Jul 23, 2010
There are plenty of one shot compilations on fluffy shoujo love and romance, many of which explore relationships and diverse circumstances very interestingly without resorting to stereotypes and almost all of them will leave you with a much better taste in your mouth than Love Motto Aishite.
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.
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