MANGA SPOTLIGHT: Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
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Posted 11/6/14 , edited 11/11/14
by cardboard_shark

There’s a lot of good manga out there, but some series can be tough to get into. Sometimes you have to be in the right frame of mind to really appreciate the thought and complexity behind an author’s work. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is not this kind of manga series by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the sort of thing that’s enjoyable no matter where you are or what mood you’re in, thanks in large part to its simple and accessible comedic appeal.



The series stars Usa, a seemingly typical high school boy whose parents move out of town for work reasons. Usa begins living on his own at the Kawai apartment complex, where he’s hoping to lead a perfectly average life and find a nice, normal girlfriend. Before he even has a chance to move in, it becomes obvious that neither of those things will be happening any time soon. Most of his neighbors are obnoxious, eccentric, or just downright weird. The one exception is Ritsu, a beautiful girl who goes to the same school as Usa. He instantly develops a crush on her, but she’s too busy reading a seemingly endless supply of novels to notice.

The “house full of weirdos” setup is a pretty common one, and I’ll be the first to admit that Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou doesn’t break a lot of new ground. As you might expect, most of the humor comes from letting the characters’ absurd personalities play off of one another. The comedy gets stronger as the series goes on, and some of the most entertaining moments come from supposedly “normal” characters like Usa and Ritsu showing off their own quirks. A recurring theme in this series is the idea that it’s better to embrace the unusual parts of your personality than to hide them in order to fit in.



While it may be a comedy at heart, many of the series’ best moments come when it’s not trying to be funny. It has a surprising amount to say about human relationships and the struggle to find people who will accept you for who you are. Introverted readers will find Ritsu to be a very relatable character, and Usa’s attempts to find common ground with her feel increasingly genuine as the series goes on. Even the supporting cast produces a steady supply of character development. Not every chapter is a home run, but Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is definitely a more thoughtful series than it first appears to be.

The art sits squarely in the middle of the road, neither the best nor the worst in terms of detail and quality. Sight gags are executed well, especially the variety of ridiculous outfits that Usa is regularly coerced into wearing. The flow of action from panel to panel gets a bit convoluted from time to time, but experienced readers should be able to muddle through without too much confusion. One could argue that the visuals are the opposite of the characters: competent but mostly unremarkable.



Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou offers plenty of laughs, but it stands out by letting its characters evolve beyond their standard comedic roles. Hidden amongst the raunchy jokes and witty insults are some clever little observations about coming to terms with your own identity. Regardless of your favorite genre, it’s worth checking out.
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Posted 11/10/14
Excellent review. I'm currently reading the Manga (waiting to next chapter to release) and Kawai Complex is everything you have written. I get to know the series for the Anime and when I watched the last episode I had to go check the Manga and I must say that the Anime is a good adaptation but the Manga is better.
Anybody knows when they release new chapters on Crunchyroll Manga?
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Posted 11/18/14

Sssaasz wrote:

Excellent review. I'm currently reading the Manga (waiting to next chapter to release) and Kawai Complex is everything you have written. I get to know the series for the Anime and when I watched the last episode I had to go check the Manga and I must say that the Anime is a good adaptation but the Manga is better.
Anybody knows when they release new chapters on Crunchyroll Manga?


Agreed. I got hooked on the anime and the manga is actually the reason I went full premium, just so I could read it. I wish they'd add chapters 47-50, though. I managed to find some raws but my Japanese ability is... not much to say the least. Beyond 3rd grade I don't know much kanji, and my grammar understanding is less still.
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