REVIEW Manga Review: A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)

Wonkru

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Review: A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)
Review written by: Wonkru

kimi_no_iru_machi.jpg

A roller coaster ride full of emotions.


Genre – Drama, Ecchi, Romance, School, Shounen

Length – 27 Volumes: 270 Chapters

Author – Seo Kouji

Run – May 28, 2008 to Feb 12, 2014

Serialization – Shounen Magazine (Weekly)


Note: Considering how lengthy this manga is in terms of important and secondary characters, I won’t dive in too much on all of them and focus on the most important characters. To avoid spoilers I will omit most of the important connections and key moments.

Reading this manga is a journey. Throughout the entire thing there were times where I cried, times where I felt like punching a wall, and times where I embodied the main character and fell in love as he did. Hate him or love him, to be able to create such an addicting yet maddening story which plays with your emotions, really speaks volumes to the author and artist Seo Kouji.


As with most manga and anime, the story begins in high school. The male protagonist Haruto Kirishima lives in the countryside of Hiroshima. He’s introduced as a reserved, easily embarrassed by the slightest touch of a girl character, with a strong sense of justice to boot. One day at home he learns that a girl by the name of Yuzuki Eba is going to be living with them. This abrupt occurrence is what sets the gears in motion for this roller coaster. The reasons for her moving there and why she likes Haruto so much are reveled later on in full detail.

Eba is a very important character and you will love and hate her as much as Haruto. She is assertive, mysterious, but very sensitive and sometimes indecisive. Remember her name because even though she is missing for the middle part of the story, when she does comes back into view it is with a force to be reckoned with. Other important characters include Haruto’s close childhood friends, Akari Kaga and Takashi Yura. These three characters grew up together and their stories are told throughout. A secondary character that takes up an important role as Eba is Nanami Kanzaki. She is Haruto’s first love interest during the high school arc, but eventually things change between them. Their relationship goes back and forth, but you will learn most of Haruto’s love interests are like that. The high school arc is very important as it builds the foundation for all the characters we will be seeing from here forth. No character is left behind; the author makes sure to flesh out each character he wants you to see later. By Haruto’s last year in high school he has moved to and is attending a school in Tokyo. He makes new friends here, one of which plays a very important role for the first part of their college arc. Although the high school arc is important and is littered with drama and romance, it’s the college arc where the real story begins…


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I really appreciate the author continuing the story beyond high school. It is quite rare to find a manga/anime that will do that. College life in Japan can be a bit different than in western countries, but similarities can be found such as bar outings and social gatherings. It seems to me the author really reminisced on his college days by how detailed some of these experiences are portrayed. By this point in the story Haruto is dating a friend he met in his last year in high school, Asuka Mishima. If we go by technicalities, Asuka would be Haruto’s first official girlfriend. I don’t really count the relationship he had previously with Eba as an official relationship, considering how short it was. Coming into adulthood various challenges await. New friends are made, new situations occur, both surprising and hateful.

The College arc takes up a big chunk of the overall story, and rightfully so. Monumental changes happen during this arc. I admire Seo Kouji for taking risks and throwing curve-balls here and there to keep the story fresh and exciting. This is also the arc where everyone meets their lifetime partners. Character development was good during the high school arc, but the college arc development takes it to another level. Friendships really start to solidify here and we start seeing the cast grow into their adult selves. After a few years in college the gang is ready to join the workforce, and thus the final act of the story, the real world arc begins.




Adult life is tough.


This is probably the shortest arc in the story, and at times it felt much dragged on and boring. After two amazing arcs, this is unfortunately where the story starts to take a dive. I feel as though the author began focusing more on his other works and began neglecting this manga a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it was still interesting most of the time, and many things happened that are important to the story. However, the pace of things was just too slow and certain plot mechanics were beginning to get repetitive. At this point everyone has found what they wanted and are working hard to pursue their ideal. Once again new characters are introduced and things begin to shift in a negative manner. A certain situation happens near the end of the chapter, one of which enraged many fans of the manga, including myself. Shortly after, and I mean very shortly after, that situation gets fixed, and the final act of this story begins its timely but seemingly rushed end.


If there is one thing that stood out the most from this manga, is the amazing artwork. Excellent clear designs on everything from the furniture to the country side and city scenery. The character designs were on point, very. Some really talented people worked on this manga, making sure everyone had very distinct clean cut features. All in all very easy on the eyes. Everyone and everything is just drawn beautifully. This isn’t a comedy but the small bit of comedy it has is right on. There are a few characters who offer comical relief, and Haruto himself can be rather comical with his facial expressions. The romance is often done right, you feel the emotions the characters convey very easily. On the flip-side the drama can become slightly annoying and unrealistic at times.

As I briefly touched on earlier in this review, certain plot mechanics get dragged on and recycled a lot. During the first half of this series it was tolerable, and it worked considering there is a lot of back and forth in daily life, but around the last part of the story things became monotonous.

The fanservice is there. The ecchi scenes and sexual connotations were of no bother to me, but I don't fault most people for turning it down because of it. Often times people cannot take raunchiness serious because it can cause a lack of plot and development, and prefer to ignore it altogether. In the world of anime/manga there are plenty of works to prove this stereotype right. I won't say this manga breaks ground and throws all those stereotypes away, because it doesn't. But I do invite anyone willing to give this manga a read to put stereotypes to the side because the story is there, anything else just compliments it. The lifelong friendships and betrayals, the hookups and the breakups, the journey from child to adult, all of it is done beautifully.

I'll be honest, I loved this story. Very few manga/anime have sucked me in as much as Kimi no Iru Machi has. As I read the last chapter I felt very sad that this story was ending. I wanted more but I also realize it was time to end it. We see the good, the bad, and the cold harsh reality of life. This was a story about love in all its forms, though it’s not as straightforward as that. This story could have gone in so many directions; but despite my rage at key points in the story I wouldn’t have had the story gone in any other direction than the one it was already on.


If you’re a sucker for a good gripping manga about love and life, read this, don’t even think twice about it. Oh, and the anime doesn't exist. You can't convince me otherwise.


__________

Plot: 8/10
Art: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10

9.3/10
__________​
 

perspherspley

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Take me back to the times I still read Manga regularly.
Kimi no Iru Machi was good and the follow-up manga to it, Fuuka scarred me.
 

meltrosz

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this is a really good manga. i remember when i first read it. i actually dropped it when \they first broke up \because it's too heavy for my depressed heart :sejeongcry:
Take me back to the times I still read Manga regularly.
Kimi no Iru Machi was good and the follow-up manga to it, Fuuka scarred me.
WHAT??? FUUKA IS THE FOLLOW-UP TO KIMI NO IRU MACHI???? DAMN. NO WONDER. FUUKA SCARRED ME MUCH MORE THAN KIMI NO IRU MACHI
 

Wonkru

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Take me back to the times I still read Manga regularly.
Kimi no Iru Machi was good and the follow-up manga to it, Fuuka scarred me.
I never read Fuuka, is it worth it? How much of the KNIM is referenced?
 

perspherspley

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I never read Fuuka, is it worth it? How much of the KNIM is referenced?
It was more of a continuation of Suzuka since Fuuka was the daughter of the MC and ML of Suzuka, and there were mentions of the characters from Kimi no Iru Machi as well.