Sawako Kuronuma is just like any other high school girl who wants to make friends and be useful. The only problem is she bears a worrying resemblance to Sadako from 'The Ring!' Because of her reputation, people are not only terrified of her, but small dogs even bark in fear at her presence; in fact, the only person in school who will talk to her is the lively class hottie, Kazehaya. As the pair spends more time together, Kazehaya slowly begins to bring Sawako out of her shell and soon their feelings for each other develop further. Though with her crippling insecurities, lack of social skills, and a series of cruel rumors and misunderstandings, it seems that Sawako's dream of a normal life won’t be quite so easy to obtain.
I picked this up because it's extremely popular, and most popular manga are true to their popularity. I love shoujo manga and I eat it up, my favorites include masterpieces like Glass Mask, Hana Yori Dango and Dengeki Daisy. In those manga, stuff happens. In this manga, nothing happens. Each volume is about nothing. It's all talking, and they don't say anything interesting. The main chars are head-over-heels for each other right away so who cares how long it takes them to get together. There's no real conflict. The only mildly interesting part of this manga is the main char's friend Chizu. Her personality is great and her love troubles are way more interesting than the main char's. But it's not worth reading the other boring stuff to get to her parts. I stuck it out 6 volumes to see if maybe the manga gets better, but still nothing has happened. Why do people like this so much??
While the plot sounds dull, something about the way it's written is very engaging. I saved this for last this week because it sounded the worst, but it wound up being one of the best (neck & neck with kandachime). I had planned to only read the 2 vols required for the manga club, but had finished all the available chapters almost before I had even realized it. My one gripe about this series is the artwork. The exaggerated/chibi art used to emphasize certain reactions looks terrible (especially for the main character). To make matters worse, they use the gimmick way too much (especially with the main character). The regular style artwork in this series however is quite good. edit (07-06-11): This manga was very good for the first 30~35 chapters, but then it hits a major change of pace and loses it's uniqueness. It degrades into just a standard shoujo romance series. While it doesn't become "bad" per se, it becomes boring & mainstream.
squandered opportunity. just when you think there can't be even more cliche misunderstandings of each other, the author takes it to another level. sure, i was expecting it to be annoying in typical rom-com fashion, but it makes the characters into such dickheads that i could only hope for the worst for them. after 50 chapters, i was just hoping one of them could be stricken with illness and die or be hit by a car so there would be actual, justified drama instead of manufactured nonsense. like, how many manga do two characters confess to one another repeatedly and have it be misinterpreted, it isn't even an intentional gag here! only the stoic baseball character is likable and is the only one i ever felt sympathetic for. my goodness, it was a promising start but became driveling nonsense of cliche misunderstandings ramped up to level after level.
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