Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh! My Brother, vol. 1

By Ken Saito
Published in the US by CMX Manga

Slugline: Siblings who are way too close.

Masago is the younger sister of the popular class president Shiro. Even though he is far more popular and gets better grades than her, Masago looks up to him even as she plays second fiddle to him. After all, being close to her brother gives Masago an opportunity to indulge her crush on his best friend, a fellow school council member. One day while walking home from school Shiro sacrifices himself to save Masago from a traffic accident and everyone at their school, including Masago herself, is devastated. Shiro is not gone, because his spirit has apparently set up a time sharing arrangement with Masago's body. Mosago and Shiro have to work together to finish his last project for the school council while making accommodations for each while using Masago's body.

Despite all expectations, the fact that Shiro is overly protective of Masago in that way manga often describes as 'sister-love' the story manages to not come across as too creepy. Creepiness all too easy even when the siblings aren't forced to share a body so that makes Oh! My Brother stand out more. The manga comes to a natural conclusion about three quarters of the way through the volume but the story is picked up in the next chapter and is crudely restarted. While the resulting story is fine, continuing it seems to have been last minute decision which may explain the story's uncertainty afterwards. This is only a two volume series so that may be a hindrance that the story never really recovers from, but in this volume it does pretty well.

Oh! My Brother, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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