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manga

Uncle From Another World Volume 1 by Hotondoshindeiru

A very fun twist on the isekai genre.

Takafumi’s family has had it rough. For over 17 years, they have taken care of, financially, of his uncle. That uncle is in a coma, after a car him. Uncle was 17 then, and is 34 now. The major stress and financial obligations were so severe on his family that his parents even divorced. One day that uncle wakes up from a coma!

Unlike most people who have been in a years old coma, he isn’t confused, he just speaks a totally foreign language. When the uncle finally remembers to use Japanese, he makes extraordinary claims. He wasn’t in a coma for 17 years, but was wisped away to a fantasy land, where he had many adventures and even learned to use magic. Takafumi is skeptical to say the least, but after a few not that impressive demonstrations he starts believing his uncle. From that day on, Takafumi lets him live with him, out of entirely altruistic motives – YouTube ad revenue.

Their YouTube channel becomes sort of a cult hit, with some divisive following. Slowly uncle starts to reveal what his time in the isekai was really like. Unlike in most isekai shows he wasn’t the top dog. He was hated and everyone was disgusted by his mere appearance. Town after town, he was chased out of, because he seemed as ugly as an orc to the vast majority of the population in that other land. But non the less, it seems he has found one or more companions in form of cute girls, to whom he is totally oblivious to. Seems like both us the readers and Takafumi will be watching his past adventures thanks to a TV like magical spell, that allows his uncle to rewatch all that stuff.

This is a really funny manga. The vast majority of the humor comes from reaction shots. Some of them are by Takafumi, but more often than not, it is the uncle reacting to a new piece of technology or plain news. There is a reveal from our modern times that has shook the poor man to his very core. That reveal is the painful decline of the Sega gaming systems. Uncle went to the other world believing that Sega was the pinnacle of gaming, so it came as a calamitous shock to him that it went down the drain years ago. Other humorous moments are based around his uncle’s lack in ingenuity or initiative when its comes to using magic. There are times when he could use his teleportation spell and help his nephew who graciously stepped up and allowed him to stay with him. But no, he just scratches his head, smiles and said he didn’t think of it.

For the most part the art is very impressive. The character designs are very unique. By looking at them, you don’t really get flashbacks to other series or artists. Its sort of a realistic style, that tends to sway into surrealism or absurdity. The reaction shots are by far the best expression of that. The panels on which they are presented are big, with the faces central. The artist tries hard and draws every line on the face very detailed to convey the big emotional reactions. Sadly, that isn’t always so. This might be just due to lack of time or rushing to the deadline, but the art does have a rollercoaster feel to it. The quality, at times resembling early sketches, really dips. I’ll be optimistic and just say the author lacks experience managing a long term series and that it will improve down the line. Really enjoyed reading this. Will check out more later down the line and maybe even the anime that just started to air recently.

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