Koi oto is a cute and stereotypical manga, yet I found myself enjoying it quite a lot.
The story is average, you have your normal highschool girl meeting a boy nearby the sea during the summer. They end up entering the same school, and romance follows. What I especially liked was the fact that the author managed to create a realistic relationship between the MCs. They didn't limit themselves toa simple kiss, just like in most shoujo mangas.
The art is very fresh and cute. The author has her own art style, which is quite recognizable. I am quite fond of Usami Mari's other works, and this wasn't an exception.
The characters are quite typical to its genre:
- The main girl, naive and adorable. She's very kind, and unlike most heroines, she is not hot-headed and won't start to get angry at her love interest for no reason.
- Koki Habara, the main guy, a charming prince with perfect grades and a darker side. His character was pretty bland, but his past story made up for it.
- The cousin of Koki, who thankfully didn't end up being a useless love interest for the heroine. I thought it was a change compared to most mangas.
-The best friend, which I felt was kind of an unnecessary character, just here to prove that the heroine wasn't a loner.
Even though the story was full of clichés, I really liked how the mangaka portrayed the relationship between the main characters. It was indeed very romantic, without feeling too fluffy. The comedy is very cute, and the usage of chibis is quite frequent, yet not annoying. What annoyed me a little, was that the whole turning point/revelation of the story was made too late. I considered dropping it, but I'm glad I didn't.
In the end, Koi oto was a nice read. I recommend it to anyone interested in shoujo mangas.