(A Ship Me Not Manga Review)
by Daryll Hanna Dulay
Ship Me Not is a 60 pages Tagalog manga published under Black Ink. It is written by Reira Francisco and illustrated by Jana Dhel. The writer of Fake Job and the illustrator of Andy is Andrei are now joined together to create a romance genre. With this two, they are able to create an exhilarating story to read.
The story of Ship Me Not is about Martin and his best friend, Jero, who fell in love with the same girl. In the beginning of the story, Martin was about to confess to Jena (the female lead) when Jero suddenly came and ask him to relay his love letter to Jena. The story became more interesting as it goes on when Jena overheard Martin and Jero talking about Jero’s plan of confession. However, the only part Jena heard is Martin saying:
“Gusto ko sanang malaman mo na… May gusto din ako—”
(I want you to know that. I also like—)
As a fujoshi, it hyped our female lead to push the two to be together.
Aside from the exciting storyline, the illustration greatly contributes to the manga. It was drawn magnificently neat and beautiful. The layout is perfect. It prevents the reader from being lost in direction. Great scenes were boldly emphasized by giving it a larger portion of the page. Even the dialogue balloons were perfectly placed near the speakers. As for the characters, the cover page says it all. But am I the only one who loves manga in black and white? If the characters printed in colored (cover page) looks good, you will fall in love more with their appearance in black and white.
Regarding the writing, even the title screams creativity. The title Ship Me Not makes you want to find out why it was titled like that, who was being shipped, or why he/she does not want to be shipped. When you finished the manga, you’ll realize that the title makes sense and it has something to do with the persona of the story. About the dialogues, they were written in simplistic way which is actually good because the story sets in regular days in school, and being written in informal conversation gives it a comfortable and realistic vibe.
Overall, Reira Francisco and Jana Dhel combined is a good one. Their creativity creates a good manga which readers would want to put in their manga collection. Still, I think the plot of the story deserves a series of manga to elongate the story and emphasize the scenes of the three lead characters. From my view, the manga is not just a love story. It is also about being a fujoshi and how women can support the same sex relationship. However, I am not giving away the story. Everyone deserves to discover how the story went. So I am only leaving you a question. Who do you think ended up with whom? Martin and Jena, Jero and Jena, or Martin and Jero?