My Gemini Review

The Yen Press website lists My Gemini under the genre of “Crime and Mystery”. Out of the two, this is certainly a mystery as no crimes takes place. It is also listed as a drama, which it is, but sadly it does feel like a somewhat plodding story.

This one-volume manga revolves around three schoolboys. One is John Utterson, a rather plain guy who has nothing that makes him stand out in terms of appearance: glasses, freckles, curly red hair etc. The one way he does stand out is that he is friends with two of the most popular boys in his school: identical twin brothers Jekyll and Hyde Stevenson – and no, those aren’t nicknames. No reason is given as to why their parents named their sons after characters from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but it should be highlighted that John Utterson is also the name of the man in the book who investigates the case of Jekyll and Hyde.

©Yuu Morikawa, Yen Press

This Jekyll and Hyde like to play games on people where they pretend to be each other in order to cause confusion. John became friends with them because he was the only person who was always able to tell which twin was which. However, things change when Jekyll suddenly dies in an accident. Hyde is alone… if indeed it is Hyde who is still alive, as John begins to question which one of the twins was the one who passed. Hyde receives letters claiming to be from Jekyll and seeing ghostly figures when walking around at night. With help from the school’s prefects, Roche and Benjamin, John attempts to slowly piece together the mystery of who is still alive.

As mentioned, the plot itself feels a little lacklustre. There is the odd moment of tension in the story where you begin to wonder if perhaps there might be a supernatural element to My Gemini, but no such thing really occurs. It doesn’t help that there are flashbacks telling certain elements of the same story from different viewpoints, but this is no Rashomon. It just feels like old ground is being re-trodden. The most dramatic moment is when they visit the older brother of Roche, an eye doctor, who reveals something unknown about Jekyll to John and Hyde.

©Yuu Morikawa, Yen Press

Similarly, nothing regarding the production seems to stand out too, which is arguably a good thing. Nothing appears to be wrong with Emma Schumacker’s translation. Bianca Pistillo’s lettering is nothing adventurous, as the only changes include some more bold type in dramatic moments and slight changes in font when someone speaks in another language.

©Yuu Morikawa, Yen Press

The artwork is more interesting. Created by Yuu Morikawa, who is most famous for the comedy series Mr. Villain’s Day Off – which was already being published while My Gemini was being created – Morikawa’s character designs are good, being able to make characters of many different appearances appealing, even when, as in the case of John, they don’t have anything that makes them particularly stand out. The setting, being a period drama in some school somewhere in the west, also gives us some nice background art too.

Ultimately, this manga feels like it is mainly for fans of Morikawa’s other work. It does feel as if Mr. Villain’s Day Off would make for a better introduction however, whether it be via the manga or from its recent anime adaptation. My Gemini feels a bit dull. Fortunately, as it is just a one-off volume, it is something to easily dip in and out of. For Morikawa’s fans, it will no doubt make for an interesting diversion into a more dramatic storytelling style. Overall however, this manga does seem to be easily forgettable.

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

6 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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