Direction: Right to Left
By: Yuriko Matsukawa
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Genre: Romance, slice of Life, shojo
Sayaka runs into trouble when she and the mysterious boy Reiji become chained together with a pair of handcuffs. She then discovers that Reiji may be involved in some shady dealings. Motorcycle gangs and a terrible accident from Reiji’s past lead the both of them to constant distress. Can Sayaka help Reiji escape a future filled with guilt? Hush-a-bye Baby is a non-stop youthful romance that starts in a convenience store at one in the morning.
As a shojo title this one is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s a pure shojo that doesn’t add anything, but also doesn’t lose out. It’s hardly what i would call amazing, not like some of the Harlequin releases, but it’s an okay read.
The art style is what you’d expect from a shojo series, but for me that’s getting a bit stale now. I’ve read a lot of shojo over the years and while they’re all drawn by different manga-ka you couldn’t really tell it. They all draw in a similar style and have similar character designs, to the point where you could almost believe it was one person drawing under a pseudonym.
Now, this isn’t to say I’m ragging on the art, because that wouldn’t be fair or right, the art in this story is pretty good. I just wish that the manga-ka would take add some innervation, add something different from the norm to change things up and make it stand out from the crowd.
The character designs are generic, good looking guys and girls for the leads, with a mean looking guy (who still happens to be good looking) as the bad guy. The scenery is okay as well, with attention to detail where it’s needed.
The story is pretty good and i did enjoy reading it to a degree. The problem here though is that we essentially have an action story but the emphasis is on the love aspect, so neither part really shines. The reason for this of course is that it’s a one shot, so a lot of stuff has to be covered rather quickly.
I feel that the story could have really shone if more time, as in more volumes, had been allowed to build the story more. this of course would have allowed more depth to the relationships, and more action to be shown.
I did like the story, i can’t deny that. The thought of a kid looking to redeem himself after being framed for murder makes for a great story. The relationship between the characters is okay, but due to the time constraints it feels like it developed to fast. We literally go from believing that Reiji is a robber, to being in love practically over night.
The second story just didn’t do anything for me. I can’t explain why but i just didn’t get into it. I hated the characters and the setting. I also felt like Yuriko didn’t really care so much about the character designs in this one, since a lot of them just looked bad, rushed, and like blobs of ink.
The third story, that of a reporter researching an article on a chef has a better vibe to it, which, given it’s significantly shorter surprised me. I think it’s because there’s less focus on the action and more on the relationship. I also was surprised i liked this one given it’s the same setting, (sort of) as the second story.
The interaction between the two characters Aya and Roger is great and really well done. Despite how short the story is the way the relationship grows doesn’t feel rushed, in fact it has a very organic feel to it, giving a good ending to the volume as a whole.
This is another DMG release and overall it was okay, though i did notice a big problem i hope they address in future releases, that is the resolution of the volume. I read this on my kindle, kindle for windows, and the online reader.
On my kindle there was nothing wrong, apart from the pages being a bit squashed for some reason. This is a common problem on the kindle for all titles I’ve gotten from emanga. On the PC and the online reader however, i noticed that the resolution of the volume seemed rather small; as a result of this fonts were fuzzy and hard to read. I have my monitor set to 1366*768 do it’s not even full HD so i can’t imagine how bad it would look on full HD. they really need to address this as it makes reading the volumes a chore, with a lot of squinting.
Overall though this was a okay shojo, nothing special, but an okay read.