Finished this 150-chapter manga at long last.
Utsumi is your everyday student. He is also a boy that has always had a strong sense of what is right in the world. With nothing but innocence and a mind that longs for his “significant other,” Utsumi takes on one of the toughest subjects: love. With the help of the devious and mysterious Kurokawa Yuki, will Utsumi learn how to be fortunate in the game of love? Only through the ups and downs of real life, and the assistance of his friends, will Utsumi be able to take a bite out of life and learn just what love is.
It is a slice-of-life manga about high school drama and romance. This title generated a lot of different opinions. Some criticize it for being too dramatic and simply revolving around teenage drama and angst. Others praise it for the good pacing and character development. I agree with both.
Since this is my first attempt at a long slice-of-life series, I don’t really know the ‘convention’ for it. But I feel that for stories like this, drama is inevitable and is necessary to keep the story moving. I saw comments saying how “this could be over in 10 chapters without the drama”, and I was like “Duh! Isn’t that the same with everything romance-related?”. Well yes, sometimes it just got too dramatic that I had to put it down for a day or two, but right after that I was ready to continue, longing to know what will happen next. Which is good pacing in my opinion, that makes for a good relaxing read.
Character development is where GE shines. The main casts all have their own story, their reasons for why they do what they do. And it all feel understandable! You can really sympathize with these people once you get to know their past. You keep being pulled in to know more about them, and what the characters will do once they know about them. Dramas are created this way too, though, but it just makes me feel so much better when it finally get resolved.
While reading this title, I keep having this feeling that this is more suitable to being a shoujo rather than a shounen. It’s always about what the guy will do for the girl, no matter how horrible or unreasonable she is to him. I haven’t read any shoujo though, just thought that this is somewhat like the way a girl would look at a romance story rather than a guy.
The art is somewhat unusual for me, as it seems to be trying to be realistic rather than just straight manga style the way I know. But once I get used to it, it looks quite nice. Facial expressions and poses are all life-like, with the occasional comical joke thrown in. Although sometimes I got confused by new characters, I can recognize them quickly enough.
Random thoughts: I hate Oonuma, she brought almost nothing to the story except unnecessary dramas. And I really feel bad for Shou near the end. I honestly would not know what to do if I were Utsumi at that point. I’ve been wondering though, was Utsumi’s feelings for Shou ever genuinely love? Or just pity and/or appreciation?