Kisaragi Gunma

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A mangaka who has certainly succeeded in making an impression since his debut some years ago is 如月群真 / Kisaragi Gunma (or “gumma”), and anyone who sees his superb art will doubtless want to see more. Whilst the strength of his art is undeniable, it must however be said that his mastery is incomplete, as in terms of story and themes covered he shows some limitations. This is not to deny that he deserves recognition as a first rank ero-mangaka, as you can judge for yourself by reading on.

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Girigiri Sisters is his most recent work; the art is better than ever but the story is pushed back even further than ever. Clearly this is not a fatal flaw in this genre, but it is always nice to combine an entertaining story with excellent visuals.

Kisaragi Gunma is distinguished by the quality of his drawing, which, as you can see, stands out. It is no wonder he was apparently awarded a prize by Core Magazine.

The content tends to be very straightforward couplings between a male protagonist and various busty nymphomaniacs – variety is distinctly lacking, and unfortunately this trend has continued into his later work, yet to be published as a compilation.

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Love Selection is his other compilation published so far; since the art is basically the same as his later works, but the stories and characters presented are rather more varied and fresh, I would have to rate it as his best work so far. I’ll present the first story here, which is probably his best work.

The below image is fantastic, but why did it not get a clean page!?

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Kisaragi Gunma also honed his craft as a creator of dojinshi, under the circle name of “G’s studio”; the art is again very similar to his later works, perhaps slightly rougher in places, but still very accomplished. Again, these works are straightforward, but still easily recommended, though they do seem to be harder to get hold of.

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Behold Iori, from I”s. If only the original author would draw some scenes like this, but I digress…

Seeing some of the work in his early dojinshi basically being replicated in works 3 years on suggests he may not be progressing evenly, tending to only improve in technical skill, and even there his latest works are little improved over the high standard of work evident in his earlier work. Hopefully he will not be become stuck in this pattern.

Complaining about such masterfully executed illustration is difficult, but however good the illustration, endlessly repeating the same scenarios (uniforms, mizugi, aprons and maids) with similar characters and no story means at least one crucial aspect of his talent as mangaka is lacking – that of storyteller.

You can probably make up your mind with the information presented here, but more detail never hurt anyone – Heisei Democracy also presents some opinions here.

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