In her 3rd year of middle school, Hiyori has had a crush on Mizuno, who is in the classroom next door. It was at a time like that when a seating change happened, and she ended up sitting right next to Sasamoto, who is Mizuno’s childhood friend. She finds this out and she decides to ask for his help. However, Sasamoto, who was supposed to be just a friend, starts to develop feelings…?!
Kare wa tomodachi is one of my top ten go to drama-romances and with good reason. No manga reader picks up a shoujo romance title and thinks to himself "Sheesh, there sure seem to be a lot of misunderstandings between these people and a lot of unnecessary conflict and pain is resulting from it. If only they grew up and stopped making such a big deal out of small things!" Hahah, OK while reading, maybe we do let slip such harsh thoughts, but honestly, being a teen is hard, and it is precisely this anguish and delight of being a teen, finding and losing and picking up the pieces of first love that Kare wa tomodachi expresses with gusto.
So as the story always goes, we have an (uncharacteristically) level headed and otherwise ordinary shoujo lead Hiyori. Her heart goes doki doki for the popular and friendly Mizuno in the next class but gosh darn it, how is she to approach him when his hoard of female fans won't let her through? Hmm, maybe his best friend who serendipitously happens to be seated next to her could help her out. However Sasamoto, accustomed to being the gentleman in waiting for Mizuno wants nothing to do with Hiyori. He's had enough of helping girls get to Sasamoto, using him as a stepping stone. But after much pleading he relents to poor ol' Hiyori's requests. And things even started going well... If by well you mean Mizuno being approached by his ex girlfriend for reconciliation just when Hiyori is about to make a play for herself and having that same ex girlfriend have a change of heart when Hiyori decides to back down. Tsk... kids today. So tempestuous!
The story seems original enough. Obviously by original I do not refer to a girl falling for a prince like character and trying to make him notice her, but the subtleties of the plot, the round about way each character's past and tenuous relationships are explored and how they determine their destinies is novel. For a drama, this story is refreshingly free of frustrating shoujo stereotypes and annoying character traits which make you want to hurl a television at the character's head.
Unpredictable plots are introduced just when the story is about to settle into a nice groove (it's a drama, it's no-one's fault!) but are handled sincerely. No turn seems outrageous or contrived and the characters make the entire situation very believable. Their are couples you root for, villains you want to throw eggs at and dashing bishies you just want to glomp.
Art is an interesting part of Yoshioka Ririko's works. While it's not particularly groundbreaking or breathtaking, it's cute enough, not overly flowery but it is impactful and original. Sure, they could keep their mouths closed a bit more, but then what would the reader whine about?! Precise characters are drawn with interesting expressions and fashionable clothes. The backgrounds and panel could have been cleaner and sometimes makes for distractions in reading, but it's not the roses and hearts and polka dots which can really be a deterrent.
Characters: Aaaah the meat and potatoes of this story. All the characters, invoke really strong reactions in even the most seasoned shoujo reader. They're quite original both in their motivations and how they handle situations. You really bawl when some particularly sad event occurs in the heroine's life or when her bishi imposes a punishment on himself for no fault of theirs, and the antagonists really make you grind your teeth together, plotting their downfall. I think that's the proof of a good story, when you immerse yourself so fully in your characters that you forget they're just figments of somebody's imagination and you wait with bated breath for someone to finally catch a break or even... GASP a happy ending! Well I'm still waiting for any happy ending, but the plot really sucks you in while retaining its freshness.
Though drama is definitely the foremost element of this story, the characters don't take themselves too seriously. There is plenty of humor and good natured joshing throughout the manga. There is also a healthy sprinkling of fun and carefree school experiences portrayed to keep the story grounded and perhaps as a break for the leads all dealing with a lot for ordinary 16 year olds!
I really enjoyed KwT. Each chapter doesn't necessarily end at a big cliffhanger, but you do feel uneasy until you know what happens next. No couple falls in love at first sight, nor do they break up over tiny misunderstandings. First kisses and sex aren't made the focal point of the entire series, though they're given adequate significance. Cliche premises are kept at bay and novel and realistic situations are explored instead. These are clearly a bunch of smart kids and you feel happy while reading this, rather than contemptuous or disdainful towards even one of them.
So would I recommend this story? Yes, if you like to invest deeply in riveting story lines. Yes, if you're not easily moved by substandard romances and are longing for something real but heart throbbing at the same time. Yes, if you want to cheer on for a girl looking to have a happy life, even if that means being single. But if you're looking for instant gratification and are quick to feel bad when anguish befalls the lead characters, then tread carefully. These kids are about to enter high school, and there's heartbreak, angst and longing around every corner!read more
Kare wa Tomodachi is probably one of the most amazing mangas I've ever read in my whole life. Why? Let me tell you.
The story is something every teenager (which is most manga readers) can understand. It doesn't run around the bush but instead, it goes straight to the point. "I like you." that isn't really hard to understand, right? Although I must admit it can be quite annoying sometimes but it goes well in the end or it goes to a different way you'd thought it would be. It changes. Because life changes as well.
The art is not perfect but good enough. It is well drawn and almost similar to Bokura Ga Ita. Its great but not that outstanding.
Like I said, the characters are quite complicated. They do this and do that then it will affect something or some other character. That is what they are supposed to do anyway. The way how they react to the situation sometimes annoys me especially someone from the main character. You'll figure it out when you read it; I bet most people hate that person actually.
I enjoyed it. I cried, I laughed, I swore and I cried. Okay more like more crying but less laughing. Its a story of someone's life (can be) of course you'll have to cry when you finally understand the main character's position. Her decision affects her way of living and the way how other people sees her. Its something you'll enjoy if you're a teenager or prefer reading Slice of Life mangas.
Amazing. Amazing. Outstanding. I like it and I hope you'll love it as much as I did. You can cry, you can love and as well you can hate them. Its up to you but of course, depending on the situation :pread more
I have to say that this story's plot was unexpected, yet rather DISSAPOINTING for a guy like me reading this.
There are specific reasons why I don't particularly like this manga. The story is about this girl, Hiyori, who first falls in love with a nice guy named Ren. The two of them go through various troubles though, and it's those troubles that shows how very selfish and immature Hiyori is, despite being the main character. Hiyori fails to realize Ren's situations, fails to understand how very kind and caring he is, and above all fails to see how much Ren actually loves her. From a guy's perspective, sometimes it seems like girls simply can't tell the difference between friendship and love. Maybe that's why girls always put guys into the "friend zone," no matter how good the guy may be. Thus the title, Kare Wa Tomodachi ("He is My Friend").
Another reason is Hiyori's mindset and flexibility. Never once does she think properly and clearly about Ren's feelings; she only thinks about her own predicament, and thus she asks Ren to cater to her own feelings so that she can get over her heartbreak, instead of properly talking to Ren and understanding the circumstances. Hiyori's heart never had any tenacity for love and relationships; deep inside was just a selfish concern for herself.
Overall, this manga is a terrible read for guys who understand what it's like to be treated without understanding each other. In my opinion, this kind of manga can be appealing to girls who like to create drama with guys and aren't interested in any real relationships involving trust, sacrifice, and hope.read more
Alright. so I'm not the best at writing reviews, but I'll try to make things clear. I hate stories where it's the same thing over and over again. It shows that the author isn't creative, and keeps going through the same ring. I'm pretty sure this author must have some good stories, but this was definalty not one of them. Most teenagers read manga for enjoyement and to escape reality, but if the manga reminds them too much of reality, than it's going to be something not many peopel will like. I found this story too much near reality due to all the heartbreaks and breakups. I really think the plot line could of gone a different direction. To be honest, this reminded me as well of Mars because of the depressing vibes it gave, and I hated Mars.
For those who would prefer to stay away from reality based stories and depressing vibes, don't read this story. I know I sound harsh, but this si my opinion.read more