In case you have no idea what I’m talking about: remember when this page went viral a few years back? It’s that. I’m reviewing that manga. A few years late, I’ll admit, but better that than never.
Back when that happened, I went and read the whole chapter this page came from. And it was hysterical! I had a good laugh, then moved on with my day and more or less forgot about it.
The other day, however, this popped up again in my feed. And it got me curious: I’d read the one chapter, but how about the rest of the manga? Is it worth reading the whole thing? Or was its peak just in that one chapter? So I went and read it.
And I loved it!
Shinichi Honda is a loud, straightforward student with no filter. Mako Wakamiya is an equally forward and clumsy girl with an overactive imagination. The two initially strike each other as very strange and come into conflict as Shinichi’s unfiltered teenage hormones attract the ire of the Student Decency Committee, of which Mako is a member. But conflict quickly gives way to romance as the two see each other for who they truly are.
Do Chokkyuu Kareshi X Kanojo (AKA Extremely Straightforward Boyfriend x Girlfriend) is like if a romance manga was written with the same style as a high-energy shounen battle series. You’d think the two styles would clash like jelly on fish. But surprisingly, they go together like peanut butter and chocolate! This series is adorable, wholesome, and hilarious!
Also, this manga is ridiculously horny. Like, to the point where it is just a few small steps away from being pornography. It’s hilarious, but it can definitely ride the line sometimes. So… read with caution, I guess.
The main thing that really struck me about this manga was its creative use of visuals. This series has got some incredibly strong and expressive character designs, punctuated by a style heavily reliant on posing and thick line art. It’s very striking and fits the tone perfectly.
More interesting is some of its paneling. Even in the series calmer, more subdued moments, it punctuates itself with some incredibly creative and striking visuals. If you want to read a manga that makes great use of panel structure, this is one of the best picks out there!
And all of that is before we actually talk about the narrative!
The first half is your usual will-they-won’t-they romance story. And it’s fairly good at it. All the characters are likable and funny, even if some of the situations they get into don’t really work; the whole chapter in the pervert temple is the worst part of the whole manga. Aside from that, it’s your usual romance, just with more dramatic action shots and screaming. It’s fun, but not especially exceptional.
The second half takes an interesting turn. By then, our two leads are dating, but their relationship is far from a smooth one. They make mistakes, they misunderstand and hurt each other, hell, they very nearly break up! It’s only when they take the time to really understand each other, improve themselves, and grow more mature do things start to take a more positive turn. It’s a surprisingly grounded and compelling drama!
Even if it’s presented in the same overly dramatic way as the rest of the manga.
All of this builds to one of the most satisfying conclusions to a romance story I’ve ever seen. It’s as dramatic as ever as it gives us one of the sweetest and most heartwarming wedding scenes I’ve ever scene. It wraps the whole story up in a neat little package and it’s great.
One interesting thing that took me by surprise is how the final chapter breaks the fourth wall. Not in a lame self-referential way, either. Characters will straight-up address you, the audience member. They’ll take you by the hand, as if they’re pulling you along through the wedding. It’s a neat little trick, like the manga is inviting you to the ceremony personally.
And then we get this page and I start crying like a baby.
Do Chokkyuu Kareshi X Kanojo has got it all. It’s one of the most creative and fun manga I’ve ever read! Hilarious comedy, a lovable cast of characters, surprisingly grounded and compelling drama, this is peak rom-com manga!
I hope we haven’t seen the last of this series. Not that I want a sequel or anything like that. I’d just love to see it get more love and attention that it currently has. It’s a phenomenal story.
Though I wouldn’t say it should get an anime adaptation. I’d watch it, don’t get me wrong. But I get the feeling this story would be a lot less charming if we had to actually hear Mako and Shinichi screaming for twelve straight episodes.
Then again, Dragon Ball Z was a success, so maybe…