Tuesday, June 23, 2009

KimiKiss, vol. 1

Art by Taro Shinonome with Story by Enterbrain, Inc
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Why bother having doubt or suspense in a shoujo manga?

Kouchi begins the second semester wanting to have a girlfriend and start kissing. So far he has not had much luck but his childhood friend Mao takes him under her wing teaching him how to be the perfect boyfriend. While learning how to date Kouchi realizes that he wants to turn Mao's 'practice' dates into something more real.

KimiKiss is based on a popular virtual novel/dating sim (for a definition check this wikipedia entry.) Virtual novels often give you a selection of different several girls to date. It appears that this manga series will have each volume focus on a different female character from the virtual novel, with how each girl ends up with the boy. Mao, the girl from this volume, is one of the childhood friend that becomes the girlfriend archetype. All she needs to do is show up, makes herself available and be friendly, and before page 100 they are liplocking away. Kouchi is a blank slate with only a few details brushed in, with many of his character bits coming from Mao's revelations about herself. There are no real challenges or other challengers for Mao to overcome before starting a relationship with Kouchi beyond that he is a boy and they sometimes need to have things spelled out for them. The art is nice in fan servicey way, not that many panty shots and the like, but Mao's, umm, assets still get to ignore gravity.

KimiKiss, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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