Why is the story a 5 while it's overall a 3? Because finally we have a shoujo who is street smart about being an escort for profit, lives independantly but is secure, and doesn't just melt into an unexpected kiss/grope just because the hero is the one who delivered it.
We meet Ami who spends her time escorting young boys to movies, confessing to them, providing company, anything which doesn't sound illegal, but can make a quick buck. She's propositioned by a rich boy to help stave off a marriage interview and quickly he becomes enamoured with her fiesty personality.
BUT the artwork makes me weep, it
moved me so little. The characters despite being developed lacked true depth and seemed hackneyed somehow. You don't know how suddenly from the first meeting you shift to confessing eternal love to college acceptances... It was a funny three chapter read which was funny only in parts where the heroine imitates the rich parents of Ruka. Other than that, reactions dont make you laugh, or the rare appearance of chibi form. Dialogues are nothing novel, nor the staid parents who dont want anything to do with an unprestigious girl. You're better off skipping this one.
As for Story 2, it was an outright outrage! You know a Prince's fan club will bully the girl who the Prince seems to hang around, but that the prince was actually looking for Miss Nobody's chocolates from amongst the hundred others he received the previous Valentine and then not ask her out even one year later... where is the credibility in any of this?! This story is one serious pain and you'll be wise to not read it, as the artwork was nothing to write home about and hardly any moe scenes occur.
Story 3 is interesting in that it's not shoujo exactly but a sort of Public Service Manga. We're introduced to a perfectly normal girl who somehow ends up getting date raped and then suffers at the hands of the police who question her motives and revealing clothes when she reports this offence. It delves into the accusations she makes to herself and society and how she deals. I laud the effort as well as the implementation.
The story is what saved this manga for me. Well, the third story did.
The first story provides a forceful love, a mere fantasy. Still, in the end...aren't shoujo mangas supposed to give you fantasies? It was decent...unreal, but decent.
The second story was a little worse. A high school idol falling in love with a plain girl? Extreme bullying? A very typical scenario. No brownie points, especially with the mushy ending.
The third story was different. It was original and non-typical of a shoujo manga. Many mangas try to show that rape=love. It isn't true and that's what this manga showed. It showed
severities of rape. A story like this usually ends up with depression and more drama. This one went straight to the point. It showed comfort right away. After all, a rape victim shouldn't suffer. They shouldn't blame themselves. I was happy with the ending because the mangaka didn't try to prolong the story or emphasize on the bad. She tried to tell us that we have to make a stand for ourselves if we ever get caught in the situation. We shouldn't accept it as it is (as many mangas I have read before tried to do), but instead use our rights as power against what has hurt us. It was truly an original story.
It was fair. Not all that cute or pretty, just fair.
Very little character development: The first story had decent development (probably because it was the longest), the other two showed that the mangaka clearly didn't bother. Minami Kanan tried to focus on a big story rather than small character defining ones. It's really not that effective. We can't get in touch with the character...instead, we're merely watching them.
The third story was good. That's the only reason why my enjoyment is an 8. Even if you don't read the entire manga, read the third story...Question your beliefs about rape. Face reality.
My respect for Kanan Minami went up so much after I read this story. The first 2 stories in the collection are fairly forgettable, but this series is worth reading just for the final story.When I saw the title of the story, I was put off, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. For once, we have a shojo heroine who is strong enough to stick up for herself and not be a doormat because of a guy and blame herself for being raped by him. The story manages to show her overcoming her doubts and becoming strong enough to
go back to the police and file the rape charges. I like the way a taboo subject is dealt with honestly (the police at first suggest it was her fault for wearing revealing clothes and other reasons) and realistically, and that the rape=love trope is completely subverted. I wish more shojo manga heroines were like this. Rape is not love, and the story didn't glamourise the subject in the slightest, unlike many other shojo manga. It's short, but that doesn't detract from it too much, as the main character still develops a lot over the course of the story. The art is fairly generic Sho-Comi art, and since it's an early work by the author, it's not brilliantly polished. It's by no means terrible, though.
I'll stop rambling now, but if you want a quick read shojo manga without a wimpy, doormat heroine, but instead a realistic and believable one you could do far worse than reading the last story in this collection.