Random Manga Theatre 38: Forget-Me-Not

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: Forget-Me-Not, by Tsuruta Kenji

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I promised this week that I’d try to make up for last week’s pretty lame manga, so here we go.

Forget-Me-Not (which is thankfully unrelated to Ano Hana My Title Is Too Long The Stupid Flower Is Called A Forget-Me-Not You Morons) is about Mariel Imari, a young woman of both Italian and Japanese descent. She’s a private detective and master of disguise, effectively running her own business on the canals of Venice. It’s in her blood, as it were; she comes from a long line of famous Italian detectives, the last of which was her late father. Upon his death, he left Mariel the family estate: a lavish mansion and private island off the Venetian coast.

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Not that there isn’t a catch, of course. Mariel’s grandfather, the great detective Pietro Benucci, was bested only once in his entire career by the mysterious thief Vecchio. One painting was stolen from the mansion, a piece labelled Forget-Me-Not, and Mariel receiving her inheritance is dependent on recovering that painting. She’s allowed to live in the mansion and receive breakfast, but apart from that, she’s on her own, practically living in poverty and searching for clues about the phantom thief as she runs her private eye business.

I suppose all-in-all the story is passable, if a tad confusing at times, but it wasn’t really the main draw for me. If you recall, Tsuruta Kenji also did the art for a previous Random Manga Theatre, Memories of Emanon. As such, the art in Forget-Me-Not is beautiful, far beyond the standards set by most manga. The setting of Venice is always pretty, and it makes for a great backdrop for the mangaka to show off his skills filling each page with tiny details. They say not to judge a book by its cover, so I suppose I shouldn’t judge a manga just by its art, but it’s just so darn pretty I couldn’t help but be interested.

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Verdict: Forget Me Not
That probably fills my bad-pun quota for the next few months or so, right? Still, after you’ve seen Tsuruta Kenji’s distinctive art style, you don’t forget it. This manga is worth checking out at least for looking through the pretty pictures and properly proportioned humans as opposed to the usual anime fare. And on that note, look forward to more stuff from this mangaka on RMT in the future whenever I get tired of crappy harem manga!

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