manga review cirque arachne

Cirque Arachne Manga Review

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By Thuc Nguyen

Plot

A circus created by a spider-woman? Quite a weaving of adventure and romance! This shoujo-ai begins with Teti, a girl long accustomed to circus life, observing a performance and being enraptured by a beautiful, blonde acrobat. It turns out that Teti is actually there to join the production, and is thoroughly welcomed by the team. The mysterious young lady’s name is discovered to be Lotte, and, in order to train Teti and hone Lotte’s skills, the head of the circus puts the two girls in a duo for the trapeze act. Lotte and Teti are polar opposites: while Teti is a ray of sunshine, full of expression and sometimes carelessness, Lotte keeps to herself. Her cold aura and precise yet emotionless movements completely contrast with that of Teti’s. Do opposites attract? In this case, yes, as Lotte startles herself in the realization that she’s developing strange feelings for Teti, feelings of which begin to impact her work. The other members of their circus slowly tune into this little turn of events, and everyone holds their breath in anticipation of the results. The next installment should reveal more of the history behind this meticulous web.

Artwork 9/10

In commonplace with other similarly-themed mangas, the art is fluffy and cute, with flowing poses and eye-catching perspectives. Once in a while, the proportions deviate from the norm, although they don’t take away too much from the plot. The sketch-like style adds a fun aspect to the otherwise slightly depressing circumstances of the characters (circus people tend to have sad back-stories); the only downside is that when someone tries to act serious, it comes off as a tad comical. Outfits and hairdos, all those minor details, are wonderful; they really emphasize the phantasm that exists in the “cirque”. Some nudity did come up, although not to the point where it would be categorized as yuri. As this is yet to be completed, future body slips are in the questionable zone.

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Characters 6/10

Yes, they’re very squishy and cute. Sadly, they’re a bit too squishy and cute, and even the ones who don’t fall under that category are still on the cliché side of the spectrum. Come on, how many times have you seen a protagonist who’s always bubbly, always smiling even when they’re down, full of determination and motivation? How about their icy counterparts, whose past experiences forced them to extrude a social wall, isolating themselves from everyone else? Gasp! Maybe these differences might spark a bit of love between the two? Or how about this: that one suave character who appears to have made the perfect match when pairing up these opposites? Let’s face the fact that the personalities in this manga aren’t exactly completely new or unique. Not to say that it ruins the plot, but a change-up here and there would be refreshing. Fingers crossed for the next update!

Readability 9/10

Panels are set up in an easy-to-follow manner, with quick transitions when needed and a build-up of suspense here and there. The action is fast-paced, and being a circus-based work, there’s quite the pleasing flow derived from the performances and showiness. Effects generate a great deal of expression, but sometimes are overused and distract from what should be the main focus of the scene. Dialogue is manipulated well, interposing at the right moments and establishing a good foundation for many settings.

Recommend?

That’s a yes. It’s not too deep on the philosophical portion (at the moment, not yet), and it serves quite well as a mood bringer-upper. Fans of female love will enjoy this, obviously, but it’s a good choice if you’re not so sure about this genre. Touchy-feely moments, currently, go up to a shared bath (with no real intimacy) and are perfect for people who love the fluffy side of romance. If you like the circus and affiliated plot-lines, this is also a great option. Cirque Arachne has good prospects and should definitely be something to keep an eye on.

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Thuc

Thuc was born in Vietnam and moved to Southern California when she was four; as a result, she is fluent in both English and Vietnamese, and her exploits in school have enabled a certain proficiency in French. Thuc aims to succeed in Chinese (mainly Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taiwanese) and Korean by the end of her high school career. When she is not occupied with school or work, Thuc divides her free time into perusing social networks and partaking in various artistic endeavors in the solitude of her room. She enjoys realism but delves into cartoons and manga. Her favorite artists range from Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo to sakimichan (deviantART) and Nao Tsukiji (mangaka). Her main weapons of choice are a Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch and any pens or pencils that may be lying around.