The unemployed Shibata Michiko is betting everything she has on her romance with a younger man—literally. In order to keep him happy, she deprives herself of the things she wants and buys him expensive clothing and accessories. Since she's flat out broke, she needs to find a job before she starves to death and loses her young love interest. However, Michiko discovers that the boy was never interested in her romantically. Depressed at being dumped and after a series of unsuccessful interviews, she bumps into Kurosawa—an intimidating former boss she used to dislike.
Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai was adapted into a Japanese live-action drama TV series directed by Hayato Kawai, Ryosuke Fukuda and Sho Tsukikawa that aired on TBS from January 12 to March 15, 2016.
I would have waited to read more before reviewing this manga, but since there lacks any, I thought I'd give my thoughts on it so far, as I read 19 chapters. Let's put it straight already, I enjoyed it, therefore I'm surely biaised.
This manga has all the ingredients you'd expect out of a romance josei, yet it was a refreshing read to me. The characters are quite unusual, at least to me, while being steadily believable, finding myself relating to quite a few traits here and there.
The main characters are of this manga's strengths. I'd argue the secondary characters rely a lot on clichés, being somewhat one-dimensional (big-hearted deliquents, superficial/hard-working girls/guys), it didn't seem that problematic, since in contrast the main characters are quite interesting.
The female lead, Shibata, is a failure in most things you'd expect in life, be it in personal matters or professionally, and seemingly being unable to take the right decision on pretty much anything. It's not for lack of trying, though, as she has quite a strong personality, even somewhat of a bad temper, and is willing to fight back with life, even though hers sucks (worse of all, it sucks because of her own failures). While quite a few times I'd stop reading a manga enraged at how stupid a character seemed to be, I couldn't hold grief against Shibata's mistakes, because they'd genuinly feel believable to me, and I liked the way she would carry on, even when realizing the errors.
I found that same balance in the other main characters. The male lead, Kurosawa, is quite often depicted by Shibata as a demon of a boss (as he was her former boss), and can be quite harsh with her in every day life. Though, even from their first encounters in the first chapters, you can tell he's touchingly considerate towards her, and even protective throughout the manga.
Same things could be said, while Shibata gets to know more about Kurosawa, she meets other women in his life. At first, I'd think that the manga would build up some kind of a romantic rivalry. Instead, and maybe too easily, their nicer side would be told.
Reading these laudatory thoughts about the characters, I'm sure you'd think "fine, but there's nothing that special". Overall, the manga isn't a masterpiece, a must read of any sorts. The art is quite standard, there isn't some incredibly deep backstory, it doesn't tell any grand truth about life, it isn't moving to the tears, or anything that stands out that much. The manga doesn't hold that kind of ambition, but the story is well told. It isn't overly dramatic, even if some backstories could get over the top, the characters handle them with modesty and/or maturity (not so much from Shibata, but that's her).
What makes the whole read worth it is the pacing. From a comment that made me read the manga, I kept "I enjoyed every chapter of it". And I would not say that about most mangas I read. There's always some part that I dislike, sometimes because I find some character not coherent enough, or the story not credible, or just too much drama of some kind. This far into the manga, the rythm works well, it doesn't rely on cliffhangers or plot twists, while in the meantime the characters evolve steadily through each chapter.
I can't wait to read more of it, and might update this review when I'll have a better grasp on the whole story.read more
For those folks out there that enjoyed "Lovely Complex" (myself included) this manga is pretty good! Although the characters are older I find it wonderful to relate to myself! The main character is very naive and has trouble making up her mind, but she is rather sweet and silly. As for the main male character, he is well done and comes off very mature. He hasn't really express too much interest, but it is in his nature not to expose too much of his own emotions. I personally love the main characters interactions, very funny! So far the pace this manga is going at is great too. I'm sure it will progress better as the story continues. I urge you all to read it! I can't wait until the next chapter. read more