Puri Puri Vol. #01 Manga Review

Puri Puri Vol. #01 Manga Review To quote a favorite band of mine (and date myself), ‘Ca-tho-lic school girls rule . . . Ca-tho-lic school girls ruuuule!’

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Chiak Taro
Translation/Adaptation: Danielle Sullivan, Asako Otomo, Ailen Lujo, Matthew Scrivner

What They Say
All he ever hoped for was to be one step closer to becoming a priest, but Masato Kamioda gets more than he bargained for when he suddenly finds himself as the only male student in a pilot program at an all-girls divinity school. As he soon discovers, divine guidance will be his only salvation if he is to withstand various efforts to get him expelled and numerous cruel pranks that test the limits of his ability to keep his passions and desires under control. Can a boy’s determination to graduate to the priesthood truly contend with the decadent temptations only a school brimming with young beauties, sexual frustration, and the lure of white lace can offer? Find out in this first installment of The Premature Priest.

Dr. Master uses the art from the original Japanese cover with only a slight alteration to the border, original brown border replaced with a purple line and two crosses. The front cover has a white background and depicts the protagonist Masato wearing a white school uniform and his classmate Ayano wearing her school uniform. The back cover has a story synopsis and SD versions of three other female characters. I’m happy to see this publisher continues to release new series with French flaps (Yay! No bookmarks required). The front flap has a synopsis for volume two and a picture of that cover. The print quality is clean and centered throughout the entire book. There are a few translation notes in the panel gutters scattered throughout the book. The only real extras are early character sketches with commentary by the author.

Taro’s art works perfectly for this comedic title. Character designs are appealing, proportional, and there is a big enough variety that I never had any difficulty differentiating all the girls (something commented on by the artist in the extra section). The clothing design for the girls school uniforms really have a nun-like appearance, and Sherrice’s rapier and thigh-high leather boots with her uniform is a crack-up. Backgrounds have a fair amount of detail with attractive full-page pictures for the beginning of each chapter, which does a good job setting up the plot for that particular chapter. The girls are all attractive and perhaps what I appreciated most was Taro’s avoidance of SD usage. There are definitely funny facial expressions, especially the mischievous or evil beady eye looks some the girls get when they have an idea for tormenting Masato, but no real SD.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Masato Kamioda grew up without a family, but after being adopted by a priest when he was young, Masato has decided the life of the cloth is definitely a noble one. For that reason he has sworn to do everything in his power to become an honorable priest just like his adoptive father. At sixteen years old, everything is looking up for Masato when he’s accepted to a renowned divinity school, the only problem is he’s due for a rude awakening. It turns out his new school is an all girl campus and the principle is enacting a pilot program with Masato being the first boy to attend. The principle hopes to get the lazy, slovenly students to clean up their act by having a boy around. This is actually an interesting concept because I knew a girl that attended an all girls school and she said everyone were total slobs. Since there weren’t any guys around half of them didn’t wear bras and outside of class everyone wandered around in sweat pants. So I’m really finding this story entertaining.

Masato’s first day of class is pretty rough since his father failed to mention his new school wasn’t co-ed. To make matters worse, the rules are very strict and all the girls belonging to the student council want to get him expelled. As you can imagine, all they have to do is get Masato caught fraternizing with the girls to successfully have him tossed out. This is where all the ecchi comedy comes in. Masato wants to be a pure teenager so he can become a priest, but he’s still a red-blooded teenage male; translation – horn dog.

A few girls from the student council decide to try some ways to get him kicked out of school right off the bat. Luckily, Masato has already made friends with a cutie named Ayano. She tries to save Masato after he gets stuck in one of the girls locker room shower stalls. Unfortunately for Ayano (fortunately for Masato), she has to take a shower with Masato in her stall to force the student council girls off the trail. Masato may have dodged that one, but two other girls decide his chastity and blushing is just too hilarious to pass up. They go about finding ways to force Masato into looking at girls panties or brushing up against squishy girl parts (‘Ca-tho-lic school girls rule . . . Ca-tho-lic school girls ruuuule!’), which he worries is going to ruin his chances at becoming a priest. On the other hand, that doesn’t stop him from looking and the resulting nosebleeds. Will Masato ever be able to make it unblemished to priesthood? Will he be able to dodge the student council for the next two years? Will Ayano ever forgive him all his transgressions?

In Summary
The general idea of Masato attending an all girls divinity school and hoping to become a priest leads to some hilarious moments. Helping the comedy along is Taro’s art style, which really enhances the genuinely funny situations scattered throughout this book. The comedy also works well since the ecchi moments have a reason for happening (getting Masato expelled) and not just for the pure sake of titillation (not that titillation is bad). On a more serious note is Masato’s relationship with Ayano. Masato wants to become a priest but he keeps having boy/girl relationship thoughts about Ayano. Then on one hand, Ayano respects Masato’s determination, but she also finds him attractive and begins to dance a fine line between friendship and infatuation. So this looks to be a real possibility for some interesting character development throughout this series.

There is a lot going on in this first volume, with five comedy filled chapters I barely even scratched the surface in the Comments section. In fact, I didn’t even mention my two favorite characters, the mischievous comedy duo of Eri and Rumi. These two have so much fun screwing with Masato that there is no way they want to see him expelled. Not that they would go so far as to actually help him, unless it’s going to be funny. So all in all this is a great first volume from nearly every angle. Good art, funny ecchi, and a beautiful package leaves me craving more.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DrMaster
Release Date: March 2007
MSRP: $9.95