Story: Tomohiro Marukawa
Art: Tomohiro Marukawa
Genre: Sci-Fi / Comedy
Volume Count: 10(+?)*
Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 24 June 2009
*Though at least ten volumes have been released in Japan, the American release by Central Park Media only made it to five volumes before ceasing publication. The fifth volume is extremely rare, and I do not own it. This review is based on the four widely available (though now long out of print) English volumes.
An enjoyable light read mixing science fiction and comedy in a character-based story.
Kazuto Iizuka is a normal middle school boy who is saved from an alien disguised as a puppy by a girl named Narue Nanase, who herself is half-alien. The two soon get to know each other, and before Kazuto knows it, Narue has become his girlfriend. The series follows the two and their friends through the perils of everyday life and the occasional alien threat.
The World of Narue manga, much like the anime series derived from it, is no more than enjoyable fluff. This is hardly a bad thing, though. Sometimes a story is better when it doesn’t try to take itself seriously and just concentrates on what it does well – in this case putting likable characters in various situations and seeing how things play out between them. In fact, the author himself admits at the end of each volume of the manga that he makes the story up as he goes along, and asks the reader to forgive him for any continuity issues that arise because of this. The World of Narue is all about fun, and indeed it is a fun read.
The art style and panel layout isn’t the most refined, but for the most part things are easy to follow. This probably goes hand in hand with Marukawa’s way of writing the story in a stream of consciousness fashion.
The story is mostly slice-of-life vignettes in the lives of Narue and Kazuto, held together by a loose plot, which is clearly secondary. The World of Narue is first and foremost a character driven story, so the plot is never made out to be all that important. It doesn’t pretend to be, and this is what keeps the story interesting. Much like the anime, the concept of the manga seems to come across as Ah! My Goddess Lite, but with a younger cast. It doesn’t even come close to being a ripoff though, and the story is enjoyable and good on its own merits.
So, if you’re looking for a light read – fluff, one might say – The World of Narue works quite nicely. It’s a fun and easy read.