Pretty Face

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Length: 6 Volumes
Allegiance: Shueisha
Mangaka: Kano Yasuhiro
Vintage: 2002 – 2003
Intelligence Agency Report by: Niner
Masashi Randoh is a cocky, brash karate champion. However, under that rough exterior, he harbors a secret love for his quiet, pretty classmate Kurimi Rina. A fateful automobile accident forces him into a year-long coma. Upon his awakening, he is shocked to find Rina’s face greeting him in the mirror in place of his own. Seeking answers, he returns home, only to find his family gone. Instead, he is mistaken by Rina for her long-lost twin sister, Yuna. Now Randoh must seek out the real Yuna while acting in her role to preserve Rina’s happiness.

Research Agent Report by: Niner
Overall 8.00
(not an average)
Pretty Face has a rather unique premise, and exploits it to the fullest comedic extent possible. Given that Randoh is a boy with a girl’s face, he manages to get himself into rather awkward situations on a consistent basis. These make for a veritable treasure trove of ecchi comedy, typically revolving around Randoh trying to hide the fact he is actually a man and, for the most part, succeeding, usually through some exaggerated display of martial arts prowess. Throw in a perverted doctor, a bunch of rowdy high school boys, and a quirky girl in love with the male Randoh and you’ve got a pretty damn funny story.There is also a rather sweet bit of romance in Pretty Face. Randoh genuinely cares for Rina. It’s touching to observe him as he strives to keep Rina happy as her twin, Yuna, while still possessing the feelings of attraction for her. Of course, he also has to deal with the pressures of being an attractive high school girl as he has his own set of romantic suitors to deal with.

Complementing the story is Kano Yasuhiro’s art, which is clean and flowing. He refines his style as the manga progresses, and it was quite pleasant observing his technique evolve with the story. The characters are expressive and animated; the scenery, while minimal, is drawn with the same excellent quality. Given the nature of Pretty Face, the girls and the situations they get into can only be described as wonderfully depicted guilty pleasures.

All that aside, Pretty Face isn’t without its flaws. The plot, while rather funny, isn’t the strongest and definitely could have cut down on the filler, of which the manga had quite a bit. Not that a little filler is bad, but it shouldn’t compose a majority of the story. Most of the side characters are bland and forgettable. But perhaps the biggest sticking point for readers might very well be how it all wraps up at the end. It wasn’t a completely awful ending, but suffice it to say, Kano could have done so much more with it.

I rather enjoyed reading this manga, since it managed to find some balance between silly, perverted, ecchi comedy and sweet, touching romance. It’s not the best example of either genre, but it just seems to entertain you from quirky start to bittersweet finish.