The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.
Yowamushi Meikyuu is a quick shoujo/school life read, possibly about romance but somehow a little Slice of Life-y too. Brought to us by the Queen Of Shoujo Smut Minami Kanan, it affords us a look into the life of Izumi, our heroine who like everyone has a thing for the resident school Prince, Kamo-kun but tries the indirect angle of approaching his middle school friend Torahiko-kun for background info on Kamo so that she can casually forge a deeper friendship with Kamo than her competition. And maybe along the way her object of affection changes to the reticent and tsundere-ish Torahiko. She goes about continuing the farce thinking she'll get a reaction out of Torahiko one way or another and make some magic happen between them, but why is Torahiko so damn enigmatic?! And what is with this new girl in school suddenly endearing herself to him despite her Gloomy Gussy ways?
The art is realistic (well shoujo realistic!) and appealing. Cute actions and gestures lend an overall happy tone to the story.
Characters on the other hand are not what I encounter often at all. The heroine is far from a typical besotted leading lady ready to blush and swoon at a moment's notice. Instead she's sneaky and confident in her ways while being a genuinely cool person to everyone around her. The hero is interesting in that his actions and motivations are never made crystal clear which is what carries the story forward. Also he's not given to sweeping anyone into his arms simply coz they grinned in his direction, which makes for a bit more realistic, if less quixotic feel to the plot. Check on the character growth aspect as well. Possibly, you'll walk away with a valuable life lesson yourself.
The real reason you should read this story is not the art or the romance though. You should invest ten minutes in this oneshot because it's a very different and alarmingly honest look at love and relationships and every disappointed shoujo reader who desperately wants a heroine they can look upto and admire will walk away satisfied after finishing this. read more