Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Love Attack! – Manga Mondays

Posted on: December 21, 2009

The main cast - a pack of idiots, but likeable ones.I’ll be honest here: I haven’t picked up any Love Attack! (AKA Jun’ai Tokkou Taichou!) in a while, so my opinion on the manga may be outdated by now. But I’m picking up the volumes I’m missing as a self-Christmas present, and with any luck it’ll be just as fun as it was when my budget forced me to stop buying manga. It’s a shoujo romance made great by its characters, a bunch of rough-around-the-edges punks who try to adjust to romance with likeable earnestness and a willingness to learn from the pitfalls that plague so many other shoujo protagonists.

The stars of Love Attack! are Yusa Chiemi and Hirata Akifumi, who get together in the most unlikely of ways. Chiemi is told by the faculty that she’s gotten into so many fights that she’s on the verge of being expelled from school, regardless of how justified those fights were – she tends to punch first and ask questions later when she sees people being bullied or preyed on. She’s given one last chance to wipe her permanent record clean: she has to reform Akifumi, the infamous “Deranged Devil” of her class.

Because she only really knows one way to resolve conflicts, Chiemi tries to solve all of her problems by kicking Akifumi in the face and shouting at him to stop his evil ways, and surprisingly, it works! It turns out that Aki fell in love with her at first sight, and in spite of her face-kicking, he asks her out the next time he comes to class! After some waffling and a whole lot of confusion, the two of them start dating, and the manga starts.

What makes the manga so interesting is that Chiemi and Aki are fundamentally decent people who can’t help being abrasive sometimes. Their volatile relationship hits a lot of rough patches (as I recall, they’ve broken up at least once, and there’ve been a whole lot of punches thrown, though not usually at each other), but the two of them try their damnedest to learn how to make a relationship work.

What really endears them to me is how they honestly seem to learn from their mistakes, and want to overcome all of the obstacles instead of sitting around moaning about how much they suck. Chiemi is headstrong, and sometimes she’s outright dumb, but she knows it and works her ass off to overcome her own flaws, while Aki complements her well with his combination of stubbornness and understanding. A great example of this is when, during the arc featuring cynical womanizer Tachibana Yuuya, the two lead characters break up due to Yuuya’s machinations taking advantage of Chiemi’s naivete. Chiemi spends a few chapters crying her eyes out, but soon she replaces her angst with resolve to make sure she never gets taken advantage of like that ever again.

The supporting cast mirrors the main characters as well – their little stories are tales of learning to look past outward appearances, or learning how to trust people, and all sorts of other little life lessons that make this a very satisfying high school drama to read. These kids may be idiots, but they’re honest and eager and they don’t stay down for long, unlike other shoujo characters who wallow in their angst for years at a time.

Love Attack! is being released in English by TokyoPop, and I recommend at least taking a look at it to see if you like the cast as much as I do. It’s rocky romance done the right way, with plenty of warmth and humor to balance out the tears and anger.

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1 Response to "Love Attack! – Manga Mondays"

Thanks for the recommendation, Dom! I like shoujo that has interesting characters and shoujo that is deeper than the usual shoujo fare (eg. Marmalade Boy).

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