By Shizuru Seino
Released in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: It is so much harder to come with clever sluglines with competent manga than the sucky ones. I mean, what do you say, "Oh, great foreshadowing there, really. I am not being sarcastic at all....!"
Chiemi has the bad luck of continually getting fights at school, so often that the teacher has promised that Chiemi can only stay in school if she can convince the class hooligan, Hirata, to show up in school more often. After forcefully stating her case why he should attend more often, punctuated with a roundhouse kick, Hirata decides that he likes her, and wants to start dating. Needless to say, this starts a whole line of misunderstandings, but amazingly enough, they manage to settle it and try to start dating, despite the obstacles of needy cousins and Hirata's pressures due to his job.
Okay, I know I have been sorta tough on shoujo, but it feels to me that there is formula that has to be followed, and that in most cases if the couple just sat down and talked with each other for five minutes they would solve 99% of their problems, except for maybe what china patterns they want to receive at their wedding. Here, they at least try to talk about their issues, and don't let it linger too long. Maybe a chapter rather than several books worth. The fact that Chiemi is willing to dish out just as much hurt as Hirata does add a touch of danger to their arguments. It isn't great work, and I think I detect some backsliding in the last chapter, but this is something that I would like to see more of, to see if the title continues to avoid the common pitfalls. I do like the action and there are mostly nice clean action lines that illustrate rather than obfuscate, though I am left wondering why Chiemi needs to be dark haired in the chapter headings and on the cover, while in the rest of the book her hair is light-colored.
Love Attack, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.