Yukino Tachibana is a calligraphy prodigy. At the tender age of 16, she is already one of Japan's most exciting young artists, performing live calligraphy demonstrations to sell-out crowds on worldwide tours. With her refined, beautiful, and mysterious air, she is so popular at her new high school that she has earned the appellation of "The School Madonna."
She is also as dumb as a post.
As artful her brushstrokes, as demure her outward demeanor, the real Yukino Tachibana is far-removed from the image her classmates see on television and in the school hallways. In reality, apart from her calligraphy genius, Yukino is completely useless, rude, and possessing of a distinctly inflated sense of self-worth. There is only one classmate who fails to be fooled by her facade: run-of-the-mill protagonist du jour Tarou Nakamura. Sitting next to her in class, Nakamura doesn't really get why the rest of the school finds her so enthralling—he's much more interested in his crush, Amano-san. But this indifference might prove to be his downfall, as circumstances cause Yukino to set her eyes on him...
This boy, this poor, poor boy, is burdened with a Herculean task—to keep Yukino's true nature a secret from the rest of the school, while trying to win the heart of his sweetheart. Can Nakamura really keep this brainless beauty's utter idiocy a secret?! And can he win Amano's heart through the power of calligraphy at the same time?!
Volume 1: Tachibana Setsuka wa Haji wo Kaku (pilot)
First of all, I would've gladly given this one a 6, or maybe even a 7 out of 10. But I stuck to 5 because of one glaring issue - the story isn't complete, and there is no indication of it being continued either. The sequel to the manga was cancelled, along with another from the same author simultaneously not too long ago. But don't be disheartened just yet - there's more to it.
The story focuses on only two characters with steady but good development. There are a couple of side characters too, who are mostly there for comedic purposes. What I like the most
is the chemistry between the two main characters - it's not totally cliche, atleast in my experience. At the very least some of the jokes are actually funny, which is always a plus point in a world where lame jokes are taking over the comedy manga/anime genre. The author did try to get away with his laziness by not drawing the backgrounds/bg characters in full details (basically rough sketching it out). However, that is only one point of view, since this can also be seen as an artistic choice to give the main characters more emphasis/make them pop more. I'd like to think it was the latter, since I really don't think it was necessary to add that much detail to the background when you're trying to develop the main characters so dedicatedly. However, this style does has it's limits, and Yuki to Sumi seems to have hit that limit.
If you're looking for a short, and I mean a 1-2 hour read kind of short, look no further. Be warned though, the incompleteness of the story may bother you afterwards. As for me, I have mixed feelings for this one; I'm both happy and irritated that I read this :p
tl;dr: An interesting concept that isn’t implemented that well but is funny for how short it is.
I really liked the concept of a guy helping a girl fake being a school idol. I think this implementation didn’t really work though. The main character doesn’t have much personality but is overall fine. The problem is that I don’t think that the heroine really worked well at all. Simply put, she’s only annoying. Being annoying and rude and such is perfectly fine if there was more to her but it never really felt like her good aspects showed, and hence she was never really a likable character.
Really, the only thing that it seemed the manga even tried using to paint her in a good light was calligraphy, but that ultimately wasn't enough. This also results in her not really having any sort of chemistry with the main character either. The side characters and the whole structure didn’t really feel like it was working either with no clear direction at all even 10 chapters in. Hence, I can’t say I’m all that surprised or disappointed it got cancelled and given a pretty pointless ending. Still, for what it was I thought it was amusing, and Yukino did have her moments even if overall I wasn't all that fond of her. The art was also pretty solid.