Those who have been following the American manga licensing scene will know that Yen Press recently picked up a whole bunch of 4Komas for the American market, which are Hidamari Sketch, Suzunari! and S.S. Astro. Suzunari! differentiates itself from the rest of the 4Komas I’ve read (Hidamari Sketch, Sketchbook, Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh) as being plot based rather than purely slice-of-life. For plot advancement, there’s a series of background sketches that opens each episode, and it is probably something that is going to be quite sad. In this sense, Suzunari! does borrow some ideas from Key’s works, such as Kanon. Just think Makoto. The key difference (pun intended) here is that the main character is a 15-year-old human loli instead of the very much male lesser-Kyon Yuichi in Kanon.
But if you’re worried that you’ll need a box of tissues by the time the first volume ends, don’t. The first volume is overall light hearted as Suzu (the thing with the cat ears) establishes her relationship with her “twin” Kaede. I mean, who wouldn’t like a girl that was this innocent? I have no complaints at all, and I’m sure that Kaede doesn’t mind.
In the process of charming Kaede with her innocence, there have been a huge amount of hints that this manga focuses on loli-yuri twincest. This was definitely what I thought upon reading one time through. As of the 3rd re-read, it becomes rather obvious that this isn’t really the case. For one, they have not done it with each other explicitly yet, and thus the most we’ll probably see is Shoujo-Ai. A second detail would reconfirm this, but it would actually be a spoiler of sorts. Think Makoto from Kanon again, anyway.
Humour wise, Suzunari! has chosen the path of skewed or screwed up characters. Like for example, Kimura-sensei from Azumanga Daioh. There’s this guy in Kaede and Suzu’s class that has founded the “Society of Moe Girl Studies” and worships the “Moe God”. And if you think the teachers are exempted from weirdness due to this, I would say that Iwami Shoko has gone a little overboard with the main teacher that appears in the strip. While some would say that Yukari-sensei from Azumanga Daioh was a “teacher that only appears in comics”, I beg to differ, as her apathy is shared by many of the teachers that have taught me before. The teachers that appear in Suzunari! aren’t nearly as realistic. Be warned.
In all, Suzunari! is a moe 4Koma and most closely resembles Potemayo in terms of charming its audience by spawning an incredibly innocent “organism” and mixing in some Shoujo-Ai and fetishes to cater to an Otaku audience. Definitely a must read for all the loli-fans and moetakus out there. An anime adaption would be nice, but since incestral themes are a big no no on Japanese tv, I guess we’ll have to pray really hard for one ^^