love and mystery in the walled city
- Mangka : Mayuzuki, Juno
- Publisher : yen press
- Style : Drama, Mystery, Romance, Scene
- published : July 2022 – Present
Jun Mayuzuki is the mangaka you should go to if you want a heartfelt romance with a mature vibe. His most popular work is the award-winning manga called After the Rain. It has been adapted into an anime series and also has a live-action adaptation.
Now she is back once again with another workplace romance story, but with more spice in it. This is called Kowloon Generic Romance. And like his previous works, it received many accolades, such as being nominated for the 6th Next Manga Awards and the 14th Manga Taisho Awards, among other things. So let’s see how cool it really is through this review of the first volume of Kowloon Generic Romance.
The story takes place in the infamous Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong. Amidst the dense buildings and crowded people, Kujirai Riko slowly enters his office. She works as a realtor who is responsible for several apartments in several buildings in the center of Kowloon.
There are only three people in that small, cramped office. Kujirai, her cheerful boss, and her carefree co-worker, a man named Kudou Hajime. The story revolves around the conversation between Kudu and Kujirai as they travel through a labyrinthine city called Kowloon.
Both have lunch and sometimes dinner together. They take turns handling clients who want to see apartments, dealing with complaints from tenants who live in a building, and smoking on the roof of a building as they look at the massive structure called Jean Terra that currently stands. Under construction in space. , In the midst of these chaotic but mundane daily activities, Kujirai suddenly discovers that he has indeed fallen in love with Kudu.
Why should you read Kowloon Generic Romance?
1. Three-dimensional characters
Kowloon Generic Romance is a romance story for adults – there’s no question about it. In fact, in just a few pages from the first chapter, the shot of Kujirai sitting in a chair with a disheveled shirt on as she gazes into the distance with a cigarette in her right hand is all the image you need in this manga. To determine the desired demographic for.
A few chapters in this manga, you immediately think these characters are actually breathing humans. They are individuals with different personalities, preferences and quirks that are uniquely theirs. This is especially true for the two main characters, Kujirai and Kudu.
Whether she is going to work or going out on a holiday, Kujirai always wears neat clothes. But at home all he needs is a loose shirt and short pants. She loves to try new things, such as eating out in a newly opened restaurant or tasting new brand snacks. But above all, her idea of relaxation is to smoke a cigarette and eat a watermelon at the same time.
Kudu, on the other hand, is a husky man who never pays attention to his appearance. At work, his shirt is often open and his tie is always loose, and on vacation, he wears shorts and a T-shirt. He is not fond of trying anything new. Once he finds something he likes, that’s the only way for him. So he always eats at the same place and buys the same snacks. Oddly enough, he has a habit of touching the number “8” on the wall every now and then.
Things like this are the essence of “show, don’t tell”. The way they dress, what restaurants they go to, how they spend their free time… these are all mundane things that make them a three-dimensional character. These are proof that they live real lives, and are not characters created to advance the story.
2. Spectacular world-building
While the Kowloon Generic Romance is a 100% fictional story, the setting of the story itself, The Kowloon Walled City, was a real place. It was one of the most unique places on Earth with about 50,000 inhabitants living within its 6.4-acre boundaries. It was a historical city which dates back to the year 1898.
When Hong Kong’s population began to boom, more and more people decided to live in Kowloon, most of whom were illegal and troubled people. To accommodate such a large increase in residents, new houses and buildings were built on top of each other without any planning in mind. The result was a cramped, walled city where the sun barely touched the ground. Sadly, the iconic Kowloon Walled City was demolished by the Hong Kong government in 1994.
So as you can see, the original location is already so charming, but the fact that Mayuzuki-sensei manages to articulate the small details and nuances of the walled city makes it even more spectacular to behold. . The narrow streets that Kujirai and Kudou have to pass through, the dazzling neon lights of shops, street food vendors, endless staircases, messy architecture, are all beautifully rendered in Kowloon Generic Romance.
As if that’s not enough, the story also has mysterious science-fiction elements, namely Jean Terra. It is a massive diamond-like structure hovering in outer space, but it can still be seen from Kowloon. It was supposed to be a place that would enable people to live in space. Not much information has been shared about Jean Terra, but hearing Kudu and Kujirai talk about it with a fair tone is enough to make us wonder what really happens in their world.
Honestly, there are so many different aspects of world building in Kowloon Generic Romance that we could easily create a dedicated article for it.
Why should you leave Kowloon Generic Romance?
1. Slow Motion
If there is one thing that might turn some readers off from this manga, it would be its slow pace. There really isn’t much conflict going on here. All it contains are puzzles and mysteries, and the author carefully stretches out the clues needed to solve the puzzles that seem to go through the day-to-day activities of its characters. So the pace of the story is intentionally slow. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then Kowloon Generic Romance might not be for you.
Kowloon Generic Romance is a truly engaging manga with three-dimensional characters, fantastic world building and engaging story that somehow manages to blend together romance, mystery and sci-fi. And it’s all beautifully presented through Mayuzuki-sensei’s art. There really aren’t many stories that can be compared to a Kowloon generic romance. So even if slow-paced romance isn’t your usual jam, you should still consider giving this manga a try.
Have you read Kowloon Generic Romance? What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.