Yukishiro Nanako is a cute, cheerful high school girl with one peculiar trait – instead of verbal communication, she writes senryuu (a type of haiku) poems to relay her thoughts. Together with ex-delinquent Busujima Eiji, they are budding freshmen of the school’s Literature Club. Even though Nanako doesn’t talk, with the power of senryu, the adorable pair has no problem enjoying their fun school-life through the tune of 5-7-5 syllables.
In the beginning, this manga had something special going for it. It was a manga about poetry-writing just as much as it was a manga about the romantic tension between Eiji and Nanako. They had several chapters where Amane would ask the Lit Club to write senryu on a topic, and Nanako would come at it from a slightly unexpected perspective. It was funny. Eiji also did this, but his takes were usually just overly literal. But over time, the senryu just became dialogue and it was a lot less about the poetry. This made the balance shift and the manga became (almost) entirely about Eiji and Nanako's romantic developments. At this point, each time a new character was introduced, I internally groaned--because it was such a blatant attempt to stretch the plot out as long as possible. A lot of the jokes started to become stale and even Nanako's constant open-mouthed exuberance became a lot less cute. With her cheerful attitude, Nanako is supposed to portray an ideal girl. But once we think of her in those terms (of idealized femininity), it makes apparent the underlying misogyny. She literally doesn't talk and she unquestioningly supports Eiji in whatever he does (even when he's being dumb). She's the "ideal" submissive woman. And once I've thought of her in those terms, it's difficult to go back to just enjoying the cuteness. That being said, throughout the series, I felt I could rely on both Nucky and Nanako's dad for a good joke whenever they were involved. It might not be worth reading the entire manga (though at worst, it's just a shallow time-waster), but it's definitely worth reading at least the first couple dozen chapters. [Reviewed at chapter 154]
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