I got into this manga series when I was reading V. B. Rose. I met this character, Rei Akiyoshi, and he was so interesting and in the side bar Banri would talk about how he was all grown up compared to the last series he was in. I looked up the series she was talking about and it was hilarious and I loved it! However it was only translated up to volume 9. There are 13 volumes and it took me ages to find these books. I had volumes 1-7 and then recently I found the rest. Volumes 10-13 that I have are in Japanese as they were never translated. I don’t know why they stopped half way through though. I mean they were almost done.
Anyway with the help of Google and my Japanese studies I managed to decipher 10-13 (almost) and I can now come to you with this review!
The characters were very well developed. Kazuha Akiyoshi really progressed from where she was in the beginning to where she ends up in the end. Senko as well had good character development. She was very closed off and prickly but she softens up throughout the manga. I enjoyed that. Of course Maki as well had some good character development. He leaves his dark days behind and steps into the sunshine.
The storyline with Saki I thought I would hate but Banri really turned that around and gave us a layered villain. I don’t even know if I would call him a villain. There is so much to him and his family it was very interesting to read. Their father though annoys me, like seriously he was annoying. I don’t know how Karen stands it.
There are many obstacles that the characters have to overcome. There is a lot of growing up that happens. They face their demons and learn from their mistakes. There are characters learning how to deal with failure. There are characters who are lonely or who make bad choices that effect their whole family. There is Chizuru going through the fun times of puberty. It really feels like you are reading about their lives. It doesn’t feel fake, it feels relatable and that’s what I liked about the manga. That and it was mother freaking hilarious!
I enjoyed the plot with her brother, Chizuru, although I feel like it was a shout out to his book. Because his book is in Japanese and hard to find I’ll probably never read it so I’m a little sad about that.
Akiyoshi and Maki
They go through a lot. First she likes someone else and then there’s Saki. It was dramatic. Then there’s Maki’s job. Yo, this couple has to work to be together! That is realistic though right? I thought so anyway.
They fight a lot in the most comical way. They’re an entertaining couple but they’re also really dense about love. So sometimes it was frustrating. I wanted to jump in the manga and be like “Omd, you like each other!”
When they finally get their act together it’s happy days I tell ya.
Senko and Toru
I LOVED this couple. I’ve already talked about them in another post and omd they killed me with their romance.
I, for one, love Honjou (Toru) and then when Senko started to feel him I was like yes girl yes! She however has a hard time transitioning from disliking Toru to admitting that really she loves him. When she takes the leap it is great! It is one of the best moments of the manga. Yes I said it, it’s phenominal!
I don’t know what it is about the supporting characters love story but somehow I always end up loving them more.
Where does Asako go?
This is a pet peeve of mine for this series. Asako just disappears. She was a good friend to Akiyoshi and all of a sudden she’s never there. It’s like, so are we going to act like she isn’t an important part of the trio… TRIO!
She’s friends with both Senko and Akiyoshi but she just disappears from the manga. At one point they say she’s busy with photography but she’s not even at really important moments.
I didn’t like that.
Reading the final volumes in Japanese really helped my Japanese. I learned some new kanji and how authors depict the way characters talk through kanji, hiragana and katakana. Honestly it was very interesting.
I feel that it started out great but towards the end certain characters got neglected. We didn’t get to see Akiyoshi’s family that much, we didn’t see Arata and Asako disappeared. It felt like the focus was always on Akiyoshi and Maki. It makes sense, of course, but I just missed the supporting cast.
The humour was maintained throughout though and I got to see my Senko and Toru so you know I was happy. It’s a good manga. I know I’ve listed some cons but nothing is perfect.
All things considered I give it a 4 out of 5. It was almost perfect and I really enjoyed reading it.
Ps: There is a bonus one shot manga about Senko and Toru’s love story. It’s a continuation from I Hate You More Than Anyone. You get to see their relationship a year on. Each chapter is a new chapter in their lives together as she first calls him by his first name and her applying for college. It’s unbelievably cute, sexy and very Senko and Honjou. It’s called お気に召すまま？and it is also in Japanese (I couldn’t find the English name again).
If you’re wondering why I’m re-uploading. I had another blog and I’m deleting it and transferring posts here. As to not overwhelm you (and me) I’m releasing them one by one.