The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Rose Hip Rose

Title: Rose Hip Rose
Genre: Action
Format: 4 volumes
Mangaka: Tohru Fujisawa
Synopsis: Aiba Shouhei is a bored high school student that takes pictures of girls panties, but not because he is a pervert, but because he is looking for a thrill, something exciting. One day in the subway he tries to take a picture of a certain girl, a mysterious young lady, with impressive skills: Asakura Kasumi, but Shouhei gets caught in the act and forgiven, with a smile. Soon learns Shouhei that this girl, who turns out to be the new transfer student and his new neighbor is more than meets the eye, since she is a one girl army against terrorist acts codenamed: Rose Hip.

Characters: One lacks conclusion while the other needs background.
Action: Simple and uninspired.
Plot: Not the most complicated, but it works.

To tell the truth I didn’t have high hopes for this manga, Why? First of all, I am not a fan of girls-with-guns mangas. Second of all the girls-with-guns mangas I have read aren’t very good, since they fall into the fan service world which more often than not lack substance. Well, I have to admit here and now that I was proved wrong, to some extent. The fan service is almost non present which is a good thing, but the substance wasn’t dense enough to withstand the weight of the story and the characters.

Soon the story spins around Rose Hip and her dark, forgotten and sad past, which is partially explained and left with a “To be continued” note at the very end. The manga could be another 4 volumes longer and maybe that wouldn’t be enough. Although Rose Hip’s past and future ended so broadly, the conclusion for Shouhei is solid and interesting, his past remains untouched, unvisited and undeveloped.

The art is crispy, specially in the actions scenes, which, by the way, aren’t the best since they are anything but innovative. Character design might be familiar if you have seen anything by Fujisawa Tohru who is the famous author of GTO. Facial expressions are omnipresent and take a significant importance throughout the manga, since there are too many times a character won’t speak and simply smile or do something else to express itself.

With a futureless main character and a secondary character that has no ground to step on, Rose Hip Rose gives us an incomplete form of a story that could have been something great. I have regretted to see the words “To be continued” in too many mangas now, and I’ll add this one to the list as well.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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