As you have all noticed by now, I have a deep and intense love for the shoujo genre of manga. Something about the over the top drama mixed with innocent love just really makes me smile.
Say I Love You by Kanae Hazuki is a more realistic take on what it would be like to be in high school in Japan (I’m assuming this, because although I may seem like some kind of expert, I never have been and never will be a Japanese high school student).
It follows the story of a quiet reserved girl, Mei Tachibana, who has taken a life of solitude. She never made any friends and has also never had a boyfriend (at the age of 16). It isn’t exactly a comedy, in fact it gets fairly heavy in the sentimental emotions area (sometimes a little bit raunchy too).
“But wait, Eastyn, is this going to be like almost every other shoujo plot where the popular kid falls in love with her and she has emotional hang ups about him and his popularity even though he loves her deeply with all his heart?” Is what you may be wanting to ask me. In this you would be correct.
However instead of over the top love confessions and strange rivalries, this takes a strangely realistic turn for the genre and addresses the issue of insecurity in a delicate way that really puts you right back into high school, emotionally that is.
The art in this book is different than others. I really really enjoy the detail put into the hair and the costumes, I feel like the art is much more contemporary. Rather than sticking with the manga pointy hair and strange school uniforms, there is a much more organic feeling to the way everything looks.
The backgrounds and panels are just how I like them, clean and clear. There is no confusion between what to read next or what is going on. The focus is the characters and not the backgrounds or extra little fluffy shiny things floating around for no apparent reason.
I really have enjoyed reading this manga so far, and can’t wait for Chapter 18 to come out. I highly recommend it. There are some humorous parts, but it will pull on the ol’ heart strings.
It is not available on amazon, so read it here:
Until next time