A love born from an experimental act, as threats and exploitation from one side meets backstabbing from the other…
As the latest series authored by Tooyama Ema, the mangaka of Hyakuen! and Koko no iru yo! (also known as that Kimi no Todoke alike, which isn’t really true), Watashi ni xx Shinasai sure made huge strides of improvement in breaking out from the stereotypical Shoujo shell. I’d definitely say this is her best work yet.
Though, I have to admit, this manga has one smut-covered title that really gives off the wrong impression. Yet it’s also surprisingly accurate in an different way. The premise may not exactly be original, but it’s uncommon enough to warrant a refreshing read, and the presentation is just wonderful. Thanks goes to Nagareboshi Manga for scanlating it.
Premise & Characters
Yukina Himuro is a socially inept girl who intentionally distanced herself from others. Born with a pair of glaring sharp eyes and abnormally cold skin, she is nicknamed the ‘absolute zero snow-woman’ and avoided by peers and educators alike. Utilizing this gap to her advantage, Yukina focuses on developing her observant nature, viewing the world like a stage play in order to seek inspirations for her work as a cell phone novelist under the pen-name ‘Yupina’. Despite the top ranking popularity of her works, Yukina realizes she has one major drawback: while she can write about friendship and dreams by feeling them from those she watch, she can’t comprehend love through mere observation.
Shigure Kitami is your obligatory prince: perfect in appearance, kind to everyone, and loved by the entire school (including the teachers). He has been confessed to by every girl in the class, all of whom he turned down. But because his attitude to everyone is always the same nice and helpful image, Yukina finds him to be the most boring guy in all of her school. Well, other than the fact that he scribbles down notes at strange times.
Then one day Yukina coincidentally finds his student handbook, the key to his behavior. Inside are his notes on how to get on the good side of every person in school, as well as a check mark besides every girl who confessed to him. Winning adoration from others had become a game for Shigure, and with the proof in her hands, Yukina blackmails him to perform a task: give her a fake love experience. Shigure is forced to comply, but he plans to fight back: by uncovering that one weakness in her hardened surface demeanor and hurting her as badly as he can through it.
Hence their game begins. As it goes on, Yukina find the borders between her personae blurring, with her own being gradually fading into that of her novel’s main character…
To help prop up a love triangle, Akira Shimotsuki steps in as Yukina’s cousin, childhood friend, and closest confidant. Although quiet by nature, Akira doesn’t hesitate to stand up against Shigure and his allies, as its quite obvious he’s been in love with her for a long time. (he hasn’t received enough screentime for me gauge much else)
Ema-sensei’s artwork is something I really enjoy. Not only does her style produce cute characters despite a degree of refined sharpness, but she consistently details her characters with care in every frame.
More ramblings: Shigure might be an ass, but he isn’t without a conscience. I think his personality is just evil enough to keep this game interesting and on the road, without being too soft and ending it early, or being too stubborn and dragging it on Kaichou–paced. The plot has been entertaining thus far, and the parallel between Yukina and her writing is a nice touch that reminds me of a certain movie. I’m just sad I haven’t got a shipping to support yet, because as interesting as the Shigure x Yukina development has been, that last blow he landed (ch5) was exceptionally low, and requires certain… redeeming first.