Home > emanga Reviews, Manga Reviews, Reviews > Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4

Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4

Page from Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4
by Izumi Matsumoto
DMP/Emanga, 190 pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Izumi Matsumoto’s shonen rom-com classic, Kimagure Orange Road delivers more of the hijinks you’ve come to expect from the series. Consisting of awkward moment after awkward moment as the love triangle between Kyosuke, Madoka and Hikaru settles into a groove, this volume sees the trio wrestling with work, school events, misunderstandings and more.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this volume as nothing really happens. The previous volumes established the love triangle and now it’s basically in something of a holding pattern. Kyosuke and Madoka still harbor feelings for each other and react accordingly, but never quite express them due to indigestion, interruptions and the like. Meanwhile Hikaru continues to be clueless that there’s anything going on between her best friend and her boyfriend, leading her to continue to hang off of Kyosuke and interject herself into his life at every turn. While there are a few cute moments in this volume, nothing really changes and there’s no real development in the relationships. Probably the most notable event comes when Kyosuke’s able to get Madoka to attend a school faire, something she’s never done before. It helps show how she’s slowly changing due to her friendship with Kyosuke and seems like something that could get other balls moving in the future, apparently it shows the rest of the class that she’s not some delinquent. Otherwise though, it’s settled into something of a rut and delivers chapter after chapter of classic romantic comedy hijinks and misunderstandings. Page from Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4

Izumi Matsumoto’s artwork offers us a wonderful glimpse into 1980s Japanese fashion and decor. It’s a fascinating little look into a period full of big hair and bizarrely busy clothing! He does a fantastic job at depicting emotion through the characters’ eyes, with one scene involving Madoka overhearing Kyosuke and Hikaru talking being particular notable. He’s able to imbue her pose and eyes with such emotion, that despite almost no real movement and a lack of other emotional short hand such as tone patterns, borderless scenes, etc, that it’s impossible not to see the hurt and sadness in her eyes.

Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4 feels like it’s the volume when things finally start to settle down into a bit of a pattern. The stories in it are shorter, but enjoyable, providing a nice light read. Unfortunately, this also means that it gets a bit predictable in places. All in all, it’s a fun read but not one that will stick to your ribs. Hopefully now that the formula and status quo has been set up and shown, Matsumoto will start to change things up a bit or explore other aspects of the characters, or expand the cast.

Kimagure Orange Road, Vol. 4 are now available digitally from DMP and Emanga.com.

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