Urakata!!/Behind the Scenes!! by Hatori Bisco

Hatori Bisco-sensei is probably best known for Ouran High School Host Club, but I have to admit to bouncing out of that anime when I tried to watch it, dubbed. (Sorry, J. Michael Tatum! I loved you in the dub of Black Butler, though, I promise!)

This is a similar kind of story to Ouran… in that our hero, Ranmaru, ends up accidentally stumbling into a college zombie movie and ruins it. The bombastic art squad president, Ryuji Goda, gang-presses super-negative Ranmaru into helping them as reparations.

Apparently, no one is scanlating this one….

behind-the-scenes-first-two

SPOILERS

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Urakata!!/Behind the Scenes!! is basically about a lost lamb–or as Goda calls him at one point “the dude majoring in wool-gathering from the pessimist department in the school of listlessness”–who finds his people, his tribe: the “art squad.”

Ranmaru comes from rough, small town fisher folk. He grew-up feeling useless.  Due to this, he’s become an extremely negative person. But, of course, even before the end of the second chapter, Ranmaru discovers that, because of his humble beginnings, he’s particularly well-suited for making the most out of limited supplies–a skill set that that the underfunded “Art Squad” desperately needs.

The rest of the volumes is Ranmaru getting to know the other members of the group and learning how to fit-in in various ways.

I’m surprised that this one is labeled as ‘shoujo,’ while Nozaki-kun is ‘shounen.’  I guess this really is a marketing issue. There’s not even much hint of a strong romance (though there is a mild one between Ranmaru and the costumer, Ruka Enjoji), though I could see how this story, even with its heavily masculine cast, might appeal more to girls than to boys.  Most of the story arcs have a feel-good ending, not unlike Barakamon (though that one is listed as shounen, too.)

Ah, well, a marketing mystery.

I would recommend this, but you’ll have to find it via the library or actually buy it.  I’m not sure if it’s worth the price of a brand-new manga, but if you can pick it up somewhere free, I would.

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