Kasumi Vol 1 by Lim & Sugimoto Manga Review

Title:  Kasumi Vol 1

Written by: Surt Lim

Art by: Hirofumi Sugimoto

Publisher: Del Rey

ISBN: 9780345503541

May Contain Spoilers

When Kasumi and her father move from the city, she is forced to leave all of her friends behind.  Not wanting to trouble her dad who is struggling to raise her after the death of her mother, Kasumi puts on a brave face and tries to make the best of the situation.  When they take a break on their journey to their new home, she falls out of a tree, but is saved by mysterious lights.  Now she has the power to turn invisible!  But only for as long as she can hold her breath.

This high school melodrama seemed like a collection of every possible cliche imaginable.  Peppy heroine – check.  Mean rich girl – check.  Geeky good guy – yup, he’s here, too.  The list just goes on and on, tediously following Kasumi as she’s mercilessly bullied, all for the sin of having her seat assignment next to hunky Ryuuki.

Kasumi definitely skews to a younger audience.  The repetitive plot never grabbed my attention, and I started to feel like I’ve read this all before.  Several times, in fact.  It wasn’t terribly original, and after Kasumi is bullied for better than half of the book, it got a little boring. All of the characters were one-dimensional, and the story just never went anywhere.

When Kasumi transfers to her new school, she learns that it’s an exclusive high school where all of the rich kids go.  The first people she meets are Ryuuki, the handsome student-council president, and his number one fan, Reina.   Ryuuki has a fan club, ala Fruits Basket, and Kasumi quickly gets on their bad side.  This causes her no end of grief, and me no end of exasperation.  Ryuuki just looks on as the girls harass Kasumi, which leads to the subtraction of brownie points for him.  Nerdy Yuuta was so much cooler than Ryuuki – at least he came to her defense on more than one occasion.

A few concepts of the story did appeal to me. After Kasumi’s mysterious encounter with the lights, she discovers that she has the ability to turn invisible.  But only for as long as she can hold her breath.  That gives this particular power an added complication so it’s a little more interesting.  Other students seem to have been visited by the magic lights, and have special powers, too.  Spacey  Maiko has a weird habit of spontaneously breaking into dance, and I have to admit that I wanted to learn what that was all about.

The art is really cute, despite the characters often lacking noses. This strange facial disfiguration was only slightly bothersome, once I got used to it.  The character designs are more on the cartoony side, but their large pool ball eyes and lipless mouths are very expressive.  The backgrounds occasionally become cluttered as screen tones crowd the panels, but overall, I found the illustrations full of energy.

Grade: C-

Rated for Teen

Review copy provided by Del Rey

8 thoughts on “Kasumi Vol 1 by Lim & Sugimoto Manga Review

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  • July 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one who didn’t particularly care for this and found it to be cliched and childish.  Pretty much every review I’ve seen of the first volume has been rather positive, and I was beginning to wonder if I was just crazy.

  • July 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    This is the first bad review that I’ve seen.  I thought that the noselessness was kind of odd, but the story seems really sweet.  And besides, how many japanese manga have the same cliches?
    I should probably go read it, hmm?

  • July 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    @Erin – Yeah, this is a book that totally underwhelmed me.  I was so disappointed with it.


    @Jack – Yes, please give it a go, and let us know what you think of it.  It certainly didn’t do much for me.

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  • August 20, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I read Kasumi!  It was really cute!  I thought it was pretty good.  It could’ve been better, but mostly story-wise.  I set my OEL bar pretty high, and it passed it.
    The story WAS a bit cliche, but not to as high as a degree as you say in your review.
    I’d give it a B.

  • September 23, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    I loved it so much that I bought it XD!!! True that they spent a bit long with the bullying, but I thought it was a bit different and well thought out. The storyline seemed really good too. Now this is mostly because even though im a teenager im still a kid inside (and out) but I LOVE the art!!! I find how they dont have noses to be quite CUTE XD!!! And as for the cluddered boxes, I didn’t really notice all that much. I agree that the story was a bit cliche, but not as much as you said in your comments. Thats all I got.
    About an 8.7/10, an A-

  • June 15, 2009 at 6:02 am

    i like it very much  when ill be the next release manga

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