Eko to Issho (Manga) Review

Plot: Hiroshi believes he’s ready for his first cell phone, and finds the perfect one in an old beaten up cellphone that he finds on the street. He sends it off to be repaired, but there’s a mix up and he accidentally gets a teenage girl in the mail instead. But don’t worry, she’s still a cell phone.

Breakdown: Yes, manga is weird, thanks for asking.

You’d think with such a weird….and stupid premise that this manga would be crazy and you’d at least get some laughs out of the insanity and downright stupidity of it all, but no.

It relies almost entirely on the idea that it’s funny that a girl is a cell phone. She has an antenna! It’s funny because she’s a cell phone! She talks like ‘plugging her in’ is something sexual. It’s funny because she’s a cell phone and needs to literally be plugged in! She can choose various ring tones for Hiroshi’s friends and is bad at it. It’s funny because she’s a cell phone! Texting! It’s funny because she’s a cell phone! Are you catching on?

Eko to Issho does try its hand at random humor, slight fanservice humor and even tender moments, and, honestly, some of these moments do work a little. The problem is that almost all of those moments could’ve been achieved without Eko being a cell phone. If the main hook of your manga is the worst part and anything that kinda works doesn’t need it, you’re doing it wrong.

In terms of characters, Eko is a very naïve and airheaded girl who desperately wants to be a good cell phone for Hiroshi. Despite the fact that she doesn’t have a very unique personality, she was still fine to watch.

Hiroshi himself is really boring and quite the dork. Despite living in a time where cell phones are quite common, he barely knows a damn thing about them and is amazed at even the slightest things they can do. Not to mention that, when he saw that his cell phone was a cute teenage girl, he freaked out because he wanted his normal bland cell phone and wanted to send her back. Yeah, I’m sure that’s how a teenage boy would react in that situation.

‘Hot girl that is my age that I now technically own and also doubles as a cell phone with way more features than the crappy one I found in the street? Dammit, where’s the return label?’

Other than that, the only really notable character to me is the class president, Makoto Kawasumi. She’s very serious and responsible and has a major crush on Hiroshi for some reason. She’s fine, and you can connect to her fairly well.

Art: The art, drawn by the author, Maru Asakura, is ech. The regular art is cartoon-y, and shoujo-like, which is fine, but what the hell is up with the ears? Everyone has gigantic monkey ears that jut from their heads.

Here’s a character art page for you to get an idea.

It makes this passable art pretty ugly. I can only be thankful that several characters have hair that covers their ears, but the same can’t be said for our main character, who has ears so big and distracting that Dumbo’s probably giggling.

Bottom Line: It’s a stupid premise with stupid jokes based on the stupid premise. There are some moments that are nice, and the characters are fine, but the jokes just aren’t funny and the somewhat decent moments aren’t enough to keep me reading beyond chapter ten. I can be thankful that the chapters are very short at least with 11 pages being the norm, but I still can’t bring myself to continue.

Additional Information and Notes: Eko to Issho was written and drawn by Maru Asakura. It was published by Shounen Magazine.

Volumes: 4

Year: 2005-2006

Recommended Audience: There’s some mild fanservice and allusions to sex, but nothing that bad. 7+

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