Dear Noman is a manga written and illustrated by Neji. The plot focuses on a girl who can see ghost-like entities known as nomans, and her crow lady partner. Yen Press licensed the manga for an English language release.
This first volume contains chapters (or letters, as they are referred to here) one through to seven.
Ever since she was little, Mashiro has been able to see ghosts – of people, of animals, and of some strange creatures that don’t seem to be either. For years, she’s pretended not to see the eerie sights around her, but then a chance encounter plunges Mashiro into the world of the inhuman nomans. An accidental kiss leaves Mashiro partnered with Bazu, a human-hating crow lady, as she joins the Boundary Preservation Society to help the dead that walk the earth move on…
The very first thing I want to say about Dear Noman is that its premise is incredibly similar to that of the earlier parts of Tite Kubo’s Bleach. Nomans are very similar to Hollows, and the whole “Boundary Preservation Society” immediately brings to mind the “Soul Society”. Though admittedly the similarities are in name only.
Whilst Dear Noman may have a similar premise to Bleach, it does its own thing. Here, our main character is the petite fourteen-year-old girl Mashiro Unohana. Mashiro’s ability to see ghosts – and other such phenomena – is what ends up bringing her into the Boundary Preservation Society, where she meets Bazu.
If I had to pick one word to describe Bazu, it would have to be “jaded”. She is not fond of humans at all, although it is gradually looking more and more like Mashiro may be an exception to that.
Whilst Bazu is less than thrilled about their partnership at first – established with a kiss, by the way – something within her seems to awaken a desire to protect Mashiro. Not that Bazu would admit that openly.
Mashiro and Bazu have a good dynamic going on between them. Admittedly the “goody-two-shoes” and “jaded” relationship is one that has been done before. Their relationship may not exactly bring anything new to the table, but I do like their interactions with each other. That is made all the more sweeter with Bazu gradually warming up to Mashiro.
I just hope that Mashiro learns how to say no, sooner rather than later. Bazu picks up on that aspect of Mashiro’s personality pretty quickly. It is briefly hinted at why Mashiro is like that, but perhaps it is time she moved on.
As you might expect, Mashiro and Bazu do encounter a few other nomans during this volume of the manga. Naturally the two have very different approaches to how they deal with them. Mashiro gets a particularly interesting interaction with one in particular. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the end result is amusing.
I like Dear Noman a lot from what I have read of this first volume. The premise is one that is familiar, but Neji offers an interesting take on it. I’m eager to see how things pan out between Mashrio and Bazu, particularly as certain feelings seem to be bubbling up.