Shinjou Shouryuu is a healthy 17 year old high school boy. Many of his kouhai wonder why such a great guy doesn't have a girlfriend. Ask him and he'll tell you that between school, work, and saving his kouhais from bullies doesn't leave him much time to go on dates. So he instead goes online to "F.I.L. GATES". There in the chat room his alter-ego, Kakeru, is infatuated with the girl called Hal. Hal sends a message reminding him that Sunday will be the 6 month anniversary of when they first met (online) and that she wants to meet him in person! And let's just say it's not your typical first date.
Meet the strongest guy in school, who happens to be a nice fellow (violence doesn't get the better of him, in fact he's getting good grades and a somewhat bad reputation that saddens him), and who likes to craft beautifully written messages on his blog.
Enters a reckless girl who likes to fight, and can't stand her classmate with a fighting reputation, but falls for the online witty writter.
Now, you got two lovebirds that can't talk without resorting to violence or ... mobile messaging !
Overall, enjoyable if you're into sentimental (shoujo) stories, I'm waiting to read more chapters before I decide if it's more than an ordinary sentimental story.
[!] spoiler alert from here ! [!]
Later, the story involves the two breaking up over detective work for the main mobile & internet portal of the story (the portal where they all met online and write theirs blogs), and the plot takes a somewhat darker turn.
and that's where the scans are, unless I'm not up to date with it.read more
Mel Kano is like two pretty good manga rolled into one--neither of which ends particularly satisfactorily--plus a very good (though unrelated) one-shot.
The one-shot (chapter zero in the scans) is a prototype of the story, and is one of the better one-shots I've ever read. It's funny, creative, and has a great ending. I highly recommend it.
The first two volumes are a mediocre seinen romance, focusing on the rocky relationship between two classmates who are course and violent in real-life, but are both caring and romantic online.
The last three volumes focus on their part-time job, as investigators for an online social networking site. It reads like a pretty-good, episodic mystery manga. It's never especially dark, some of the incidents are pretty funny, and most are resolved satisfactorily.
The problem is that the transition between the two stories is not handled especially well. The first two volumes read like a fairly melodramatic seinen: the guy is kind of an idiot and the drama is a bit forced, but the characters are really interesting. Then, suddenly, the romantic parts are over (except for some off-hand remarks here and there, and one or two chapters that feel horribly out of place) in favor of a pretty good mystery manga. And, ultimately, the resolution to both is extremely rushed; you do get a happy ending, but it comes with very little setup and is pretty unsatisfying.
I will say that the artwork is consistently very good. The small details (particularly on some of the jewelry later on) are beautiful, and the character models are consistent and clear.
Mel Kano is a different and interesting manga. But ultimately, I'm not sure who wants to read it (outside of the one-shot, which again, is excellent). There are much better seinen romances, and much better detective stories. Still, it's certainly not bad, and I doubt that you will regret reading it either.read more