Hello, and welcome to this week’s manga review of my series I Read It So You Don’t Have To. In this segment, I’m going to review Shonen Jump titles that are fully available on Manga Plus, where you can read official releases for free. I aim to cover whatever fits this criterion in their library, whether I enjoyed it or not. I might compare the titles to well-known series, but it’s to give the reader a taste rather than pitting them against each other. The reviews will contain light spoilers. Hope you can come across a title you might enjoy.
Before I start my review, I wanted to make an announcement. Would anyone be interested in being a guest in this segment and review a title? Collaborating/guest posting seems like fun! I know my blog has nothing to offer in the promotion department for you and your blog, but I find it fun and rewarding diving into a series without any prior knowledge. You can pick a title yourself or I can assign you one, and the format is pretty simple. If the idea is as enticing to you as well, you can reach out to me on my Twitter or any other platform you desire. Here’s my carrd.
Genre: Sports, Shounen
Author & Artist: Chiba Yu
Release Year: 2018
Status: Completed, has 103 chapters.
Todoroki Rin is an 18-year-old young woman who is ready for her exciting campus life in university. You know, the whole package. Outings with friends, drinking parties, a nice boyfriend. On her first day, her father, who is a mechanic, doesn’t let Rin go until she accepts riding the car he prepared for her. Rin hesitates, because the car is bright red and very eye-catching, but has no time to argue because she’s late.
Meanwhile, the school clubs are trying to recruit freshmen, and the most desperate amongst them all is the automotive club, Auto in short. When the members see a red car drifting perfectly into the parking spot, they know they’ve found the gem they are looking for. Rin loudly declaring she hates cars and drifting doesn’t seem to stop the members from pestering her, and the calm and fun campus life Rin has always dreamed of seems so far away because of the weird rumors surrounding the club. How will the rest of Rin’s first year unfold?
What works in Dricam!! ?
- I think it’s pretty clear from the exclamation marks that it’s a sports manga. I have to say I was surprised to see it wasn’t in the manga format we are used to but in a webtoon format. It’s vertical, in full color, and the panels. The bright and vivid colors really pop out, give the series the energy it tries to convey.
- I’ve read the first 20 chapters and the setting is pretty loyal to the sports series structure. The genius newbie who says they hate the sport, another newbie who’s well-known and have been doing the sport ever since they could, the club who will get closed if they don’t recruit new members. Rin’s father is also a well-known mechanic in the racing scene. In this sense Dricam!! reminded me of Yawara! from Urasawa Naoki. Too many exclamation marks in one sentence. I don’t know how the rest will unfold, but if you like the structure, you comfortably settle into the series and the chapters fly by.
- I’m not interested in cars, although the engineering and mechanics side to it seems fun. One of the anime characters I loved and looked up to was Miyuki from You’re Under Arrest! and she was one heck of a mechanic. Even though I wasn’t particularly interested in the cars or the drifting itself, the premise was captivating enough to have me say “One more chapter and then I’ll go to bed!” but spend another hour reading.
What doesn’t work in Dricam!! ?
- Being loyal to a genre structure is a double-edged sword: you either feel comfortable or it makes you feel like it’s just another *insert another generic series from the genre*. Currently, there’s not much emphasis on young adult life, so it’s not too different from having high school characters as the focus and I couldn’t put it as a plus. Hopefully, it will change because there aren’t many sports series that focus on adults.
- It wasn’t a problem for me, but the art style looks a little less refined than what we usually see in webtoons. I peeked at the final chapters and seems like the style gradually settles in and is cleaner. If you have to have clean art and good shading/coloring, this may not be for you.
- Related to that, I had trouble envisioning how the cars moved around during the chase scenes. The reason may be that we mostly see the cars side by side or when they are drifting so it’s hard to imagine the course they are taking.
To sum it up, my overall thoughts on Dricam!! are positive. It’s a cute series with high tension, lots of cars, and fun characters. Would certainly be a good choice to read between heavier series. I’m not knowledgeable about cars, but I’m sure the artist has done their research and car enthusiasts can find something they like. I hope I was able to paint a fair picture of Dricam!! and my next review will be of Ron Kamonohashi: Deranged Detective by Amano Akira. Until then!
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