The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Saikano
Genre: Drama
Format: 7 volumes
Mangaka: Shin Takahashi

Synopsis: Shuji and Chise are a couple now and an awkward one. Shuji is the top of his class while Chise is a low-grade student that only excels in History. They just started going out as a couple so they are having a hard time to adjust to their own feelings and situation, which only gets worse when Shuji learns that Chise is the newest and deadliest weapon the Japanese Army has. How can a relationship between a man and a killing machine exist? What is their future as a couple and as individuals?

Plot: Has a lot of potential.
Art: Uninspired.
Characters: Barff!

Normally this manga should be shelved in the drama or romance section of your personal library. I prefer to store it somewhere else. For me, reading Saikano was more of a challenge and masochist expirience than a joyful one that I want to share with everyone. I don’t want to share this manga with anyone, but I do want to warn everyone about this manga. I have no problems with dramatic stories, I like romantic stories too, but I don’t like pathetic characters that show no signs of maturing and I also don’t like crappy artwork.

I thought the idea of having a romantic story between a high school girl turned into a weapon of mass destruction and a normal high school guy would be promising and it is, but, amazingly, this somewhat innovative plot botches the entire process of building up an interesting story as well as the manufacture of likable characters. It is a real accomplishment how Chise and Shuji become more and more annoying and pathetic as the pages go by, and as the two main roles they ruin the entire experience this manga promised in the first place. More often than not, I felt more empathy for some of the secondary characters, but only two of them were of significance to the plot but their presence and significance fades away halfway trough the series.

Now, if the art wasn’t as pathetic as the characters it would have probably been a bit better. But having an unattractive sketchy approach to the character designs most of the time is another flaw that prevented me from enjoying reading the entire 7 volumes it lasted. The only character design that was good was Chise’s weaponized form. I would like to emphasize the point that her design only looks good when she is in her weaponized form. Another thing about the art that disturbed me was the omnipresent blushing, it was a very distracting element of the design that becomes rather annoying later on.

With angsty dialog, pathetic and annoying characters, unattractive art and character designs, romance that is anything but realistic and romantic, a promising plot that doesn’t deliver, no wonder people make the mistake of placing Saikano in the Drama/Romance section of their bookshelves instead of the trash section.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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