Sweet Poolside Review | Sweet Poolside Anime Manga Review

5/5 - (1 vote)

Sweet Poolside Review INTRODUCTION: Various titles from Shuzo Oshimi brought by Kodansha last year with ongoing series like Welcome Back, Alice, and legacy titles like Devil Ecstasy and Avant-Garde Yumeko. On the western side bringing more work from the author has been continued into 2023. In this article, we are going to share his latest series, Sweet Poolside. Does it impress? Let us figure it out.

Sweet Poolside 6 / 10

Sweet Poolside Anime Manga Review

The story in The Sweet Poolside follows Toshihiko Ota, who is a middle-school student who gets bullied by his classmates because of his smooth hairless body, which looks like that of a baby. But the life of Toshihiko gets totally changes as he meets Goto, a pretty girl in the swim club just like him but who is ashamed of the amount of body hair she has.

Toshihiko with the first meet feels an inter-connection with her, also it is given that she’s struggling with her own body the way he is. She does not participate in contests to compete because of worries about being teased by others. But at the moment when Ayako realizes how nice Toshihiko’s skin actually is, then she asks him how she can too become just like him and free herself from anxiety.

Sweet Poolside Review – Volume I

Since Toshihiko reveals that he wishes he had body hair and did not do anything much special and also he asks Ayako for the reason why does she doesn’t shave, she replies it’s painful. Toshihiko quickly realizes that it will be surely painful as she is not gentle when Ayako asks him to shave her. So he agrees with her which led to the formation of an odd relationship between them as they meet after school, so Toshihiko will be able to shave Ayako’s arms and legs.

As the single volume itself expresses the theme we would often be going to see in Oshimi’s works. It’s also about the self-discovery, growing up with the things in the life, and accepting who you are actually. Moreover, similar to the author’s recent work (particularly an early one like this) the storyline is totally focused on the story of a boy and girl struggling with their body build and an odd friendship between them due to this. This is cannot be said that there is any melodrama, due to the romantic tension between the two.

But praising Oshimi for being restrained with Sweet Poolside, there could be a wild twist in the story somewhere. As the Toshihiko and Ayako both are tightly tied to their body and personality anxiety hence, there is much more to explore in this series with their more after-school meetings. Both the characters are unlikable, but I think many readers will surely grasp something more from their favorite creator as his fan.

As who has read the majority of Oshimi’s work, for them I will include that Sweet Poolside is an interesting perspective for being able to contrast with other output, but if you’re just picking this up because you find it much more interesting. Then I would surely think that you are going to disappoint with the story if you are looking to read it for a longer period of time. As this story is much more one-note fixed to individuals, without a twist more characters will be not able to introduce.

Talking about the artwork, this series too do not deliver anything special. Released in 2004 it was Oshimi’s second serialized series after the reveal of Avant-garde Yumeko and before Devil Ecstasy, so the art could not be attractive to new readers and do not have rough edges for art. But all the characters are looking off-model, backgrounds are enough detailed to understand the scene making it easier to follow the flow of the scene from page to page. Also make it clear that there is some inconsistency in drawing Ayako with her body hair too, which looks like to be a minor detail but it’s the important thing that has the whole story about it.

Final Thoughts On Sweet Poolside Manga Review

But as discussed earlier, Sweet Poolside comes to the West thanks to Kodansha where it has been released under their Vertical imprint and is going to be translated by Shi-Lin Loh. This Manga inspired a lot of live-action films, but at the time of writing this manga, it doesn’t appear to be available in English but in the future, it can be well turned up.

Overall, Sweet Poolside is a great work from the author, we should surely appreciate its unique concept idea and the respect is huge from us for a restrained story that we usually see from Oshimi, but that is not going to be enough for collecting the vast majority of readers unfortunately. Hope you liked out Sweet Poolside Review.

Have a look with a free preview to read over on Kodansha’s Website here.

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