Tsubaki is a girl who loves making her younger sister's hair pretty every morning, but she doesn't think that kind of style suits herself! On the day of her High School Opening Ceremony, after she failed to be the top student (who usually makes the ceremony speech), she finds herself sitting next to the actual top student of the 1st years, the worst rude guy ever, Kyouta. Because of his saying bad things to her she purposely cuts his hair. Kyota requests that Tsubaki pay him back "with her body" but Tsubaki pays him back by fixing his hair and making it even shorter! Afterwards, Kyota unexpectedly kisses Tsubaki and swears he'll make her his woman.
From reading the summary, many of you will probably think that this is another cliche shoujo where the good girl falls for the bad boy, and, in some ways, it is. However, I also felt that Kyou, Koi wi Hajimemasu stands out from other shoujo manga in that it executes some of these cliches smoothly, especially if they are in the "right places."
The story starts of with Tsubaki, an "unfashionable country bumpkin girl from the Showa era" that loves to do hair. She fails to make it to the school of her dreams so she has to settle with a school that is way
below her standards. There, she meets Kyouta, the long-haired main male who she loathes from the very first day of school - I won't go into more detail to avoid spoiling it.
It starts off very cliche, yes, and some events that happen may be unbelievable but I do not think that those specific scenes overshadow the entire story of two opposite teenagers that happen to find love with each other.
I almost dropped this manga because it annoyed me a lot at the beginning and a few parts in the middle, but I'm glad I read it all the way through.
Normally I don't like big-eyed, cutesy, shoujo heroines, but I feel like this mangaka made her proportions just right. Some scenes were drawn sparkly and beautifully, and I loved that the male character wasn't straight faced ALL the time like in other shoujo manga.
I want to say that both leads pissed me off to no end. For a shoujo heroine, Tsubaki, in my opinion, was actually not as stupid as I thought she would be. Sure, she got herself into compromising situations, but I feel that most of those were out of her hand.
After re-reading the manga a second time, I am glad that I noticed that Tsubaki didn't really change herself for a guy, much like other heroines tend to do. Although certain attitudes and viewpoints change because of falling it love, the decisions that she makes in the manga are things that she wants to do, not because she was forced into it.
Kyouta, on the other hand, also made me mad because I thought that he had the stupidest reason for ....well, you'll see when you get there.
(Possible spoiler?) So glad that he's a very committed boyfriend that didn't "waver" or anything of the sort, even with his playboy past.
Luckily, both of these characters (in my opinion) undergo some really good character development as the story progresses, both in terms of how they treat each other and the people around them. They learn to be more honest and open with their feelings, and I like that both of them had career goals for the future that may or may not have included the other person.
Don't get me wrong, they still create really avoidable misunderstandings, but probably as frequently as you would see in the average couple.
If I were to rate these characters for the latter half of the story, I probably would have given an 8 or a 9, but I have to take into consideration their actions in the beginning of the manga too.
Despite its cliches, flaws, and stupid moments, I enjoyed this manga a lot. Would I read it again? Yeah, but I'd probably skip over the chapters that I didn't like or the scenes that I felt were unnecessary - there are enough cute scenes in this manga to keep me busy haha.
Even if my entire review sounds like I'm praising this manga, I don't want to mislead anyone by making it sound better than it really is. It isn't for everyone, and while I am usually a picky reader (almost dropped this one), I feel that everyone should give this a try because the ending is definitely worth it.
I can understand where everyone is coming from when they write a review about this manga. I wouldn't call it terrible, it's just tasteless. The art was good and the story was decent, but what got me was the characters.
I wasn't too impressed to be honest. The characters kind of annoyed me. Every single character in this manga, especially the heroine.
I think that is what everyone can agree on. The story would've been been better if the characters were better. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this story is the worst manga ever made in history (To some people it might be).
I'm just saying that it could've been better.
Either way, I still found it enjoyable to read to kill time. There are better mangas than this, but then again, this manga is a lot better than others too. So instead of saying the "worst" or the "best", let's leave it at "decently good".
This series is a lot like Wolf Girl and Black Prince in that you need to get past the beginning to really understand the quality of this manga, but it's different in that the main guy of this is a thousand times more upstanding than the main guy of Wolf Girl. And I know that's not that high a standard, but he's honestly one of the best shoujo love interests I've encountered.
This is surprising if you read the start. Their beginning is VERY shoujo/josei smut typical, which, yeah, does mean sexual harassment, and I won't make any excuses for it, but he actually ends up
very understanding in this regard later on - when they actually get together, and she tells him she wants to wait until her honeymoon to have sex, he tells her he understands and does not pressure into anything. And this is being a decent person - but something you need to understand is that decent people are very, very rare in shoujo manga. Also, be clear that he's not a rapist. He skirts the line - a lot of sexual harassment, groping at the start - but he's not a rapist.
And like, that absolutely sounds terrible. At the beginning it is. I actually started reading this like four months before now and I dropped it because I thought it was ridiculous, but I picked it up again because I thought it had to be popular for a reason. And it is. It's true at the beginning he's an asshole, and it's true she starts liking him despite it. What's also true is she calls him out for everything and doesn't act like she deserved his mistreatment. And that's when I started being okay with it.
Because he's a decent boyfriend. A REALLY decent boyfriend. Borderline unreal, dream boyfriend, but not in the boring way. See, this manga isn't orignal - it's standard shoujo all the way through - but every time it handles a cliche it does it in such an interesting and refreshing way that you don't mind it. When he sees her get jealous of someone, he talks to her about it and he stops talking to the person making her jealous. When she's acting weird because of her insecurities, he reassures her. He's a good fucking boyfriend. Like he does make mistakes - but when he makes them, he does what he can to rectify them. And that's what sets him apart.
This manga is pure and romantic and basically crack if you're a sucker for shoujo. You really won't get this from the beginning, but the main couple is literally so healthy, loving, and understanding that I got emotional like every chapter. Whenever it hit an arc where I was like "I don't think I like where this is going, this is my least favorite shoujo arc" it diverges from the norm and solves. The confession, the handling of Kyouta's family situation - all things I thought would make me cringe that completely impressed me. Overall, too, watching their relationship mature and them understand each other just that bit more with each chapter - it was worth it. The relationship development here is phenomenal.
Like, this series is 100 chapters long. I am a shoujo veteran, and I've read 30-chapter long series and thought "this series could've ended in five chapters," and that does not at all go for this one. Every arc is engaging and interesting - even if you're scared of what might happen next. Like, I don't think you know how rare it is for me to be on chapter 90 and UNHAPPY that it wasn't longer. That's how good this series is. Because it's also more than just healthy, it's an interesting dynamic and good plots and characters. Like, I've read boring manga with healthy relationships, and this isn't one of them.
tl;dr I implore you to read this. If you can swallow the shoujo cliches at the beginning (~15 chapters, and they're not outright terrible) and wait for the characters and relationships to come into themselves, you'll be rewarded with one of the sweetest, most organic, and healthiest relationships I've seen in shoujo manga in a long, long time.
I read this a couple of months ago(it should be noted that i read all chapters in a day, It's addicting), and since then I have found myself rereading it more than once, even if it was just some of the chapters.
While I understand what people are saying when they give this a 2/10, because yes, in some ways it deserves that, the fact that I've even reread this I think says that its pretty damn enjoyable.
The story is simple: A studyworm meets a popular badboy and they fall in love, with a lot melodrama happening all over the place. I personally love melodrama,
but it is of course not for everyone.
The relationship between Tsubaki and Kyota is developed very well and honestly the ACTUAL romance in this manga is some of the best I've seen. It's great, cute, sad at some parts and just overall amazing. You can see that they genuinly love each other and that its true love for them. And it's as realistic as a shojo can get.
There were some things that really made frustated though:
1. There was pretty much no development on the sidecharacters. There was also almost no appearances for them. Sure, Sakura got a bit more mature but thats only natural since this takes place over 3 years. Also Tsubakis best friend(forgot her name), she was always just kinda 'there'. Especially in comparison to characters like the-hairdresser-dude(forgot his name too), and random-love-rival-that-loves-astronomi(and hers) towards the end. It could have been a lot better if they had an bigger impact.
2. (Spoilers ahead:) Something that i always found weird and pretty unrealistic is that Tsubaki gets almost-raped 2 times. Even weirder is that both times, she just brushes it off like its nothing and even becomes friends with one of the guys that molested her. A while ago i found out that its the same mangaka that made honey x honey drops where the main character gets raped multiple times. I guess she has a thing for that.
The characters are pretty good. Some of them are horrible though and others are just kinda funny sometimes, because they do something that would have been OOC but NOPE! I dont know, the characters alright I guess. It works with the story so I don't really have anything to complain about(unless you saw point 2 about Tsubaki acting like nothing happened)
A lot of people are complimenting the art, but honestly, I really hated the way it was drawn. I loved the quality of it however and i could see there went a lot of work into it, but the style in itself i didn't like very much.
Overall, I loved it. Even with all its faults, I enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it, though it's not for everyone. I think the amount of negative reviews says that much. If you wanna read something funny and romantic and are okay with something that is definantly not a 10/10 but would rather focus on enjoyment and put analysis to the side for later, then i definantly recomend Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu for you.