Shinjou Shouryuu is a healthy 17 year old high school boy. Many of his kouhais wonder why such a great guy doesn't have a girlfriend. Ask him and he'll tell you that between school, work, and saving his kouhais from bullies doesn't leave him much time to go on dates. So he instead goes online to "F.I.L. GATES". There in the chat room his alter-ego, Kakeru, is infatuated with the girl called Hal. Hal sends a message reminding him that Sunday will be the 6 month anniversary of when they first met (online) and that she wants to meet him in person! And let's just say it's not your typical first date.
# of chapters available: 12
Score: 3 out of 5
In a nut shell
Mel Kano is a pretty fun manga by Oshima Towa. Like the synopsis suggests, Mel Kano is a series about couples who meet on “F.I.L. GATES.” From what can be gathered “F.I.L. GATES” is a type of super Craigslist. Or it may be better to say its super web 5.0. It operates as a store, a Craigslist, a social networking site, dating site, etc. Basically all of your favorite sites rolled into one. Now while the basic set-up is different couples meeting in offline for the first time, the story does return Shinjou and Haruka. However, this time its them being enlisted by “F.I.L. GATES” secondary company “F-Eye.” “F-Eye” works to maintain the integrity of “F.I.L. GATES” through covert means. Hilarity ensues since Shinjou and Haruka are blackmailed into working for “F-Eye” at first with their chat conversations. It is here where the story revolves around Haruka and Shinjou working on cases for “F-Eye.”
This manga’s humor operates off of situational based comedy. Which works really well since it is intermitted with decent action and romance. The most humorous aspect of the series is Shinjou’s and Haruka’s relationship. Online they are sweet hopeless romantic sweet talkers. Offline they are both rude, abrasive, and just not how they are online. What’s funny is when the two get into arguments, they use texting and chatting in internet cafés to make up. Because the only way they know how to sweet talk is online. One of the most humorous situations is on Haruka’s and Shinjou’s first case. Apparently girls kept going missing after meeting on particular guy on “F.I.L. GATES.” The guy knocks the girls out and dressing them as otaku figures and then keeps them prisoners. And how does he dress Haruka? As a cat girl.
I happen to like the style of the manga. Its drawn in a pretty traditional shoujo style. What do I mean? Even the bad ass scruffy boys look cute. The clothing is pretty trendy. It has a light airy style. I wouldn’t say its anything new. Although Oshima Towa has great character design, I wouldn’t say they’re memorable.
Shinjou is your typical bad ass super strong guy. The hilarity continues that he is the exact opposite online. He is headstrong and sometimes a jerk. However, he is loyal to a fault. Haruka is pretty much a perfect match. Except she has a much stronger sense of justice, which compared to Shinjou makes her almost a saint. She also goes looking for danger, unlike Shinjou who handles the danger that comes his way.
Overall Mel Kano is pretty cool. I enjoy the fact that it’s a romance story mixed with light action and hefty comedy. I give it a 3 out of 5. I mean, I almost think that is too high of a score. But I think it’s too early to really score it too hard. I mean there are only 12 chapters out right now.
Read Mel Kano at OneManga
reviewed by: Sage Gnosis