Pita-Ten Vol. 1 – Manga Review

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Pita-Ten is short for “Pitari-Tenshi” which roughly translates to “needy stalker angel who won’t leave you alone for a minute! RESTRAINING ORDER GET!”

pita-ten-1-cover.jpg

Pita-Ten is short for “Pitari-Tenshi” which roughly translates to “needy stalker angel who won’t leave you alone for a minute! RESTRAINING ORDER GET!”

Story:
Kotarou has a pretty crappy life. His mom recently died and his dad is always gone on business. Luckily he has some friends: Ten-chan, who’s naturally a brainiac, and Koboshi the female childhood friend who is always wearing cat ears. Or are they real?

One day, a middle school girl named “Misha” moves in next door to Kotarou. From that moment on, they are inseparable. Which is to say that she pretty much stalks him 24/7. She claims that she’s an angel, and that her job is to make sure Kotarou is happy. Yet she seems to be making his life harder, albeit more interesting.

Oh, and there’s also Shia, who keeps giving Kotarou mad headaches whenever she’s near. After sucking the life out of Misha (!), however, she seems to be doing better. Are there enough characters yet? Hardly.

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Analysis:
The setup of Pita-Ten is actually not that great. Not much happens in this volume, and the secondary characters all seem grossly underutilized. I remember watching the anime and being thoroughly entertained. In comparison, the manga seems slow and clunky.

It just feels like the characters aren’t really interacting with each other that much. It’s clear Koboshi doesn’t like Misha since they’re technically rivals, but Koboshi doesn’t do anything to stop her stalking tendencies. Ten just kind of hangs out with the group but his character is really ambiguous. Sure, it’s the first volume, but I’d like to see a bit more characterization.

Near the end, Shia is finally introduced. Shia is totally my favorite character. But she hardly speaks until the very end of the volume. Oh well, there’s always volume two to look forward to.

The manga already seems a bit darker than the anime though, which is a good thing. Plus I saw two distinct incidents of fanservice where I believe the anime had zero!

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Character Designs and Art:
I really like the character designs for Pita-Ten. Shia = <3. But some of the art is really horrible. Check out the 1st scan and you'll see how crowded the panels can get. On top of that, much of the art just looks really unrefined. Like Koge-Donbo just scribbled on a napkin and published it. I guess "inconsistent" would be a good word to use. Some of the illustrations are great, but some are totally ugly. The Actual Book:
I have an issue with the translation. I can understand that Misha might talk in some kind of cute language, but it just doesn’t translate to English. Making Misha say stuff like “Let’s go take a bathie-wathie!” makes her sound like a retarded kid, not an angel. Also, I WILL NOT TOLERATE the use of the word “okies” in any context whatsoever. It’s not even a word to me.

Oh, also this print seems to cut off a lot of text. You couldn’t’ really tell, except that the katakana sound effects (that aren’t translated) are totally cut off. This is a somewhat old release (January 2004) so I guess it’s just a sign of the times in which it was published.

Conclusion:
I really want to like Pita-Ten. The anime is freaking awesome! This volume disappointed me, though. I guess Koge-Donbo had to start somewhere. I have a feeling things will get better. Though they probably won’t reach Shia-spinoff levels of awesomeness. I’m not saying Shia is moe. I’m saying Shia IS moe.

Many thanks to Tokyopop for sending me a review copy of Pita-Ten Volume 1!

9 thoughts on “Pita-Ten Vol. 1 – Manga Review”

  1. I chanced on this one but ended up…well, not disappointed but not nearly as satisfied as I wanted to be. I think you bringed up all the points I can think of.
    I’ve, however, no real problem with the “okies” (I tend to use it myself but not having english as a primary language might make it easier to accept it…maybe.
    But you’re right, some of the…cute-ish extensions of Misha’s sentences ends up really weird and/or childish.

    I was also surprised by the fact that the manga was a bit dark here and there, the cover and description totally made me think otherwise.

  2. @TehShaw: I just noticed that Adam Arnold did the translation, and he uses “okies” in Aoi House too! ARGH! That guy needs to stop with the “okies.”

    @Mizumi: I figured it would. This must be one of Koge-Donbo’s first manga, because the art is totally inconsistent. However, Shia is consistently cute.

  3. The Pita Ten manga is great!
    I read it before the anime and it is a lot deeper, darker and has a really good story going. The anime is nothing compared to it, the anime was not even half as awesome as the manga. So keep going, you wont be disappointed. Pita Ten is still one of my favourite manga to this day ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. ah Pita-Ten! It’s one of my favorite series. It starts out really slow… and I mean REALLY slow. The real story doesn’t really kick in until volume 6 or so… it’s worth giving a try though since I love the ending (although I guess it isn’t that great.)

  5. I just finished the manga series and I have to agree that it started out really REALLY slow but then it got pretty good…I love the suspense about who Shia really was and why Misha was there in the first place. I have mixed feelings about the ending…personally I love happy endings. However, I think the whole point of the ending is to tell us that you really can’t have everything in life…you have to sacrifice in order to succeed. I just wonder if there’s gonna be like a second series involving the two main characters since the author said something about this being their stories for now.

  6. Translators like that are one of the reasons I get most of my manga through online scanlations. I agree with the poor artwork, it really was quite bad, although it got better as the series went on. Someone said before that it was probably one of Koge-Donbo’s first works and I agree because the drawings in their most recent Naki Shoujo no Tame no Pavane are infinitely better. About the going too slow thing, personally I disagree. Because I watched the anime first I thought it was going to be much the same (the anime never went anywhere) so I was actually quite surprised and excited when there was an actual plot. I thought the character development was quite good. I still wonder today why they didn’t make Ten-chan in love with Koboshi in the anime.

    All-in-all I loved (and still love) the manga with all my heart.

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