Q and A by Mitsuru Adachi – manga review

Cover of volume 1 of "Q and A" by Mitsuru Adachi.
Cover of volume 1 of “Q and A” by Mitsuru Adachi.
Q and A is an unusual, slightly-fantastical, slice-of-life manga from Mitsuru Adachi, best known in the States for his baseball manga, Cross Game.

Atsushi Andou is moving back to his old neighborhood after his family moved away following his older brother’s untimely death in an accident. There he meets Yuuho Maezawa, a girl he used to know who also used to have a crush on his brother. After she accuses him of stalking her, she finds out who he is and they begin an uneasy but mostly friendly relationship.

When Atsushi (or “A”, from the title) goes back home to finish unpacking, he finds the ghost of his brother (“Q”) haunting his room. Through the course of the series, we find out that “Q-chan” (as he’s called in the series) has a limited range which he can haunt, and he can only go outside when the sun isn’t out (heavy clouds still allow him to roam). Q-chan uses this to his advantage whenever he can.

The main part of the story, however, focuses on the building relationship between the two main characters. Adachi is expert at showing a gradual change in relationships which just feels natural. He’s excellent at creating characters that are each unique (despite him joking about reusing his “stock” characters in multiple series).

I also really love the skill Adachi displays with the human form. He really knows his anatomy and this skill really shines in the action shots, even though his characters are very stylized. Adachi has an extreme adeptness at portraying believable emotions and helping the reader experience them vicariously, bringing a reality to the manga which is lacking in works by many other artists.

The only thing which irritated me in this series was the ending. It was very cliché and seemed a bit of a cop-out. Perhaps the ratings of the series were dropping and he needed to end it more quickly than planned; I don’t know. Regardless, I felt a bit let down by the ending, especially in light of how much I enjoy his other works (including the rest of this story, prior to the last chapter). That’s really what lowered my rating of this series.

That said, if you are a fan of Adachi or of subtle romance manga, I recommend reading this. Despite its shortcomings, I still enjoyed it.

Serialization Dates: June 2009 – April 2012 (Japan)
ISBNs: vol.1 4091220983 (9784091220981)
vol.2 4091222390 (9784091222398)
vol.3 4091225799 (9784091225795)
vol.4 4091228291 (9784091228291)
vol.5 4091232884 (9784091232885)
vol.6 4091236073 (9784091236074)
Publisher: Shogakukan
Language: Japanese
Original Title: QあんどA

MySF Rating: Three point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 80%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 0 (description)
Language: 0 (description)
Nudity: 1 (occasional fan service)
Sexuality: 1 (one of the characters is obsessed with panties)
Violence: 1 (mild comic violence)

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