Thursday, December 12, 2002

I"S (Iori AND Ichitaka)

Genre: Ecchi Comedy / Romance
Parental Guidance Recommended
1997 Masakazu Katsura

I"S Manga
Nib's Description:
Ever since Ichitaka met Iori for the first time, all he had ever wanted to do was confess his love for her. But when a childhood friend, a broken-hearted girl and an Iori look-alike with some issues of her own enter the scene, Ichitaka must now find a way out of his new dilemmas, hoping to finally declare his feelings for Iori in the end.

(15 tankubon)

Ecchi Mush at its mushiest >>> by Nib (12.12.2002)
Were it not for all the gratitious ecchi moments (heck, there's even a li'l yuri action), this prolly would pass as mediocre shoujo mainly because of the mush content. Like DNA2, Katsura puts a lot of pervyness in here, in fact, a whole lot more I believe. I"s is anything but repulsively vulgar though; in fact everything ecchi in it helps to make the manga more interesting, since there will be times when the mush can get frustratingly redundant and pointless.

Those who've seen/read DNA2 and were not impressed by how needlessly mushy it got or how the plot dragged on for too long would see much more of the same in I"s. I"s doesn't have a sci-fi subplot like DNA2 has so there's less diversion and variety to the story as a whole. This means the reader is treated to nothing but absolute teen mush with lots (lots more since like I said there's no other confounding subplot to fill up space) of complementary breast-groping (rarely intentional) and breasts/panty shots.

Like DNA2, some may find and argue that the story can actually end midway through the manga, since Katsura again introduces more characters to complicate an otherwise fairly routine love story. But one of I"s more remarkable points (the other is the artwork which I'll get to talk of later) is its endearing main characters. One of them is Itsuki, Ichitaka's childhood friend who actually gets more character development and personality exposure in the manga rather than Iori herself. And likewise Ichitaka's insecurities and his struggle to overcome them basically makes up half the manga's plot. So while there may be nothing really new in the story, there's a lot to be admired in I"s cast of characters.

Katsura's rather unique style of anime realism and panelling is still top-notch, and Iori would arguably be his prettiest creation yet. His artwork is very detailed but it won't confuse and overwhelm the reader. On a whole I"s is a more relaxing, less complex and generally, a more heartfelt read compared to DNA2.

Individual Rating: 9; Story & Plot: 7; Characters: 9

Ecchi Mush at its mushiest >>> by MarkPoa (09.13.2005)
Masakazu Katsura, renowned manga artist of Video Girl Ai and DNA2, seems to have a penchant for writing love stories that tackle romances in a more down-to-earth light. Despite the exotic trappings of magical girls coming out of TVs or time-travelers from the future, Katsura's characters still have a realistic and familiar quality that makes it easy to identify with their identities and situations. In I"s, Katsura has even managed to remove any fantasy elements in his work and gives us a love story that could have happened to you or someone you know.

The manga artist is not known for being an ecchi artist for nothing and his work in I”s is no exception. However, despite the large amount of gratuitous panty shots and cleavage art, there are chapters that made good use of these elements to explore the physical side of the characters' love... as well as grounds for some physical comedy. Just a little warning to keep this manga from the hands of young ones...

However, I”s is not without its downsides. For one, the story would seem like it needlessly dragged on. For another, the main characters undergo a lot of angst and drama that... well, it can get irritating at times.

On a personal note, I also dislike the fact that my favorite character, Itsuki, didn't get as much screen time as I wanted. But I digress...

Overall, I”s is a good and worthwhile read. It's love story is a simple enough one, even given all the situations the characters get themselves into.

And really, the art: You really have to love the art.

Individual Rating: Art: 8; Story & Plot: 8; Characters: 7

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