Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Hate You More Than Anyone!, v.1

by Banri Hidaka
Published in the U.S. by CMX

Slugline: When is falling in love, in a shojo manga, ever simple? Kazuha gets the old bait-and-switch treatment.

Despite that it's a classic case of bait-and-switch romance, Hate You is full of snappy dialog and fun physical comedy. It also features some rare charater details: Kazuha is the eldest of six (!), both of her parents work (understandably), and the youngest kid is in daycare.

It's the hunky daycare teacher who is the first target of Kazuha's affection, and then she gets thrown into the arms of his friend the hairdresser -- against her will, at first. Sugimoto is starting to charm her, by the end of v.1, so we're sure to hit the rocks in v.2 before the series title become totally inaccurate.

The art is fun and funny -- though the artist drops details at will, especially parts of Sugimoto's sunglasses -- and Kazuha's role as default mom to her siblings rings truer here than it does in other manga. Most of the sound effects have been translated and replaced in the artwork, which I know angers some purists, but you know what? I can't read Japanese, I don't have the time or energy to learn a whole new writing system with six billion different characters, and I appreciate that CMX made the effort.

I Hate You More Than Anyone!, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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