Random Manga Theatre 23: Smargs Won’t Sing

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: Mamono wa Utawanai, by Yamamoto Kumiko

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Don’t blame me for always picking oneshots, blame the Random Number God for giving me a bunch of oneshots whenever I click the random button. I am most definitely not just being lazy because I want to get back to playing Persona 4 Golden. Nope.

In Smargs Won’t Sing, the short plot follows two sisters, the survivor of a “smarg” attack on their villages. Smargs are apparently just a catch-all term for magical creatures (though to be honest I have never heard that one before), including the mother of all magical beasts, dragons. These sisters had their village destroyed by a dragon and managed to flee to another village, but were deeply traumatized by the incident. The question is, how did they escape an all-powerful dragon in the first place?

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It’s hard to simply just spell out a plot summary for this oneshot without spoiling its few interesting bits, because it doesn’t spend a lot of time with a setup – at least, not until partway through, after they’ve introduced all the major players. Considering it’s only a single chapter long, the pacing is quite good, starting in medias res. Even though the plot progression is very predictable and obvious, it works well for what it is.

What I like most about Smargs Won’t Sing, though, is that it gives that “tip of the iceberg” feel. Because it’s a very focused story with personal stakes and with only a few hints about the rest of the world these people live in, those little hints are enough to paint a picture of this fantasy world with all sorts of different Smarg interacting with humans in different ways. Since you’re given only the barest amount of information to understand what’s going on here, it lets your imagination f ill in the blanks, and I enjoy that.

Verdict: Pretty Cool
If you have a couple minutes free and are looking for a quick read, then I recommend checking this one out. I doubt you’ll be blown away or anything, but even as a single chapter it’s miles beyond a lot of the drivel out there.

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