Mao-Chan

Ken Akamatsu has worked on such series as “Love Hina” and “AI Love You”. Basically, series about harems. Big-eyebrowed women, often, as is his opinion of attractiveness. Whatever, it’s a thing, like Mugi in K-ON!. But we don’t get those eyebrows on a lady in “Mao-Chan”, a series written but not drawn by Mr. Kenny Akamatsu. How is it? It’s a manga, let’s leave it at that.

Plot: Cute aliens are taking landmarks from Japan, so it’s up to the Defense Forces of the ground, air, and sea to save them! How do they do it? By combating cuteness with cuteness of elementary school girls! Personally, I would rather a giant kitten than three school girls, but OKAY. It’s Japan, and according to this manga, this is the only way the people won’t revolt for attacking cute aliens.

But I’m not Japan, as much as I love manga. In America, we don’t let StayPuft destroy our home, even though he’s cute. Well, I don’t.

The idea of using school girls to fight giant aliens seems flawed. First, the aliens are, as mentioned, GIANT. Everyone can see them, whereas the girls are small and not nearly as cute as the monsters. Second, Why only one girl per defense? Okay, each grandfather is in control of a Defense Force, but still. I don’t care if they think their granddaughter is the cutest, it’s best to expand your territory.

Why are the aliens only going for Japan? What about France, or England? They have plenty of landmarks! Is it because Japan is obsessed with cute? If that’s so, I feel that the manga could have benefited from a social commentary or something. Sure, it’s not what the manga was made for, but I think it could tie in really well. Whatever. Moving on.

I seriously question the translation choices in this manga. The girls who aren’t Mao-Chan have accents. Very, VERY jarring accents. One goes, “Yo!”, while the other goes, “Don’tcha know!” I tell you, you haven’t read manga until you’ve read a young Japanese girl talk with a Minnesotan accent. Yup.

There are two spies who work for the aliens. One has glasses, while the other is a cat girl. I don’t like glasses-girl, but the cat girl seems like she’d be willing to join forces with the humans, and her personality is cute, yet tragic. Oh, I’ve added a “cat girl” tag. Lotsa cat girls I run into reading manga.

The girls aren’t really that cute, to be honest. Their grandfathers think so, but I don’t see much personality in them. One is lazy, one is clumsy, and one is someone else. I honestly remember nothing about her character. I remember her being a crybaby, but they’re all crybabies. Oh, and they crying is annoying.

Personally, I’d rather read about when the grandfathers were young. They’re competitive with each other, which gets old fast. But when they join forces, it’s pretty compelling. Plus, they have a great backstory. Kind of a missed opportunity choosing the girls over their grandpas.

How does this manga fair (fare?) compared to Akamatsu’s other works? Well… not much. It’s not really good, but it’s not flat-out awful. That’s what upsets me: It’s just average. One side is “Negima” while the other is “AI Love You”, and this awkwardly sits in the middle. I don’t care for it.

All in all, this series could have been better, but it’s just and odd addition to Akamatsu’s works. Don’t bother.

Overall Opinion: It’s jarring, don’tcha know?

Rating: Meh. Three out of Five Mehs.

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