Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gaba Kawa by Rie Takada review

Gaba Kawa

Author/Artist: Rie Takada

Publisher: VIZ Media

Rating: T – 13 and above

Genre: Shojo, Comedy, Drama, School Life, Supernatural

Grade: B+

Rara has come to the human world for two reasons: to cause as much mischief as she can, and catch the eye of the demon world's hottest celeb Hiroshi "Aku" Akusawa. Little does she know that a case of mistaken identity is going to throw everything into chaos. You see demons become more powerful when they cause mayhem and mischief but when they use their powers to help a human they lose that power forever.

There is a rival for Aku's affection, fellow demon Bibi. Bibi knows that Aku is attending the same high school as she and Rara but she chooses to keep that info to herself so she can get to Aku before Rara. Now that Rara knows that Bibi is after Aku she decides to go on the hunt. She has the ability to fly and as soon as she's about to leap off a tall building some mysterious and handsome stranger leaps with her trying to save her from committing suicide. This mysterious stranger seems to go by the name Aku, so of course Rara immediately assumes that he is THE Aku.

This Aku attends the same school as Rara and Bibi and Rara is going to do anything she can to capture Aku. That is until she finds out that this Aku is actually Retsu Aku a normal human. But it's too late, she seems to have fallen for Retsu. What will a lovesick demon to do and now that she's fallen in love with a human what is her fate?

I wasn't going to pick up this title because I didn't have much experience with VIZ Media titles (at the time). I know, dumb reason to not pick up a manga, but I'm shallow like that. I read a few reviews for it and they seemed to be fairly positive so I broke down and bought it. I have to say one nice thing about VIZ and their Shojo Beat line is that it is fairly reasonable in price so you won't break the bank picking up a few of their titles. I found this title to be very cute, indeed. I enjoyed it and found it to be a fun read. I will admit that it's not like reading something intelligent, like Shakespeare or Dickens, but as a manga to break up the monotony of BL anthologies that I was slogging through it was truly a breath of fresh air.

Rara and her antics are hilarious especially dealing with the time she was trying to become closer to Retsu and some of the girls in school were saying that he's gay. So in an attempt to get him interested she trades uniforms with a male student and tries coming off as a tomboy. I have to say it was very clever and it was fun to read. Of course Retsu is gorgeous and with his ability to see and communicate with ghosts makes things messier for Rara because of the fact that she's a demon. And you thought that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.

The art is very cute and Takada-sensei's chibis are simply adorable. She makes them kind of chubby, they're almost cherubic. The visual comedy is handled well and the art really makes the story come alive. Unlike some shojo manga there isn't a heavy reliance on screen tone, flowers, bubbles, and ribbons. The panels are actually really quite clean and laid out in an easy to read pattern. One complaint though, I think this could have been presented in a multi volume series because there is a lot of material in this one shot and the story could benefited from a slower pace.

As a shojo title I think Gaba Kawa is a worthy choice. It's very fun and cute and you won't regret spending an hour or two (depending on how fast you read) with Rara.

***Review Copy purchased at Borders***


Liviania said...

I love Rie Takada. H3 School/Happy Hustle High is even better.

Kris said...

@ Liviania

I'll have to give those other titles a try. Thanks for the input!

daniar said...