I wasn’t going to bother writing a review with six other reviews for this manga written; however, after seeing that all the other reviews are a total lovefest without actually attempting to get to the heart of it, I had to do something about it.
Essentially, this entire series is a slice-of-life “love story” about one guy and one girl revolving around track and field in high school. Yamato lives in a womens’ bathhouse with his aunt, who owns it. Suzuka, a star high-jumper, also lives there, right next door. She’s a perfectionist, he’s clumsy, but hard-working. Yada, yada, you see how it goes.
It’s actually a
simple singular issue that defines this manga. The creator of this manga, Seo, is a very good story-teller. The artwork is above standard, the issues are complex and hardly betraying of its goals and the characters are sublime if not too badly clichéd. (Although sometimes a few of them look way too alike.) The world around them is magnificently established – once you get 50 chapters in, you feel like your know Tokyo by heart and you feel like you know every room of the bathhouse and the school. Seo turns the clock fantastically and from great angles to always give you a new experience. Plus he has a solid grip of the human body and watching the characters in action almost makes them move to the readers’ eyes. However, there is one matter that every reader should know about before starting this manga and it was something that I wish I had been told before I started it myself
Suzuka is a total bitch.
Now, for some people, maybe even most, that’s ok. They find it appealing or cute in some way, especially when she drops her barriers and seems cute. But for the majority of the time, she treats Yamato like dirt. And I’m not talking in a normal tsundere way. There are many times when she’s outright cruel and vindictive, stubborn beyond belief and hardly appreciative of what Yamato goes through just to win her affections. It got to the point where I was literally pissed at her, but there was nothing I could do because I was already so far and I wanted to know how it ended. But the readers must know this going in and hopefully I at least warn some people so they know what they’re getting in to. I didn’t end up hating Suzuka in the end, but I was close, because I knew… I absolutely knew… that Suzuka didn’t deserve Yamato, not by a mile. Yet, he remained blind, even when she treated him so horribly. She had no excuse and the author never gave us one.
All in all, this is a good manga, especially if you’re in the mood to find someone to despise. And while it could be spoiling, the romance is still quite good with several original moments. This is a recommendation… but a recommendation with a warning.