Currently Reading – “Suki” tte ii na yo

I’ve been reading this manga for ages. It kind of fell out of being updated regularly for a while a year or two ago, but now it seems as though it’s become a lot more popular…it’s #5 on Mangareader, and it definitely deserves it!

“Suki” tte ii na yo by Hazuki Kanae

Summary (from Mangareader):

Mei Tachibana has spent her 16 years without making either boyfriend or friends. One day, she injures a popular boy in school, Yamato Kurosawa, because of a misunderstanding but for some reason it seems that he takes a liking to her and one-sidedly claims that they’re friends. Furthermore, he not only protects Mei from a stalker, he does it with a kiss…?!!

Thoughts so far:

This series is everything I love about shoujo manga.

Mei is a wonderful heroine, and she is likeable from the series’ start to the latest chapter update. And she goes through REAL, ACTUAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Such a ray of sunshine after reading so much fluff~

And Yamato is not the stereotypical “perfect pretty boy” by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, he is attractive, and yes, he is a kind person, but he is by no means a perfect character. He has done things in his past he isn’t proud of, and his relationship with Mei helps him come to terms with them. And best of all, his mistakes aren’t the typical shoujo tropes of letting his ex drown or something. Yamato has made real, human mistakes, and the series is all the more realistic and believable for it.

In fact, Mei and Yamato’s relationship is what makes this manga so great. Mei and Yamato are both insecure at different points of their relationship, but the way they solve their issues is so realistic and human. Their relationship is one of support, and as a result of their relationship, both Yamato and Mei manage to grow as people during the course of the manga. Who can say that about, say….Shinshi Doumei Cross or something? LOL

The supporting characters are just as likeable as the main characters. None of them are typical shoujo tropes – all of them have real worries and insecurities, and their interactions with Mei and Yamato also allow them to grow (Mei and Yamato have a lot of wisdom, hehe). Even the rivalry between Aiko and Mei was handled tastefully, and was never over-the-top. In shoujo, rivalries between the female protagonist and one of the supporting characters are common, but Aiko was never overly petty or whiny. Again, why I love this manga.

The insecurities that Mei, Aiko and Asami have are all real ones that I can imagine the readers struggling with as well, which makes this manga even more appealing. Feeling alone, struggling with your self-worth….these are issues any reader can relate to, which I think would make this manga accessible to anyone.

The art style isn’t my normal cup of tea, but it’s still a good one! It definitely has a more realistic style than a lot of the stuff you’d see in Nakayoshi or Hana to Yume, but it still retains that shoujo look. The characters are all drawn really well, and I never observed any drop in the art quality.

Overall, this is an excellent manga and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a change in pace from too much sugary fluff! ^_^/

Rating so far: 9/10