I'm extremely glad I didn't read this as my first manga series. I'll freely admit that I'm a novice to this style of storytelling- DramaCon and FMA are the only two I've dabbled in- and I think if I'd picked up Gravitation before those two I would never have given manga or anime another glance.
(I should note two things before I go further: at the point that I'm writing this review, I'm through Volume Four of this, and I've watched all of the anime episodes; did so before I started reading.)
Excuse me while I complain:
1. Unbelievability. As someone else noted in one of the reviews I skimmed, this romance is totally ridiculous. Several reasons- the instant attraction/obsessiveness, both characters' insistence (despite the evidence) that they are totally straight, the ridiculous pacing.
2. I'm with Yuki when it comes to Shindou's lyrics. Good heavens, man, have you ever read poetry or really listened to a song? Add to this the fact that despite such crappy writing, Bad Luck gets picked up by a major record label- blah. See #1 RE unbelievability.
3. Art style. Okay, so Murakami includes these little thingummies at the end of most volumes with short comics unrelated to Gravitation. But because of the way she draws, the characters all look the same. So at least once per minicomic, I find myself going, "Wait. Isn't that so-and-so from the main story?" There's simply not enough differentiation in the character designs.
The good things-
1. Everyone from Nittle Grasper, no matter how stupid their band's name is. Particularly Tohma and Ryuichi. (Forgive me; I can't spell these names off the top of my head so I'm dropping the surnames. Or first names. Er. I'm confused.) They're much more mature, and much more interesting characters.
2. Most of the time, Eiri Yuki's pretty cool. I do wish he'd slap Shindou at least once, though. Face it, the kid deserves it. If I keep reading the series, though, it'll be for Yuki's backstory, even though I already know the basics from the anime.
3. Hiro. Especially on the game show, when he gets that stupid addition question. That was one of my favorite moments in the anime as well.
This is not the manga-as-serious-storytelling that I've let myself get used to with Fullmetal Alchemist. This is wacky with a dash of serious; FMA's the opposite. Will I keep reading? Eh, maybe. I haven't decided yet. It's not a priority, that's for sure.
I'd call this series a bit of a culture shock. Maybe if I had read a little more manga before getting to this, I'd have reacted better.