Where do I start? Do I start with the art or with the story? Do I start with the costumes or should I just drop images on your head until you fall in love with it? I think I am gonna start with a short bit of history.
In the year 2000 a man named Kato Shinkichi started drawing and writing a two volume manga called “Baka & Gogh”. The story was published by Kodansha and has never been officially licensed to anywhere outside of Japan. So at some point the guys from Mangascreener decided to scanlate the story. They never finished it. The last chapters were a collaboration between Mangascreener, Hox Scanlations and HappyScans. It has been more than a month since those last bits were released and it is fair to say that this manga blew my socks straight from my feet into the universe, never to be found again. And after 12 years of no one bothering to license this, you won’t do any harm finding and reading this. You’ll do yourself a favor actually.
Hit the jump for more of a review and some more pretty art!
Baka is japanese for idiot. That much I have learned from watching anime. Thus the manga and its first chapter are titled “The Idiots and Gogh”. The idiots and the artist. And that is the gist of the story. Gogh is an artist, she sews gorgeous and amazing clothes. She also gets exploited by her fellow students who demand more and more fancy things from her. Enter the idiots, who try to defend her. Sakai and Shoji are the typical guys with huge dreams who go about their life with one or two illusions in place. But they have principles and when they see Gogh being bullied Sakai steps right in. And gets suspended from school for it. After that the story is about the fights between dreams and reality. Gogh has a fixed plan. The boys too, but they are caught in struggles and desperation while Gogh just powers through. Her determination is admirable!
Add in some unrequited love and you have yourself a nice story that covers two volumes. You’ll find beautiful art in there. Kato has a very distinct and somewhat weird and special style. Without that certain sense of style this story wouldn’t be the same though. It wouldn’t yet be your standard love story about dreams and the future. There are so many of them, but with the power of its art and characters this one beats most of them into the ground. I can understand every single thing they do and I felt Sakais feelings when his dreams kind of collapsed. But that goes into spoiler territory. I gave you the gist and now I am gonna drop some pretty art on your silly heads. Be ready!
This manga has everything you need. A great story, great art, great writing and awesome characters. I have nothing to complain about. I am just happy I found it.
Baka & Gogh can be found on the wild waves of the internet and it gets an “Awesome Adventure!” badge from me!