The beginning of my Ideal Shounen Life: Suzuka (Manga and Anime)

Herro, I did say its Seo Kouji week right? I will be covering the source material and the anime.

Manga lasted for 166 chapters in 18 volumes. Anime lasted for 26eps, surprisingly.

Let’s kick things off with the manga.

Manga

The story started off pretty slow, yet promising. This manga really shows the core of high school youth and how a guy willing to use 3 years of his high school life for someone and then cherish it.

The beginning arcs were pretty solid, hitting nearly all the right spots. Advances in romance can be pretty slow, but development is pretty well done. Yamato’s determination to pursue Suzuka is pretty damn admirable. Suzuka’s Tsun traits isn’t really THAT obvious, she knows how to keep it in check.

The story keeps getting better and better after every rejection and it’s like a long term buildup to an ultimate conclusion.

Then there is a Honoka that like Yamato, making the developments complicated, but in a great way. Eventually they dated for awhile, but they splitted because Yamato’s heart is still lingering around Suzuka. I used to hate Honoka for trying to interrupt the inevitable pairing, but her exit made me respect her.

Yamato pursue Suzuka again, and then she ultimately accepts him. But it’s not all sweet from here on, she eventually went to the US to improve her track and field talent, splitted with Yamato and I felt kind of sad.

The story from here became kind of stagnant, but it wasn’t very long as Suzuka came back for her senior year in high school. Her return is like a reset button as he has to pursue her from the beginning again.

The story reaches the highest point when eventually Suzuka got pregnant after “a thing” they did. Dilemma on whether to get a job or to continue to university shows a struggle.

Ending was pretty well done. Well wrapped, without rushing the work. Overall, the manga made my Secondary School life so much better, because it does tell a story that hard work does pay off, if you have the sincerity and dedication to achieve.

This is still my favourite manga after 11 years, the romance is sweet, the athletic side of the story is a sweet touch. I still reread it till this day, during dark days, for some reason it will lighten up my day.

Artwork is great for it’s time. Attention to detail isn’t as great as the sequel mangas, but he did manage to enhance the character designs as the manga progresses to the point that the final revision of the designs were great looking, which Seo carried them over to Kimi no Iru Machi. Suzuka’s character design is timeless, still so attractive after 11 years.

Anime

So the adaptation has 26 eps, I’m quite surprised.

Story starts off right from the beginning, and ends when they started dating. Great choice of material to adapt.

The story is like… 70% loyal to the manga, with certain elements omitted in the anime and also some weird fillers added too. Pacing is kind of decent for 26 eps, not too slow, not too fast. Because I read the manga then watch the anime, they pretty much follows the manga in terms of execution, plot twists. I love the anime for it’s decent amount of loyalty to the manga, but the only disappointing thing is it lacks the magic of adapting the source. It brings nothing to the plate, copy and paste most of the story into the anime without any attempts of enhancing the execution. Ending was great though, leaving it on a sweet note. Overall, you can just watch the anime then continue with the manga, but you can just read the whole manga instead, since the anime didn’t really bring much.

Animations by Studio Comet back to its golden age. Character designs were kind of bad, animations felt very low budget, School Rumble looked way better.

Music is decent. I love the calm BGMs, the OP is kind of timeless but ED was weird.

VAs is a pretty ok list. Nakamura Daisuke, Mitsuhashi Kanako, Hosono Yumiko, Oyama Takanori, Hosokawa Seika, Kaida Yuki, Akesaka Satomi, Suzuki Masami, Tominaga Mina, Miyano Mamoru.

Awkward voice for Suzuka. The rest is decent I guess. Most of the list is rather on the unknown side.

Scores: Manga | Anime

Story: 8/10 | 7/10

Art: 8/10 | 7/10

Music: 8/10

VAs: 9/10

Recommended if you want a romance that has pretty zero bullshit, straight to the point. Sports genre comes as a bonus.

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