Monday, December 17, 2007

Fall in Love Like a Comic, vol. 1

Story & Art by Chitose Yagami
Released in the US by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: A teenage girl becomes a successful mangaka and gets a boyfriend raised by a shoujo writer. Seems like a Penthouse Letters version of Shojo Beat.

Rena is secretly a mangaka, and her manga is all about tawdry teenage school romances. But despite what she writes and draws about, she does not have a boyfriend herself, and her friends and her editor all suggest that her work will only become stronger if she did. Tomoya is the hottest boy in school, and when he discovers some pages of Rena's work in progress, agrees to become Rena's boyfriend so that she can research boyfriends and dating. But of course as time goes on she discoverers that she really does like him and he reveals that he was looking for a girl just like Rena, one who was passionate about something other than going out with him.

First of all, Tomoya was raised by his mangaka sister and ends up dating a mangaka? Can we say 'romantic transference' class, I know you can! Okay, all drama, irrespective of their medium have some fudge factor and need some coincidence to work, so other than the fact Tomoya starts out all perfect bishi-boy, the manga itself is pretty good. Rena's insecurities come off as real to me, as Tomoya is her first real boyfriend and in those sort of relationships someone is always wondering just what is attracting the other person in the relationship. It might also help that almost a third of the volume is not directly involving Rena and Tomoya , with a prequel short and the creator's first story also included in this volume. This is a story I think, that will rely on its second volume to determine whether or not it really holds together as we dig deeper into the characters, so I will try to keep my eye out for it and give you an update if I can.

Fall in Love Like a Comic, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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