Eiji Kitahama is an upperclassman who longs to have a harem like the ones he sees in the comics he reads, while Rin Nanakura (who secretly likes him) plays a different "character" with a unique personality whenever she's around him. What path will the romance of these two drama club members take? And will Rin ever be able to act like herself and convey her feelings for him?!
This manga has short chapters, so you could breeze through a bunch of chapters really easily. It doesn't have incredibly deep characters, but it doesn't really need them anyway, because it's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. It's got all the joys of a harem anime, but without themes of echi or character overshadowing that tend to show up in harem anime and drive some potential fans away. Think "Itadaki! Seieki?", but... ya' know... without the h3ntai. It's a good read if you are in the mood for something cute, relatable, short, and sweet.
Pseudo Harem is like your favorite slightly-expensive treat; a wonderful, short experience that just leaves you smiling afterwords. The last 2-3 chapters before the ending delve into some light melodrama that seem to have turned off a lot of other fans but imo the other 127 are sweet and charming enough that I personally didn't mind. This manga left me smiling and laughing from start to finish and I highly recommend it to anyone who just wants something nice to read for a little while. Also, the chapters are hella short, so you can devour it all in big chunks or just idly nibble at it here and there if you prefer.
Going into this, I was expecting(/almost hoping) that there would be a large number of personas attempted. Like, a new one each chapter type of large number. But, it's basically just four: Cheeky (appears in 21% of the installments), Tsundere (20%), Cool (14%), and Spoiled (17%). There are a few other roles that are played (including Yandere), though the Little Sister and Modest personas are the only other ones that ever appear more than once. Many installments include multiple of the personas appearing in quick succession, often with any given persona only showing up for a single panel. The basic idea is that Nananaka plays around with these roles as a way to mask feir feelings for Kitahama. Feir true personality is flustered and embarrassed and laughs heartily. As the romance developed and Nananaka became more comfortable being femself around Kitahama, fe stopped relying so heavily on the personas and started using them less often. Perhaps realizing that the trajectory was leading to the pseudo-harem eventually phasing out entirely, the author threw in a forced plotline from installments 110-117 that brought it back stronger than ever before. And perhaps that storyline wouldn't have felt so forced if there weren't previous instances where Nananaka clearly viewed the personas as something that hampered feir own chances at romance--like when fe insisted that fe would be the one who would accompany Kitahama on a date and not any of feir personas, or when fe said that a certain persona wasn't available at the moment. I appreciate how their relationship actually has some development and how time actually passes. There is a decent amount of standalone installments that are just playing on their dynamic, especially earlier on, but there is also a sense of continuity and some multi-installment storylines later on. I appreciated that Megu, the friend, was basically uninterested in their romance. I thought the short film idea was an interesting way to include some flashback sequences. I don't find the art very good, even moreso in the earlier parts. I think the author was using this doujinshi as a way to practice drawing classic cute-girl facial expressions. The way the ending has Kitahama say that fe'll catch up to Nananaka is just stupid--why would fe have to catch up to fem for them to be together?
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