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Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade Vol. 1
Author/Artist Ryusei Deguchi / Satoru Akahori
Welcome to Sasshi’s world, or at least what is left of it. His best “gal pal” Arumi is about to move away, while his neighbourhood is being demolished in the name of urban renewal. So it’s not going to well for young Sasshi. Things take a strange turn when a portal opens up and sucks Sasshi and Arumi into different worlds based upon famous manga and anime.
Now seeing as Abenobashi’s storyline has two characters getting sucked into worlds made of different manga and anime series, you can pretty much expect parodies from every type of anime, manga and even dating games. Created by Gainaxl, you can expect the good old EVA’s to make a stop as well.
Comedy is the name of the game in this manga and boy does it have it. Be warned, while everything is extremely light hearted, the manga earns its 16+ rating. Every anime-related sexual reference you can think of appears just in this first manga. Breasts are flying everywhere and all the girls wear skimpy outfits. All would be fine, if the two main characters for the manga weren’t grade-schoolers. So don’t expect to be reading this on the train without some dodgy looks from the guy looking over your shoulder.
Dodgy sexual references aside, Abenobashi is funny. Spotting the different parodies actually becomes more of a fun sport than anything else and the ludicrous situations in which Arumi and Sasshi seem to constantly find themselves just add to the charm of the book. Newcomers to anime/manga will have a fair few of the jokes go completely over their heads and more than likely won’t enjoy it as much as veteran fans will.
Abenobashi is directed mainly at the fans of rather than the newcomer. The sexual overtones can be distracting at times and put a dent in an otherwise charming manga. But once the more obscene scenes have passed, the manga quickly picks up again.
Extremely funny in places, but sexual overtones can be too much at times