4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Dramacon Volume 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
Anime convention newbie Chris goes to her very first con with her boyfriend Derek and a couple of their friends. The aim of the game: sell their love-child indie manga they're so proud of, have a bit of fun, and try not to lose all sense of sanity in the unique world that is an anime con.
All starts out well, but before the end of the first day, Derek's shameless flirting with any and all cute cosplayers within a 20m radius make Chris see red, before, out of the blue, she meets a cosplayer of her own: Matt. Tall, handsome, brooding... Her very own knight in shining armour. But can Chris sort out how she feels in just one crazy weekend?
The synopsis may not appeal to you- you might be thinking it's all been done before, and yeah, I suppose elements of it have been covered in other series. But there are a lot of things that make Dramacon different and special.
One of the biggest pros is the humour. I read this for the first time on a train, and I literally could not help laughing out loud- the wierd sounds I was making trying to stifle my laughter drew me some really odd looks, so I advise you now, don't read this in public unless you're already used to random strangers pegging you as a wierdo. But yes, Dramacon just gets funnier with each page- I think a fair amount of the humour will appeal to you more if you have actually been to an anime con yourself, but even if you haven't, there's still a lot to be amused by here- not least of which the mass of anime in-jokes, with barely-disguised references to everything all anime fans love, from Pocky obssession to Fruits Basket's Kyo's unmistakable stress-mark expression slapped on a cute hat.
Another pro is the characters. I think a lot of female manga characters are irritatingly generic, but Chris is actually really sweet and has an odd sense of humour that really made me like her from pretty much the first panel. You also can't help feeling for her, with some of the things she puts up with! Matt is also a great character- he'd be a typical brooding bishie I suppose, except he also has a wierd sardonic humour that makes him really believable and likeable. It's actually pretty easy to understand why Chris is drawn to him. I suppose Derek is a little typical as the mean boyfriend, but he's still pretty realistically characterised.
The art is also really nice, there's nothing to complain about there, with some of the facial expressions, in particular, making for some hilarious sight-gags.
The story develops nicely, with just the right amounts of humour, romance, angst, drama and excitement to bring the whole book to life and make it a truly enjoyable read. The pacing is perfect for the short timeline, and it captures that sense of hustle and bustle and novelty cons have, and in particular the bittersweet feeling you get on the last morning as you leave was really well captured. And it's completely re-readable- I read it twice the first day I bought it! >_<
So basically, yes. This is a really good manga, the best shoujo I've read in quite a while- if you like Tramps Like Us or Hana-Kimi I think this'll be right up your street, and if you've ever been to a con you'll find a lot of the in-jokes hilarious. Give it a try, it's really good fun and worth every one of the those five stars. Can't wait for volume 2!