Dec 23, 2017
bikinis (All reviews)
I felt the need to edit my review for this manga since I’ve read it like 3 times already. I want to start by saying my standards for romance novels are pretty low. I don’t need a mindblowing storyline or complex, original characters. All I need are realistic characters and good chemistry, which is enough to convince me that the relationship subject of the story has a believable foundation. But surprisingly enough I can count with one hand the total number of romance novels that have actually lived up to that standard. And damekoi is one of them.

The plot is pretty simple (might even be too simple for some more dedicated readers out there). It’s just about this thirty-year old lady struggling to get through her quarter-life crisis and her old boss who helps her along the way.

The simplicity of the story is compensated by the colorful characterization of the two leads, Michiko Shibata and Ayumu Kurosawa. It doesn’t start off with your typical love at first sight kind of plot (which honestly, I never liked anyway unless it’s written well which is never the case). Shibata absolutely hates her demonic old boss who turned out to be just as demonic outside of the office, and Kurosawa (“Shunin” as she addresses him) is primarily irked by Shibata’s virgin naiveté, and her fussing over mundane things like her age, love life, and social status. But despite the clashing of their personalities and priorities in life, they develop a close companionship, Shibata slowly seeing Shunin as someone she can come home to after a long tiring day, and Shunin finding himself enjoying Shibata’s company.

I also like that this isn’t an ‘in your face’ romance novel since it takes the time to develop the characters’ personalities, first giving more life to their interactions and their friendship before it takes what it has already established and finally turns it into romance. In other words, the pace of this manga is very slow. It’s not ideal for people who are impatient. As for me, I never liked rushed romance stories. I’ve always liked it when writers take the time to develop their love stories. Writing good romance means understanding the stages that lead to romance, understanding that not every interaction between two characters is always romance-oriented. Apart from being potential lovers, the characters are also friends who make fun of each other, who criticize each other, who see not just the good in the other but also the bad, who tell each other their problems and help the other through their hard times. And writing a good romance doesn’t mean always having love as the undertone for all these interactions. People who do all that for other people don’t necessarily see the other as a potential lover. If you get what I’m saying.

The point is, this writer writes romance REALLY WELL. You can see that the relationship of Shibata and Shunin progresses naturally. It’s genuine and definitely relatable. Definitely, this manga has set the bar for how I want my future relationship to be like. I definitely want a Shunin in my life to scold me when I’m doing something idiotic, to make fun of me, but at the end of the day be lowkey loving and affectionate. Lol when am I going to find you :(

Pls consider reading this! I still don’t understand why the rating is barely an 8 when this is one of the best romance manga I’ve ever read in my entire history of reading only romance mangas and the occasional non-romance manga. Lol

original review:
OMG!!!! why is the rating for this manga so low???? i loved literally EVERYTHING about this manga. i loved that it was slow-paced, and that the mangaka took the time to build up both michiko's character and her relationships with the rest of the people around her. i loved that her relationship with shunin didn't start out as the typical unrequited love thing. i loved that the both of them had to literally grow into each other before you can even consider anything remotely related to romance. their relationship was written so well: the foundation of their friendship, their chemistry, the inevitable feelings that would finally develop between them. i also like that their romance felt kind of like an after-thought. honestly, had they ended up with other people, i would have been totally fine with that. that was how well-written this manga was. all the characters were given their justice, none of them being used as fodder for more interesting storylines. this manga gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling. i will treasure it 4 life. pls read this everyone. 1000/10 would recommend.