Nothing is beyond Naoto Yanagi, heir to the Yanagi business conglomerate. Idolized for his athletic and intellectual competence, looks and wealth, Naoto lived like a king during his elementary school days—then entered Mikoto Kujou, a plain, gloomy-looking transfer student.
Due to her low financial status, Naoto was initially apathetic towards Mikoto. But despite having just arrived at his school, she completely eclipsed him in everything by consistently scoring top marks in exams and placing first in athletic events. After a brief confrontation with her that left him shocked, Naoto vowed to outdo her no matter the cost.
Ten years later, they are now students attending the same college. Having failed to defeat Mikoto throughout middle and high school, Naoto decides they will have one last game: if he can make Mikoto fall in love with him and then break her heart, it will be his victory. However, he finds himself falling in love with her instead...
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Volume 1: Kimi to, Shiawase., Hidamari no Niwa
Volume 2: Wasureyuki
Volume 4: Ninkoi
I was reading Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun - my favorite shoujo at the time - when Last Game appeared as a similar manga. I went to give it a look and found it pretty interesting, so I kept going. I'm glad I did it, cause today I can say for sure that this is one of the most lovely stories I've ever seen. If you enjoyed Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun like I did or just likes romantic comedies with a salty drama, this is perfect for you. But I warn you: your patience will be tested.
At the beginning, the story may seen a bit of a
cliché: Yanagi, the boy who has everything: money, popularity, looks, brains and chicks, and Kujou, the nerdy, poor and quiet girl who doesn't talk with anyone besides her mom. Seemed pretty normal to me, but I kept reading because their rivality could be a funny thing to see since I love mismatched couples, and also because Last Game it's a shoujo narrated by the boy(!!), which it's really uncommon these days. There were just some points that I found unnecessary for the unrolling that made the story a irritating drama for a while, and later some things did not happen as I wished, but the story itself it's really good and it's worth the read.
The art is really cute. There are a plenty of details that make it look soft and nice. Some parts involving the main characters could have been drawed better, but Shinobu did a very good job, specially at the emotional scenes.
Last Game's squad is awesome. The characters are all very uniques and some of them have chapters that tell their backgrounds, which I find really cool. The two main characters are very different, but yet, made for each other. I love Kujou a lot. She's not like the usual shoujo protagonist, she's extremely smart, strong, kind and resolved. Yanagi is the full package; he's regardful and pretty much of a dork because of his feelings for Kujou, which I find really lovely. I also think Souma it's a very good supporting, I like his sarcastic side and felt really bad when sad things happened to him.
Because it's a slow romance, I have to admit: I got really sick of the waiting for things to happen. Kujou's attitude made me want to punch myself sometimes, but the comedy of the whole situation kept expelling the stress away. I've read a good part of Last Game at public places, like the bus, and sometimes I went through embarassment, cause it was really hard to control my laugh at certain chapters. I also cried at three of them - and thank God I read these at home, cause I cried hard. All the times I got angry because of the main characters were rewarded by the last chapters. The ending is so much beautiful, I don't think I will ever get over it.
This manga is amazing. I didn't gave it a 10/10 because it annoyed the hell out of me at some points, but as I said, the end rewards everything. It got a special place in my heart and I really hope for the anime adaptation.
I hate rom-coms which the male protagonist are always willing to scarifice his career, dreams or even his life to win the lead female's affection and what makes it worse when the female protagonist into dense character who is oblivious to everything around her and doesn't even remembers the poor guy's first name until much later into the story. (Yes, it actually happens)
Plot:-3.5/10 It is painfully slow, the romance itself never progress only much much later when the story is almost about to end. I hate it when that happens, it is like author didn't know how to fill in the gap in between,
so now that we have every cliché you can imagine from a stereotypical generic romance novel where the male lead 24/7 does his best and every possible way for the female lead to realize his genuine feelings for her, sort of like a game which I remind you male lead introduced it on his own. Now, I don't have any empirical data to back this up, but it seems to me romantic comedies and romantic stories like this in general cause women to have unrealistic expectations of men and what love should be like? which results male protagonist in romance stories like this stereotype white knight that I see in almost most of the shoujo manga these days. My apologies if I offend any women who loves this manga!
Characters:-2/10 You have your rich male lead prince charming ready and willing to sacrifice physically, mentally and emotionally , your generic dense poor female lead and a third wheel who suddenly falls for our female protagonist because we need two godly handsome shoujo characters competing with each other. (It is every female's fantasy, I think)
Artwork:-8/10 and that this is the only thing I have to give credit for. The artwork is quite good, sadly for me author never deals with the real issues that this manga suffers from.
Enjoyment-3/10 I know, you all must be thinking (Why am I reading a manga from a genre which is targeted towards young women then?). Well because I will say it flat out that romance in shounen is a big no no for me. They are boring, shallow, empty and tedious and take a very long time to develop into something or mostly just leave it in cliffhanger for viewer's or reader's imagination but very few of them are exception like Horimiya just like there are many exception for me in shoujo too like Lovely Complex, Kare Kano and Mars.
O K THIS IS MY FIRST REVIEW EVER I AM OVERFLOWING WITH EMOTIONS BECAUSE I JUST FINISHED THIS MANGA
Story - 10
!!!!!!!!!!!!!! need i say more without spoiling anything. see: Enjoyment
Art - 9
art is typical for a shoujo manga. just rly happy the mangaka didnt make yanagi look too much like the Typical Leading Male In A Shoujo Manga if u know what i mean. yanagi looks plain and blond and most certainly does not have long tousled hair and a stoic face which is amazing because u have NO IDEA how often that appearance appears in shoujo manga IT MAKES ME SICK. the art isnt
so good as would merit a 10, but it was ok and fairly consistent too considering this manga took like 4 years to complete
Character - 10
AMAZING kujou is amazing her determination to study and work hard for her dreams since she was a little girl is amazing. she deserves everything good in life because she worked hard for it. also shes not tsundere which is amazing because HONESTLY there are too many tsundere girls in shoujo mangas already. tho if i had to pick a fav character in this manga itd probs be yanagi even though hes tsundere. it is amazing how expressive he is you would think he is the Overly-Dramatic Leading Lady In A Shoujo Manga Who Overthinks Everything even though he is technically not (spoiler alert he actually is). also he is NOT COOL AT ALL nope he is completely dorky and awkward and really really spoiled and sheltered. which is why i like him bec hes not like those other leading males in shoujo mangas who are Too Perfect For Life and Women (im looking at u usui takumi). i love yanagi he is dramatic, annoying, funny, and MOST IMPORTANTLY VERY EXPRESSIVE and ANIMATED, which u dont really see in many leading males in popular shoujo manga who are all like 'wat do u want stop bothering me and my cold, cool facade u wont see through until after a hundred chapters when u have broken down by stoic walls'. i love him even though i wouldnt want him as a boyfriend because FUQ HE IS SO NEEDY. all the other characters are great. i love the astronomy club and my country boy KEI-CHAN. i love how they all developed as characters throughout the whole ordeal between yanagi and kujou. the characters are what makes this manga so great and enjoyable and FUNNY
Enjoyment - 10
I Love Everything the humor the romance the fact that THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CRINGE-WORTHY DRAMATIC SCENES amazing. im very nitpicky about shoujo manga because i hate mangas which are too much of an emotional roller coaster like nope no thanks im experiencing enough drama in my life to devote a portion of it to READING drama nope. this manga just had the right balance of comedy and romance that would satisfy such a shallow person like me lol if i could give it a 10000/10 i honestly would
"Why '6'? Why did you only gave it a score of 6? " is what you are probably thinking right now. (Especially, if you are a fan of this series)
I followed Last Game from the VERY BEGINNING of its serialization. From then on, I got updated on its chapters like a student waiting for a vacation, suspension of classes and early dismissals of profs. ( In literal sense, it means I really liked Last Game )
Let's talk about the manga.
Last Game is about a guy named Yanagi who was very proud of himself because his family is rich af. Then, a girl named Kujou
enters the story and told him that he shouldn't brag about something he didn't achieve on his own. Yanagi's ego got hurt and decided to get even with Kujou by making her fall in love with him and dump her the second she confesses.
The characters aren't deep but they aren't that bad either. The thing I like about this shoujo manga is that the guy, Yanagi, is the one getting flustered most of the time because of Kujou and the POV of the story is mostly from his side.(Considering this is a shoujo manga, it should be the girl doing the job right? But nah, it's the guy this time. That's why it's kinda like a breath of fresh air for me)
It may be from the guy's POV but the story does not in any way, lack sweetness and cuteness when it comes to execution. The pacing is slow, really slow, but the sweet moments, funny reactions of Yanagi and Kujou's denseness make up for the slow pacing.
We have already established that the pacing is slow, and the slowness will continue...until one of the most cliche thing happened. ( I won't mention the chapter, but you'll know it when you get to that point. It's kinda like "I've been expecting this to happen, but not THIS early!") That's the point where everything became faster than a jet plane flying. ( Seriously.)