Manga Reviews

Friday, May 12, 2006

Today in Class 5-2

Today in Class 5-2
By Sakuraba Koharu
1 Volume

Scanslated by Jinmen Juushin
IRC Channel: #Jinmen-Juushin @

Topics: Comedy, School-Life

Warning: Sexual Innuendo

Today in Class 5-2 is a series of short stories about fifth-graders from class 5-2. Each story is merely a few pages long (on average 8-10 pages) and focuses on a single topic of discussion. For example, the first story discusses Aihara's baby teeth and one of them being loose. To deal with this, she tries to chew on various things, such as gum, candy, pencils, and her dog.

Given the disjoint nature of the stories (they each focus on a different slapstick topic, and use a variety of characters from the class), it's hard to write a summary about the story (as you can see from above). However, the high-point of this one volume manga is not the story, nor even the characters who fall into very stereotypical categories. The manga's strength lies in the concise nature of the jokes it uses as it's topics. Within 8-10 pages, a given story will lay out background on the topic, introduce which characters will be important, and then tell the joke. The precise and concise way that the jokes are potrayed is very refreshing because it leaves no need for exposition.

The character art is highly detailed whenever a character comes into the foreground. There is almost no background art to speak of, but that's because it serves no purpose. For all intents and purposes, each story is the equivalent of a verbal joke, with illustrations. It would be like drawing a background when telling a yo-mama joke. The focus of the comedy is in the characters, and possibly the interactions between them.

As mentioned above, there is no real plot to speak of. The characters themselves are completely interchangeable as none of them really get developed in their short stories. However, even if you enjoy deep engrossing sagas, I highly suggest you try this manga out. It's very short and entertaining, I only wish there was more than one volume.

Rating: 9.5/10.0 -- Reviewer's Choice


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