Recently, I've been watching a lot of GRArkada's anime reviews, which are pretty darn awesome, but his most recent video on Hidamari Sketch started to make think about my own taste in media. Specifically, when Arkada described the slice of life genre as a genre about "nothing," I began thinking about why I like this genre so much. In a sense, the slice of life genre is about nothing because the characters in it don't really experience much change through out the series, but I think it would be more apt to say that the slice of life genre is more about characters. I believe this because in most slice of life media, the media draws you in with how the characters solve their problems and interact with each other. By seeing how these characters go through their lives in their own way, you get a sense of their characters through their actions. So, if I had to summarize why I like the slice of life genre so much is because it makes me care for its characters by showing me who they are. So, today I'm going to cover a slice of life manga, Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa, which has been pretty popular on some of the scanlation sites I regularly peruse, to see if it's up to snuff with my expectations.

Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa follows Kuromine Asahi, a high school student who give Onondera, from Nisekoi, a run for her money in a contest for worst poker face. Upon encouragement from his friends, Asahi decides to confess his love to his crush, Shiragami Youko, after school. Asahi rushes towards to where Youko is, only to discover Youko is actually a vampire. This untimely discovery is extremely bad for Youko as she promised her father that if she were discovered to be a vampire, she would have to leave school. Doing the right thing, Asahi promises to keep Youko's secret despite being terrible liar. Thus begins the relationship between Youko and Asahi as they try to go through their normal lives while keeping this secret.

The Comedy

It's hard for me to describe why I enjoy the humor in this manga so much. It's just so fun. There are just so many elements that make the comedy great. I love the way some of the jokes play on what the flow of certain situations by doing the exact opposite of what's expected. I love how some of the jokes poke fun of some clichés common in manga. Most of all, I love the fact that the characters are enjoying themselves as much as I am when reading this manga. If I had to compile what I like about the humor in this series is that it's smart, varied, and the characters are enjoying themselves while these jokes are playing out.


The Characters

Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa has some pretty standard archetypal characters, but they have their own personality quirks that set them apart from the crowd. Asahi is pretty much your stereotypical slice of life lead character. He's kind, goofy, and he some distinct flaws that set him apart from his peers, but what makes so endearing is that he's earnest about everything he does. So when ever something silly happens he plays along with it very well or if he's not participating, he'll make an observation on how absurd the situation is. Youko is also enjoyable to be around because of relaxed and positive attitude. She almost always has a smile on her face and whenever something silly happens, she always has a hilarious take on the situation. The other characters also have their own distinct personalities with various quirks and they can be very entertaining on their own, but when all of these characters are all put together, great comedy and ensues. It's just so fun to be around all of these characters because they are so fun and positive.


The Art

On the surface, the art in this manga isn't that unique. In fact I would say it's pretty standard fare for a shounen manga, but the way the art is used is what it sets it apart from other mangas. Almost every single character in this manga has an extremely large mouth. This simple fact makes the art much better because it enhances the effect of the comedy in the manga by making each of the characters more expressive. So, whenever something absurd is happening, the characters will show it in clearly defined ways. Plus, it's easy to get drawn into the manga because the characters in the manga show that they are having a good time.


The Story

Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa suffers from the problem that most slice of life manga suffer from in that it's virtually about nothing. What I mean is that none of the characters in the manga are changing at all. They are just living their normal lives, which can be entertaining in itself, it can be boring at times if the comedy falls flat. Also, there are some romance and harem elements in the manga in the form of the relationship between Asahi and Youko and the fact that most of the supporting cast is female respectively, but the it doesn't really go anywhere with these elements. In short, if you're looking for any sort of character development, you won't get it here.


Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa is a fun little comedy manga with great character interactions and humor, but lacks any sense of story. The manga is filled with over the top character interactions, but it takes the time to actually set up these interactions, which makes each joke great. Also, the jokes are varied enough that you won't get tired of the comedy in the manga any time soon. The art style also complements the direction of the manga by emphasizing each character's facial features. The characters are fun as well because they often interact with each other in humorous ways, but are a tad one-dimensional. Lastly, this manga sacrifices story for comedy and so there is virtually no character development. In all, Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa is a great manga to read if you want to relax.


You can read Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa here.

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