Tsunderin: Outside of Princess Mononoke it’s clear that Spirited Away leads the pack of most well-loved Ghibli films in America. Certainly with an Academy Award and several other honors to its name, the impact of this film upon animation as a serious genre in filmmaking on an international level cannot be ignored. But on a slightly less foundation-shaking level, the film is just plain enjoyable to watch. So much so that I don’t think I know one person who hasn’t seen the film or at least knows the story on some level, even among my non-anime watching compatriots.
The series Teen Wolf—based very loosely on a comedy movie from the eighties by the same name—has had two fairly successful seasons thus far. Between the rise of stories like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, it seems to be riding on the success of its predecessors. At the very least it started out that way, before moving on to become its own story. And one of its goals was clearly to be as far away from Twilight humanly possible. Of course there’s still the shitty romance, but unlike Bella and Edward, Scott and Allison—our new star-crossed lovers—are surprisingly well-thought out characters. When they’re not together.
It is still based around the forbidden-romance trope, though, which I find annoying. Oftentimes, the forbidden romance presents itself but does little to justify the relationship. It can—and often does—involve stalking and emotional abuse and then calling that love, but usually all this trope does is show why the relationship should be forbidden in the first place before asking the audience to agree with it. Twilight, being one of the more prominent examples, is my case in point. And all the newer shows, movies, and books riding on its success like to copy that formula, mistaking the difference between stakes and an unhealthy relationship.
Fortunately, we can thank Teen Wolf for not doing that. As annoying as the love story can be, it is one of the healthier relationships I’ve seen in the forbidden-romance trope. And even though Teen Wolf is marketed toward a female audience and that’s probably the main reason the romance between Scott and Allison is played out the way it is, it is not handled the way I would expect it to be in a love story. While a relationship with Allison may be Scott’s driving motivation, it is not what’s driving the plot.
We can give Teen Wolf credit in that it doesn’t forget to tell a story in light of the romance.
I was excited to finally get a new episode Adventure Time with my favorite genderbent fanfiction females, Ice King’s Fionna and Cake. I was ecstatic when I heard Marshall Lee the Vampire King would finally speak (voiced by Donald Glover). As the episode went on I became less and less happy until I was just agitated, especially with Slime Princess’s suggestion of “What if there was a little more romance in the story?”Damn it Adventure Time, didn’t we already go over this?
Okay, and men.
Obviously I may very well launch into a post on why that’s not true. But instead, let’s also talk about why it’s a damaging idea. So let me start this off with a quick backstory on myself. I’m a nerd. I’m an asexual nerd who never felt the need to seek out a man. I only got a partner eventually because Lady Geek Girl all but super-glued my current boyfriend and I together. But as you can all imagine, it was quite a rough ride for a while. And though the two of us have been dating for almost six years now, I had never been keen on seeking a partner out beforehand.
I just wasn’t interested in it, but I felt as though I would never be happy without a guy, because according to every movie I’ve watched ever, a guy is what I needed. Lord knows, as a woman, I can’t take care of myself, so I need a man to make me happy and to provide for me.
Furthermore, believing that not wanting a partner made me the odd one out and having a skewed frame of reference from the media, I simply didn’t understand other girls growing up. Sure, I had my geeky friends and they all had the occasional crush, but I honestly believed that every other female our age talked about nothing but boys and makeup, which also made me feel as though being a non-nerd girl was very dull.
From an historical viewpoint, just about every culture on the planet has idealized males as dominate figures, while dismissing females as the lesser sex. Japan is certainly no exception to this way of thinking. Though in recent years, while the gap between both genders has slimmed, it is still there, and the Japanese reflect this ideology in their manga and anime. Manga has been around for quite some time, and anime first appeared in the last century to represent manga on the television screen. While manga has an incredibly wide fan base that continues to grow each year, it normally targets either boys or girls. Manga for boys is called shounen, and for girls it’s shoujo.
Both may display similar characteristics regarding gender roles, but they are quite dissimilar in their portrayal, and normally cater to different genres. Shoujo, for instance, tends to center more on romance and finding true love, while shounen, even though it may also have romance, focuses more on action and adventure. This is not to say that shoujo has neither action nor adventure; those are just not the main focus in a typical shoujo.
So what I’m going to talk about today are two different shounen, Kisimoto Masasi’s Naruto and Takahasi Rumiko’s InuYasha. I also hope to explain why they are both shounen and not shoujo. Obviously, Naruto is a shounen, but there are some discrepancies about what category InuYasha falls under. And you’re going to have to brace yourselves, but I’m also going to be discussing gender roles.
Okay, let’s get to it.
We all have them, those stories that we visit the pages of each day in hopes that its author updates with a pace that matches our voracious need of their works. This is one of mine. This is another Homestuck story, so I’ll try to explain the confusing parts as best I can but to do so will involve some MILD SPOILERS, so I’ll just warn you of that now.
All in all, once you get the basics the physics behind The Irony of Bubblemates by Brodad, it’s incredibly simple and the possibilities keep the audience coming back for more. The general premise is that cool kid Dave Strider (who I mentioned in my previous Homestuck fic review) and the incredibly dorky alien troll kid, Tavros Nitram, have taken up rooming together in Dave’s dreambubble apartment. By the mention of dream, you may think that this is some terrible fic where a bunch of heartwarming moments happen and then they wake up and don’t remember anything. You would only be half-right. In the series, dreambubbles act as a way for a being to work through a previously stressful moment of their lives by re-living it, only “waking up” in the bubble once they fully realize their massive amounts of déjà vu. However, these bubbles are not confined to the living, the hundreds upon hundreds of dead, offshoot timeline beings have dreambubbles too and they can control where they go (since they don’t have to worry about waking up). That is where we find our two protagonists: dead and chilling out playing some video games.
Aside from sick-nasty rap-offs and humorous banter, this story not only explores the feelings of someone that has to come to terms with their alive self still living the life that they no longer can have, but also further fleshes out the troll romance system. Even
though webcomic author, Andrew Hussie, goes over it more than enough times, it’s still pretty confusing, so this fic was really helpful. Besides that, it explores Tavros’ insecurities, Dave’s fear of commitment, and how an inter-species relationship can work when it seems like a wrong move will land you in the hospital (yes, you can still get hurt even though you’re dead. What a raw deal, eh?). Although their relationship is adorable, this fic quickly becomes highly smutty and NSFW. Luckily, you can tell which chapters are going to have sexual content because Brodad is a total sweetie and put ratings and a short description of the part at the beginning of each chapter.
Even if you don’t really understand Homestuck, I would recommend giving it a read anyway. Especially if you like slightly dramatic relationship fics where the characters don’t get into a relationship right away. You can find the story here on Brodad’s tumblr. She also put it up on AO3, but it’s going through a massive re-hauling right now so it may not be up in its entirety.
After last week’s foray into… whatever you would call that, I decided to give myself time to recuperate and return to a series that I really love despite the fact that I actually haven’t finished it yet (whoops).
If I were to put His and Her Circumstance, more commonly known as Kare Kano (short for Kareshi Kanojo no Jiyou), on the spectrum of genres, it would fall somewhere between Kitchen Princess and Honey and Clover: there’s no way it’s not shoujo, but it’s certainly more ‘slice-of-life’-y than a lot of other shoujos. The series starts out following Yukino Miyazawa as she goes through her school life acing tests, having a bunch of friends, being basically perfect in any way. What I mean by ‘starts out’ is that this image lasts approximately seven pages into the first chapter and immediately slips when the other main character, Soichio Arima, is mentioned.
You see, Yukino is living a lie, and it’s a lie that many of us know very well. At school and in public she is the image of high school beauty and brains, what everyone aspires to be. Yet at home she is a slob who lounges around in sweats all day and works her butt off to achieve that public image for the sole reason of being praised. She is a self-proclaimed egomaniac. However, all of her hard work is seemingly for naught when Soichiro becomes the class representative. Not only did he ‘steal’ this title away from her, oh no, he also seems to be everything she’s not. He actually is the perfect, good looking, smart person that she has to act at being. Needless to say, this pisses her off. It pisses her off even more when he catches her slipping up in class, and so she starts working even harder to throw him off his high horse. It all seems to be coming together for her after she scores higher than him, but the façade is ruined when he visits her at home.
However, from his end Soichiro genuinely admires her. He continuously wants to be near her and feels as though it makes him better for it. He even confesses his feelings for her at some point (she turns him down at first). After the incident at Yukino’s house, he uses his insight into her actual self as a means of blackmail and forces her to help him with his student council work, least she be exposed to the entire school. However, it ends up being just a ploy to have her spend more time with him in a manner where she could actually be herself. It’s a little underhanded, but ends up being a mutually beneficial arrangement.
From these two chapters—yes, this all happens in the first two chapters—the two of them begin reconsidering what they really want out of life and how to balance their “public” selves with their “actual” selves (spoiler: Soichiro isn’t actually perfect). As with Honey and Clover, this seemingly mundane task is what makes the rest of the series. Both of them go through school, deal with relationships (with each other and apart), and handle the drama that comes with them and we see how it shapes them into the adults they are in the last volume of the manga. Of course, what I find most interesting is how author Masami Tsuda creates such a meaningful, three-dimensional relationship from Soichiro and Yukino. Never do you feel that they aren’t their own people and never do they lose the strengths and insecurities that make them interesting. In such a long series (I think it’s about 21 volumes), it’s rather difficult to keep interest in a single relationship but by keeping the his/her style of storytelling the audience really becomes attached to the characters, so the relationship is actually a secondary thing.
I would definitely recommend giving this series a try. Yukiko is a hilariously awkward character and the friends they both make later into the series really round out the cast into characters that you may not like all the time, but you can respect their actions because they have purpose beyond building up the main characters, unlike many other shoujos.
I’m new to the world of Avengers fandom, and I have only a very interested amateur’s knowledge of the comicverse; but even with all of this, I have this very instinctual understanding that “The Avengers all live together in a house provided by Tony Stark” is an Avengers fanfic plot trope as old and honored as sex pollen or accidental bonding are in Kirk/Spock fiction. And within those tropes, there are always going to be not-so-good ones, and there are always going to be super-amazing ones.
Ready, Fire, Aim is one of the latter. Full disclosure, it’s Steve/Tony (with background Pepper/Natasha), and there’s not much of a connecting thread to the story except for the gradual romantic growth between the two. But the episodic flow of the story is really organic and comfortable; in once scene Clint’s trying to teach Thor how to use the Wii, and in the next the team is helping (or being helped by) the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to subdue evil parade floats. (Oh yeah, there are a million neat little tie-ins with the Marvel ‘verse outside of the movie, which I appreciated even if I am not a comic buff.) The funny parts are funny, the sexy parts are hot like burning, and although I’m not super qualified to talk about characterization, the characters seem to be and act and talk exactly how they ought to in my head. Thor especially is amazing.
This story has two amazing sequels as well (well, one is an actual sequel and one is the story of Ready, Fire, Aim from Steve’s POV, written for a charity fic auction), but they’re easily around 50k words put together, so if you’re recently graduated like me and have a hell of a lot of time on your hands, this is the perfect fic to spend an hour or two (or however long it takes other people to read 50,000 words) with. Enjoy!
Those of us here at LGG&F worked tirelessly to compile and vote on the top 10 canon and top 10 fanon pairings in Geekdom. You have no idea how hard it was to come to a consensus on what was actually canon or not!
THE CANON LIST:
1. Princess Leia/Han Solo
“I’m a nice man.” – Han Solo
“No, you’re not.” – Leia
The space pirate and the princess, Han helps Luke rescue Leia from the clutches of the evil empire and the rest, as they say, is history. If you like couples that start off hating each other, then this is the couple for you! Han and Leia participate in many a witty jab at the others expense. Meanwhile, the sexual tension between the two is so thick even Chewbacca notices it. Sure, there was a brief and confusing time when it seemed that maybe Luke and Leia where going to get together—*shudders*—but real Star Wars fans and a blood test quickly cleared that up. Thanks, George Lucas, for giving us this great couple!
“Forever.” – Rose
Okay, so Doctor/Rose. The Doctor is a traveler through time and space and the last of his species. Rose is a young shopgirl from London whom he meets and with whom he travels for two seasons (all of the Ninth Doctor and the first season of Ten). They have adventures and fight everything from ghosts to Satan. The Doctor helps Rose realize her value outside of being a shopgirl while they learn new things. Rose helps the Doctor move past his depression in being the last Time Lord alive after the Time War. They are separated into parallel universes while saving the Earth, but later reunited. The Doctor at one point is separated into a Time Lord and human self, and the human self chooses to return to the parallel universe with Rose because he can commit to her in a way the Time Lord Doctor cannot.
The Doctor and Rose share this intense love of discovering new things even when they’re potentially dangerous. They sort of have an unspoken understanding that they love each other (it’s not verbalized until pretty much the last time you see Rose). Their relationship involves a lot of hugs and lust and shared amused looks/eyesex, etc, etc.
“What?” – Willow
“Yours.” – Tara
Both witches Willow and Tara meet at college in a Wicca group where they discover they are the only two real witches. After several altercations with monsters, Willow and Tara begin to grow closer, leading Willow to question her previously assumed heterosexuality. Eventually, Willow follows her heart to Tara, and since then the two have been one of TV’s best same sex couples.
4. Xavin/Karolina Dean
Karolina Dean is an alien that absorbs solar energy into her body and can shoot it back out at you just as fast. She is an openly lesbian character in the Marvel team known as the Runaways. Xavin is a shape-shifting gender-fluid skrull prince/princess who is engaged to Karolina. Their relationship starts off rocky. First, with the two teenagers coming to terms with their marriage, and then with Karolina struggling over the fact that Xavin is not always a woman who she is attracted two. Despite this adversity and the constant bad guys trying to kill them, the two manage to find an enduring love for the ages.
“Again? But I’ve said it fifty times!” – Mamoru
“Please? One more time?” – Usagi
“Okay, for the last time. Marry me, Usagi.” – Mamoru
Whether we’re talking about Serenity/Endymion, Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask, or even Serena/Darien, these two lives are always linked. In the manga, anime, musicals, and live-action series, their relationship varies in its depiction but their devotion to each other can’t be denied. I’d like to talk primarily about their relationship in the live-action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, because this incarnation of the story has the most unique depiction of their relationship.
Unlike in the anime, the two develop feelings for each other as Usagi and Mamoru first, rather than realizing they were lovers in the past and beginning a relationship from there. The affection they have for each other is so strong that Usagi’s crush on Tuxedo Mask is actually eclipsed by her feelings for Mamoru after a lot of distress on her part as she sorts out her feelings. When the pair learn of their past in this series, unlike every other incarnation, it nearly destroys their relationship, rather than solidifying it. They learn that their affair was essentially the downfall of both their kingdoms in their past lives and at first try to stay away from each other to avoid repeating the tragedy. They realize, of course, that they can’t simply stop wanting each other and decide that they will not be ruled by their past, that they choose to love one another now, in the present, despite the probability that they are doomed to bring about ruin by doing so. It is this choice that I think strengthens the Usagi/Mamoru relationship as opposed to the “Miracle Romance” of the other incarnations of the story. This is not to say that I don’t think their relationship in the manga/anime/musicals is any less true or beautiful, just that the implications of fate working against them, as opposed to, in their favor makes their choice to be together that much more impressive in PGSM.
One of the greatest love stories you will ever read anywhere and also one of the funniest. Westley starts out as a poor farm boy working for Buttercup. She mistreats him horribly, but soon she falls just as madly in love with him as he is with her. When Buttercup thinks Westley is killed, she abandons hope and nearly marries an evil prince, but Westley soon returns, because, well, “death cannot stop true love; it can only delay it for a while.” Buttercup and Westley also share one of the greatest kisses in all of history. If you don’t like these two, then you might just have no heart.
7. Jane Eyre/Edward Rochester
“I know no weariness of my Edward’s society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result.” – Jane Eyre
Jane and Edward are not the typical lovers. They are twenty years different in age; she is poor, obscure, and little, while he is rich, well known, not handsome (though does posses a fine pair of dark eyes), and while athletic in build, is not particularly tall. They are not beautiful in body, but they are in mind. Jane is plain, but she has a sprightly and empathetic disposition, coupled with a strong sense of justice and a surprisingly quick temper. Rochester is dark and brooding—*swoon*—with a sarcastic sense of humor, but he is passionate, especially when it comes to Jane (Bow chicka bow wow). Their love is not instant; it grows through the time they spend together and the trials they are put through. Though they have societal differences, it is their spirits, their mutual affection, and compatibility that make them such an amusing, beautiful, and ultimately romantic couple.
What to say about Apollo and Midnighter? They where originally introduce in Stormwatch, which was in a universe outside of the normal DC universe. It has often been pointed out that these two characters are simply the gay version of Batman and Superman, and while they do share many similarities. They are also extremely badass superheroes willing to kill for those they love. The two are subtle about their relationship in the beginning, but soon share their relationship with their teammates. They eventually get married and adopt a little girl. Word to the wise though, super villains, if you mess with this family you may end up without a head… or worse.
“You cannot give this to me.” – Aragorn
“It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart.” – Arwen
A timeless love that crossed cultural divides and racism. Arwen gives up her immortality to live a short life as a mortal with Aragorn, despite her father’s disapproval and the concerns of her people. There is actually not much said about Aragorn and Arwen in the actual series, though there is plenty in the book’s massive appendix, as well as in the movies. Arwen’s and Aragorn’s love is pure and sweet, the kind of a noble knight for his faithful lady. It’s a classic that we love.
What’s a romance list without a little mad love? A bad one, that’s what! Harley and the Joker don’t have a stable relationship, not by any means, but if you ask fans about comic book romances, they will more likely than not mention Harley and her Puddin’. Let’s be serious: their love is deranged, sick, twisted, and maybe a little bit sweet. The Joker himself worries that he might care too much about Harley in some comics. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bring about a change in Joker; it just makes him want to kill poor Harley! Well, Harley can change him right… no, probably not.
THE FANON LIST:
Kida, Anri, and Mikado all are high school students that secretly run different gangs in the city. Yep, anime… go figure? Despite running rival gangs, the three maintain a friendship and eventually work together. Their love is epic and there is just too much of it for one person. So maybe Kida had some other girlfriend—screw her! She wasn’t nearly as cool as Anri and Mikado! Congrats to our list’s only OT3.
Move over, Wincest fans! Profound bond coming through! Only two pairings were almost unanimously voted for on this list, and Dean and Castiel were one of them. An angel and his hunter, the eye sex alone may be enough to point out how totally in love they are. Castiel fell from heaven and died for Dean twice. Castiel is the first person Dean has ever trusted that wasn’t family (Bobby doesn’t count; he was basically their dad). Dean, however… insists that he’s straight… yep. But the fans know Dean is lying. And to prove it, the fans dominate every online couples contest. Castiel and Dean won best couple in a poll done by Spoiler TV, and are now going head to head with Faberry and Klaine (both from Glee). Castiel and Dean, their love is heavenly!
Another paring almost unanimously voted for by our writers. Snape always loved Lily. Always. Fans of the Harry Potter series adore Snape so much that his happiness wins out over the birth of Harry Potter. A slew of fanfics were written describing the beautiful love between Lily and Snape. After all, JKR admits that James was Lily’s second choice… because you know, Snape called her a mudblood, but if he hadn’t done that she totally would have married him, because she loved him way more than James. Snape and Lily, in the minds of fans, they will always be together.
They’re best friends, best buds, best pals! They are as close as two men can be… Let’s be honest, Batman and Superman are a little into each other. There is a reason Apollo and Midnighter were created, and that reason is that fans saw the sexual tension in droves. The relationship between Batman and Superman rivals that of even the most avid Batman/Robin fans. Their love is chaotic and often filled with problems, mostly because of Batman’s abandonment issues, but despite all this fans are convinced it’s Batman and Superman forever.
There are several Tolkien scholars that would smack me over the head right now if they new this couple made the list. Sam and Frodo are war buddies… brothers… okay, fine, lovers trying desperately to save Middle Earth despite only having each other, and I guess Gollum, to rely on. So this may be one of the most contested pairing on this list. Some people love them; some people hate them. But hey, if they found some happiness with each other during these troubling times, who are we to judge?
A fandom that boldly went where no fandom had gone before! Kirk and Spock hold the honor and distinction of being the original slash pairing. You don’t want to mess with Kirk/Spock shippers. Like all things that involve Star Trek, Kirk and Spock are a pairing ardently defended and upheld by the fans. And who could blame them? Both characters are bachelors for life and seem to only care about each other and a ship. Okay, that may be an over simplification, but you see my point. When Spock is going through the Vulcan mating cycle of Pon Farr, it takes rolling around in the dirt with Kirk to help him find release. Ladies and gentleman, the original slash pairing!
They’re the ship you shipped before you knew what shipping was. Well, maybe that’s only true for me, but whatever. Throughout the first three seasons of Power Rangers (IIRC—Jason left sometime in the third season, but I may be mistaken) and especially in the episodes prior to Tommy’s arrival, there were strong hints that Jason Scott and Kimberly Hart were romantically interested in each other, or at the very least shared a closer bond with each other than they did with the other Rangers. From the beginning of the show, when the group was in danger these two always seemed to seek each other out in the chaos, for protection, for assurance that the other was safe, for shared strength. Whatever the reason, they almost invariably grabbed or at least looked to each other in moments of peril. Classroom scenes and schemes which involved splitting up often shows Kimberly and Jason together, and even when Tommy and Kimberly were dating, for the time Jason remained on the show there was still a closeness he and Kimberly shared. Jason/Kimberly shippers got the biggest gift of all in the form of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie which, as far as I’m concerned, made the couple canon.
The characters in Hetalia are anthropomorphized countries, so France/England is based partially on the diplomatic history between France and England, like they reimagine a proposed treaty between the countries as a marriage proposal, etc. England is portrayed as a stuffy, superstitious, sort of uncool guy, whereas France is a flamboyant, womanizing/… manizing, wine- and food-loving layabout who solves his problems with love.
Ah, what can be said about L and Light? Their relationship certainly isn’t healthy. Much like Harley and Joker, there is a lot of abuse and manipulation happening here. Unlike our two favorite clowns, however, there is a mutual respect and understanding. There is also the kink factor. L handcuffs himself to Light in order to ensure he is definitely not Kira. Boy, did that spawn some porny fanfiction. And show of hands who thought they were going to make out in the rain in that last episode? Yes, I said last episode! Are there episodes after L? No, there are not, but there is always fanfiction.
Harry stalked Draco all through book six of the Harry Potter series then saved him from fiery death in book seven. Draco loves to pester Harry all the time, but we know he really just wants Harry’s attention. This couple is probably one of the most intense love/hate relationships on this list, but as every fanfic everywhere has said, there is a fine line between love and hate. Harry and Draco prove that more than anyone. So what if both Draco and Harry got married and had kids with weird names? That’s actually an alternate universe, thank you very much. We all know that Harry married Draco after the events of Deathly Hallows, that’s just fact.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I figured it would be appropriate to review another shojou manga. …Who am I kidding? I was going to do that anyway, but I’ll take any excuse I can get. And boy, do I need an excuse for this one. Back in the day when I used to subscribe to Shojou Beat magazine, there was a preview for this story and maybe it was the main character’s horrendously big eyes that got to me but I fell in love with it. Fell in love despite the fact that it’s probably about the most cliché, contrived shojou manga in this modern era. Readers, I would like to introduce you to Chitose Yagami’s two volume l♥ve-l♥ve fest, Fall in Love Like a Comic.
Our protagonist is Rena Sakura—it’s already starting to sound like a bad fanfiction, isn’t it?—who suffers from ‘looking five years younger than you actually are’-itis, is in high school, and is also secretly a manga artist for a popular magazine. In addition to being really cute, Rena is also hardworking, has a really good friend, and is incredibly silly. Basically she’s the everygirl. Her comic, unoriginally titled ‘Girl in Love ♥’, is incredibly popular but in a shocking turn of events we find that Rena has never had a boyfriend! Gasp! Thus, to improve the quality of her comic she ends up employing the help of the popular, athletic, perfect-in-every-way Tomoya Okita.
As you have probably guessed already yes, they do fall in love. In fact, it happens in chapter three (which is only half-way through the first volume!). I use the term ‘fall in love’ very loosely because Rena is definitely in lust and I honestly don’t know what Tomoya’s deal is. The only thing he knows about her is that she’s cute, she draws manga, and that she’s very excitable. Maybe it’s too much to expect a little depth here, but it is Yagami’s sixth manga series. So, if the main conflict is essentially solved by not even the end of the first volume, what’s the rest of the story? Let me sum it up for you.
[Insert event that makes it seem like Tomoya is cheating on or uninterested in Rena]
Rena: OMG! I should have guessed! He doesn’t understaaaaaaand!!! *cries*
Tomoya: Rena, u r wrong!
Tomoya: Rena, I luv u 5eva. *kisses her*
Rena: K *giggles*
No, seriously. The rest of it is filler until the end. In fact, the end could be considered filler. Since the first volume doesn’t even end on a cliffhanger, one could just stop there and the story wouldn’t suffer at all. However, in the second volume there actually is one story arc that gives the relationship some depth.
The happy couple and their friends are going on a trip together so Rena gets it in her head that to deepen the relationship between the two of them they’re going to have sex. Rena tries to seduce Tomoya the entire trip (which amounts to her just looking stupid), eventually cornering him in the shower and telling him how she feels and what she wants. Surprisingly, they don’t have sex instead opting to wait until later. Although Tomoya directly says, “We’re going to wait until I’m ready”, I feel as though this is for both of their benefits rather than him being selfish. It’s obvious that Rena isn’t as ready as she thinks she is as she cannot even handle kissing him without becoming a flustered moe-blob. Literally. Also, this sends a really good message to the readers that sex isn’t the only way to deepen or intensify a relationship. That an emotional connection that involves an understanding between each other is more important than the physical. That it’s okay to not do it. It’s also refreshing to see the male be the one to refuse the sexual advances, especially in a shojou manga. In addition to that, Rena is not shamed for her sexual desires and it’s treated as it should be: a normal occurrence and something to be explored at a later time. For this arc alone, I have to give Yagami credit.
However, that credit fades away slightly when [spoilers] the comic ends on a wedding! A fucking wedding! They haven’t even been in the relationship for a year, they haven’t graduated high school, they’re not even telling their parents and they’re getting married!! It’s so cliché. And there’s nothing leading up to it either! They have a fight where Rena is ignoring Tomoya’s calls because she thinks he’s falling back in love with his ex-girlfriend—her tutor—and then bam! Wedding! What the hell?!
As much as I love this series, I can’t recommend it in good faith. The art ranges from decent to ‘why is their face melting?’ and the story is just not strong at all. Even the bonus stories at the back of the manga aren’t very good. However, if you want something that doesn’t require any brain power to enjoy or just is some meaningless fluff, this comic just may be your godsend.