Manic Manga: Imadoki!



Title: Imadoki!
Alternate Titles: イマドキ!, 夢幻學園/就是現在, 梦幻学园, 蒲公英之恋, Bồ Công Anh, Nowadays
Author & Artist: Watase Yuu
Year: 2000
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
Volumes: 05 (Complete)
Rating: ★★★★☆

For Tanpopo Yamazaki, life at the elitist academy in Tokyo seems way out of her league. The children of wealthy families snub her, the other students make light of the fact that she tested into Meio, instead of relying on family connections, and the cute boy she saw tending a dandelion the day before wouldn’t even acknowledge her existence. Hoping to make friends and have some fun, Tanpopo starts up a gardening committee, but will this help her survive in a school where superficiality and money reign supreme? All information come from Manga Updates. This blog post will contain spoilers so please read after the cut if you’ve already read this manga.

This manga is more realistic than Yuu Watase’s other work. This manga is a simple story about a simple country girl who helps change a technology ran and expensive high school. Yuu Watase’s art is always very nice and it’s clear what’s going on in the story. The characters are easily defined, visually, and it’s easy to tell them apart from the background characters.

As far as the writing, though, it’s good at first. The romance is pretty clear between Tanpopo and Koki, the male lead and there is an actual friendship between the two. Not only that, it’s clear that there’s a friendship between the characters (especially Aoi, Arisa, and Tsukiko) and it doesn’t really feel forced although Aoi’s pranks do go a bit far sometimes where it’s almost unbelievable.

For their personalities, though, they’re unique and not just cookie-cutter. Tanpopo really is one of a kind where she’s always smiling, even while she’s being bullied at first, and she always tries her best to inspire her friends.

The manga comes almost to a halt, though when they find Youji, Kouki’s older brother who had disappeared a couple years prior. It also drags a little bit more when Erika, the obligatory fiancee, shows up. It would have been nice if there was some mention of it before (or at least a rumor of Kouki having a finance spreading around – even if Tanpopo never really pays gossip any mind, it still would have been better off hinting at it) or at least something that headed towards that direction.

It does end up having a “pair everyone off” issue at the end after Tanpopo decides to go back to Hokkaido after her grandfather faints. Honestly, I wasn’t really completely disappointed by the ending – it would have been a lot nicer and more fun if Tanpopo stayed in Tokyo (and really, get rid of Erika and her last conversation) but it’s still a pretty decent ending, nevertheless. It’s not too bad but others might have an issue with it.

The comedy, though, is pretty funny and a lot of it is deadpan humor and puns. Overall, this manga doesn’t require a lot of thought but it does get you invested in these characters’ relationships with Tanpopo herself, though not so much with each other.

It’s a simple manga that’s fun to read when you just want a simple romance manga. I’d recommend it to those who especially love the country girl in the big city type of manga.

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