(image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibi_Ch%C5%8Dch%C5%8D)
I decided it was time to read some shoujo; it’s been a while, and this one caught my eye. I didn’t intend to read a long one, but the art looks cool, so here we go!
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
Plot: 1 star. The plot for this series seems fairly simple. The main girl, Shibazeki Suiren, wants to get to know Kawasumi, the only guy at school who isn’t falling over himself whenever she enters the room. The story mostly follows the development of their relationship. Sub-plots do show up such as karate tournaments or even different characters getting relationships and even Suiren working hard to come out of her shell, but none of these sub-plots seems like the main plot. They happen in the background, and there’s no real consequence or even drive for these plots to be accomplished. The final fight between Kawasumi and Atohira doesn’t even show us who won; not every character gets into an established relationship by the end; and Suiren doesn’t seem to have a significant change in her life by her strives to be more extroverted. Overall, I think the story does stick to its plot since we do see the progression of Suiren and Kawasumi’s relationship. The manga does a good job of focusing on this relationship instead of getting side-tracked by other characters and sub-plots.
Art: 1 star. This art style is so cute! It’s soft and airy, and the lines are very clean and thin. The use of shadows and textures was nice and helped with the dynamics of the different scenes. Even though Suiren didn’t talk much, I was able to see how she felt about different characters by her reactions and expressions. Every movement, action, and reaction was very easy to follow.
Story Progression: 1 star. Honestly, I really enjoyed the writing. There were times when I would read a chapter and not much seemed to happen, but when I’d go to write about it, I’d end up writing a lot xD This manga is very subtle with its writing and story telling, but somehow, all those subtle, little moments ended up meaning a lot to me and showing me the deeper side to these characters. As you can see from my full reviews, I’d read 20-30 chapters at a time because I wanted to know what would happen next. This wasn’t because there was so much going on, but simply that the current story thread was leading me to continue reading! There are not many distractions in this manga -which I enjoyed-, so whatever was going on became the main focus of the characters and me as a reader. I became invested because they were invested, and it was a really wonderful journey.
Genre: 1 star. Shoujo, romance, and slice of life definitely cover this manga. I am not sure if school life and slice of life are different; I have a feeling that it depends on the site you’re reading from. I would say those are the same since school life is still part of slice of life (when you’re a high school student, school is your life; it makes sense to me). Really, I can’t think of any other genres that would describe this manga better. Your main character is a girl who falls in love at school, and the rest of the manga follows her time in high school; if that’s not shoujo, romance, slice of life, I’m not sure what is xD
Enjoyment: 1 star. I was surprised how much I loved this manga and these characters. Honestly, I had been looking for an over-the-top shoujo so that I would stop giving everything 5 stars, but I found this jewel instead, and I am so thankful ❤ Seeing this sweet, gentle love story was incredibly refreshing ❤ I loved how adorable and sweet and awkward Suiren and Kawasumi were together xD ❤ I like how hard Suiren worked to grow the relationship, and I loved when Kawasumi finally realized he needed to put work in, too! ❤ I liked how the focus wasn’t always about the love story. I also liked how subtle each chapter and character was. I liked that everything took time, and that the characters had to figure out their flaws and strategies to better themselves and their lives. I liked the slice of life, daily challenges and struggles felt by high school students. I liked the friendships and relationships and how those grew and changed over time.
This story has reached and/or surpassed my criteria, so it has earned 5 stars!
I definitely recommend this manga to anyone who is looking for something sweet, refreshing, and adorable ❤
To read my full review, please click here.