Alt title: Pseudo Harem

Vol: 6; Ch: 130
2018 - 2021
4.129 out of 5 from 560 votes
Rank #1,476

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?!

Source: Shogakukan

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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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