Review: GALS!

Gals!
Let’s have fun!

Author
Mihona Fuji

Status
10 Volumes – Completed

Plot Summary
Kotobuki Ran, Miyu, and Hoshino Aya are best friends at highschool. They are Shibuya’s kogal who like shopping, hanging out at Shibuya, and flirting with cute boys.

They are so close even though they have extremely different personalities and backgrounds.

Together they face many things in friendship, family, and love.

Personal Opinion
Forget about romance. Forget about a touching love story. Gals! is about girl power!. Gals! Is about girl power!

If you are bored with tragic romance, or romantic manga, you should read this. It is about friendship, family, lifestyle, with a little romantic scene (when I said little, it means just a little tiny one).

Mihona Fuji, who was a kogal too, brings the kogal’s phenomena in Tokyo to us as it is in real life. Kogal refers to the words “onnanoko gal” or teenage girl, which means a community of junior and high school students who like to shopping and hanging out at famous shopping centres in Tokyo, like Shibuya and Ikebukuro. They always dress up super trendy with highlighted hair, polished nails, colorful outfits with contrasting motifs and wear unique accessories.

All of that served nicely in a friendship story of Ran, Miyu, an Hoshino.

In Gals!, Mihona tries to show us another side of kogals. In Japan, kogal has negative image, as they are considered to be naughty girls. It is clear that Mihona is trying to tell us that not every kogal acts badly through the characters in her manga.

But sometimes I find the plot is exaggerating, because Mihona tried too hard to convey her view about kogal. The main character Ran becomes too heroic sometimes.

But don’t worry; overall the plot is so exciting. There are always appearing new stories and characters appearing in each chapter. Gals! Is full of silly and crazy comedy scenes that will make you laugh a lot until the last page. Also, it is very interesting how Mihona highlight one of Japan’s unique lifestyles more detail than another manga. You might have read some manga that has kogal characters, but GALS! shows us more bout kogal than any other manga does.

For the artwork, I can say it is extraordinary and different from other shoujo manga. Mihona has a different drawing style to most shoujo mangaka. Maybe it’s not so skillfully drawn, but it is unique and has attractive style. She draws her characters a little bit too skinny and sometimes not so proportional. But we will not notice it when we see the whole illustration. Her weaknesses are covered up with her fancy illustration, stylish outfits of Gals! characters, and cute tones. Beside that she is also thorough with details. We will rarely find a blank background. She always fills the background depending on the location, situation and mood. She draws it with the location’s surface or tones. In fact, there are too many tones! Every page is full of illustrations and tones. Sometimes it looks cute, but sometimes I considered it too much.

With the characters, Mihona brings us unique individuals with their own stupidity. But the main characters are very strong. Not that type of character that we’ve always seen in almost every ordinary shoujo manga (like sentimental girl who has been in love with the same boy since kindergarten or the tomboy girl who became feminine and beautiful just because she wants to attract her dream boy). For example Ran, a rebellious girl who could smack a guy with one hand and has a goal to be a gangster at Shibuya. She doesn’t care if she cannot pass from her high school but she is so crazy about hibiscus accessories. I think Ran is pretty outrageous character =P

In Gals! we will see new characters appears in every chapter. Some characters are just shown for one chapter, but some appear continuously. I think Mihona uses too many characters in her manga, there are some supporting characters that I still don’t know the name of. It is a little bothering to me, as sometimes I cannot see the difference between one character and another.

But Mihona keeps concentrating on the main and important characters development. We can see the development of each main character; how their mind has grown up, personalities developed, and many more.

Gals! is filled with positive messages sent by Mihona especially for teenagers through the story. She tries to tell us to treat kogal better, don’t underestimate them. There are more social messages like don’t do sex before marriage, stop bullying at school, respect yourself, keep studying at school, etc.

Beside the artwork and the story those positive messages also make Gals! not just an ordinary manga. Plus, there are many beauty and fashion tips of kogal’s fashion style added in Gals! And I can guarantee you, it is so much fun to read it and will make you laugh a lot because it full of comedy scenes.

Gals! is definitely deserve to be collected. And it is very different to most shoujo manga. With cute artwork and a cool plot, do we have reasons to refuse it?

Personal Rating
9/10

[Reviewer: Maria Leonitha]

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