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Satifsaction Guaranteed Vol. #01 Manga Review

3 min read

Comparisons to “Get Backers” will be inevitable and this series has the potential to be an entertaining buddy romp. However, those types looking for BL with every two guys on a book cover will be disappointed.

Creative Staff:
Writer/Artist: Ryo Saenagi
Translated by: Monica Seya/Matt Yamashita

What They Say
Shima is a jack-of-all-trades who can solve any problem that’s presented to him. When he’s approached by Kaori, a super-hot teenage model who’s being followed by a mysterious figure known as “The Snowman,” the two team up to catch the stone-cold stalker in the act. One thing’s for sure: When you hire this hot duo, your satisfaction is guaranteed!

The Review:
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shima Yoshitsune is an orphaned eighteen-year-old who runs Anything Incorporated, which has been hired by top model, high school student, Sugura Kaori, to find the person who is stalking him. This is the beginning of Shima’s personal and professional relationship with Kaori, who eventually joins Shima in the Anything agency. The series is primarily short whodunits, sometimes not terribly clever or well-crafted. But the real point of the stories is to provide a backdrop for the evolving friendship between the Shima and Kaori, two flawed individuals who come to depend on each other for support. And friendship is the keyword here. This is not BL, this is not shounen-ai. Saenagi may enjoy cross-dressing Shima and making the odd comment, but it’s all a wink and a nudge.

Saenagi, much like a first-time traveler, brings entirely too much baggage on this trip. Something to roll out when things get a bit dull? We expect heroes to have flaws – Shima is very afraid of fire, a result of the fire that killed his parents after they saved him in a house fire. And Kaori’s problem is a bit over the top, he has an additional personality, Kyo, who takes over when Kaori models. But the real drag on the series is an unnecessary character called APP, All-Purpose Person, a bishonen who takes on a different personality when he puts on a long wig. He is placed in the role of a detective/crime fighter as a not-so-serious rival to Shima. The arrival of APP in any chapter signals a change in tone to an unfunny superhero cartoon and is very much a distraction.

In spite of the weak stories in this volume, there’s enough entertainment in the interaction of Shima and Kaouri to make this series worth a read.

This is Ryo Saenagi’s first published work, and the artwork lacks the polish and confidence of her later work, the wonderful but canceled series, Sequence. Saenagi’s style is a very comfortable blending of shoujo sensibility and shounen energy, very appropriate for this series about a do-it-all agency run by two cute guys. The drawing is energetic, but not terribly clean at this stage. There is quite a bit of well-depicted background art, and the panel arrangement makes for a dynamic page. One can see the beginning of Saenagi’s physical archetypes in this work – the short, cute, excitable guy and the tall, cool, handsome guy. Unfortunately, at this point in the work, all the characters are based on these two types, be they male or female. Accessorizing makes all the difference here.

In Summary:
Persistence will pay off for readers of this series. Every volume shows improvements in art and story with volume 4 displaying much of the style that is typical of Saenagi’s later works.

Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: C+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Release Date: July 31st, 2006
MSRP: $9.99

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