Amazing Agent Jennifer started off a cliché, and I was fine with it. It was when it never stopped being cliché that I realized this was a cliché manga. Here’s why.
Jennifer starts with the main character, Jenifer, being dropped off at college by her mother and father. The main tension throughout the early chapters is what each of them wants her to get out of her education. Her father, who’s quick to point out that he’s pay a lot for her to go to school, wants her to focus on business and economics courses so she can take over the family business. Her mother is paying all the potential future husbands for her, making comments like, “Ooh, he looks like a future doctor. Smile, Jennifer.” And Jennifer herself has a broad range of academic interests, and wants to take 8 courses, including several sciences, French, American women writes, and fencing as an extracurricular.
As the titles states, she’s pretty amazing, intellectually and physically. Where she stumbles is socialization, which culminates in her speech as valedictorian, where she basically says, “Fuck you drunken, partying idiots. I’m smarter than you, I used this four years well, and I’m actually going places.”
So far, none of this should have been hard to understand, because it’s all pretty cliché. I mean, father wants child to take over family business; whenever I see that written, I wonder if the author has any self-awareness. But that’s kinda the point.
Durring an introduction, cliché serves a purpose; it’s familiar. Familiarity helps to ensure the reader understands the work. That’s not to say all work has to start off somewhat cliché to get the reader into it, but trying to be terribly original upfront is much more difficult, because you have to be careful not lose the reader. Jennifer’s familiar opening themes serve as a gateway, which could pull the reader into a much deeper and unique story down the line. Could, but doesn’t.
I had high hopes early on, because Jennifer’s sense of humour was well written and creative.
Unfortunately, that didn’t end up translating to the story, characters, or any thematic substance. It just becomes a generic, poorly written spy series, with the added bonus of slight sexism from the male lead, Dan, continually suggesting that Jennifer should stop being a spy in order to have some babies.
Their first mission, Jennifer and Dan must infiltrate a lab of a small mountain country in order to destroy their secret weapons research, so they infiltrate the lab of the small mountain country and destroy their weapons research. At least Bond movies typically use the “small [X] country” thing to have some cool actions scenes themed to [X] (skiing shootout, boat chase, etc.), but here everything takes place within the dull lab.
The twist, which ventures into spoiler territory so I won’t state what it is, is equally unimpressive, and only serves to further show how dedicated Jennifer is to her job, something that was barely worth questioning in the first place.
And I’ll stop there. There’s not really anything else to say. The story is a prequel to Amazing Agent Luna, which I used to be interested in reading, but now my expectations are pretty low. Jennifer just jump off from its intro, it just follows it, incessantly, down a boring path of mediocrity.
Don’t Lose Your Way