Manga Review: Monkey High! (Saru Yama) by Shouko Akira
The story never has any highs and lows and seems to be as low-key as both of the main characters. I did enjoy how Macharu subtly reminds Haruna that she’s still a kid and I, also, enjoyed watching Macharu slowly progress to manhood. Haruna, also, has a nice intelligent pluck about her. She’s practical and she deals with issues head on. What I didn’t enjoy was the character “Atsushi.” He’s a real prick and I didn’t think his attempts at interfering with the happy couple added anything to the story. (I was really hoping that Macharu would kick Atsushi’s a$$ in a fist fight to put him into place — but, alas, Macharu is a baby monkey and both he and Haruna handle the matter in a civilized fashion.)
A word of caution to younger readers and parents, Macharu and Haruna do “consummate” their relationship and it is illustrated. I think the chapter is well done and is a great “teachable” moment. However, if you, as a parent, don’t think this is appropriate for your child, then you may want to consider another manga series for your child. Here are some suggestions for younger readers:
“Sugar Sugar Rune”
Rating 3/5 — It’s is too low-key (almost to the point of being forgettable) to be really compelling and the Atsushi character really rubs me wrong. However, Haruna and Macharu are likeable characters and observing their romance bloom is quite nice.