Title: Gabriel Dropout Vol. 9
Release Date: December 22, 2020
Publisher: Yen Press
Comedic manga tends to be hit-or-miss most of the time, but the Gabriel Dropout series has always delivered quality content with the help of detailed panels and pacing. Gabriel Dropout Vol. 9 is no different and gives readers a real sense of how far the group has come, even with their differences.
Gabriel Dropout Vol. 9 begins at the end of the school year, right before summer vacation, and Satanichia hasn’t improved one bit in her studies. It doesn’t seem to both her much, though, but it does have a negative effect on her teacher. The remainder of the volume focuses on a summer festival where the group of girls arrives together but end up separated for most of the volume to come together in the end for an excellent finale.
These summer festival chapters allowed Ukami to really show off their illustration skills by presenting the girls in fancy kimonos but still making them each unique in their own way. Given that the chapter opened with them altogether, I think it was a smart move to separate the girls into pairs with those they don’t always spend time with, so we get to see how they interact.
The summer festival chapters are comedic gold as each pair of characters riffs off their partner’s quirks. The chapters even highlight a breakthrough within Gabriel, who was forced into her angel costume while Vignette had to wear her demon attire, which I’m sure no one complained about.
The pacing in these panels was well placed, given that they held their comedic timing expertly across the pages. There were a few quick jokes here and there, but it seemed that each chapter built up to a punch line that really brought the chapter together.
If anything, I wish the entire volume focused on this summer festival because the final two chapters seemed to not really flow with the meat of the volume. Summer was more or less glossed over, and we spent a day with Satanichia being Satanichia. There were some funny moments, but I just would have preferred the volume ended on the high note that the summer festival left off at.
The illustrations are excellent in this volume. I just feel like they really sold the summer festival and the impact that the finale had on Gabriel’s emotions. I know this is supposed to be funny, but sometimes her laziness gets to be too much. I really liked how it slowed down on these panels to show each of the girls together—truly great pacing.
Gabriel Dropout Vol. 9 has some great comedic moments between pairs of characters who don’t always get a lot of screentime together. Seeing them interact in a fun environment and how their personalities clash created some hilarious moments. The summer festival chapters steal the show, which I couldn’t help but wish it went on for a few more chapters since the final two chapters just didn’t carry the same weight. Regardless, it was fun seeing how the girls spent their summer vacation.
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