By Tadahiro Miura. Released in Japan as “Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san” by Shueisha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Ghost Ship. Translated by Kayla Albarado. Adapted by David Lumsdon.
When I was first researching this manga, more than one site told me that it was “the spiritual successor to To-Love-Ru”. Which makes sense. Jump usually has one title that is written purely for the sake of teenage hormones, and for years To-Love-Ru was the one. And so, perhaps after briefly checking to make sure none of the cast are based on anyone’s wife, we have Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, an ecchi Jump title which offers pretty much a lot of the same things that To-Love-Ru gave the reader. There’s a guy surrounded by a bunch of hot young girls. There is an awful lot of tripping and falling into boobs. There is a lot of violence towards the lead guy by said girls after that happens. And no doubt most of them will fall for him, though so far we only have the titular ghost. It’s Harem Comedy 101.
Our hero is Kogarashi, who has had a pretty unlucky life – he’s easily possessed by spirits, and it’s made his life very difficult, as well as made him very poor. Fortunately, he’s learned (almost out of necessity) to be an exorcist so that he can deal with these things. He’s also found an inn with attached hot springs where the rent is dirt cheap – because, of course, it’s haunted. He meets the residents, all of whom are gorgeous girls, and also the girl haunting his room, who is a cute fluffy-headed poltergeist with a bad habit of making things float around her when she is flustered, which is most of the time. Yuuna is a cute girl, so Kogarashi can’t exorcise her. Instead he befriends her, which works out even better (and also makes her fall head over heels in love with him). Then we discover the other residents are also… not ghosts, but various types of supernatural entities or those that deal with them. Can he get along with everyone? And what about school?
As you might be able to guess, this is not exactly the most original title in the world. At the same time, it has a job to do and does it well. Everything is in the standard ecchi harem language, but there was no point where I was bored or turned off by any of the various goings-on. Kogarashi is more of the “confident” Jump hero in the Luffy/Soma tradition, which makes a nice change from the meek nerds that usually inhabit such titles (as, for example, To-Love-Ru). Yuuna is as you’d imagine, but I did like the way she was translated/adapted, as she uses a certain amount of “Scooby-Doo” style exclamations at times, which is amusing as she’s a ghost, but also apropos as it shows she’s older than she should be. We’ve barely met the other residents yet (there’s a demon slayer who I still call Motoko as she hasn’t really differentiated herself from the Love Hina character), but I’m sure that will come soon.
So this won’t win any awards, but if you’re here for amusing comedic romance with lots of large breasts, and don’t mind no actual romantic resolution for 25 volumes or so (because did I mention it’s a comedic romance manga?), this could be the title for you.