1 of 4 chapters read
The story is original, if bittersweet. It’s almost completely devoid of any clichés and a couple of twists and turns leave you with a catch in your throat. The character development was gradual and believable. Irreverent dialogues with a humorous one liner here or there make for high re-readabiity.
Ethereal artwork lends the handsome couple an other-worldly aura of romance.
There are plenty of romance one shots out there which make you laugh and scream and make you go doki doki, but this one will stay with you for a long time, both as a lesson in life, faith in allowing destiny to take the reins and as a warning to cherish stolen moments . And you’ll find a rogue tear making its way down your cheek every time you think of it!
4 of 4 chapters read
This compilation includes both old and newer mature (read unhappy) romance stories. While all are lengthy enough to develop a premise, it's the horrid execution of the story itself that made me cringe with every panel. Your reflex after 5 or 6 pages in the first two stories will be to abandon them or it will force you to really wonder what self respecting girl would put herself through such situations! They leave almost all girls not battling extreme self esteem issues feeling enraged at the bad light the heroine is portrayed in almost every time.
Story 1: Love (You gotta LOVE the novelty of the title!)
It starts off with a high school student, Akane having split up with her boyfriend and in a nasty mood. She meets the charming and sweet Shiwa at a goukon shortly and they hit off. Standard procedure. They have sex. (PS, this is the first time they've met.) OK, revenge sex, no problem. Soon, they start seeing each other and Akane suddenly realises that Shiwa is already married to a girl and has a child. But since she's so in love with him, she "forgives" him for keeping this from her and they resume their somewhat secretive relationship which mostly involves frequenting seedy love hotels. However, she soon finds out that he's expecting another child which serves to only deepen her needyness and soon she finds herself constantly miserable about her second grade position in his life. If you're still interested in finding out what happens, I suggest you have the stomach necessary to read this one, so give it a go.
Story 2: Love, to become your number one.
Sayaka and Atsushi have been together since middle school and it's been five years since they've been exclusive now. They share a very healthy and happy relationship, which Sayaka fully expects will culminate into marriage at some point, when her dream is rudely interrupted by a girl working at the same bar as Atsushi. She somehow manages to seduce the reluctant Atsushi and the next morning Sayaka is greeted at his appartment by their naked togetherness. In a fit, she takes off, resolved to hate him for his indiscretion. But after a series of events, Atsushi manages to win her back, clearly stating that he can't break up with the homewrecker just yet because her family situation is a mess. But because Sayaka wants to hold onto her dream of a lovely life growing old together with this kind and generous and overly philanthropic fellow, she tries to understand his situation. It goes without saying that trying times follow and soon Sayaka must choose. A normal sane life without the ideal of first love graduating into marriage or a miserable existance never knowing just who is number one in Atsushi's life. It's interesting to see how she resolves this mess, and if you can see yourself reading after knowing so much, I would encourage you to do so, if only to see her grow a backbone at the end of it.
Story 3: The heart's self hate.
This is actually a pretty cute one about Nao and Haru who are very lovey dovey. Only Nao has a slight complex about her "outward growing" breasts and before they take that crucial step in their physical relationship, she wants to shape up for Haru feeling she owes him this much seeing as how much more experienced he is as compared to her. While I may argue with her reasons for choosing to improve/work on her body, Nao is by no means a weak heroine. She is constantly striving and isn't discouraged by failures, be it slow results or Haru's popularity among other girls. It has a nice resolution and is an OK enough read, though nothing spectacular with regards to comedy or romance.
Story 4: Second chance.
Another fun read about Auymi and Tetsuya who consumated their relationship an year ago on a rainy day, but haven'thad the opportunity to do it since because of strict parents and empty pockets. Aah a lover's dilemma. To do it in a public washroom or to skip lunch for two weeks and save up for the cheapest love hotel around! Haha, this one actually offers a good amount of comedy, by way of Tetuya's crazy dad, as well as realistic romance and manages to salvage an otherwise mediocre no premise story.
Overall the art is nothing to write home about. It's classified as smut, but don't read it just for that, because there is none. Not even a boob here or a wet kiss there. In both story 1 and 2, I feel the lead heroines seem to have lost their grip on reality and are OK with sharing their man with another woman, be it the "other" woman or as their mistress. I don't quite know what to think of such lead characters, and it's one person's story, so it can't be judged on its content, but the loathe and disdain you feel for the leads... it's intense and colours your entire reaction to the remainder of the story.
Although I like how both girls finally resolve to get out of a bad situation and how they handle it, they took an inordinate amount of suffering along the way to reach a conclusion that should have been evident from the start.
I wouldn't recommend this read to anyone but a delusional girlfriend who's in a bad situation herself to show her how it might turn out or a girl who's been in such compromising situations herself and appreciates the conflict personally. Other than that, die hard fans of the mangaka and genre may read story 3 and 5, but don't expect to be impressed. read more
15 of 28 chapters read
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
Which is why I was shocked once I finished Houkago Sensei... because the story proves beyond a doubt how she has finally matured as a storyteller as well as at developing characters. Generally I found weak shoujo leads and naively besotted bishounen in her stories, where any tiny dialogue or event would cause a SHOCKED or a teary eyed response from the heroine at the drop of a hat (Yeah I'm talking about you Hotaru from Boku kara kimi...) and misunderstandings and unsaid feelings created the majority of the plot. Well no more!
This one shot briefly introduces us to a cute and level headed Sakuma who is secretly working at a bar posing as a college student, and earning good money. Well, clearly conflict needs to be introduced so under very gallant circumstances, she is saved from being pawed by an inebriated customer by Sawamura sensei. She makes a hasty exit knowing he could blow her cover and what happens later at school when he confronts her and beyond is what forms the meat and potatoes of this chaste little one shot.
Story: Not highly original to be working part time, against school rules and to be caught by either a student or a teacher, but how it's handled is definitely novel. Mostly the bishounen ends up blackmailing the shoujo somehow or asking for small sexual favours, only here the hero takes the high road and offers to help her instead. Hmm interesting. AND Sakuma isn't all choked up about it, thinking how she doesn't deserve such kindness or how he's so understanding and gentle and descended from the heavens just to be her prince charming. Small twists and unexpected plot elements lend the story credibility and avoid the general nausea associated with how quickly the leading ladies fall for just any person simply because he's male and happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Art: Aikawa Saki. Nuff said. If you're not familiar with her artwork, I would urge you to read [Zenbu Kimi no Mono] or [Secret Kiss]. The bishounen always look smexy and glomp-worthy and the shoujo's look young enough to pass for 15-17 years but clean and cute enough for modern tastes. Her panels aren't littered with flowers or annoying hearts but often have interesting and relevant backgrounds adding to the mood. As far as this particular story goes, her character's expressions have only matured and there is less loud mouthed screaming and wide eyed innocence and more sneaky laughter and shy grinning. A+ for appealing to the seasoned shoujo reader.
Characters: Without spoiling too much of the story and plot-line, both characters are highly mature for one shot shoujos, not that they're precocious or making exceptional decisions, but they think before speaking and control their reactions and behave appropriately not given to drooling at moment's notice or impulsively grabbing the other for a kiss simply because the plot calls for it. They have shades and nuances in their personalities which is often missing in one shots, and gradually develop feelings straying from the Love at first sight! cliches.
Overall this was an enjoyable read and one I would hope is considered for serialization because it was a level headed shoujo with potential for doki doki moments and kyaaa inducing romantic scenes. A must read for fans of the genre and everyone else who could use a break from frustratingly fluffy stories steeped in stereotypes. read more
The premise is interesting enough. A delinquent type Kaichou (student council president) is basically making life miserable for most of the student body but is grudgingly tolerated for practical reasons by the staff and school. Enter female foil who pulls his ego trip down a notch or two... or at the very least tries her best to. Let's see how they both handle the trials and tribulations at a high school in a violent neighborhood and an entire school at unrest with the autocratic indulgent dictator. Can their clashing personalities actually end up helping the school or will they ride into the proverbial sunset fangs bared and punches flying?
It's not a run of the mill premise, but it's not terribly original either. PUH-lenny of manhwas and romances are based on such initial plots. 'Course this discord normally ends within the first two chapters, so in this mangaka's defense, she dutifully follows her plot through till the end. Did it create something enjoyable for the reader? Not for me no. I personally didn't love how the heroine was constantly having to "understand" this moronic despot's perspective, even though her compliance clearly came after much arm twisting. Apparently by the end of the volume, she's made considerable difference in the student council but I didn't see any. Bottom line, feminist or even slightly righteous female readers will definitely develop a bit of hatred for the male lead in the first chapter which carries forward.
Art... Aah the very reason one picks up any of Tagaki-sama's works. She knows how to appeal to the next generation of shoujo lovers. She knows how to draw the smexy bishies without making them girly or butch. And their eyes! Zoowie Mama! Orgasmic truly. I don't expect a single disgruntled fan as far as the art goes. She's a whiz at her expressions (and she had a nice niche of expressions to work with here) as well as body movements. I couldn't make much out of the "action" shots, but maybe I don't have an active enough imagination for that stuff. Clean panels and interesting costumes.
Characters... Now she's tried to be original here in making her shoujo lead surprisingly strong willed, but the reader needs more than a girl screaming herself hoarse, we need to see consequent results too... Alas you'll be disappointed there. Others than the leads, both of whom are mediocre at best, four chapters don't much allow for secondary character development, but one of them is given a bit of a personality, even if it is that of a stereotypical skirt chaser.
I expected Momoko to kick ass, drag some boys around by the collar, bang down a door or two or at the very least punch (or bite!) some wrongdoer, but maybe I hoped for too much. She stays introspective and wistful at best. Whatever little internal monologue exists, is dull.
Enjoyment. If you haven't figured it out till now, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION! I couldn't get past my hang ups of Momoko being treated like a troublesome accessory and the narcissistic kaichou not getting what he deserved (A swift kick to the gonads). But if these issues don't rank high with you, you may enjoy the occasional humor and sporadic chemistry between the leads. It's not liberally sprinkled though. Almost all the chapters follow one pattern and don't offer much in way of progression.
Overall, I recommend this to readers who don't invest emotionally in the leads, and if you're in the mood to see an obnoxious boy and his trouble making posse run amok. If you're a fan of Takagi Shigeyoshi, this title lacks her trademark tingling romance and lighthearted feel good factor. If you still insist on a fix, tread carefully. PS, I'm a romance enthusiast and perhaps the severe lack of doki doki in the story may have somewhat marred by opinion.
Oneshot: Bitter Trap
Nanao is a formerly rich well bred girl, whose family has fallen on hard times. So when a marriage proposal from a prestigious family shines a ray of hope in her father's destitute business, she's pushed into attending. But she may just have an agenda of her own to meet with Yoshito, the groom to be, as well. HINT It's not to seduce him, has nothing to do with his dashing looks but everything to do with their limited interactions at high school together.
*Rubs hands together* Looks like it has all the makings of a delicious feisty quick read.
Very well executed in the limited space provided. Surprising twists and turns keep the jaded reader going "Whoaa", while it doesn't try overly hard to be iconoclastic. The heroine has enough brains and gall to show a spoiled and distrusting kid who's boss and how she won't be pushed around! The bishie in his turn knows how to distinguish a gold digger from a koibito (sweetheart) and really creates swoon-worthy moments whenever he lets his guard down or whenever he gets truly dazzled by the heroine's charm. Which is often. Plenty of crazy scenes and one liners to impress the toughest critic, do yourself a favor and definitely read this. A+++
1 of 4 chapters read
I have a somewhat subtle obsessive slash stalker instinct in me at all times, so this story really appealed to that side of me! But even if you don't suffer from disturbing personality disorders, you can still find so much idealism and heartfelt adulation in this manga, that you should definitely put it on your reading list already!
Aiko is a shy girl who doesn't have much experience with boys or love, but on the first day of high school, when she's not made any friends and is feeling particularly lonely, she's stuck outside her school waiting for the rain to abate as she's umbrella-less. Enter knigh in shining armour who lends her a cheap plastic umbrella very gallanty when he sees her forlorn expression, but then dissappears shortly. Obviously this is enough to leave an impression on any 15 year old! Plus he was so handsome! Heehee, if this isn't enough to tempt your into reading how Aiko handles her fixation then I should also point out that she is rather (cutely) accident prone and often needs help from falling or tripping. Hmm, if only a bishie was around to catch her!
All right, all right, just read it already. It's full of very beautifully made scenes. The artwork for the characters themselves feels mediocre, but the backgrounds are done well, as are the dialogues. The story doesn't move at an abnormal rate as is expected in one shots and paces small events with enough internal monologue to give you a feel of Aiko's past and consequential meetings with her savior. Aiko's determination to fall in love with her Lancelot AND find him so she can tell him of that undying love is endearing. As is the sympathy you feel for her when her efforts always fall short at the opportune moment. Very realistic, because you and me don't just know what exactly to do at the moment our long time crush is standing next to us on the bus, and before we know it, he's gone!
Other pluses here include the depiction of her very supportive friends, their stylish school uniform, novel idea such as those of the old lady on the train and the mascara. All in all, it's something that's going to make you smile inwardly and give you the gumption to finally open your mouth when the cutie sitting next to you on the train you take everyday offers his magazine/umbrella/headphone. read more
14 of 14 chapters read
Are you equally frustrated with seeing the heroes unequally matched with one being sweet and gentle but unable to move the maiden’s heart while the other is brash and unkind but the word soulmate oozes from his very being?
Do you finally want a shoujo romance where the triangle in love triangle is somewhat equilateral rather than horribly bent in one direction?
Well then this story is IT for you!
Our heroine Ryou has the hugest rack you can physically imagine, and is OF COURSE frustrated about this unwanted asset because it brings her unpleasant attention from horny boys all over! But there isn’t any time to bother about that right now! She needs to study for her high school entrance examination, and who should show up to tutor her but a very lovely, very upstanding and (unfortunately) very disinterested Misaki-kun who studies at her dream school. So obviously, he insists on completely silent and hanky-panky free tutorial sessions. All Right! Ryou will just grind her teeth and get to work. But then why is the next day’s session so drastically different with a relaxed, playful even slightly sexual atmosphere?! Hey wait a minute, does Misaki-kun secretly like her? No! That can’t be!
The title is pretty self explanatory as far as the plot goes but don’t take it too literally, there aren’t actually boys who like to inflict pain or get hurt in this. Well, there are… but it isn’t too overt! S+M is about sadism and masochism in relationships, it’s about a pair of boys named Misaki and Shingo, it’s about the girl named Ryou who can’t make up her mind between these two equally delicious bishies and it’s about So Many SMutty deeds that happen along the way! (S…M… get it?! Probably not. )
Story: Seriously original in Shoujo Universe and very well executed in a novel, realistic and somewhat head-on fashion. There are no princes in this story, neither are their thuggish delinquents, every character has their dark traits as well as their merits. Length is perfect for this story, though it will many wanting more. Twists and turns aren’t always predictable, a welcome change. There are also many revealing side stories littered about which throw light on the leads and the events which shaped them.
Dialogue: While there is no comedy to lighten tense scenes, unexpected twists lend drama and peak interest in the plot. There will rarely be a moment when you think “Damn, this is going nowhere… next!” However, the last volume unexpectedly includes a lot of physical humor with hilarious twisted poses and childish puns.
Smut: Good, but it’s not all that’s going on, there is a story to be told here too. Though when you do finally get down to the smut, there isn’t anything dreamy or gentle about it! Not with a chest that impressive! Uhh, a particular scene was disturbing and left undealt-with later on (You’ll know what it is when you reach it), but it was central to plot development, so it’s not like the author is just being perverse for smut sake.
Art: Very dated in the overall look and feel though the actual characters are drawn in light strokes which lends a bit of an ethereal feel to them. Nothing groundbreaking in how the bishies or shoujos are drawn, so you’re probably not going to get wet dreams about these boys. The backgrounds and panels are mostly bare unless a location change is in order. Limited, almost threadbare expression, though never lacking in relaying emotions. Overall, art isn’t why you should be reading S+M as there is very little to leave a solid impression here.
Characters: The heroes actually have reverse tsundere characteristic. The player is actually gentle and concerned while the prince is a bully- rough and selfish.
The shoujo is a huge disappointment to feminists everywhere, not coz she’s conscious of her boobs, no we’re allowed to feel the way we like about our bodies, but for constantly being whiny, weak willed and easily swayed. Well, if she were decisive, there wouldn’t be much of a love triangle, but this one seriously lacks self respect!
Hmm, so then if it’s got such mediocre elements going for it, why should you read S+M? Because it is one heck of a smexy, un-put-downable, whirlwind read which makes you cringe and gasp when cruel or unbelievable events transpire, grin wickedly when Prince Charming doesn’t fall for the heroine right away (“That’s right! Make her work at it!”), and sigh when the underdog gets a sweet kiss… all feelings central to a good shoujo romance! read more
1 of 5 chapters read
Story 3: Itazura Ouji
Whoa! His eyes were twinkling when Sai The Bishie made his first appearance~! Although his hair look a little thorny in some panels, him thumping a credit card onto Mayuri's forehead to unburden his unintentional first kiss guilt kind of puts him in my good graces, hehe.
This is a very very very short story about a girl(Mayuri) meets boy(Sai) because her father works for the boy's father. They end up seeing each other a few times and somehow a romance sparks. I don't know, don't ask how, there was barely time to ask surnames! But there are a bunch of very poignant scenes which including one hug/inhale scene which especially appealed to me. Personally couples don't smell each other enough when fully clothed in mangas for my taste!
This one shot focuses on how relationships develop unexpectedly and unwillingly sometimes, despite your best efforts or judgement. It places emphasis on fleeting, seemingly insignificant actions leaving memories and invoking emotions neither parties thought they were capable of (because at 15/16, who hasn't figured out everything there is to know about everything right?!) and of course above all, being a shoujo, it highlights the many stages and nuances a girl's mind goes through when she falls in love for the first time.
The artwork is very detailed and beautiful, sometimes humourous. Mayuri being pushed by the butler's speech bubble was hilarious, it really added to the scene. As did her puppet like actions whenever she was in a vexing situation.
In one particularly dramatic scene, Sai goes from very pensively and handsomely reading a book one second, to assualting the girl the next! It's unexpected scenes likes this which carry this sweet story forward and make it a fun five minute read. read more
8 of 14 chapters read
Yukino lives a comfortable existence in a community where she has friends, the caring and handsome senpai, her mother and younger brother and her late father's flower shop where she loves to work. But she is also thoughtful and instinctively kind so when she encounters a foreigner who appears to be wandering, she offers him help and thus ends up in close proximity with Ryuu, who for some reasons possesses an MBA, but still wound up as an exchange student in her school!
Been there done that? Wait for it... Ryuu had no intention of being a womanizer when he first came here but can't quite get over Yukino's spontaneity and spunk and Yukino has never encountered such a forward but charismatic kissing fiend! What is she to do but restrain herself from falling for him and punching his lights out when he looks at her with those sidelong glances and catches her unawares with a peck?! But above all, why is okasan taking Ryuu's side in all of this?!
This is a shoujo romance, but thankfully I see no constantly-on-the-edge-of-tears heroine who is insecure or timid about her feelings. Yukino is a boon to shoujos everywhere with her confidence and feistiness, and these are the qualities which appeal to Ryu. Plenty of character development occurs from both sides and each chapter peels off another layer to their personality. None of the scenes make you cringe because of their lameness or trite dialogue, and the overall pace is geared towards making this a delicious read.
Art is different from what you've come to expect with the bishi, but is very pleasant with the pretty and delicate Yukino and the vivacious backgrounds. First off... Ryuu's facials... they come off a bit... formidable and scary sometimes, especially when he's impassioned, which is often. Granted, he's supposed to be intense, what with English genes, sky high ambitions and that blue eye, black hair rarity, but that face can look a bit harsh at times! So he's not the generic prince, but more of a whirlwind presence in Yukino's life who mixes everything up and challenges her to open up her world and experience all the rollercoaster emotions associated with being the object of his over the top affection!
Doki doki... Oh my god, every other page! And each one of these semi intimate moments are mini orgasms in themselves! Never has romance been so chaste yet so capable of making your hear race! None of it is the expected, "Yeh, now she's gonna trip and he'll spontaneously materialize to catch her and (finger quote) accidentally (/quote) kiss her", rather the mangaka works hard at creating genuine tender moments which take the reader by surprise and feel character generated rather than for the sake of the plot.
Enjoyment, let's see... HOT cast, amazing art style with very detailed character movements and absolutely adorable chibi moments, which despite their abundance, don't get on your nerves in the slightest or detract from the romance. Yukino's novel reactions to Ryuu's brazen advances are extremely entertaining! Well thought out supporting characters that all retain mystery about their motives and intentions throughout. You can never completely figure out what Ryuu is thinking behind those brilliant eyes of his, but rest assured it makes for good storytelling! Add to this, well written and humorous dialogue which is comedic and passionate in equal parts and a realistic plot with moving circumstances and you have a great shoujo read, one you won't regret investing your precious manga time in! This is one you're gonna pick up again and again! read more
7 of 7 chapters read
The starting scenes are perhaps the funniest. Our heroine Chitose suffers from a particularly over the top imagination and is caught salivating when daydreaming about a fictional boyfriend declaring his undying love for her, in class (We’ve all been there!). She’s banished outside and has to stand in the most ridiculous pose holding two buckets (full of water) in her hands while balancing contraband manga on her head! But her fantasies aren’t over yet, and soon she sinks into yet another one where she strikes the infamous titanic “I’m flying!” pose! Why am I so painstaking in her various stances? Because when you’re done reading this for the first time, these are scenes you’ll return to day after day to enjoy Ayane’s excellent sketching skills as well as to roll over in giggles over the sheer outrageousness Chitose manages to get up to.
Anyway, she gets hit in the face (Kapow) with a flying football and enter Bishi on Heroin, Yamato, who is clearly concerned for her well being and so begins their cat and mouse game. Yamato is in the host like business of selling his kisses and Chitose absolutely refuses to pay for any of them and will have them all to herself! And she’s not opposed to using any means possible to “rehabilitate him” as she declares (to no one in particular)! Her dogged determination easily stands out throughout the 7 chapters.
Why should you read this one instead of the hundred other mangas in which the heroine takes it upon herself to pursue the hero? Because well… frankly, you’re not going to find those kind easily, and also because the kind of heartwarming and genuine characters you’ll find here, who act not along some script, but how you and I would, are not to be underestimated. Each scene with Chitose and Yamato either makes you smile inwardly or mortifies you beyond belief with the daring antics Chitose pulls off only to keep Yamato exclusive! It’s not like she’s unabashedly courageous, she just likes Yamato so much that she gathers enough guts to play interference or pursue him wildly to sneak a Polaroid or two!
But this is not to say that these two are the only ones who contribute to the story. There is a good natured supporting cast which adds comedy and shots of drama to the plot whenever it starts to settle down into something mellow, including the supportive and caring best friend, the two naughty albeit kind cronies to Yamato, and the besotted third wheel. That’s another plus. There are no malicious one dimensional characters presented here. Neither is anyone unnecessarily victimized or glorified.
While the plot and the novel little situations that the mangaka cooks up are all original and very unprecedented, the dialogue is ordinary in comparison with no groundbreaking wit or dry humour. Cliches are exposed and therefore carefully avoided by Chitose. Her internal monologue is deeply personal, including her initial insecurity and subsequent fixation.
The artwork is a little busy at times, but not so much that it distracts from the characters and their many adorable expressions. Each panel depicts a new and totally credible facial from each of the characters, which is another aspect the manga excels at. Some panels are accompanied by the occasional roses surrounding the couple, but only to point to the maudlin emotion in a satirical sense. Both the leads are appropriately dreamy with long eyelashes and kissable lips!
Do I recommend this to you? Hell yes! This one is for the feminists, coz not only does Chitose set her mind to an apparently impossible task, but she goes about it with the kind of tenacity lacking in the best heroine nowadays. Her frankness is appreciated and applauded and whenever you think she’ll do something, she thumbs her nose at your instinctual response and does just the opposite! For the romantics, what’s more swoon inducing than a bishi being floored by the sincere efforts of the heroine and for everyone else, there’s plenty of comedy and drama to keep you hooked right till the end. A well deserved 9! read more