Love*Com Book 12

The high school kids’ search for their futures continues. Otani’s waiting to hear if he passed his exams, and thanks to a friend’s suggestion, Risa has some idea of a career she might be good at.

Love*Com Book 12 cover
Love*Com Book 12
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It’s fashion-related, adding that touch of glamor so necessary for shojo dreams, but it’s also nicely balanced with the practical. This chapter works well as a mostly stand-alone story to remind the reader of the characters and their interaction — a help with a long-running series like this one.

Of course, there’s plenty of humor, too. Risa’s having nightmares because of her concerns over Otani. She dreams of him disappearing, or becoming a kappa, a mystical creature who loves cucumbers. It’s wacky, but it has deep feeling underneath, and that blend is what keeps me coming back to this series. (Plus, I learned that “kappa maki”, cucumber rolls, are named after these sprites.)

The art helps a great deal, too, since the characters are so entertaining to watch. They’re exaggerated, but not too much, and their open, happy faces are a pleasure to read. I enjoy spending time with these characters. There are plenty of misunderstandings and missed signals, but that’s what being a teen in love is all about.

There’s drama as well — the lead characters have plenty of friends who have the more disturbing events happen to them, a balance that widens the subjects the stories can cover without losing the essential premise. In this case, another couple finds college exams separating them. One got into their target school, the other didn’t, and the group (and the reader) watch them work through what that means.

This book also has a backup story with other characters, about a dead girl haunting her fraidy-cat boyfriend. Best line, when the jealous ghost is griping about a new girl the boy is talking to: “Guess she can’t see me over that rack.” It’s typical of Nakahara’s characters, that even as ghosts, they’re caught up in the small realisms of the everyday.

(A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)

8 Comments

  1. [...] Library) Casey Brienza on vols. 4-6 of The Key to the Kingdom (ANN) Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 12 of Love*Com (Comics Worth Reading) Anna on Nana (2 Screenshot Limit) Courtney Kraft on vol. 1 of NG Life [...]

  2. [...] [Review] Love*Com Vol. 12 Link: Johanna Draper Carlson [...]

  3. I’m always trying to look for good Shojo series, and so far, I’ve never found a disappointing review about Lovely Complex. Especially among the Shojo Beat line since it looks like they have a more misses than hits.

  4. I haven’t seen many other people talking about it, so I’m glad to hear others like it too.

    I’m okay with personally not liking all of the Shojo Beat line, since I’m glad to see the diversity of story types available.

  5. Well, for every review I see of a Lovely Complex book, it’s always been positive.

    Really? The Shojo Beat line offers some diverse stories? I’m sorry, I didn’t do a lot of research on the line itself, but I just assumed they had a lot of high school romances.

    In a recent issue of Shojo Beat, it mentioned that it will be releasing in Nov. or Dec. a series about a female office worker. It seems like a Josei title to me, so maybe Viz is testing the waters to see if Josei manga can catch on. If they must release Josei titles under the Shojo Beat line, so be it as long as it gives Josei a bigger voice.

    Plus, Josei from Fumi Yoshinaga is highly appreciated (Ooku and such). I would think most Yaoi fans would appreciate Josei, too.

  6. Yeah, there are mounds of SB titles. I don’t like all to them either. I will say, however, that my three favorite shojo titles from them – Love*Com, High School Debut, and Sand Chronicles – just happen to be teenage romance stories.

    High School Debut is the first thing I read whenever I get a big manga order in that it’s part of. I love that series something fierce.

  7. Manga publishers are so unfair! So many good titles, so little money. BTW, my used book store just got new volumes 34-40 of naruto at 3.99 each!! ;b

  8. [...] college struggles from the previous two books continue to have ramifications, adding drama to this goofy romantic comedy. [...]

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