Manga Review: “Ichireishite, Kisu” (“Bow Down and Kiss” / “My Poison Arrow”)

Title: 一礼して、キス / Ichireishite, Kisu (“Bow Down and Kiss” / “My Poison Arrow”)
Mangaka: 加賀やっこ / Kaga Yakko
Publisher / Publication: Shogakugan / Betsucomi
ISBN: 9784091350831
Language: Japanese
Genre /Category: Shoujo, sports, romance
Purchase: Amazon JP / Amazon US / Yes Asia / Honto / Kinokuniya US

Synopsis: Ann Kishimoto is a third year student who retired from the archery club only to be pulled back in by the school’s archery ace Youta Mikami.

First Impression: Oh, the boy on the cover looks cute. Ugh, this girl says “doushiyou” (What should I do?) an awful lot and Mikami is extremely needy and manipulative.

Breakdown

Artwork B-: A lot of attention is given to drawing Mikami.Ichireishite_Kisu_262 Everyone else is kinda an afterthought. Looking at the oneshot at the end of the volume, this mangaka suffers from a serious case of “same face” syndrome. I thought the oneshot was an extra chapter of this series because the character designs are identical. For the most part, the drawing style is very loose and faces look very distorted at times. The characters emotions are clearly drawn and the action in the panels is easy to follow. Ultimately, the art feels kinda flat to me and the use of bland, dark, and simple screentones makes this volume seem gloomy.

Presentation C: It’s a typical shoujo manga. There are no color pages, but the dust cover illustrations are nice. There are some annoying advertisements tacked on at the end of the volume. Also, sometimes the font is too small to read without a magnifier.

Story C: The first volume is thoroughly mediocre. Kishimoto is a typical weak and insecure shoujo heroine. Her favorite phrase is “doushiyou” (What should I do?), which she says over and over again. She’s always sad and doubting herself, which got tiresome. Mikami seems like a needy puppy dog, but he’s actually very manipulative and aggressive. He never really talks to Kishimoto. Basically he makes some sort of sexual advance — usually stripping off her clothes, says he loves her, and then makes some request of Kishismoto, which Kishimoto does because apparently Mikami is a Jedi. There doesn’t appear to be any story yet. It’s just Mikami looking like a hot puppy dog to manipulate Kishimoto into entering an archery competition. Unfortunately, archery does nothing for the story. It could be substituted for any sports or academic competition without changing the story. More than anything, I couldn’t figure out why Mikami likes Kishimoto. She’s thoroughly bland, sad, has no self confidence, and they never talk. Mikami just gropes her and says Kishimoto has a sexy back. The same could be say for Kishimoto falling for Mikami. It seems like the message is if you grope a girl enough, she’ll fall for you.

Reading Difficulty Medium: The language will be familiar to avid shoujo readers. I had to pull out my dictionary for archery terms, but otherwise reading wasn’t too bad. The text density is average. What slowed me down was my disinterest in the story, so I’d begin to fall asleep after a couple of pages.

Overall C: The first volume is thoroughly mediocre, but I am interested to see whether there will be character and story developments in the second volume. For now, I will withhold my recommendation and wait until volume 2 to come to a conclusion.

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