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Manga Review: Hello Baby (Takeshi Obata X Masanori Morita)

May 29, 2010
Please don’t click this away. Despite this title, it’s NOT a hardcore Shojou/ Yosei/ whatever manga.

Recently I bought the first 3 volumes of Bakuman and I wanted to check out other works of Takeshi Obata, so I almost read everything he drew. I decided that Hello Baby should get a review because it was the most unique and thrilling one.

As usual, Obata-sama just provided his drawing skills to bring the story to live. This time Masanori Morita took the writing part and I have to say that they are a very good combination but not as good as Obata X Ohba (Bakuman, Death Note) though.

Honestly, I don’t really want to write something about the story. As it is a one-shot, the plot goes straight forward so I would ruin this one for you (even with a summary without spoilers). All I can say is that this manga is full of action, romance, thrilling moments and unexpected changes which are the ingredients to make an awesome story.

The only thing which confuses are the time-jumps. After my second ride through it, I understood the flow of the time-line but if this would be solved smoother, the rating would get a point more.

The art is typical for Obata-sama: Sharp and clear lines with some insane facial expressions. The time, you spend with watching at/ reading a page is perfect. There’s almost never too much or too less information (except with one or two panels). Obata-sama was able to create a weird flow. Some parts are very “fast” where you want to read the next pages really quick but there are scenes where you just read calmly and enjoy this awesome art (and this in a 60 pages one-shot!).

There are some scenes where you can almost make out the voice of the character who’s saying something. This happens really rarely especially when this comes naturally and you don’t even actively try to imitate a fitting voice in your head.

Other scenes without any speaking parts were thrilling too. Here’s nice example which catches the atmosphere of the scene really well.

My 2 Cents:
Hello Baby is definitely one of Obata-sama’s best works. I read this one-shot already 5 times. The story is so catchy but at the same time it’s confusing and to really understand every single meaning (especially the last part) I still have a way to go. Maybe Ohbata-sama and Morita-sama left so many ways of interpretation on purpose as they might want everyone to have a different view on the final pages. My interpretation is that all babies look like monkeys (I tried not to spoil anything but those who read the manga should understand what I mean).

Overall I’m very satisfied and I didn’t expect such a good development and characters. This manga proves that there are still some really good stories out there. I think, a 5 – 10 chapter series would fit better than just a 60-paged one-shot. Usually I’m against dragging the story out but this time I would go with it.

Nevertheless: 8/10!

PS: Please don’t read the scanlated version on Mangafox. It has crappy quality and many translation errors. The last few lines (= the most important ones) were completely off. Read THIS version instead!

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