Sakurai-san Wants to Be Noticed

Alt title: Sakurai-san wa Kidzuite Hoshii

Vol: 4; Ch: 26
2019 - 2022
4.109 out of 5 from 182 votes
Rank #7,671
Sakurai-san Wants to Be Noticed

Makoto is a laidback teen who just wants to keep his head down and get through high school. His busty best friend Sakurai, however, is constantly pulling him into one shenanigan after another! Not only that, but she’s always teasing him in provocative ways. Sure, Makoto’s noticed that his friend has gotten super flirty, but that doesn’t mean she “likes” him, right? Right?

Source: Seven Seas

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As a reader, this would be more interesting if there was an actual question as to why Sakurai is acting the way fe is. If there were some other plausible explanation, then we'd experience some tension as we ourselves would be questioning the motives for feir actions. But as it is, feir motives are blatantly obvious (fe likes the guy) and the guy's just too self-conscious about making forward assumptions to acknowledge that. And from the perspective of the reader, the character's internal tension doesn't create tension for me, so it doesn't lead to an interesting story. I also don't like how the manga keeps calling back to the question fe asked fem in the first chapter, presenting it as though the entire story is built around fem finding the answer to that question rather than as a simple series of flirtacious encounters. In other words, the story is trying to create a sense of continuity, but it might have been better served if it just accepted its episodic nature and gave up on having any overarching narrative. The artist likes to draw zoomed in shots of the girl's lips and stuff. This sorta gives the impression of you the reader being close to fem. At climactic scenes, fe often leans forward in a pose I'm sure the artist finds cute. There are also a couple panels that are drawn at such an angle that it looks like fe's kissing the guy, but fe's actually just wiping something off of feir face. I'm not sure why the author finds these fake kiss scenes (which the characters don't interpret as near-kisses or anything) to be worthwhile, but whatever. The girl's smile is too V-shaped, and in general I don't think the artist is skilled enough to create a girl we readers would want to collectively ogle. If you're in the mood for this type of story, I can think of at least one manga that does it better: Yancha Gal no Anjou-san. And I'm sure there are many others, because the idea of a girl flirting with a guy while the guy doesn't want to overstep by assuming that fe's romantically interested in fem is something I've personally run into quite a few times. And this manga just doesn't tackle that premise in a very interesting manner. [Reviewed at chapter 10]

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