‘The World God Only Knows’ Author Tamiki Wakaki Has a New One-Shot

Shinri and Makoto banner

Sometimes success can be a bad thing. Author of The World God Only Knows manga Tamiki Wakaki might be able to tell you a thing or two about that. Ever since the conclusion of his massively popular manga in 2014, Wakaki simply hasn’t been able to match up to his own success despite multiple attempts. Still, Wakaki’s latest one-shot Shinri and Makoto might just be the thing he needs.

Shinri and Makoto cover page

Appearing in this week’s Weekly Shonen Sunday, Tamiki Wakaki’s latest one-shot ‘Shinri and Mako-nee-chan’ (Shinri and Makoto) tells the story of genius elementary schooler Shinri as he attempts to study with the intention of becoming an ‘A-grade’ adult, only to get ‘distracted’ by the airheaded high schooler Makoto who lives in his neighborhood.

This ‘youthful love comedy’ between two unlikely partners isn’t exactly a far cry from Wakaki’s seminal work, The World God Only Knows, in terms of genre. Yet the focus of Shinri and Makoto is less informed by the world of otaku culture and gal-games, but on the wistful nature of youthful love, especially towards older figures.

Tamiki Wakaki's Shinri and Makoto

Wakaki appeared quite suddenly in this week’s Weekly Shonen Sunday with the new one-shot, which is surprising considering that Wakaki has called Sunday his home for most of his career. His last series, King of Idol, just ran in the magazine for a year before coming to an end in 2018.

Perhaps this is because Wakaki has yet to replicate the success he found on The World God Only Knows with any of his subsequent series for publisher Shogakukan. Not for lack of trying, mind you – Wakaki hasn’t stopped putting out new manga ever since beginning his career in 2006. But he just can’t seem to find another hit.

The question of legacy is no doubt one that weighs heavy on Wakaki’s shoulders. Having to overcome and live up to previous successes, especially one as seminal as The World God Only Knows manga, might end up proving an impossible task.

Nevertheless, I hope that this new Shinri and Makoto one-shot gets some traction and fires up Wakaki’s creativity once more. It’s certainly worth a read, and I wouldn’t mind getting more. If I was to offer any advice, though, then it’d be to give some Twitter webcomics a try.

Other love comedy authors such as Soichiro Yamamoto and Saito Yuu have been able to drum up interest for new series by posting webcomics via their Twitter accounts, and perhaps Wakaki might be able to do the same. It wouldn’t be that much of a hassle for him to do so, either – he’s already pretty active on Twitter in posting pictures of bread and cake.

Tamiki Wakaki’s Shinri and Makoto one-shot is available to read in this week’s Weekly Shonen Sunday.

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