Wakamiya Hikaru is a 15-year-old teenager who wants a boyfriend that'll protect her. She likes to read shoujo manga all the time. One day, she gets kissed by a handsome, perverted boy who she called the "Perverted Prince." Later on, she finds a guy who looks exactly like him, but the eyes are different. What's going on?
Moe Kare!! is a Shoujo, Romance, Comedy, Drama revolving around an interesting love triangle full of love, jealousy and heartache. The story is certainly typical for a shoujo manga however this doesn’t stop it from being a very enjoyable manga to read.
Of to an unconventional start; the story begins about an otaku girl (Hikaru Wakamiya) who’s always dreamt of getting a prince charming for a boyfriend but one day her first kiss is stolen some stranger. She later meets a guy (Takara Honda) that looks exactly like the one who stole her kiss but he doesn’t seem to be the same person. During the fast-paced
beginning it is easy to wonder, what exactly going on here? Not to mention the number possibilities about both the guy’s identities, but thankfully it is all cleared up by the end of the 1st Volume and the messed up high school love triangle begins. From this point on the story becomes truly interesting, with plenty of light-hearted comedy and heavy drama for anyone to be satisfied with.
To make this a love triangle, three characters must be involved and here we have Hikaru, Takara and Arata. Hikaru starts of as nothing much but as she goes through, love and heartbreak she develops so much into a great heroine. Then you have your likable bi-shounen protagonist Takara and Arata; and with Takara being such a stiff unsociable guy, it is fun seeing his exact opposite, Arata and his playful ways. There are quite a few named supporting characters but they rarely play any major role in the story, except one that appears later on.
The artwork is pretty standard for a shoujo manga, with nothing amazing about it to set itself apart from the rest. The characters tend to frquently switch to the chibi look, to add some cutesy hilarity to the situation but sometimes it just fails. Although during normal situations, the characters and the scenery looks plain gorgeous.
Overall Moe Kare!! turned out be a shoujo manga that even a guy like me could enjoy from beginning to end. Sure there were some things I really didn’t like, such as Arata’s annoying attitude in the beginning and I was bothered by the few Yaoi moments. Also the way the characters lips looked in the chibi moments weren’t cute. Yet these are only minor issues that don’t necessary have a huge impact on the overall feel of the manga. With it also being at a manageable length, this is certainly a manga that any shoujo reader should check out.
The story of Hikaru and how she fell in love and experiences a happiness that was too surreal for words.
The story of Hikaru and how love didn't turn out the way she thought it was going to be.
Moe Kare takes flight as soon as it starts, with a nice swift introduction of the characters and then its plot commences. No dwelling on details you won’t need or recycle in your mind. It gives the impression that every plots twists and turns were designed, planned for, and revised--it’s just that well executed. Not meaning it’s perfection personified, but
you’ve got to admire the beauty of the simplicity behind it.
That’s right, Moe Kare, was in all honesty, simple. Nothing far fetched or otherworldly (not including the way they fight and carry each other, that’s just ridiculous). It’s a story about a girl, not the smartest and definitely not the dumbest (hopefully), and the boy she likes.
This was probably my second time reading it, but I couldn’t remember something and it bothered me. Not the end, that I remember, but what happened that led up to the end was what eluded me. So, with the intention of dropping it if it got too boring, I started my Moe Kare quest once more.
On her way home Hikaru meets her prince by way of him saving her. It’s fate! Or so she thinks. This prince doesn’t want her handkerchief as a thank you, he wants her body. One saliva exchange and a few name callings later, she goes back home feeling violated and depressed. Her prince is a lecherous guy.
Later that week she meets him again on a group date, the infamous perverted prince, and she gives him a piece of her mind (which leaves her with a very small amount ..lol jk). But wait, is this really him?
The answer is no. It just looks like him.
Hikaru, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…it’s the ducks brother of course!
The manga only really revolves around these three people. Hikari, Takara, and Arata:
Hikaru is sweet and average. She is the ass of the jokes in the manga, since most of the laughing is done at her expense (most, not all). Her character starts off really young but she actually grows in her role. Adapting to life’s curve balls or just putting on a brave face to ease someone else’s pain.
Takara is a sweet popular guy. He’s great at everything, is smart, athletic, and caring..boring. His one quality that makes him interesting is that underneath the face of this good looking boy is actually a dumb-ass. He couldn’t be more oblivious to his surroundings and to how much Hikaru likes him.
Arata, he is called the, “wild erotic prince." He was by far the best character out of the three. His spunkiness (real word?) made this interesting and humorous. Not saying that Hikaru’s many faces weren’t funny, it was just cute to witness a “bad boy” going soft. He was my favorite, though Takara also grew on me towards the end. Arata was the diverse in this manga, the variable in an equation that is known for its stability.
There are other characters, the side characters. The characters who were always hovering in the background as part of the landscape. They didn’t have a voice. Even the “Karata Fan Club” (you know there was one) didn’t have personalities. They were just there to fill empty page space. There was no girls jealous over Hikaru for stealing all the other girls spotlight and “number one” guy. Arata even went on calling two of Hikaru’s closest friend A and B. Probably to make joke on the fact that they were not important enough to be mentioned again. Actually this was just more funny than annoying. Also a little sad.
The art was very good, borderline beautiful at times. It has its funny and serious moments. It also has the moments were you can’t tell Karata and Arata apart. Which didn’t happen often but it still unnerved me, since they aren’t twins or anything. There is a lot of details that went with making their facial expressions uniquely their own and at the same time the same. Overall, the art is solid and always goes with the mood of the manga. It does have a lot of sexual content at first. It’s actually more talk than anything, but you do get to see partial nudity, so if breasts scare you, stay away.
Moe Kare could have easily ended in the middle of volume five. It was just right, the atmosphere, the circumstances (weren’t perfect but they were looking optimistic). It could have ended, I actually thought it would. Fortunately it decided to go on with its plan of making a memorable ending. Five volumes in, the story starts to get great, towering over the previous chapters cuteness.
I was surprised at the end to see that in such a light and fluffy manga, there was also depth and pain. Though it was cute and shows the bliss of first love, it also gives you a glimpse of the heart ache and of course, moving on.
Moe Kare is your average shoujo romance love triangle... or maybe not. In your average shoujo romance, the central character has a clearly defined target and the third person is generally just a troublemaker serving as a plot device and you can see the ending a mile away. In your average shoujo romance, the resolution of this love triangle moves you to tears but for the wrong reason (some tears sneak out during your long yawns). In your average shoujo romance, you pick a side and you root for that character, be it the underdog or the top banana. (Clearly, I have done my research
on what seemingly goes on in your average shoujo romance)
Well in that case, Moe Kare is not your average shoujo romance. Our heroine Hikaru is looking for love and finds it, but not in the way she imagined. Her ideal prince seems more horndog than honorable and why does he run hot and cold, pretending to not know her one minute but feeling her up the next? Does he have Bipolar disorder? Well, being the clever reader that you are (and having taken a gander at the "love triangle" tag) you've probably figured out that there's a twin involved! Good job Watson!
So why is Moe Kare not your standard shoujo fare? It stands out because here, the characters aren't selfish or possessed with one track minds. The "third wheel" character, while initially contentious, genuinely cares for Hikaru and when he realises it's in her best interest, begrudgingly stands aside and let's her have her happy ending, only there wasn't an ending, and he's called back into the playing field. The changes that Hikaru undergoes through the story are so raw and human that you forget you're reading a story, you feel as though a friend is retelling her experiences. The resolution of the love triangle also feels very real and believable, not something which makes you roll your eyes and flip to the next page because you saw that coming. And lastly, there is character development the likes of which you have never seen before in short romance reads. Even the perfect prince character who could do no wrong grows as a person and changes for the better by the end of the read, as do all the other primary characters. As a reader you feel you've matured along with them through the course of their trials and while barely a couple of hours will have passed since you started reading the story, metaphorically you will feel a few years wiser instead.
I'm not saying this story is flawless, it could have been better developed, with richer characters and edgier dialogues. There were a few pacing issues such as in the first four chapters where we have intimate scenes along with ridiculously orchestrated situations and audacious dialogue to make it seem grown up or maybe less childish, but this attempt comes off feeling botched or trying-too-hard. You can't include too much chibi animation in a grown up shoujo story or readers won't take it too seriously. Also, even though supposedly everything is set in reality, you get this feeling that yes, things are happening in a fantastical universe here because really, logic is completely set aside. Oh yes, and the mangaka believed that showing the heroine half naked in the first volume along with a couple of outrageous kisses could make up for the lack of a concrete situations warranting smut. It couldn't but these flaws are more than made up for in the remainder of the story.
The saving graces include the mangakas skill in drawing the heroine in various motions of flight and swooning sequences as well as action poses for the bishounen. At one or more points, the story included novel situations like Hikaru dousing the evil Arata with a bucket of water, inspired scene! Oddly, within one scene, Hikaru alternates between helplessly ambushed and powerful retaliation. I also can't help but marvel at how everyone from the male Karate club, from members to the club prez get turned on by Honda.
After two thirds of the chapters, you start to see the less travesty-ridden side of this manga, and yes maybe each chapter includes too little progress, which is what I thought, but they take the story forward all the same. In a good way. Maybe the heroine needed a better reason to be parted from The Gentle Prince though. Something like Pearl Harbour would have been justified. This guy (Honda, The Gentle Prince), you just felt like smacking his mislead self righteous head! Anyway, it wasn't a complete waste of my time, even though volumes 1-4 can use a ton of improvement. I felt happy for Perverted Prince, he matured, learnt that good things are worth waiting for, and really emerged as an underdog hero. Good for him, I have zero complaints with this ending unlike sniff Zettai Kareshi.
Oh and you gotta love the accessories on Arata, they somehow really made his character so much more bad-ass but moeeeeee at the same time! I especially dug the ever changing rings on his hands.
Interestingly, my opinion and rating on this series has been highly mercurial. The first time I started reading it, I put it down in disgust at the constant chibi art. Then I forced myself to look beyond it in the second reading and finished the whole read looking for some quality smut and was mildly assuaged. At that time I considered this a passable read. The third time I read this almost five years later, I freakin' loved this story! It suddenly had everything I ever wanted in a school-setting romance! The kyaaa factor was constantly skyrocketing, there was humor, there were outrageously nosebleed-inducing situations and those which made you shake with mirth (imagine getting inspired to do 100 situps because you catch a glimpse of your male trainer's nipple through his 'gi' with every situp!), a....nd there were torrid kisses which made you take a deep breath and then hold it, you know the feeling!
In short, it delivered!
I highly recommend this title to folks sick of trite romances with shallow plots where you can predict the ending after the introduction of two characters itself. You will enjoy the delicious execution, the believable pace and feel deeply for the characters and their agony.
i don't have too much to say about this manga, but i may be the only one who absolutely hates it. Most people will think that the story was really cute, but if you actually look at this manga from the guy pov, you will see how cruel the story is. the ending felt extremely empty, unless ur good at ignoring things like this, this story will make u suffer especially if ur a guy reading this. it will make u spit blood from all the irony and hypocrisy. the main character is pathetic and inconsiderate of others feelings, the plot is pitiful and the
only thing that keeps u reading is the hope that things would get better, the hope that the main character will stop being retarded and may receive the bloodiest divine punishment possible for all her cruelty to the male lead, all in all the story is just cruel, even the cover picture for this manga depicts the cruelty, (notice how one guy is in front of the other, clearly depicting the unfairness and the whole crapload of bull in the story) the story spends more time on a character that is not the male lead. its just stupidly planned out leaving u feel angry and empty, also this story does an awesome job depicting how irresponsible girls can be, and how easily a clingy girl can just take things for granted. Truly ridiculous.