Sometimes, I’ll decide that I really want to read a manga and even I don’t know why. I should let you know that Kuu Intrudes From Above is not officially licensed yet so this is a preemptive review. That way if you see it pop up in the future, you’ll know what to expect. Kinda… It’s a bit of a difficult manga to really explain in a post like this, but I’ll do my best!
Why I Picked up Kuu Intrudes From Above
Honestly it’s pretty much entirely up to the cover art I saw. I had been on a run of seeing all nearly identical voluptuous fantasy girls making sexy poses and Kuu was like the polar opposite so it caught my eye.
I couldn’t find an official summary for this manga but here is what one fan translation group had to say:
Kuu, a girl taller than a telephone pole. She leads a high school life with mild problems~♪
That’s a pretty good summary. If I had to explain it, I would say Kuu is a perfectly normal middle school girl going through all the ups and downs of that age. She has good friends at school, a boy she likes and gets along with her family. She also worries about her grades and about being popular and trendy like alot of kids do. After all, the boy she likes is the most popular boy in school so she needs to stand out to make him notice her. That shouldn’t be a big problem though since Kuu towers over the school building.
My First Impression
This is a new take on the classic shoujo manga!
What I liked
I actually liked this manga much more than I thought I would. At its core, it’s really a light-hearted school-age shoujo. It primarily deals with Kuu’s crush on the most popular (and probably nicest) guy in school, her good-humoured rivalries with the other girls who admire him as well as her friendship with her best childhood friend. It’s a cute slice of life with romantic elements. But then there’s the whole part about Kuu being a literal giant and all the obstacles and advantages that brings to her life.
Kuu’s condition is unique, there is no one else like her as far as we know and it’s also never explained. All we know is that she was smaller than other kids when she was really young and wished to be bigger than everyone and drank lots of milk. Eventually, she hit a growth spurt and just never stopped. That’s all, we just have to accept that. As such, I wouldn’t call Kuu Intrudes From Above a fantasy or supernatural manga, it’s more surreal or a slice of life with a touch of magical realism. Everything else is down-to-earth and actually pretty sweet.
Kuu Intrudes From Above is not excessive in anything other than its main character’s height. The little adventures and stories are all pretty calm and relatable. I like that it shows a very healthy rivalry dynamic. Two girls can like the same guy and both actively aim to win his affection while still being friends and getting along on other things. Heck, they even kind of get along on that, after all, they have the same tastes.
Similarly, Kuu’s relationship with her best friend is supportive and two-sided. It reminded me of Sakura and Tomoyo. I love to see it! As some of you may know, I’m a sucker for a good friendship story.
I also really like that Kuu Intrudes From Above is a complete story. There’s a satisfying ending that won’t leave you with that unresolved feeling. Since it is primarily a slice of life, that ending isn’t final. It would be easy to continue the story but it’s a good place to leave Kuu. She got a complete character arc, learned some things along the way and got a little more comfortable with herself.
I also just found out that Kuu Intrudes From Above is classified as a shonen and I am baffled. I would have bet so much that this was aimed at a female demographic. Why am I putting this in the things I liked section? I’m not sure. Maybe I like to be surprised?
The entire story is two volumes and a total of 24 chapters including a special. That could be an advantage for some. Actually, it was one for me as well. I like to be able to complete a manga in a reasonable span of time and not worry that the author will lose interest in writing it.
However, it also means that there isn’t space for that much. The story is centred on Kuu and her arc. The supporting characters are nicely fleshed out, they are all different and have great personalities but they don’t really get individual arcs.
There’s also not that much room for a lot of nuance and variables. There’s a certain naiveté to the story. Now again, some people (like me) might consider it charming. Also, I think that it’s fitting when telling the story of a sweet young girl to have some innocence to it. But I could imagine some readers finding it a bit childish as well.
I don’t think Kuu Intrudes From Above is going to appeal to all. Kuu isn’t drawn or written to be a traditionally “cute” girl in the anime sense. She really is sort of normal except for being a giant. I also think that the unexplained oddness of Kuu’s condition might rub some the wrong way. It’s unnecessary for the story it’s telling. To me, that’s what made Kuu special. It was an interesting experiment, introducing such an unusual wild card in what is otherwise a very classic narrative. But it’s not going to be for everyone.
For what it’s worth, Kuu Intrudes From Above has a perfect score of 10/10 on mangadex but it also seems very few people have read it. It’s a much more modest 62% on AniList. Personally, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I plan to buy it if it gets licensed to support the author and show my appreciation!