Feb 21, 2022
Using lots of tropes and cliches in your story is not inherently bad. The problem lies when the tropes ARE your story: you can't just write a series of cliche scenes for the sake of it and fill in the blanks with story. This is the problem with Koigokoro Senpukuchuu. Instead of having its cliche, cheesy, generic shoujo scenes for the purpose of elevating what the manga already had story and character-wise, it feels as if the author put a bunch of classic shoujo tropes in a hat, pulled out several, and half-assedly wrote a story around them. Even what's supposed to be the main
premise—the main character tries a bunch of superstitions around the school to get a boyfriend—wasn't properly written, as the manga feels like it has no plot and is just aimlessly showing a bunch of romantic scenes between two characters. This premise could have worked and made for a fun manga, but the length of the manga limits it on that front.
Which brings me to my next point. Because the manga is only four chapters long, the pacing is atrocious and everything is incredibly rushed. The beginning of the manga didn't really have any exposition or setup to anything at all (which in hindsight makes sense considering how little actually happens in the manga): things just sort of start happening. Within approximately 30 pages of the main character and love interest meeting (which I might add occurs about 10 pages into the first chapter), the love interest: a) gives the MC his jacket, b) gets jealous of another guy who is close to the MC, and c) pulls an "I'll always protect you" after coming to save her from a ridiculous and forced situation that makes absolutely no sense. I want to emphasize that this is supposedly the first time they've met, and this chapter takes place over the span of a single afternoon. On the opposite side of the spectrum, so little actually happens that the only thing moving the "story" and the characters' relationship forward is forced drama, which comes out of nowhere and is very obviously just because the author had no idea how to progress the plot. In addition to being extremely unnecessary and forced, to the point of being cringy, the drama is extremely poorly executed.
The last chapter of the manga was legitimately baffling with how horrendously it created and resolved drama. The drama is so terrible that not only does it lead to extremely confusing dialogue, but I legitimately had no idea that it was even present until it was resolved as the MC sobbed. To be slightly more specific, the MC wants to swap headbands with the love interest at the sports festival, as one of the superstitions is that if you do this with someone you like you will be together forever. There's a brief scene showing a pile of headbands with a hand picking it up (which I guess was supposed to be someone else accidentally grabbing it, but it wasn't clear). This is immediately forgotten and the MC asks the love interest to swap headbands (basically a confession), to which he rejects her, saying the confusing line: "as a student of my school, having this kind of relationship would be troublesome." So she got rejected for...reasons. Cool. Makes sense so far. The MC runs off, understandably upset, and the love interest soon learns that her headband was misplaced. Immediately after learning this, he runs to the MC and accepts her confession. Aside from being a confusing mess, the story just changes what the conflict actually is in the middle of it occurring. His rejection had nothing to do with the headband, so why did he immediately regret rejecting her? It feels like it was just conflict for the sake of conflict without giving any thought to what is actually happening in the scene.
To give Koigokoro Senpukuchuu credit, most of these problems (aside from what I just discussed with the last chapter) are at their peak in the first chapter, or at least aren't as bad in other chapters as in the first one. But the problem is that the characters and story aren't compelling enough to make this manga good even once these issues are gone. The main character is annoying and inhumanly stupid and has absolutely no chemistry with the love interest, who just seems to develop feelings for the MC out of nowhere.
All in all, it was mildly enjoyable (except for the first chapter), but I didn't like the characters or the story, so it's mainly just that it's a decent way to pass time without being completely miserable. I'd recommend it if you have nothing better to do, but if you're actually looking for a decent romance manga, it's not worth your time.
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