Big Man Japan

My Love Story Volume 1 by Kazune Kawahara (story) and Aruko (art). Translated by JN Productions. English adaptation by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane. 9781421571447. Publisher’s Rating: T for Teen.

I don’t think Chris at Seattle’s Comics Dungeon has ever recommended a manga to me before, but based on his amazing booktalk he’s clearly been hand selling this series for a while. But anytime a comics guy in his 30s recommends a teen shojo title to me, I take notice — I’d probably have bought it without such a good pitch.

Takeo is one of those thick, older looking dudes in high school manga. He’s got a square head, big shoulders, and he looks intimidating. His friend Sunakawa is classically good looking (at least in a shojo manga, Korean boy band kinda way). Sunakawa always makes girls cry, but they love him. Takeo is the best guy, but they don’t ever fall for him. One day Takeo helps out a young woman, Rinko Yamato, who is being groped on a train, and he falls for her. Takeo assumes she’s fallen for Sunakawa, but she’s wrong. It’s the start of an innocent, adorable romance.

I’m reading the next few volumes as soon as I can. My local library system has 13 volumes as I write this, and I hear the anime is awesome, too.