Aug 25, 2023
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (16/? chp)
Hello, first time reviewing, so these are just my thoughts and I wanted to share.

I've only read up til 16 chapters but so far I find it very cute and wholesome of a manga. It's a typical slice of life shoujo romance with my favourite trope, fake dating. It's different varations of pretending, from one-sided feelings to relationship. They have sweet moments together and it makes me smile. I feel like the coloured cover art doesn't fully capture how soft the characters can be portrayed in the actual manga panels. Totally recommend if you want a sweet toothed read!

Spoilers ahead*

Now, something I wish the manga would expand on is them as characters, as in personhood and growth. I feel like I as a reader barely know them and thus it feels slightly off. Yes, Maaya and Chigira likes reading, they're on the library commitee so it's no brainer. Chigira runs in track club, and I know it's a whole thing about him being a runner and an athlete. Maaya has a dog she takes out on walks. I barely know she has a group of friends because we don't see them interact that often. I also feel like the manga puts more weight on getting to know Chigira, which is cool and all, but I want to know about our heroine too. It just would be more fun if they interpreted their interests and relations to other people more in smaller details so it paints a bigger picture of who they are.

So, about the growth of them as characters. We as readers know that Chigira is a coward and thus move the fake dating plot ahead. This is what we came for and it's interesting how they decide to keep the trope going. It might be that the mangaka still want to keep the story very fluffy and wholesome, and therefore doesn't go deeper about his pain or frustrations or so. We the readers, do get hints and flashbacks that he has known of Maaya for longer. So it might not necessarily be needed for that, but it eventually falls a little flat.

Though my biggest contester for who needs their growth is Maaya. She has low self-esteem and it's this constant thing throughout the story. I suppose technically it follows the guideline of moving the plot forward too, but I don't like it. She never truly gains her self-esteem. Whenever there's a problem Chigira usually swoops in, they have a moment and suddenly everything is better and then we repeat the process in the following chapter. That's why I really like Honey Lemon Soda because the heroine actually grows, step by step she feels more confident and it's such a beautiful thing to witness. That's why I want that for Maaya too. I know they're all just fictional characters but I honestly want her to feel like she is enough. It's such an important lesson.

Hopefully they might introduce these details in later chapters.

Well, that's all I have for now!
Reviewer’s Rating: 6
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