Slow down, friend. The following content is incredibly perverted.
This manga is 18+, not safe for work, and is really rather sexual.
Should you be pure of heart, avert thine eyes.
INERTIA 67% (惰性67パーセント, Dasei 67 Percent) is an adult-oriented slice of life series by noted H (that is, porn) artist Shimimaru (紙魚丸). I like it quite a bit. I find it relaxed, charming, and incredibly funny. Reading it brings to mind the first “part” of Genshiken, before things got romantically-inclined and dramatic. While it’s less about college students being nerds and more about college students being lazy college students, it nonetheless has a similar lighthearted and grounded feeling.
I am familiar with Shimimaru’s other works, and for the most part surprisingly the vibe from her(?) pornographic manga remains in this. The woman (or perhaps man (but probably not)) has a good sense of humor and a fondness for “realism”, which works well. Many artists transition from pornographic to “safe” manga, but when they do they often shift gears pretty hard to disassociate, use a different (pen) name, and completely stop drawing porn. Shimimaru has done none of these things. In spite of this, I think you’d have a difficult case calling this series “ecchi” or “fanservice-y”. Although some cover pages are definitely risque and meant to titillate, the content of the series itself, while sexual, is not often sexy. Even on the rare occasion ladies’ bare chests are seen, my ordinary response to this was “yep, those are breasts”. It’s kind of like Jyoshikausei in that sense, as the times we see panties or whatnot in the series proper simply come across as matter of fact. This is a series that is in pretty much all ways down to earth, which makes it a fairly unusual sort of manga. Overall, INERTIA 67% is something I’m very glad to have on my reading list.
The manga is about a college student, Yoshizawa (Yoshi), and her three friends. Two of them (male) become her friends in chapter 1, the remaining friend (female) she already knows at the start. They are Kitahara, Itou, and Nishida. The series begins by introducing everyone all at once.
Yoshi is a studying artist in a manga club and chapter 1 is about how she recruited Kitahara intent on roping in some people to help her with something. That something is…
That should quickly get you familiar with the content of this series. It’s a kind of “ugly truths” and cringe humor manga. Fact is, in Japan depictions of genitalia outside of medical reference books is completely censored, so unless you want to figure out foreign websites on the net (and even if you do, it might not work out) it’d be a bit difficult for a Japanese woman to know how male genitalia look. And on that note, the two boys’ reactions are totally staid and relaxed regarding this (beyond initial shock). I think this is great: a far cry from how this kind of scenario usually goes in Japanese series (that is, “WHOOOOAAA, DICKS!!!???” with lots of zaniness and lots of blushing). That makes it much more humorous, in my opinion.
The rest of chapter 1 basically thrives on a mix of awkwardness and bluntness to create delicious comedy. It’s quite funny.
This kind of style of humor based on observations of reality might remind you of Oshiete! Galko-chan, but most of the series is just plain slice of life rather than discussions over facts of life. After chapter 1, we skip to a point where the characters are now a solid gang of pals and the chapters become about their daily lives (mostly in their free time). That said, the content is still often sexual in nature, from finding out your old TV can catch porn signals on certain channels to casually being in your home without underwear on (and the subsequent consequences of that). Most chapters center on Yoshi’s apartment, but occasionally the gang will take a trip or some of them will go out to eat or something. The search for artistic references is somewhat an ongoing task…
…but the majority of chapters focus on embarrassing humor like this:
And though there’s not much to say about them, let’s talk about the characters.
The folks in this manga might remind you of people you know in real life. From Kitahara’s lax attitude and occasional blunt rudeness to Itou’s mostly stoic, chill self: their behavior reflects reality more than it reflects other manga characters (who, honestly, are not often realistic), which is what most other series do — remain within comfortable archetypes. Coming back to that “realism” Shimimaru’s fond of, that also helps. Shimimaru’s clear preference in terms of men and women seems to be those that are believably proportioned and have faces that are mostly average. Even though the characters here look like characters from her H manga, characters in her H manga aren’t usually super hyper sexual-looking, so they fit right in to a non-H work.
In terms of realness, none in the cast are realer than Yoshi, I think. She’s a very casual dresser to the point that her wardrobe is a little too practical, she’s not tidy, she doesn’t hide the fact that she has sexual interest, and yet she’s not some odd kind of porn character who’s too interested in sex. Yoshi is a very convincing portrait of a lady nerd. She is the core of this series, so if you like her you’re probably going to like the whole thing.
I will also give special mention to our male characters. They could easily be horribly annoying, but instead they fit in perfectly as another pair of grounded characters. Along with Yoshi being something of a mess, the guys chastising, questioning, or in fact ignoring her regular faux pas is a great source of comedy in the series for me. They’re probably what makes me especially glad INERTIA 67% is on my reading list. This series is so refreshing!
I don’t really have anything more I could say. It may be worth mentioning that every chapter of the series is only about 8-12 pages, and it’s a monthly series, but I’ve found myself completely satisfied with every chapter and never actually noticed the objectively short length. Unfortunately, “short chapters” plus “monthly series” equals “bound volumes take a long while to be compiled”. The series has been running since around the start of 2014 and got its first tankoubon around the end of last year, meaning it’ll take about a year for every new volume to come out. At least that one volume is out at the time of this writing if you want to support the author. I’ll actually give INERTIA 67% my high recommendation: I think you should read/buy it. A series like this doesn’t come around often.
Thanks for reading! I may not review anything new for a while; the next three manga I want to review will take quite a bit of research from me to be able to discuss them confidently. Hopefully I’ll be ready in two weeks. Until then, toodles.