Today in Class 5-2

Japanese Title: Kyou no Gononi
Genre: Comedy
Length: 1 Volume
Allegiance: Young Magazine
Mangaka: Sakuraba Koharu
Vintage: 2002 – 2003
Intelligence Agency Report by: Djudge
Normal fifth grade classes certainly had their share of lovable delinquents. However, even at such a tender age both the guys and gals of class two are already engaging in seemingly innocent acts of insanity and depravity! Will it be as crazy and demented as it was yesterday today in class 5-2?!

Research Agent Report by: Djudge
Overall 6.25
(not an average)
Antics in the classroom have definitely been a favorite theme for mangaka to visit over and over again. Yet, few of these said manga have taken an approach similar to the one presented in Today in Class 5-2. Mixing up shounen and seinen manga styles, both in theme and in artistry, Sakuraba Koharu treats the reader to a unique outlook on a fifth grade life that you probably wish you had. 

Visually, Today comes off quite clean, most of the time anyway. Sakuraba clearly succeeds more often with the rounder, softer, shounen style look to the cast of the manga. In fact, one can argue that the sprinkling of rougher, more detailed seinen artistry comes off as a bit intrusive (which may or may not be overlooked seeing as the manga originally ran in the highly popular seinen manga magazine, “Young Magazine”), even when it is only used in emphasizing facial expressions. As for the look of the cast as a whole, it should be noted that certain characters tend to look alike. While others, such as the pair that can be interpreted as the main characters of this one volume work, have their own personal quirks that can separate them from the mold. In light of that fact, the manga probably would have been just that much easier to look at as piece of art if all the characters had more of their own personal flair as a key visual references. 

Since Today runs through its plot in a vignette format, similar to titles such as Azumanga Daioh, there is no set storyline from which character development can be judged. However, there are still small portions of the story, such as the title’s closing pair of chapters; which have some measure of continued plot construction. The short stories that dominate the rest of the piece on the other hand, though negligible in terms of plot relevance, are mildly amusing (or disturbing, your call). Besides it’s not everyday that you see fifth-graders in situations so, shall we say, compromising. Anyway, for those who are not too terribly thrilled to see minors in situations with a degree of innuendo, there are a few panel sequences provided with what can be deemed as clean and wholesome (you just have to look really hard for them). 

What was initially deemed as nothing more than “poor ecchi trash” has now been delegated to the somewhat higher status of “bland ecchihumor.” Sakuraba had a good idea going with Today, but the title eventually ran into a couple of roadblocks that gradually developed into a sub-par norm for the rest of its run. Yet, despite this unfortunate circumstance, Today will at least catch the eye of any casual manga reader looking to kill some time.