Wow so what can I say about this manga. It's honestly beautiful.
Ema toyama doesn't get nearly enough recognition. Her art is always beautiful and her stories always engaging. I honestly think she is a master of her craft. Not every story needs to be ground breaking or have some shocking twist. Toyama sensei is a master of the shojo formula. She hits all the right beats and keeps you interested. I've heard complaints that her stories are generic, but I see nothing wrong with that. things seem generic because they work well and are featured prominently because of it. You can still tell the difference between someone who tells a story poorly versus someone who excels.
Seriously this womans art is beautiful. And she experiments with different coloring style for the color pages.
Aoba has a unique problem and the source of his problem is entirely relatable. Hea of course hits some of the generic markers of a dense mc later on but more then makes up for it both before and after.
Mayo is someone I can relate to a lot. She is shy and quiet, but wants to help others and improve herself. She struggles to talk and find her her voice, but is a skilled listener. She has a lot of character development and I am so proud of her.
Nao is adorable and despite being the third point in the love triangle never seems annoying. He is genuinely a sweet boy who loves his friends more then anything.
The rest of the cast doesn't get a lot of attention. But the key players on the basketball team and the other manager all have some great moments. They really together and support each other. And they are more then welcoming to sakurada who seems like she shouldnt wouldn't even be interested in being a manager at first.
The story. 8.5/10. I love this story. I read it all in 3 days and even purchased the last several books so I could finish it. The story is about mayo who was helped by a boy in middle school. He simply listened to her problems. This stuck with her and she fell for him, but she had to move.
Now in high school they go to the same school again. But she is to shy to approach him. Mayo takes a job at her aunt's listening house to help her family with money. The listening house is a unique concept that works much like seeing a therapist. You go and vent your frustrations, only these people just listen. One day Aoba, her crush comes to the house and vents about how he has to quit the basketball team and doesn't enjoy it. Mayo decides she will do everything she can to get him to explain more and more as his listening house girl, and decides to get involved as the team's manager.
I'll let you read the story to find out the details. The story its self is well written and flows nicely. It respects its characters enough not to push them into situations that dont make sense for them, or pretend that these characters have grown more then they really have.
My only complaint is the last chapters feel a tad rushed. And it hits ome of the most generic shojo basics. The dreaded.
Major spoiler below this point.
The dreaded move. Now it doesn't resolve this issue in typical shojo fashion. In fact it even has several time jumps to show the happy ending. The first 1 year later and the last far enough in the future to depict mayo and Alba's happily ever after.
End of spoilers.
The story gives you closure for its main characters. Both career wise and romance wise. I promise you won't be disappointed if you give this story a chance. On my personal list I intended to give this story a 9. After more reflection maybe even a 10. But for the review I'll stick to a solid 8.5 overall. Which I'll wind up to a 9. So far this is my favorite work by Toyama sensei and I look forward to reading more.