Flash Review – MabuSasa

Akira Sasagawa loves her some boys’ love. Two dudes getting it on: that’s how she gets by in her days. And her fantasies seem to come true after a run-in with her classmate Ryunosuke Mabuchi, a boy with a thuggish face whom everyone fears, who’s a secret boys’ love lover. He’s not actually into BL, but he’s the opposite of what the rumors insist: kind and sweet and always putting others first. Now that she knows of his true nature, she starts hanging out with him, and Mabuchi welcomes her company, as she’s the first person in a long while to reach out to him.

The Cast:

This manga is lacking imagination, in that it doesn’t know what it should do with its two leads, so it’s constantly defecating new side characters, to where they can assemble a baseball team, with two personalities split between them. Their numbers are somewhat justified given the manga’s premise of Mabuchi making friends, but most of these people already know him or know of him and are amicable enough, so the plot’s not quite making a point.

What’s even worse is how some of the side characters are in, I kid you not, one chapter. They show up, act like a fool, then drop out of existence, yet the roster list at the start of each volume has the gall to include them, like they’re that pertinent to the narrative even though their time in the sunshine has long since set. Bakuman had side characters in the line-up some while after their final appearance, but that manga eventually figured out that they were late in its world.

Despite MabuSasa being an abbreviation of Mabuchi and Sasagawa’s names, the two leads are sometimes booted out of their main roles by one of the side actors. Inherently, this isn’t a bad thing, as it can freshen or spice the plot up, but this manga has no tact for when it switches to a day in the life of Jane Doe. In the final volume, when we’re in the middle of a romantic resolution between Mabuchi and Sasagawa, the manga turns our heads toward the romantic woes of some minor character who debuted about five chapters earlier. Like, why? Girlfriend didn’t even have eyes previously, and now she’s starring in her own sideshow. Her story isn’t terrible, but its placement is.

The Verdict:

I’ve heard how the cast can make or break a story, but never have I seen that so purely true. This manga has no respect for its characters or what it does with them, and I would say a lot of this series is filler, but that would insinuate that the A plot has substance.

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