This was an INCREDIBLE manga.
I started reading this to procrastinate homework about...oh, less than twenty four hours ago. And when I first started, I was not overly impressed. The art was a bit rough, kind of confusing, and in some ways just poorly/sloppily executed. But for whatever reason, I committed myself.
And then it just got better and better! Characters that seemed so hollow at first, so poorly developed, began to gain in momentum. Her comical reactions to constructive criticism went from laughably unrealistic to just flat out admirable. It was absurdly inspiring to me!
My FAVORITE aspect of the manga was the main love interest. I have never seen such a brilliant backstory for such a cold personality; this mangaka did not rush it. It comprised several chapters, and it was heart wrenching and totally relatable. And he was COMPLETELY humanized, COMPLETELY! It was insane.
It's a manga about discovering yourself and hard work. And it's about making service to others; everyone became happier as they stopped fearing failure and reached out towards their dreams and others.
The characters were all very interesting. Even though they were clumsily conveyed, as the mangaka improved, you truly like all of them. Such interesting personalities! Some of them never truly see the light of day (what's-his-face-womanizer from the original group of four "dropouts"), but others, like Mizuki, transform into the most amazing yet unconventional characters.
I mean, for a third member in a love triangle, Mizuki was just different and unashamed of it. He's a black haired guy with glasses who acts NOTHING like black-haired-glasses-guys (think Ouran High). He was soft and gentle and TOTALLY and delightfully unrelatable in the beginning, like a cherubic small child yet tall and good looking and incredibly talented.
I loved the hard work that the main character puts in. It's a fantastic representation of reaching a crazy goal like her's.
I even loved the ending! Somehow I was not let down and left feeling that it ended to abruptly. There wasn't much of anything left unaddressed. Honestly, though, I could have kept reading it forever. Normally it's such a drag for me to read. But since I didn't move once for five hours when I found it, it's safe to say I was captivated.
The plot never dragged for me. It was all delightful, and the chapters were never very long. I constantly wanted to move t the next chapter.
It wasn't OVERLY pervy (although it favored short skirts). But I never saw awkwardly busty women to make our a-cup main character feel awful, so I approve! And it was certainly rough in the beginning, but I give it a nine for the beauty and grace it achieves by the end. You simply have to stick with it.
You know, I'm not totally sure how the main character changes (mostly she just falls in love and improves in her skills and knowledge). But Senri's transformation was INCREDIBLE and very realistic. For Senri and Mizuki, I WOULD give a ten. But there are randomly underdeveloped characters, like her sister and other "friends". There are other minds that I wish I'd been able to have a peek into, but it was such flawless story telling that I am NOT complaining.
It's obvious I adored this manga. Some parts are just laugh out loud (although I've certainly read funnier; I laughed only once every few chapters, really) and some are squeal-worthy. Some parts are just adorable yet sad; this main character doesn't hold with self pity. But she gets in at least one good cry that you REALLY feel like she deserves and really adds more dimension to her relationship to Senri...but I digress. It was fantastic.
A ten. Oh, man. I am SO GLAD I got over my judgemental side and stuck with it to see it transform into a story that I will treasure forever. It's not perfect, but the themes, characters, plot, and romance are all wonderful. It's probably now one of my all time favorite mangas.