Mikansei No. 1 Volume 1 by Majiko!
This is a comedy about a girl from the repressed 23rd century who accidentally travels back in time to the 21st century and delights in the possibilities in a society where women are free to wear short skirts and sing in public. Upon arriving in the past Neo is partnered with the male singer Saya. They have to prove themselves in order to be signed to the talent agency of the copiously Afroed music producer Ebisu. Saya is reluctant to deal with the exuberant Neo, but eventually they start practicing together and share the joy of music. This book had a manic energy, with characters frequently lapsing into chibi mode or displaying incredibly exaggerated facial expressions. There are little touches of humor throughout, like the sound effect used to describe an unfortunate cheesecake or the labeling on the box that Neo uses as her home when she arrives in the past. This volume was an entertaining distraction, but I don’t see myself rereading it. If you enjoy frantic cuteness, this would be a good series to check out.
Momogumi Senki Volume 1 by Eri Sakondo
Yuuki is cursed with “disaster attraction disorder,” a horrible condition that causes him to be late for his first day of school. When a window explodes as he is discussing his plight with his uncle, a teacher at the school, two boys and a girl come to Yukki’s rescue and inform that they are his new protectors. Yuuki is the reincarnation of the legendary Momotaro from the famous folk tale. I had fairly low expectations when I picked up the book and saw the cover with a typical perky manga boy with a band-aid on his cheek and a female companion with limpid eyes.
I ended up enjoying the book more than I expected to. Yuuki’s school is filled with reincarnations of historic figures and people from folk tales. In order to break his curse and live past the age of eighteen, Yuki must fight the demons at his school with the aid of his three new minions/friends. He ends up playing out the Momotaro story in some unexpected and funny ways, and each new character is introduced with a compressed snippet from their folk tale. The art seemed a bit on the generic side, with a heavy reliance on tone. I did find the connections to history and folk tales interesting, it definitely put a better spin on what otherwise would be a fairly typical action comedy manga.