I’ve read two volumes of Ore Miko! so far, and I enjoyed them both. A boys’ love manga featuring supernatural elements and tongue-in-cheek humor? That’s an easy sell for me. Add in creator Sakira’s excellent art and it’s even better. Episode 3 is out now from Juné Manga, and it picks up where Episode 2 left off with Kyou having been kidnapped by cat yokai. Shin comes to the rescue, and what transpires next is…strange, to say the least, but that’s the fun of this series. Is this installment as good as the last two?
Artistically, Sakira delivers more of the same greatness as usual. The protagonists are big, beefy, and attractive– just what you’d expect from the genre. The anatomy and facial expressions are great throughout, with consistent proportions and expressive features. The page compositions are also well-crafted, with a nice sense of variety as well as smooth narrative flow that’s easy to follow. The shading throughout is also lovely, and there are a number of great textures throughout that help add to the world’s sense of physical depth. All in all, Ore Miko! is pleasing to look at. There are some confusing panels where it’s a bit hard to figure out what’s happening, but these are the exception rather than the rule
A few new yokai make their debuts in this chapter, and their designs are solid. They’re basically cat-human hybrids, and while they don’t look particularly unique compared to other similar characters the attention to detail Sakira puts in is still admirable. There’s also a great moment where Kyou angers the yokai and they get a lot more bloodthirsty in response. Sakira changes up her style here with heavier inking and more splatter paint-like effects. The added sense of chaos is a good visual fit for the violence and amped up sense of danger.
Overall, the writing in this installment is decent but not very impactful. The pacing is even and effective, and there are a few enjoyably silly moments. However, it doesn’t feel like much of note actually happens here. Once again, Shin shows up just in the nick of time to save Kyou from supernatural bodily harm. With that said, they never actually get to connect much. The two have still barely had any page-time together outside of smut scenes, so their sexual tension and the general dynamic between them feels a bit underdeveloped for how far along in the series we are. The volume also ends very abruptly, making it a bit harder to feel satisfied upon finishing reading.
The new yokai introduced here also have some untapped potential. It turns out that the kidnappers are servants of a spirit Shin met and made his own servant several years ago. Unfortunately, this backstory is majorly rushed. The master character leaves the scene mere pages after first showing up. Though it’s cool to see that Shin isn’t completely antagonistic with all yokai, there just isn’t enough page-time allotted to make the idea feel adequately addressed.
Overall, Ore Miko! – Episode 3 is a decent read but somewhat disappointing after the last two installments. Sakira’s art is lovely as always, the pacing is solid, and there are some cool ideas here. With that said the ending is very abrupt, there are some confusing moments, and the character dynamics could use some work. Here’s hoping Episode 4 does some work in that direction.
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