Change 123 (Seinen) – written by Sakaguchi Iku and illustrated by Iwasawa Shiuri
Rating – 8/10
Synopsis: The main character of this manga is Gettou Motoko, a kind, seemingly average teenage girl, who tries her best to have a normal highschool life. Matoko was orphaned by her mother at an extremely younge age, but she was never too lonely because she was raised by her three “fathers”. However, these three, loving fathers are the cause of an abnormality that disrupts Matoko’s everday world. Each father is a master of a different style of martial art or combat training and each one of them taught Matoko relentlessly and excessively at a young age… Needless to say, the young Matoko was horribly traumatized and in the end developed 3 different personalities, one for each martial art, in order to cope with the rigorous training. Together, the three personalities are known as HiFuMi (literally 1-2-3). Hibiki is the aggressive karate user. She is a tomboy who is always looking and ready for a fight and is incredibly impulsive (to a fault).
Fujiko is the calm, silent, more mature personality, the thinker and the cold-blooded strategist. She is the quickest of the personalities and is skilled at swordsmanship and marksmanship. Mikiri is the most childish of the three (though, ironically she has the biggest breasts) and is an expert in grappling and submission moves. Because she is so childish, she is extremely innocent but at the same time is capable of displaying a child-like cruelty that is chilling. Matoko knows of the presence of HiFuMi and tries to keep it a secret. However, one day her classmate, Kosukegawa Teruharu witnesses an infuriated Hibiki kicking a man (who was harassing the terrified Matoko) straight into car. Begging Kosukegawa not to tell anoyone, Matoko says she will do anything. Kosukegawa promises not to say a word at no cost. But not saying anything isn’t enough. He ends up being dragged into their world. A world filled with an insane number of unbelievable combats and a past that threatens Mokoto’s life. Will he be able to overcome Motoko’s personality disorder? Will he be able to tell the girl (or should I say girls?) that he likes how he really feels? Will he be able to survive HiFuMi’s world filled with violence and an untold darkness?
Artwork: I liked the artwork of this manga right off the bat. I don’t believe it to be especially unique or eye-catching but it was clean, crisp and clear. The characters were well drawn and it was easy to tell the difference between HiFuMi and Matoko just by looking at them. There was also a good amount of detail put into the characters, their expressions and also some backgrounds. All in all it is an enjoyable manga to see unfold image wise.
Tone: This manga is a Romantic Comedy (underneath all the fighting), and that being said it is quite funny. The absurdity of the personalities of HiFuMi, especially Hibiki and Mikiri make one chuckle and the desperation of Kosukegawa as he tries to get his feelings across to Motoko is adorably funny. There are also a lot of jokes surrounding the ecchi-ness of the manga. However, the RomCom is secondary to the Action.This is firstly a Martial Arts manga, and true to its genre the fights are epic. As the manga progresses the fights get more serious, bloodier and more painful as we learn more about the darkness that lurks behind HiFuMi and Motoko herself. As such, it also has a more grim and psychological side. I think this mixture of emotions really helps to add depth to the manga and makes it a much more fascinating read. It definitely gives a sense of life to it, as these are all emotions we face in everyday life, granted in the manga they are exaggerated.
Status: Completed – 60 Chapters
Age Rating: 17+ (sorry guys, like I said, violent and ecchi)
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DISCLAIMER: The image displayed does NOT belong to anyone of us at Super Manga Fighters GO! The characters are the property of ©Sakaguchi Iku. Artwork ©Iwasawa Shiuri