“Stay-Puft Man” – Strawberry Marshmallow (manga) – 4/10 Snowballs

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

Mangaka: Barasui

Genre: Slice-of-Life/Comedy

Review Status: Incomplete (5 Volumes/ ? Volumes)

Licensed: Formerly licensed by Tokyopop

Art: It looks pretty standard for a comedy manga, similar to Azumanga Daioh, Yotsuba, or Nichijou. There’s no real detail to the characters, they can mostly be identified through their hairstyles, personalities, and height.

Summary: Follow the lives of Nobue Ito, her younger sister Chika, and her friends Miu and Matsuri- these cute girls try to solve problems and help each other out in the most adorable ways! Whether it’s helping someone to quit smoking or organizing a sleepover at a friend’s house, these girls always remain a joyful treat in this slice-of-life delight! (back cover of 1st volume)

Review: A good amount of comedy manga I come across happens to be about cute girls doing cute things. This follows that formula to mixed results. These girls are cute, if you are okay with teenagers looking like elementary school students. There is something amusing about the eldest looking like a pre-teen and having a hard smoking habit, but not so much when it’s revealed she’s been addicted since Jr. High. The other girls are cookie-cutters of stereotypes- the shy one with glasses, the obnoxious, crazy one, and the only sane one in the group.

The interactions between them provide most of the humor- or what’s supposed to be funny. Everything is fodder for jokes, and some of it works, other things don’t. Most of the time, I was nonplussed. A few jokes actually left me shaking my head in disgust, but at the same time, a few had me on the floor laughing. It was a mixed bag, all in all.

This could have gotten an even five if it had shown some originality in the characters, but that mixed with comedy that really doesn’t do anything for me really means it doesn’t deserve it.

Overall, it’s okay if you’re into crazy antics of the obnoxious one, and don’t mind jokes that have been done a hundred times before, but it all feels stale.

Recommended: 13+. Most of this isn’t that offensive, but some jokes revolve around one of the girls being a smoker, and there are some more raunchy ones in there.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Yotsuba (manga)

Minami-ke (anime)

Hidamari Sketch (anime)

Aria (anime and manga)

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