Title: Suki tte Ii Na Yo/Say “I love you”
Author: Hazuki Kanae
Artist: Hazuki Kanae
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy, Smut, Shoujo, School Life
Summary: Mei Tachibana has spent her 16 years without making either a boyfriend or friends. One day, she injures the most popular boy in school, Yamato Kurosawa, because of a misunderstanding but for some reason it seems that he takes a liking to her and one-sidedly claims that they’re friends. Furthermore, he not only protects Mei from a stalker, he does it with a kiss…?!!
One of the best shoujo mangas I’ve read throughout the years and excellent in terms of execution and plot. It reminds me faintly of Kimi ni Todoke because of the heroine’s character, except that Mei has more attitude. Anyway, Suki tte Ii Na Yo is a story we have all read and heard somewhere before – loner girl gets picked up by popular hot guy. But what I think makes it stands out is that this manga progresses very realistically.
This is no innocent story; there’s smut if you haven’t read the genres list, and to add smut into any story that relies on realism is a risky move that can make things seem trashy and badly spontaneous. However, graphic details are not present in the first volume and it may very well be included in the next. So those uncomfortable with smut, this is the green light to read the first volume. There is however, strong and sexual language present.
The events are very believable and I think it constitutes to the fact that things are presented the way it is in real life. Nothing seems to be made up from imagination, but more like borrowed from reality. There is no exaggeration or feeling that the author is holding back. This element makes an impact on me because she is not asking us as readers to feel a particular emotion, but merely presenting the story as it is. This is important because the idea of good vs evil is balanced and the weakness and strengths of the characters are tested instead of being slapped on your face. Character development starts right from the beginning – I believe the mangaka knows this isn’t an original story/idea so the formal introduction about the school, setting, etc. is not necessary. You might call it cliche, but the way they are executed so wonderfully and they’re cliches because these things actually happen in life; they’re cliches in the green light, not red.
I love the art, it’s laid back, original and I would call it pretty as opposed to beautiful without beautiful being better. The mangaka made the skinny physique of the characters her trademark. It’s a must read in my list – a chest can be filled with lovely gold coins, but I love a jewel better. It has a perfect balance for everything, but beware as there’s a big chance of very serious drama as the story unfolds. Not exactly a bad thing if you love drama, but I just hope that the story will continue to be executed brilliantly.
Finally, we never know what’s a loner/quiet heroine’s going to do next and that motivates me to keep on reading! Minimalism is definitely more in this story. Give it a shot.
Overall rating & any comments: 4.6/5