Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: My Lovely Ghost Kana, by Tanaka Yutaka
I asked the GLORIO crew if they wanted me to do Random Manga Theatre on the shonen manga I found or the manga with all the sex, and the choice was unanimous: they wanted the sex. Thankfully, despite the aforementioned copulation, this manga is actually pretty good, and not at all a complete smut fest (okay, maybe it is a little).
Daikichi has met a bout of bad luck lately. Due to reasons he doesn’t want to talk about, he’s lost his job and his living space, and has been forced out on his own. At a loss and essentially homeless, he finds the only apartment he can afford: it’s located in a dilapidated building overgrown with ivy, and is supposedly haunted by the spirit of a young woman who committed suicide. As you may expect, she hangs around in his apartment, and while he’s initially disbelieving of his situation (and annoyed at being sent to go buy beer for her), he quickly comes to accept his situation.
Confronted with his own circumstances of having lost everything, Daikichi has been contemplating suicide himself, but Kana tells him to appreciate the sanctity of life – she has experience, after all. When pressed for details, all Kana remembers about her life is the moments leading up to her suicide. She doesn’t remember why she killed herself, only that it was painful, and she wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that. When Daikichi reaches out to point out that she doesn’t have any scars on her chest, where she allegedly stabbed herself, he gets a handful of bosom – notable, because up until now nobody has been able to touch Kana.
So, in typical fashion, they proceed to have sex that very night, and Kana feels what it’s like to be alive again.
Anyway, most of the manga involves their romance and adventures – and therefore there is a lot of sex. But I don’t think it ever really feels creepy or exploitative (no more than sex in media is in itself, anyway). After all, what else would young people who live together and are in love with each other spend their time doing in their spare time? A few other side characters have a presence throughout the story, including Utako, another girl who moves into the apartment building under similarly desperate circumstances. Thankfully, the love triangle plot that might have arisen in a lesser story is shot down almost immediately.
Despite the rather grim subject matter at times, the story has a very optimistic bend to go along with the mostly heartwarming romance. There’s an overarching theme that no matter your traumatic backstory and how terrible your circumstances, you can always overcome your past – that life is always worth living, even if you’re dead.
Verdict: Give It A Chance
A lot of you are probably prepared to reject this out of hand because it does indeed have sex in it, but it’s actually quite good – it manages to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that I think other series of this type would otherwise fall into. It’s heartwarming, enjoyable, and altogether better than I could have expected it to be. It’s short, too – only about 22 chapters, finishable in a single afternoon. Give it a try, and you might be surprised.