Cornelia Tzana ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Comic Books Editor
Shoujo manga is manga marketed to a female audience roughly between the ages of ten and eighteen. The name is a romanized version of the Japanese 少女 (shōjo), which translates to “little girl.” Shoujo manga may strongly focus on romantic relationships, but they do so in the context of many different subjects and styles, from historical drama to science fiction. Another similar category is josei manga, which is geared towards an older female audience.
Story & Art: Ema Toyama
Published in the US by: Kodansha Comics USA
Categories: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo
Anime Adaptation: No
Himuro Yukina is a girl feared by her fellow students because of her cool attitude and her piercing glare. She is also secretly a popular cell phone novelist (creatively) named Yupina. In her search for inspiration for her story, Yukina tries to find out more about love by blackmailing Shigure, the most popular guy in school, into teaching her about love through “missions”. This progress of events displeases Yukina’s cousin and childhood friend, the only person she is truly open towards. Things get even more complex when she realizes that the love acting into which she forced Shigure into become more than just acting for him.
Watashi ni xx Shinasai! has a story that revolves around love triangles, a subject that is the core of most shoujo manga. It starts out strong, setting up a pretty interesting and original relationship between the characters. As the story continues, however—despite the few somewhat unexpected plot twists—the story starts to feel as if it goes around in circles. The same love-related sequences appear often, making the character conflicts predictable.
The art is one of the best things about this manga. The main character has a very memorable design, and the artists—manga creators have assistants helping them with the artwork—have paid a lot of attention to shading and details.
Much like the story, the characters start out strong. Yukina seems like a very cunning, independent and distant character who comes into direct contrast with Shigure, the popular, smiling high school boy, which is what makes their relationship interesting. As the chapters progress however, it feels like the characters, with the exception of one, fall flat. They lose many of their original idiosyncrasies that made the story move forward.
Watashi ni xx Shinasai! is a manga that begins with a solid plot and promises many interesting twists and turns. But it seems that at a certain point, the author fell into the soap opera trap. That being said, just like a soap opera, this manga is one of the things you want to keep reading even though you know what may come next. It is an easy read that has its good moments, but if you are looking for a more thrilling, fast-paced romance, this may not be the choice for you.