cover image Gacha Gacha, Volume 1

Gacha Gacha, Volume 1

Hiroyuki Tamakoshi, . . Del Rey, $9.99 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-345-48621-9

Manga high school sex comedies don't exactly have to be Mensa material, but Gacha Gacha sets a new record for willful suspension of higher brain function. Its protagonist, a young man named Kouhei, has a hopeless crush on Kurara, a generic manga schoolgirl type who treats him like her personal footman. At first, he doesn't understand why she sometimes comes on to him and sometimes couldn't be colder, or why she demands that "if I get all erotic like that again, you have to stop me before anyone else finds out." Then he discovers that she actually has a split personality—and that the other half of her, Arisa, is perpetually hot to trot and likes to wear outfits that give Tamakoshi (Boys Be ) a chance to draw lots of closeups of her barely clad chest. The plot involves the usual contrivances—a bikini top that goes missing, Kouhei being forced to pretend he's agreed to be Kurara's slave and so on. What makes the whole silly affair work is Tamakoshi's artwork, which strikes the right balance between whimsy and lechery—Kouhei looks amusingly dumbstruck by his own hormones, and both Kouhei and Arisa are adorable in their own way. (Sept.)