Nagai Saburou: Boys, Be Ambitious

It was over the top to be sure, but I love that Nagai’s aesthetic has range. Similar to two of my favs Yamada Yugi and Kunieda Saika, she seems to relish the “ugly face.” But even with the Araya Miki meets Habuyama Hebiko-like exaggeration, there are still stories being told. This collection includes the title story and two unrelated oneshots with a few reprisals of “Boys, Be Ambitious.” I think you’ll either love or hate it. Or there’s the possibility that you could be like me and have no clue what to make of it. It’s totally (possibly decidedly) unsexy. It’s strange and funny. There’s cabbage, gross sobbing, girl talk, and a feisty obaasan. And that’s just the main story. I guess most people would easily assign it to the crack category, but there’s either something missing or something extra that keeps me from doing so.

This is only the second full length title I’ve ever given this score to. I can’t even tell you if I recommend it or not. It’s just like that.

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