Story & Art by Keiichi Arawi
Translated by Jenny McKeon
Production by Grace Lu & Hiroko Mizuno
The crazy comedy manga CITY continues its adventures in Volume 6. This time around, the stories include an all-knowing barber shop, a bizarre stage performance, and much more insane content. It’s a volume packed with the kind of hilarity that only CITY can offer.
As usual, each chapter of CITY is a self-contained story that takes place in the titular city itself. By Volume 6, the cast of CITY has already become quite large, which has allowed for tons of variety. The series can go from the friendly antics of Nagumo and Niikura at a bakery to the bizarre performance of Troupe Tekaridake without feeling jarring in the slightest. While the focal characters are constantly changing, there is still a sense of community within CITY’s world. Characters can be seen going about their daily lives in other people’s stories, and it never feels as though the cast is bound to the situations of other characters. It provides a sense of scale for the series, crafting its world to feel like a genuine city.
The versatility of CITY’s humor is truly commendable. The manga shuffles through various forms of conversational and visual comedy, aptly taking advantage of each story’s character dynamic and situation. For instance, the nature of Nagumo’s interactions between Niikura and Tekaridake are clearly different, and this helps facilitate a unique form of comedy in each circumstance. Even more impressive is the series’ ability to convey other emotions through comedy. This is best showcased in the chapter focused on Ecchan and Matsuri, which starts as a comedic skit but slowly transforms into a heartfelt moment between the two characters. There is no clear formula to CITY’s comedy, but that abstract nature is what makes it so incredible.
Arawi has always had a distinct art style and CITY showcases it at its best. The manga has fairly simple character designs, but that simplicity allows for the bizarre and chaotic events of the series to stand out visually and provide a stronger impact to the reader. The series also makes an effort to have its cast continually emote. The character expressions in CITY are rarely static, even on the same page. As a result, the characters of CITY feel all that more alive and incredibly compelling. Arawi has crafted an aesthetic that perfectly pairs with the story that CITY wishes to tell, and this polish is fantastic to see.
CITY Volume 6 is another solid installment for the series. The comedy continues to be top-notch, and its varied cast of characters and situations will easily draw in readers. If you need some light-hearted fun or a good laugh, there are few options out there better than CITY.