the shojo market. Does it show a worthwhile learn? Let’s discover out!
The story follows highschool woman Nina Kamiyama, who retains to herself and clothes within the boys’ college uniform. Nina was previously often called Karen Amamiya and was a member of the idol group Pure Membership, however after being attacked by a fan Nina retired from the business. After the assault, Nina shunned her femininity and every little thing that makes her a girl.
Out of the blue a lady from a close-by highschool is attacked, sending Nina’s classmates right into a frenzy of fear for themselves. For Nina, this brings again reminiscences of her assault and concern that it could possibly be the identical individual (since her attacker was by no means caught), however absolutely they wouldn’t nonetheless be after her…?
Not Your Idol is attempting to be a number of various things. On one hand, it’s a psychological thriller, however on the opposite, it’s attempting to face up for ladies and the way they don’t need to be harassed by males only for being feminine and carrying skirts. The issue is that it tries to juggle an excessive amount of and doesn’t handle any of all of it that efficiently.
The largest challenge is maybe Nina herself. After we first meet her she’s a powerful feminine lead, however the introduction of a male love curiosity, often called Hikaru, begins to interrupt down her character. Hikaru is a part of the judo membership at college and considered one of Nina’s classmates. After the warning from their instructor a couple of woman being attacked, Hikaru tries to get nearer to Nina beneath the pretence of defending her.
Whereas Nina is at first adamant that she doesn’t want a person to guard her, her sturdy resolve begins to crumble as time goes on. Nina even begins to surprise if she could possibly be a reasonably woman who can stand beside Hikaru, a thought that I really feel is sort of far faraway from what Nina’s character is meant to be. There’s a battle between Nina saying that women don’t gown as much as impress boys after which questioning if she could be a cute woman for Hikaru. If all it took was one boy to concentrate to her, Nina would have overcome her trauma and determination to forged off her femininity way back.
Even away from the connection between Nina and Hikaru, the manga has fairly just a few tough edges to easy out. It spends time on the budding romance between Nina and Hikaru, Nina attempting to beat her previous trauma, and on the menace nonetheless at massive, which is rather a lot for one quantity! It’s combined messaging and troublesome to get into if you’re unsure what to anticipate subsequent.
Curiously in Japanese Not Your Idol was titled Sayonara Miniskirt (or Goodbye Miniskirt), which seems like a extra becoming title, even when unintentionally. The story feels virtually as if Nina is rejecting her idol persona and feminine clothes than it’s her rejecting being a girl full cease. The title Not Your Idol initiatives a energy of character that Nina simply doesn’t have. It says that she doesn’t wish to belong to anybody, however that doesn’t come by means of within the story in any respect.
This sequence has been created by mangaka Aoi Makino (who has a number of titles to their identify earlier than this, however none licensed in English), who does an okay job with the paintings. Makino is nice at conveying feelings and has properly detailed artwork, however I discovered the character designs troublesome to get on with. Everybody has big eyes that don’t match properly in additional compact scenes and I discovered them very distracting. They virtually appear like dolls fairly than actual individuals.
As beforehand talked about Not Your Idol Quantity 1 involves the West because of VIZ Media and has been translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki. The interpretation reads properly with no points to talk of.
The sequence is on-going in Japan at 2 volumes, though it does appear to have been on hiatus since final Summer time so the following quantity would be the final of it. Quantity 2 is at present scheduled for an English launch in October, though I think about this may but change.
Total, Not Your Idol Quantity 1 is a combined bag. There may be an excessive amount of occurring to get a grasp of the place the story goes and what it needs to say. It’s clumsy and considerably irritating to learn. There are actually some attention-grabbing parts right here however to this point they’re not sufficient for me to advocate this to shojo readers. Maybe it’s a title value revisiting when Quantity 2 rolls round.