"Such as love, such as a kiss, such as the body" is the latest journey of tempestuous love by famed shoujo/romance mangaka Kozue Chiba, introducing us to pure hearted but hopelessly infatuated Sasa-chan who has been harbouring a one sided crush on resident hottie and school heartthrob Kaneda Senpai for a good three years now. So why is she not utilising every opportunity to get closer to him? Why instead do we catch her chastising him instead? And what purpose could addressing his cheeky errant remarks in front of his equally playboy-type friends possibly serve? Hmm... well read on to figure that out.
If you're already familiar with Chiba-sama's works, you know she's got the art part down pat. (That sounds like a tongue twister, or the name of a beloved elevator fart you let loose without intending to *snicker*) If you're a newbie, she's the cat's meow when it comes to drawing cute but sensible shoujos and sexed out bishies! She's not stingy with expressions, funny poses or rich backgrounds either. Even if you're not a fan of drawn out romances, you'll enjoy this read for the cheeky-at-times art alone.
This story delivers a power packed punch of tempestuous love, stirred in the heart of a lawless lothario who is anything but a prince, by our strong willed and no nonsense heroine Sasa chan! Characters seem trite at the offset, but I was delighted to see that they possess layers, and the mangaka does us the service of not stating that outright, but bringing it out through novel situations and circumstances into which she immerses both the leads.
If you're looking for a strong but soft heroine who tames a roaming playboy, look no further. I personally loved the way the story kept me engaged! I thought it was going to zig, and it zagged. I thought "Oh now she'll look teary eyed and succumb to his charms" and she gathers herself up to tell him to take a walk! You're on your toes with this story and that's never not desirable in a shoujo romance!
Dialogues and delivery is sharp, witty and unique. Very realistic in its character portrayal, tries to give both leads personalities beyond their external demeanor, though that doesn't really add up into the continuity of the overall plot so far (We're still at chapter 1). The experiences depicted are especially cool because while the heroine is constantly aware of her physical and emotional longing for Kaneda Senpai, she doesn't rescind her resentment towards his questionable morals or constantly-at-risk trouser flies.
Overall, I loved the sass, heart-ed the shy mood it starts off with and am enjoying the direction it seems to be taking so far. Unlike most stories which start off great with plenty of snark to spare but within an incident or two, the teeth and edge are lost and the heroine's resolve turn to jelly as though struck with a harry potter hex, this story seems to be going strong. Again I'm only at chapter 1, so I'll save the praise for when further chapters are released, but the story shows immense promise right now. Highly recommended for shoujo fans and seasoned romance enthusiasts looking for quality shoujo heroines. read more