Sorry I took a break last week, it’s really not easy finding time to write reviews and come up with material to write about. I do like writing, YES but I already write so much in a week that I think I kind of have an aversion to it now. My only comforting thought now is that the writing I’m writing now is creative writing, the kind that I can just anyhow write and express my thoughts with my words without a structure to follow.
If only report writing could be that expressive and opinionated, I’d totally do it for a living.
So anyway I’m going to be reviewing a manga that I’d bookmarked a while ago but didn’t start on it because of its strange title and story description. When I first chanced upon this manga, I thought the title was weird, it had the word ‘usagi’ in it. And of course, I knew that ‘usagi’ meant ‘rabbit’ in Japanese. I glanced through the story description, wondering if this story was worth reading and the very first line already made me feel hesitant.
‘When Momoka, a very shy girl who loves rabbits‘ did NOT jump immediately on my wavelength. I was going to read a story about a girl who loved RABBITS? I’m sorry, but I love animals too but I do not particularly want to read a story about a girl who’s description is that of someone who loves rabbits.
But when I started reading the story, I guess I know why that’s the way she’s described: it’s her only distinctive feature. Typical shoujo story but a description of a rabbit-loving-girl is a little too kiddy for me. And the story doesn’t really surround her and rabbits but the rabbits do make their relevance from time to time and the rabbits do help her get along with certain people. Strange? I think so too.
Namida Usagi – Seifuku no Kataomoi is written by Minase Ai and the genres are comedy, drama, romance, school life, shoujo and slice of life. The story isn’t bad either and the characters are pretty likeable.
The story is about Usami Momoka, a girl with a sweet personality and a love for rabbits such that everything she owns is rabbit-related. On the second semester of her third year in junior high, the seat-change occurs and she ends up sitting next to a boy in her class who is considered ‘unlucky’ and that whoever sits next to him will be cursed.
The curse: A girl who sits next to him will never get a lover in her life (Seriously, who comes up with this kind of rubbish hahaha but then again, this is FICTION)
Momoka continues to be afraid of her desk-mate, Narumi Takahiro and is constantly depressed sitting next to him. This all changes when one day during a run, she experiences cramps and sits at the sidewalk to take a rest. She realises that her period had come and unable to move, she starts to panic. Just then, Takahiro runs by and he notices Momoka sitting by the sidewalk. Instantly worried, he goes up to her and asks if she’s all right. Upon realising that she’s on her period, he covers her with his jacket and carries her to the teacher he ran past a short distance back. Seeing this gesture of his, Momoka is touched and starts to have a new perspective of her desk-mate.
She tells her friends that she wants to continue sitting next to Takahiro and slowly, as she gradually begins to discover a gentle and kind side to him, she starts to fall in love with him. Realising her love for Takahiro, she sets off to confess to him on the day of their graduation but fails to reach him in time as he boards the bus leaving for his trip to Hokkaido.
Several years pass and Momoka is now a freshman high school student. On her first day at school, she hears rumours about a really ‘hot freshman’ and hearing the whispers among the girls, she turns around to see who they are looking at. One look at him and Momoka is stunned. It is Narumi Takahiro.
For the rest of the story (it’s still ongoing), Momoka tries to stay close by her first love because seeing him happy makes her happy. But soon, her love gets too painful upon finding out that Takahiro already has a girlfriend and rejects her confession. Not wanting to lose him though, she requests that they stay as friends and he agrees. Quite a few times, Momoka attempts to give up on her love so she can move on but every time she tries, Takahiro always makes her remember how much she loves him – it is too much such that she cannot forget him anymore. And Momoka is a good girl, refusing to test another’s feelings for her own benefit. It’s not wonder that other guys begin to notice her and fall for her. We learn that Takahiro is in fact a highly responsible person who doesn’t wish to break his promises even though it means him making a sacrifice – his love.
This story is very similar to Kimi Ga Suki (by Watanabe Ayu, the author of the famous L-DK) in the sense that one of the main characters feel indebted or tied to their duties or obligation to ‘look after’ someone else and so remains by that person’s side despite not being in love with that person. And so they sacrifice their love and suppress their real feelings to stay by that person’s side.
Check out this scene below whereby Takahiro’s gesture reminds Momoka of how much she loves him.
Aw. So sweet.
I recommend you reading this story if you’re looking for a sweet, cute story with no outright vicious and devious antagonists.
Art: 10/10 (I love this art by Minase Ai. Narumi Takahiro is really handsome ^^)
Story line: 7/10 (Nothing I haven’t seen before but still, the characters were really interesting and likeable and that’s what kept me reading)
Chapter length: 8/10 (Ranging from 33-39, pretty reasonable)