Manga: Orenchi no Furo Jijou

Spent the bulk of today finishing up a final assignment for the semester that’s due next thur so writing today’s post is a (hopefully short) break before I drag myself back to working on another assignment due on MONDAY. Just look at my priorities.

Actually had a lot of trouble thinking of a short one I could write about. If you’ve been following my blog, remember when I said I was more open to reading more 4-Koma at the end of Gekkan’s post? Yup, here’s another 4-Koma for everyone to enjoy.

Manga: Orenchi no Furo Jijou 「オレん家のフロ事情」 a.k.a. The Circumstances of My Home’s Bathtub

Orenchi no Furo Jijou vol 1 cover

Orenchi no Furo Jijou vol 1 cover

Orenchi no Furo Jijou is a 4-Koma, Shoujo, comedy manga series by Itokichi. It started serialising in 2011 and is currently on-going with 5 volumes and counting. An anime adaptation began airing two months ago on Oct 6 and it is confirmed to have 13 episodes. I’m currently keeping up with the anime, but this post is just about the manga. Orenchi no Furo Jijou is hence forth shortened to Orenchi.

4-Koma Template

4-Koma Template

Unlike Gekkan, the 4-Koma format for Orenchi is slightly different. Gekkan’s panels are rectangular and there is only one 4-panel scene per page. Orenchi, however, usually consists of two 4-panel scenes per page. As per usual, each 4-panel scene is read from top to bottom before going on to the next scene from top to bottom again; You’re going to have to get used to scrolling down, up, and then down again every single page. Don’t be an impatient reader (like me at the beginning and accidentally click to the next page before reading the other scene.).

If panels aren’t in a vertical row down, read them like:

4-Koma Template

4-Koma Template

There’re actually more 4-Koma formats the series makes use of, but I’m guessing you understand how to read them by now huh…

Tatsumi is a high-school boy who lives by himself. When he finds a weak Wakasa by the side of the river, he brings him home and finds out devastatingly good-looking Wakasa is a merman. Cool, caring Tatsumi now has to deal with a cute, self-centered Wakasa along with several other frequent visitors to his bathtub. Orenchi no Furo Jijou offers a peek into their humorous lives.

WARNING: Nothing really. As long as you remember this manga is tailored towards a female audience so there’s an abundance of guy characters with sometimes ambiguous designs as well as suggestive intonations. That’s about it.

I’ve currently only read 1 volume (10 chapters) of this series, but from what I’ve been through, it’s plenty entertaining XD

Many of the gags used are honestly quite predictable and expected with the given situation. Unlike Gekkan, Orenchi isn’t something that leaves you continuously laughing or grinning from ear to ear. Some of the jokes aren’t great. Some of the scenes are more cute than anything. Orenchi’s the kind of 4-Koma you read for mild entertainment that leaves an affectionate smile on your face as compared to you rolling on the floor laughing. Well, sometimes you come close to the laughing on the floor I guess. Sometimes you also put your head in your hand like “WHAT IS [insert characters’ name] DOING…”

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.12.50 PM

Orenchi no Furo Jijou Chp 1 cover panel

What I like the most about this series is how adorable the characters are. No matter how annoying any one of them is, there’s always something you can’t help but find cute about them, whether its how they try to make up for the trouble they cause or a specific aspect of their personality. There’re certain generic characteristics present in all the characters don’t make them all that original, but I guess because a number of them aren’t actually humans, it makes things much more amusing. I spent more than half the time reading (internally) affectionately chuckling at how endearing each character was. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t ‘giggling’. The frequent swaps between ‘regular’ characters and their ‘chibi’ forms definitely contributes to its ‘cute’ factor.

Backgrounds are scarce, usually just enough to make clear on specific actions that the characters are doing. But another interesting thing I’d like to bring up is about the mangaka’s use of 4-Koma formats throughout the series. Itokichi-sensei sometimes switches up the size and positions of the 4 panels format to bring out the slight changes in moods of the scenes. It’s pretty cool how I never actually noticed the changes in 4-Koma format while reading earlier chapters. It was only after awhile that I realised there were some scenes felt different from others and that the formatting contributed to the flow of the manga. I think I need to pay more attention to panelling when I read. It never occurred to me much, but the affect of panelling flow is just like the affect of paragraphing when writing a novel etc.

I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about Orenchi. It’s definitely an enjoyable read, but I guess not everyone would find it as entertaining as I did.

I just want to see more endearing everyday-life stuff that happens with the bunch of weirdos that congregate in Tatsumi’s bathroom.

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