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Hitoribocchi No Chikyuu Shinryaku

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Volume 3 Cover

Hitoribocchi no Chikyuu Shinryaku (lit. Lonely Alien) by Ogawa Maiko Synopsis

Kouichi has looked forward to becoming a high schooler for one reason: to help continue his grandfather's coffee shop. But on the first day of school, a strange girl wearing an eerie mask tells him that she has come to take his life. She tells him that the heart beating within his chest is her own, and that she is an alien invader who has come to take over the world.

Just wanted to know if anyone's reading this other this me. I'm a huge fan of it, and I don't really see very many people talking about it. Anyway, here's the link.

Also, because I have nothing better to do with my time, I made a few reasons why you should read it. You don't have to read this, of course, but I just needed to vent.

Reasons to Read

The art is just phenomenal. While it doesn't necessarily have the look of a typical action manga, (in fact it actually looks kinda girly) the art style and professionalism with each line drew me in every chapter. I mean, just look at this!

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Not Pictured: The people who have seen this that now need insulin shots

There's a certain originality to the way Ogawa Maiko draws that brings out a sense of nostalgia in you. It almost reminds you of Astro Boy, or a Miyazaki film, or fuck what the hell does this remind me of?! He lulls you into this beautifully carved piece of artwork and keeps you on the edge for more, like a drug dealer who gives you only a few grams of pot for something you obviously paid more for.

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OH COME ON THAT'S NOT EVEN POT ANYMORE!

Every single panel is a new piece of eye candy, and the more you see it, the more you crave it. It's drawings like this that make you feel like you're reading something aimed for kids, but then realize that it's something far more deep than that. That's actually my next point: Don't let the art fool you, the story isn't nearly as sweet as the art.

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This isn't a spoiler is it? I fucking hope it's not a spoiler.

At first glance, Hitoribocchi is nothing more than just a nice little read on a lazy afternoon where you have nothing to do. You'd pick it up, thinking the cover looked cute, and then realize, "Oh shit.. This is heavy." Not the book, the emotions. There's something about this manga that you don't see in other, far more popular ones today. Generally speaking, it's the complexity of the piece itself, the story feels deep, not something you can just read and completely understand as you go along. Throughout the course of this manga there are things you might be missing that you need to know in order to fully grasp the danger of the situation. And that's just how Ogawa Maiko wants you to feel. He/She/It wants you to realize that there are things unknown to both the cast and the reader, that may just be integral into the storyline at any given moment. For all you know, they could be having a picnic one second, and the next, a huge alien crashes into the Earth and bam! some of their family is dead. This tension does something to the reader that I haven't been able to feel in a long time: immersion. I feel like I'm inside of the world, like I need to know, but I'm only just a single person in the wave of calamity that might be breaking out at any minute. It gives you the feeling of tension while also giving you scenes to show you the bonds between the characters.

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He stumbled in on a surprise birthday party... Tumblr didn't have any better screen caps, so yeah..

One of the things I absolutely adore with this manga is the characters. I'm probably gonna get hate from this, but there are a whole lot of anime and manga out there that completely ignore the very idea of what a character is. Instead, we get some big boobed girl with an eccentric personality with little to no explanation as to why she acts that way. The one problem I have with a lot of these stories nowadays is that a character isn't necessarily made. We just get lazily done characters with either a weird appearance or a strange attitude, and then, just because they're unusual, we call it a character.

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Not Pictured: Characters

Y'see, nowadays these girl characters are just icons. They don't really have any depth, and the ones they do have are easily resolved. I'm not saying a character with an easily resolved problem means they're not complex, but I am saying that a character who simply rides along their little arc with either no change, or no good addition to the story isn't really a character. At this point it's just an image for you to get off from, you sick, sick bastard. For example, just trying to find this picture had me browsing through tons of pictures of unwanted porn. I actually found this after turning safe search back on in google.

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Just as every self respecting teen out there, I immediately turned it back off after I found the image.

But, the point that I'm getting at is Hitoribocchi's devotion to actually ensuring a character has meaning. While it does feel drawn out sometimes, and occasionally you'll find yourself feeling as though it's taking too long to progress, the complexity behind each character feels genuine. As if there's actually a reason behind each and every one of their actions.

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Fuck you, by the way. We still don't know what the hell you're thinking.

Anyway, that's just my take on things. It means absolutely nothing if you don't want it to, and again, that's just why I like it.

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