May 30, 2020
Interesting plot, failed in execution.
I love shoujo and josei, and I keep looking out for what characters and emotions get depicted. Love is complicated, and there are many many ways of exploring that.
The premise of this story is fantasies and bullying, which when mixed together has the potential to yield a psychological and philosophical drama. Unfortunately, this story pumped in bad comedy, and leads who could not grow. I'd have forgiven if this had been a one-shot, because there is a page limitation. But 3 volumes all going in a loop without adding flavour... Quite a disapppointment, especially when the mangaka has under her belt
a one-shot series like Koibumi Biyori. I wish the tone and mood of Shounen Shoujo Romance was kept at the level of Metal Moon. Metal Moon turned out to be way more a complex story with defining characteristics than this failure of a shoujo manga.
Bullying is traumatic. There are several cases of bullying that have left students changed forever. I was hoping the mangaka would be addressing that. Perhaps she found one way of dealing with it, that could be shared as a coping mechanism. Nope.
Okay, so mix in fantasy. Fantasy has the power to turn anything into anything. After all, it's the power of imagination, and it can glorify a bad incident to shield the mind, protect one's soul, one's integrity, one's worth. Fantasy can have the power to shield bullying, and possibly convolute it to a masochistic connection with the victimizer. Do we get to see that? Ehh, I sure hoped so. But nope. .
[Somewhat spoiler below]
This series remained a childish desire for a "prince" without outlining what a "prince" really is. Unless it's just good looks. Throw in a tsundere guy who subconsciously reverts to bullying the girl he has taken a fancy to. Oh but the girl is strong, she doesn't hold a grudge. Okay, we have a stong female lead? The power of fantasy throws in feelings of love. Patience is tested, by others, by oneself, to the brink of death. But the ego still will not yield. Throw in confusion with an ex flame, and a cousin who wants to be the man of your dreams.
[Somewhat spoiler end]
See that paragraph has so much going on. But the saddest part it, there's no exploration of the psyche. It feels like - oh you brought this idea in, now how's it going to develop. But that's it, there's no more at all. It leaves you hanging in a disapppointed place. The only character that gave me some faith is Sou, the cousin, who questions his place.
The series remained mediocre. Some reaaaaallly great elements brought in, but just failed to take it to a level that could have made this a very stong, memorable experience.
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