Saturday, May 19, 2012

Persy -- I Am Here! Vol. 1 by Ema Toyama

I have this unwritten rule for myself that I don't review manga or graphic novels, because I can't help but feel like I'm not qualified. But why shouldn't I be? I'm going to DO IT! (in other words, I don't feel like putting the effort into writing an actually coherent review about a book, and would rather gush incoherently about something else).

Hikage Sumino is not just an introvert, and she's not even all that shy. She's just invisible. She often gets counted off as absent because the teachers don't notice her, and no one ever gets her name right. She's okay with it, though, because she has her internert friends, "Black Rabbit" and "Mega Pig," that always comment on her blog.

But then one day, one of the most popular guys at school talks to her -- and knows her name! Realizing her chance, Sumino begins to try and step out of the shade into the sunlight, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

I picked this up on a complete whim (wanna know the full story? Watch the video). After flipping through it and falling in love with the artwork, I bought it, took it home, and tried to resist the temptation to read it immediately. I got one or two lessons of geometry done before I gave in and read all 404 pages. I am so glad I picked it up, because I think it's going to become one of my favorites.

It's the cutest thing ever (except maybe The One And Only Ivan), with absolutely beautiful art. That's one of my main requirements for a good manga (or anime, for that matter): lovely artwork. I'm not a huge fan of the goofy style; I like prettiness. And that's one thing I Am Here! has.

Also, the characters themselves are adorable. Sumino can be painfully shy without being painfully annoying, and I can even sympathize with her and cheer her on. Black Rabbit and Mega Pig are also fun and each have a distinctive voice, and Teru and Hinata (the two popular boys) are both pretty cool and pretty darn cute.

I Am Here! may not be the most original school life manga, but it's definitely got something, and I'm definitely hooked to it (now I just need to find the second volume for cheaper than eighteen dollars, 'cause that's ridiculous).


You might like this if you: like shoujo, school life manga or anime; like pretty art or cute characters; need an uplifting little story to cheer you up or keep you going; or if you're invisible and need a few pointers (though you're on your own for the whole getting-the-popular-guy-to-talk-to-you-first thing).


  1. I'm invisible! So I might like this manga. But I don't exactly read manga. Our library doesn't have any, and I don't feel like paying that ridiculous price for something I could breeze through in thirty minutes. But good review. Your reviews always make me want to read whatever they're about, so I guess you're doing your job. Awesome. :D

  2. Thanks, Rosie! You can find a lot of manga online if you don't mind reading it on the internet (I kind of do, but I make exceptions for some things). I rarely buy manga anywhere except 2nd & Charles where it's less than five dollars, so I understand about not wanting to actually buy it.