The first installment to Mizuto Aqua's new Milk Crown series, this manga shows good promise of being a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek shoujo manga. Where exactly things will go is hard to say at this early stage, but there are some indications of where the story can go to further develop the plot.
As it is a first installment, there are a number of characters who are introduced in the story, noteably Oto - the main character, Jin - student head of the dorm, Yamato - dorm resident, and Ojo - Jin's pet shark. While others are in the picture, they are very much in the background. Normally, in anime, I tend to be leery about pets and mascots since they are often used as cute fillers, or for cheap plot devices. What role Ojo will take waits to be seen although he isn't exactly what you'd call cute. Mind you, he's not entirely shark-like either. Oto's character quickly takes on an interesting personality, and while hopefully most people won't be quite as clueless as she is, at the same time, there's the bit of silliness in her which appeals to the reader's sense of whimsy. At the same time, despite her cluelessness, she has a certain underlying strength and determination which speaks of her overall personality as well. Jin's character is somewhat less developed than Oto's although reader's do have an initial impression of a strong (physically and possibly otherwise) individual. Time will tell as to how his character will develop as the series continues. Likewise, Yamato's character isn't particularly well developed in this first installment.
The plot itself is both fast paced and interesting as various events unfold. And while I must admit, that reality does take a back seat in the world of Milk Crown, the whimsical and humourous atmosphere keeps readers focussed. With room for development introduced in a number of places, it'll be interesting to see where things go next.
I have to admit that I like Mizuto Aqua's drawing style. Her work has good detail without being too cluttered, and yet aren't so blank as to feel empty. Cleanly drawn, her characters are easy to tell apart, and are at times cute, pretty, etc. While she does use super-deformed forms fairly liberally, it further accentuates the humourous / whimsical nature of the manga and is used to good effect. Even with the constant changes between normal and super-deformed forms, the general drawing style for the characters remains quite constant so there is no uncertainty as to the identity of the various character. All in all an interesting start to this series. On to the next chapter!
- JYN, 2001.11.17