Welcome back to another post of reviews 🙂 This week will be yet another manga review because that’s probably the only thing that I can keep up with these days, though I’m trying to find a good anime to watch and hopefully eventually review. But for now, we’ll just stick to manga reviews.
This week, I started reading this shoujo manga called Heroine Shikkaku, by Koda Momoko. Its genres are comedy, drama, romance, school life and shoujo. Hmm I wouldn’t say that this is one of my favourite mangas to read but I sure did find some relation to it, along with a couple of annoyance and disappointment.
A little on how I found this manga: I actually bookmarked this manga a long time ago, as I always do and only recently decided to give it a try because I came across some people on different websites saying that they liked this story. That intrigued me enough to try reading the first chapter of Heroine Shikkaku.
Matsuzaki Hatori loves to imagine that she’s a heroine in a shoujo manga, the leading lady, the star of the story. Of course, the heroine must have a hero by her side right? Hatori has a childhood friend who she has been with since elementary school, Terasaka Rita who is handsome, popular and well-liked by girls. With his
cool nonchalant attitude, he frequently dates girls and breaks up with them within a short period of time, never getting serious with anyone. Being with Rita for so long, it was inevitable that she came to fall in love with him but she never confessed her feelings to him, knowing that Rita only plays around with girls. Satisfied that the girls that Rita date will never last long and so will never be the ‘heroine’, Hatori is content with her life.
Until one day. Rita starts to date a girl called Adachi, a rather quiet girl who doesn’t get along well with her classmates and isn’t very pretty. Due to her kind and generous personality, Hatori feels insecure and threatened by this newcomer with her big-heartedness, who doesn’t seem to act the same way as other girls. With her position as the ‘heroine’ dangerously drifting away from her, Hatori decides to take action and steal Rita away from Adachi with all her might. In comes in Hiromitsu Kousuke, a popular guy who’s in the basketball team who takes an interest in Hatori as she pursues her mission to get rid of Adachi and steal back Rita.
What will happen to Hatori? Will she succeed in breaking up Adachi and Rita? And will Rita return her affections? And what about Hiromitsu Kousuke, will he manage to turn Hatori’s attention to him instead? Read this manga to find out.
I actually had a great first impression of Heroine Shikkaku after just four chapters into the story. What was so great about the first four chapters? I guess you could say that those first four chapters were very relatable to me.
1. Hatori has a guy that she likes but could never confess to
2. The guy ends up getting together with someone else who he seems to like quite a fair bit
3. Hatori realises that she could have been a ‘side character’ all along and that she will never be the ‘heroine’ and so coming to the realisation that she may never have Rita.
4. She wonders had she had the courage to confess to Rita earlier, would she be standing beside him instead of Adachi?
5. When she sees Rita defend Adachi without even knowing the entire situation, Hatori cannot help but despair why isn’t he on her side and what it is that Adachi has that she doesn’t.
6. Nakajima, Hatori’s best friend gives her some good advice about moving on:
Your one-sided love was pretty long. It was very manga-like, where the heroine is a popular girl and a long-time childhood friend with the guy. But isn’t it better if you don’t make yourself miserable by troubling too much with his issues? Quit thinking about Terasaka already! Let’s find ourselves a better love relationship, Hatori!
I’m pretty sure all of us have had our own fair share of the scenario above whereby it just doesn’t work out with your crush because you lacked the courage to confess to him/her and someone beats you to it, resulting in that person getting together with your crush. Depressing, no? I especially liked Nakajima’s advice to Hatori to tell her to move on because she didn’t say it in a mean way, but it was in a encouraging kind of way, sort of like saying that Rita wasn’t the only guy in the world and that there was no need to fuss over everything about him so much.
I can’t say that Hatori is a brilliant character because she has flaws – she’s impulsive, says things without thinking, is pretty self-centered and can be quite mean. But all these just makes her more believable as a person and not just some perfect shoujo heroine character. And one redeeming factor about Hatori is that she does have a conscience and after doing something rash, she would always reflect on her actions and eventually come round and apologise for her mistakes. She is honest and genuine that way and that’s a good point about her.
Rita is likeable enough right from the start as a typical cool shoujo male lead who is handsome and popular but his weak resolve is what irritated me the most halfway through the manga. I don’t really know what to think of male leads who reject the female lead and get together with someone else, then later start to notice the female lead more when she has a suitor and thus end up realising his feelings for her and resolve to chase her and win her back. I’ve seen too many of these kind of male leads and I can’t say that I root for them to win back the female lead all the time. These guys just give off an impression of fickleness. It’s pretty disgusting, to be frank.
Some examples of such guys who reject the female lead, gets together with another girl then later starts to notice her only when she has a suitor and decides that he does have feelings for her and wants to win her back:
1. Kyousuke in Tonari no Atashi
2. Shishio Satsuki in Hirunaka no Ryuusei
3. Mabuchi Kou in Ao Haru Ride
Honestly, even though the first few chapters managed to hook me and gave me a good impression of the story, I felt that the later chapters weren’t as impressive. The story line was quite predictable with consistent characters. I got annoyed and irritated with Rita and Hatori for their weak resolves and indecisiveness. The comedy wasn’t very strong and well, there’s actually nothing much outstanding about it, thinking about it now. But it’s an okay story if you have some spare time and don’t mind reading about a guy who rejects the girl, gets together with another girl, notices the first girl later on and decides to get her back.
Art: 7/10 (The art is average for me, not very attractive. And even more so when Hatori is depressed or determined)
Story line: 6.5/10 (Ugh. I wanted to give this a 6 but then I remembered its good first impression so 6.5)
Chapter length: 9/10 (Within a range of 43-48 pages each chapter)