Sep 8, 2019
86 of 86 chapters read
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If I can split this manga in half and give different ratings to each, I'd give the first half an 8 and the second a 4. Nanoka no Kare has both the high-high and low-low points on its plot. My fair warning to you who'd like to finish this manga: prepare for bad writing on the second half.
This is my first ever review, so please forgive me if it's not up to par.
Nanoka no Kare has an interesting premise, it's a story about a girl trying to move on from her past unhealthy relationship.
The first half is absolutely wonderful to be read, to the point
I reread it multiple times, who knows how much. The romance pace is light, believable, with both Nanoka and Hayata trying their best to better themselves from their past mistakes. I also love the way that abusive relationship is portrayed here not as something romantic but as a horrible thing instead. The manga has cliche moments, yes, but I didn't find them cringy when I read them. They gave me light and fluffy feels instead, so cute that I squealed everytime I reread the scenes. The angst scenes actually are the parts I reread the most on the first half. There are also some misunderstanding and dumb moments, but I didn't find them frustrating and I still enjoy reading those because they move forward the plot and give developments for the included characters, up to the end of the first half (41 chapters/7 volumes which lucky for you finally they're all scanlated now). It's totally okay if you wanna stop here. Better instead, I really wish I've known the end before, but alas I read it while it was still ongoing soo, yeah. Unlucky me stucked with reading it.
Now onto the second half of the manga, the one which is so bad it gives PTSD to the readers considering to read the author's next work, where do I begin the rant? Hmm, how about how unnecessary it was? The first part is already nicely concluded, there's no need for a second half at all unless it's to show how Nanoka and Hayata's relationship progress and maybe to give Takato some nice development because he's being such an emotionally constipated person throughout the first half. If written nicely it can be a great plot too, there are other manga who has done something like this successfully. But unfortunately it's not the case here. It's just a downhill of a plot starting from chapter 42. Dramas piled on top each other, bad cliches with unsatisfactory results, regression of character development too. Also that new character? Totally put in just for THE drama, annoying af, not even a good villain, only being used as a foil. Also the ending? Totally abrupt, I didn't feel satisfied reading it. Hayata is my only saving grace on the second half, I only managed to finish it because of him. MINOR SPOILERS HERE TILL THE END OF THIS SEGMENT for those who are concerned about the supposed sex scenes between two spesific characters, they didn't do it. They almost but he saw her "past" self so he stopped. Just putting this here because I've been asked so many times by people who wanna know if it really happens or not. In fact that's the main reason I write this review.
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! The one point almost every reader agrees on. It's so clean and neat right from the very first chapter, also every emotions are expressed well even from quiet characters like our protagonists. All the details to clothes and backgrounds are wonderful. I can't ask for more.
Hhhh, where do I begin?
First half's Nanoka's characterization is so good I really enjoyed everything from her POV. Whenever she speaks up for herself or her friends, I feel like a proud mom. And I also like how she still tries to defend herself even if she's weaker. But the second half ruined every Nanoka's character developments from the first half. Her decisions on the second half are so bad they actually regressed her character lower beyond her starting point on chapter 1. Also every bad traits she has fixed on the first half are back. I can't even feel happy or bad for her at the end.
First half's Takato is so emotionally constipated in a bad way, also he's so harsh and rude I really dislike him. I get it that he's trying to change but he forced himself on Nanoka too much it's annoying. It's a wonder he still even has a friend (bless Kensuke though). Takato's character was probably intended to be redeemed on the second half. Yet every choice he made is still questionable at best like in the first half. His "redemption" is only at the very end of the manga, and only on that one scene.
Hayata's the only one who makes me happy reading his progression from the start till finish. The first half has him facing his bad traits, like cowardice and jealousy. He's aware those are bad traits too, I really enjoyed reading his development here. My heart screamed when he was feeling so down and Nanoka got to save him (eventhough the method is questionable, a hug would be preferable, thank you). While I feel so sorry for him throughout the second half, I still question one of his actions on it, but I do understand his reasoning for that, it's still believable since he thought he'd never come back at all. At least he's still a nice one to be read till the end.
The side characters are all nice, I actually like both Nanoka's friends and Takato's friend slash Hayata's senpai, they help moving the plot sometimes, like Yuuko and Kensuke during the first half, but especially Chii-chan during the second part where everything is such a pain. Gish, Chii-chan is my spirit animal during second half. They also have nice character developments, Yuuko and Chii-chan.
That new character on the second half?? I absolutely detest him, even after his motivation and background were revealed. Self-centered, manipulative, arrogant, troublemaker, what's good about him? He's not even a good villain. Nil from me.
I really enjoyed the first part that I wish the manga would just stop at chapter 41 because that way I can happily recommend Nanoka no Kare for anyone searching for a good shoujo. But alas, the second part happened and ruined it. Sad. But whatever happened, Hayata's still a good boy I love him so much please protect him.