You may be looking at the cover image and title of this manga and thinking to yourself, “Is this a comic about a girl dating an early hominid?”
Yes. Yes it is.
Farm girl, Kamigome Mito, is a peerless beauty admired by everyone at her school, but she just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to romance. Oh, there a lot of attractive boys at her school who are interested in her, but, unfortunately, they’re all spineless, childish and totally pathetic. Where does a girl need to go to meet a man with some backbone?! Just when Mito was ready to give up on love, the Goddess of the Harvest, Spica, hears her laments and decides to help her find her destined true-love, even if that means sending Mito back in time so that she can be with him. Thanks to the goddess’ match-making efforts, Mito meets “Garhi”, a perfect specimen of manliness who embodies everything she was looking for – He’s strong, brave and stoic. There’s just one problem, Garhi’s not human, he’s an Australopithecus Garhi and Mito has been sent approximately 2.5 million years into the past!
When I first heard of this shojo manga, by Yoshineko Kitafuku, I immediately thought that it sounded too bizarre to miss. I had to see where the creator was going to go with this premise and I picked up the first volume expecting an off-the-walls screw-ball comedy, only to be surprised to find that the romantic elements were played mostly straight. I don’t mean that this manga isn’t funny or is trying to be some kind of serious drama, there are plenty of humorous scenes, especially in the segments set in the modern day with Mito’s harem of hopeful but whimpy suitors, but the manga does work hard to try and sell that there’s a genuine connection between Mito and Garhi. Perhaps the absurdity of treating an early hominid as a romantic lead was supposed to be a source of comedy in and of itself, but, past the initial reveal of her soulmate’s identity, I don’t think that was the intent. The scenes that establish the bond between Mito and Garhi, where Mito is touched by Garhi’s efforts to protect her or marvels at how warm his arms are when he comforts her with a hug, all appear to be devoid of satire. Instead, they seem to be attempts to add real emotional weight to Mito’s interactions with Garhi, efforts that are doomed to failure, as the fact that Garhi is an early primate inevitably causes these moments to feel super weird.
Thankfully, I don’t think that this manga is going to end with a wedding between Mito and an ape-man. This is just a theory of mine, but, based on how this volume ended, I suspect that Mito might discover that one of her classmates in the present is a reincarnation of Garhi and get her happily-ever-after with a human after all. At least, that’s where I hope this is going…
Some uncomfortable moments aside, this was a pretty fun read. It’s unusual enough to be interesting, Mito is a tough and likeable heroine and I really enjoyed the pathetic cast of human love interests that Mito is completely unimpressed with. I think I would have liked this manga better if it had been a little bit wackier in its approach (the concept is already plenty wacky), but I had enough fun with this volume that I plan to pick up the next one and see what else is in store for Mito. If you’re in the mood for something a bit off the beaten path then I’d recommend giving this one a try, just be prepared for some weirdness.
Final Score: 7 out of 10.
For more information, check out Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Do you agree with my theory or do you think that Kamigome’s destined true love is totally an ape-man? Let me know in the comments!