I’m a fan of a good supernatural manga and I’m also always on the lookout for exciting new yuri titles. So it’s a joy to find a series like Neji’s Dear NOMAN, which fits the bill on both counts.
Mashiro has always been able to see spirits, but it’s not something that usually troubles her – until one of those spirits transforms into a monster and tries to eat her! Luckily, she is saved in the nick of time by Bazu, a crow-spirit who works for an organization that prevents spirits – or nomans, as the society calls them – from becoming evil beasts who harm humans. Since Mashiro can see spirits, and she accidentally entered into a magical bond with Bazu, she’s recruited into the organization and becomes Bazu’s new partner!
I enjoyed this first volume of Dear NOMAN quite a lot. While there are some sad moments, the series is action-packed and has it’s fair share of humorous and cute scenes, too.
The nomans that Bazu and Mashiro end up facing up against all have something that’s keeping them tied to the mortal realm, and I found their stories to be very moving. I particularly loved the story of the spirit of a cat that didn’t want to pass on because it didn’t want to leave its elderly owner alone. I may have cried a whole bunch while reading that chapter. Anything to do with cats tends to really get to me, but this pet’s devotion to the old woman who he had shared his life with was so tender and touching. I was glad that Mashiro was able to help him communicate his feelings to his owner, so that he could finally move on and wait for her in the after-life.
The relationship between Mashiro and Bazu is also very compelling. Bazu’s experiences in her former life as a crow have left her with a deep hatred and distrust of humans, but sweet and cheerful Mashiro is hard to dislike, and Bazu is slowly starting to warm up to her new partner. Mashiro, meanwhile, has experienced her own tragedies and this seems to be what’s chiefly motivating her to help Bazu with assisting spirits to move on. She wants to keep them from becoming evil spirits and hurting people, but also feels genuine empathy for the sad fates of the nomans. There seems to be more to her backstory then she’s currently letting on, so her motivations might be more complex then they originally seem, but regardless, Mashiro is very kind and cares a lot for others. If anyone can restore Bazu’s faith in humanity, it’s probably her.
Since this is a yuri manga, we see the beginnings of romantic interest start to develop between the two partners. This is made somewhat awkward by the fact that Mashiro is only fourteen. Since we don’t know how old Bazu is exactly, I don’t know if I can say whether a romance between the two is inappropriate or not, but Bazu sure looks a whole heck of a lot older then Mashiro, so it can feel a little weird when they kiss or make goo-goo eyes at each other. I wish Mashiro had been written to be a bit older, but that’s my only real complaint with the series, thus far.
A thrilling and, at times, poignant supernatural tale, Dear Noman is off to an interesting start. I’m looking forward to learning more about Mashiro and seeing if she can help Bazu to fully forgive humanity. If you’re looking for a yuri series with some excitement, I recommend checking this manga out.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
Content Warning: This manga contains scenes that discuss and depict a suicide.
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.
For more information on this series, visit Yen Press’ website.
Be sure to check out some of my other recent yuri manga reviews:
- Alter Ego Review
- A White Rose in Bloom Vol 1 Review
- Strawberry Fields Once Again Vol 1 Review
- Days of Love at Seagull Villa Vol 1 Review
- A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Vol 1 Review
If you enjoy reading my reviews, please consider supporting me through Kofi.