Monday, August 10, 2015

Manga Monday: That's a stylish young man...with a grade school backpack...

It's hard being a high school kid who looks 10...but it's just as hard being an elementary school kid who looks 20 in Recorder and Randsell Volume 1.

Miyagawa Atsumi is a pretty average high school girl. She worries about exams, she has a best friend to hang out with, and she helps to take care of her little brother Atsushi. Atsushi's pretty normal himself too. He's got friends that love to get him in trouble, and a teacher who does her best to watch over him.

Unfortunately, neither of them look as normal as they are. Atsumi is an absolutely tiny 4'5”, while her fifth grade brother is a rather mature-looking 5'10". Atsumi has to shop in the children's department, Atsushi gets hand-me-downs from their 32-year-old neighbor. No one wants to take Atsumi seriously when she's out and about, and everyone mistakes Atsumi hanging out with his normal-looking girl classmate as a weirdo. It just isn't easy being a Miyagawa kid.

Atsumi, at least, is mature enough to use her childish appearance to her advantage, while poor Atsushi hasn't quite gotten it down yet. Volume 1 covers just about a year in their lives, including the popularity problems of Valentine's Day and White day, and the problem of Atsushi being introduced to a new teacher who isn't accustomed to his...appearance. The other folks in town, like the slacker neighbor who keeps giving Atsushi clothes picked out by his ex-girlfriends and the little boys Atsushi hangs out with who think it's super cool to be able to get away with not having an actual adult supervise them, just add to the fun.

Recorder and Randsell Volume 1 is a 4-koma comedy manga that easily captures the silliness of the assumptions that we all make upon seeing someone. It has some absolutely laugh-out-loud scenes, and doesn't rely on just its premise to bring the laughs.

Highs: 'Say something an adult would say!' '...BOOBS!'

Lows: You'd think that the police in the area would eventually recognize Atsushi and stop trying to arret him for being a creep.

Verdict: Recorder and Randsell Volume 1 is in equal parts hilarious and adorable, and a fun change of pace from other more serious manga.

Further Reading: Shiba Inuko-SanCrayon Shin-Chan, Neko Ramen

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