Sep 1, 2019
LadyAxeFace (All reviews)
I actually read a little bit of Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai, and then stopped because I thought it was going to be one of those josei manga where the sadistic male protagonist is just bullying the weak female protagonist all the time as she's just helplessly along for the ride, and it's often a boss/subordinate situation too. (At one point early on, Kurosawa even tells Shibata to be his servant.) There's a ton of josei out there like that, and it's a trope I really hate, so I stopped reading. Then I learned it's by the same manga author is the same one who wrote Lovely Complex, so I decided to give it another go, and I'm glad I did.

It's true that at the very beginning the two protagonists' dynamic is more like Kurosawa pushing Shibata around. He's constantly dumping on her for being so stupid for being scammed by a guy who has no intention of dating her. But if you can get past that part, their dynamic changes pretty quickly as Shibata starts fighting back. They then end up in a fairly amusing bickering couple dynamic instead. It also is gradually revealed that despite all of Kurosawa's criticisms, he's not really got it together himself, putting the characters on much more even ground, rather than typical aforementioned josei trope that relies on a huge power imbalance, which for me is kind of a turn-off. For those that found this manga because they loved Lovely Complex, this is a definite must-read, because their relationship dynamic is basically an adult version of Ootani and Koizumi's.

In conclusion, if you enjoy the bickering couple dynamic, this is definitely a good one. The author did a really good job at writing a slow will-they/won't-they romance that feels natural rather than artificially prolonged with annoying over-the-top drama. I especially enjoy reading Shibata, as she is an very atypical josei protagonist. She has a lot of character versus the typical bland protagonist.