Currently Reading: Heroine Shikkaku
When I was typing the title for this, I almost put “Ningen Shikkaku”, which is something else entirely. Disaster averted!
Anyway, here’s a brief look at a lesser known, but wonderful series, Heroine Shikkaku!
(WARNING: Comparisons to Kimi ni Todoke are many. You’ve been warned.)
Summary (From Mangafox): This could be any girl. Imagine being a heroine of a love story. Hatori also believed that one day she would get married to her childhood friend, Rita.
But that’s not how the world works! This is a hilarious comedy that honestly paints a painful unrequited love story of this young girl!
Thoughts so far:
I read another plot summary of this that described this series as “Kimi ni Todoke from Kurumi’s perspective”, which is actually an apt description. However, this series is anything but formulaic. The premise of the series suits the genre of shoujo manga quite well without feeling formulaic or contrived.
In a lot of ways, Heroine Shikkaku DOES resemble Kimi ni Todoke. While Rita may not be the cheerful hero that Kazehaya is, Adachi (Rita’s new girlfriend) and Hatori do resemble (to an extent) Sawako and Kurumi, respectively. However, these similarities do not run deep.
Hatori may be over-confident at the start of the series, but she slowly becomes more humble as she tests and comes to understand the strength of Adachi and Rita’s relationship. And then she makes a lot of mistakes and cries a lot. Overall, I thinks he’s a MUCH more likeable heroine than Kurumi ever was, just because I find Hatori to be a lot more…multi-faceted.
Adachi resembles Sawako in terms of her introvertedness, but Adachi becomes a LOT more assertive (somewhat passively, anyway) as her relationship with Rita progresses. She may not direct her jealousy of Hatori’s close relationship with Rita to Hatori directly, but she doesn’t need to for the strength of her feelings to get across. She also tends to judge Hatori (quietly. VERY quietly) for her bad decisions in a way Sawako wouldn’t (since Sawako is too kind, hehe).
Rita is the one character I’m not all that crazy about in this series. Yeah, he’s miles more likeable than a lot of shoujo heroes out there, but I’m…not going crazy over him. First off, he lacks the very basic bishounen quality that most heroes have (he’s not drawn BADLY, he’s just…not flashy enough. Sorry. I’m picky). Also, his behaviour towards Hatori after he starts going out with Adachi is INEXCUSABLE. I know he doesn’t want to let go of his childhood friend, but his behaviour towards her is only ruining Hatori’s future love life. He needs to tell her to move on, and while he’ll still be there for her, there is NO CHANCE of a relationship.
He also needs to stop the overt physical contact, because it’s confusing Hatori AND making Adachi jealous (although she doesn’t show it). Yeah. Jerk-ish behaviour much? Throughout the time that I was reading this, I was getting more and more exasperated with him…but not to the point where I was slamming my fist on my desk with rage.
Also, Hatori’s new boyfriend (his name escapes me at the moment) is rather boring. While he’s not a jerk, he’s just…boring and unexciting while being inoffensive. So yay?
Moving on to the art!
The art is quite good. It’s not as flashy as some of the stuff I normally like, but I love the use of old 80’s era style shoujo art sprinkled throughout! A lot of mangaka use this technique in their work with varying degrees of quality, but it’s really well done here! ^_^
Heroine Shikkaku is supposedly ranked 885th on Mangafox, but I believe this series is deserving of much more attention. I highly recommend it~!
Rating so far: 8.5/10