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!”
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.
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!
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.
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.