MANGA REVIEW | "CITY" - Volume Eleven
Strange things happen when you sleepwalk. Sometimes you’ll have conversations without remembering them, and in some instances you’ll even eat or make a meal. If you asked comedian Mike Birbiglia about his sleepwalking bouts, he’ll surely fill you in with a story that involves jumping through a closed window and a quick plummet to the ground. However, none of these can match with what Riko Izumi goes through in the latest volume of Keiichi Arawi’s CITY!
In a tale that takes two people across land, air, and sea, we follow Tatewaku as he attempts to see how his dream girl Riko truly feels about him. However, Riko is dealing with the most extreme case of sleepwalking imaginable! She not only uses her feet to travel, but also builds inventions while in dreamland. Thus an epic chase begins, as Tatewaku tries to protect the love of his life from waking up dead!
Like this race storyline of CITY, Arawi throws everything and the kitchen sink into this volume-long arc! Filled with the looniness that we’ve come to expect from the author, readers will see Tatewaku deal with rogue robots, pirates, and an underground nation of tentacled beings with feats of love and craziness. The insanity keeps on escalating, with the punchline to this whole ordeal far from Tatewaku’s reach. Fortunately, with his mixture of bad and good luck, the lovesick boy aims to protect his love, even if he’s not exactly sure how Riko truly feels about him.
It’s the pacing in this volume that keeps it from over-exaggerating a joke. Just when you think Tatewaku’s caught a break, another shoe drops and lands on his noggin. The fact that Riko will have no recollection of these events whatsoever also helps to push the humor to great heights. Right when you think she’s about to wake up, another wacky domino falls to make a tapestry of chaos and madness for only Tatewaku to curse the gods at.
CITY knows how to deliver a long, good joke without it wearing thin before its endgame. Volume Eleven demonstrates this with an epically hilarious adventure that only one person in the town will remember. Odds are, those who hear his tale will label him cuckoo, and who can blame them. Then again, if things weren’t cuckoo in Arawi’s world, then CITY wouldn’t be the slam dunk comedy that it is.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Kodansha Manga