Title: Onward! Maiden Road!
Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Seinen
Author: Sakurai Shushushu
Artist: Sakurai Shushushu
Publication: Young Champion Retsu
Start Date: 2006
End Date: Finished
Number of chapters at review: 1 (One Shot)
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 1

General Overview:
Wakaba Chiharu, the main character of “Onward! Maiden Road” is a sixteen year old high school girl who has a rather original sexual attraction. Chiharu is a so called “fujoshi”, a girl who enjoys the idea of two boys falling in love and. At school she pretends to be an everyday high school student, while inside she’s bursting with BL fantasies involving her fellow classmates which often results in her spacing out and getting scolded by the teacher for it.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

Art: 8
The art in OMR! takes periodical ups and downs. It can vary from detailed backgrounds and realistic shadowing to simplified body proportions and total lack of screen tones. On top of that Sakurai occasionally has to draw in shoujo style when picturing Chiharu’s imaginations what adds even more inconsistency. However, if you overlook all these minuses then it becomes visible that Sakurai has her moments of glory where she shows her true colors (e.g. the cover page).

Plot: 7
No real plot in this one shot unfortunately. The story is a “Day in the life of…” type of story and hence follows our heroine without on her journey without any real motivation. Most of the plot is comedy-driven anyway and as you all know, humor doesn’t need logic as long as it’s funny. That’s really the whole story behind OMR!’s plot.

Characters: 6
Ironically, the amount of screen time is allocated to Chiharu’s BL imaginations is nearly on the same level as the screen time given to Chiharu herself. While she is portrayed only with one characteristic “fujoshi”, the people surrounding her are almost completely empty. What I want to say with that is that the characters in this one shot lack real depth and have next to zero character development. I guess you could praise the designs a little, but then again, I’ve seen so many Japanese high school girl uniforms that Chiharu’s outfit hardly seemed original to me. Easily the weakest aspect of OMR!.

Theme: 8
“A girl and her secret fantasy” would pretty much sum up what happens between the lines in OMR!. It’s a little hard to rate this section, since OMR! has a lot of humor and sarcasm which kind of overlap with the general idea of OMR! and lessen its impact. Just when you think the mangaka is trying to say something, a random joke appears out of nowhere and all the serious mood vanishes. It’s an eternal problem that gag mangakas have fought with since eternity and there are only a handful of individuals who manage to combine philosophy with comedy.

Originality: 9
There are dozens of manga and one shots about boys perverts. I think this is probably the first work where I’ve seen a female pervert. On top of that, not only is Chiharu a pervert, she also gets excited at the idea of two boys having sexy time (Borat ©). If that’s not original then I don’t know what is.

Overall: 7
I felt suuuuuuuuper weird reading this one shot. The mangaka’s sarcasm towards fujoshi’s and BL in general was obviously visible, and it kind of toned down the general idea behind this one shot making it nothing more than a humoristic portrayal of “female otakus”. Whatever, since whether you’ll like OMR! or not is based nearly entirely on one’s individual sense of humor I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy reading it, but if you are ready overlook the lack of general plot lines and rather mediocre art level and focus on the comedy instead, OMR! might become an one shot worth checking out.

Spoiler: Panels show