The problem when a release is short is that a manga has fewer opportunities to rebound when things aren’t going well. That’s an issue both in Gabriel Dropout volume 10’s individual chapters and the book as a whole.
This is not the first time Gabriel Dropout has struggled with its opening chapters, but these two are probably the worst. Gabriel gets hiccups, and Vigne panics because…she’s heard that 100 hiccups causes death. She doesn’t tell anyone this, and so no one else knows why she’s so gung-ho about getting rid of Gabriel’s hiccups. By the time she explains her worries, the chapter is already halfway over. And if you were hoping for some unusual remedies, prepare to be disappointed. The group relies on old wives’ tales like holding your breath. Sure, the manga works in some laughs like Satanya being manipulated to help, but those aren’t enough.
The next chapter is perhaps even worse. Taplis and Mei gain weight, and Chisaki takes it upon herself to lead the other two in an exercise regimen. The jokes are all fairly tired and boring, with the book mostly relying on Mei’s being too fat to work out. Might as go read Garfield or something if that’s what you’re looking for.
The next few chapters aren’t as bad, but the standout is the final main chapter: Satanya’s parents decide to check up on their little girl. Author Ukami makes it seem like it’s going to be about the girls trying to impress her parents, but the story ends up going in a different — but even more hilarious — direction. It’s easy to see where Satanya got much of her personality from.
The bonus chapter isn’t too bad, and the rest of the manga isn’t as disappointing as the beginning. Still, that’s a very low bar to overcome, and I found myself wishing that some of these stories would go beyond one chapter. Like, Gabriel has to get five genuine thank yous for an assignment from Heaven, and we only see her get one. Another chapter decides to open as a dialogue-less action scene. It looks cool, but Gabriel Dropout doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room to experiment or to surprise readers. And the punchline is the two fighters arguing over who has the better mistress, Gabriel or Raphael. I’m guessing these two have been introduced before, but I don’t remember them. Either way, I’d rather witness Gabriel avoiding work or Raphael messing with others rather than barely-known characters who are overly attached to the angels.
So while my dear Satanya graces the cover of volume 10, Gabriel Dropout doesn’t match her awesomeness and gives us a mostly forgettable experience.