HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "CITY" - Volume Thirteen [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "CITY" - Volume Thirteen [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "CITY" - Volume Thirteen [FINALE]

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been covering Keiichi Arawi’s CITY for four years. When it first came out, I thought it was a terrific follow-up to his beloved nichijou series. But as the volumes piled up, CITY became something far grander than just Awari’s next thing; it transformed into his magnum opus. And now with its thirteenth and final volume, CITY ends its run the only way it knows how: by being delightfully batshit crazy!

The entirety of the volume is focused on the city’s mayoral race. Ms. Granny is the lone candidtate, but her threat to host focus on the elderly and forget everyone else has everyone in a panic. That’s when new candidates begin popping up, including restaurant owner Makabe, theater troupe leader Tekaridake, and student Hohoemi. It’s a race to the top of the city throne, as the entire population comes together to have their voices heard.

This mayoral race results into some pretty wild moments. From promises to build drink bars in every town to the thought of transforming the city into the literal land of Buddhist purity, the candidates throw everything at the people to try to earn their votes. Failed sex appeal attempts, the backing of animals and celebrities, and seeing Ms. Granny brood in her headquarters with evil vibes are showcased with delightful insanity. But throughout the finale of CITY, we also get some closure moments.

Matsuri attempts to bid farewell to Ecchan, with the England-bound friend using every violent maneuver she can to avoid hearing a goodbye. Kamaboko starts work on his next manga, but publishing it will be a challenge when someone else wants to write one for the local magazine. Readers are also treated to a flashback involving Ms. Granny and Hotaka, explaining the reason why the old woman is the way she is. For a loony manga, CITY does a surprisingly good job with answering every question readers have asked about its world and residents.

Okay, perhaps that might not be true. CITY runs on being insane, so of course any answer to a crazy question will result in something just as kooky. Then again, that’s Keiichi Arawi for you. He focuses on making sure everything is nonsensical, painted with a tint of delightfulness. Sure, a lot of stuff here didn’t make sense, but if it still made you laugh, then Arawi did his job well!

Perhaps the one downside to CITY ending is that we’ll probably never see it get the anime adaptation it rightfully deserved. Then again, with the level of superb detail placed in every frame of this manga, it would’ve been a nightmare for a studio to hand-draw it in motion! (Maybe that’s why Arawi himself has his own animation channel, which actually does a better job bringing his style to life than even Kyoto Animation did.) Still, it would’ve been nice to have seen Nagumo, Midori, and even the Chamber of Trials arc be brought to life in animation form.

But it’s no time for regrets; it’s time for a proper send-off. CITY wasn’t always perfect, but it never disappointed. Arawi delivered a wild, crazy, and magical ride with every story he wrote here, and it’s sad to see our visit to this town has ended. Maybe one day, we’ll see these city folk again, and considering nichijou has started up again, it’s safe to say that such a wish is possible. Until that day comes, consider this trip to CITY one worthy of revisiting time and time again!

FINAL GRADE (entire series):

Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Kodansha Manga

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)