After an abysmal year in 2014 in terms of post entries due to university and related, in an attempt to write more in 2015 I’ll aim to write at least one blog post every month this year. So for my first article of the year I’m going to review a sweet and innocent romantic comedy manga that I’ve been reading that recently finished; Bocchi na Bokura no Renai Jijou!
What would you do if you hypothetically returned to a hypothetical high school after a six-week long hypothetical summer to discover that everyone in your class hypothetically started a hypothetical relationship with a hypothetical significant other? Bocchi na Bokura no Renai Jijou (The Circumstances of Our Lonely Love) addresses this issue as our main protagonist Hajime Ichijou discovers that he is the only ronery student in a class where everyone else is in a relationship. The laws of romantic comedy high school manga come into play as a new transfer student Chitose Ninomiya appears, spawning what may be a better love story than any recent Kyoto Animation work in a two-volume manga.
The story is extremely predictable incorporating all the well known romcom manga trends, but above all the story is down to Earth; other than a pair of childhood friends in a legitimate relationship, nothing radical or game-changing happens at all; purely focusing on the relationship between our two abrasive protagonists. Being only fourteen chapters long, Renai Jijou did a darn good job introducing the supporting characters of the class, even going as far to giving most of them a background to how their relationships stemmed. Personally I’ve had people heckle to me to date ‘that’ Asian girl in class being the only Chinese student in an English school, so the manga hit home for me. Renai Jijou managed to work within its constraints to produce a rather ordinary but an adorable feel-good love story. The true reason for the lead character’s feelings for one another stemming from peer pressure or from their own volition however is up for the reader to decide. Unfortunately, no gay couples. ;_;
The art is perhaps the manga’s weakest point. The art may be pretty looking (and has to be for this genre) but overall it’s plain generic. Tokio Shima’s art suffers from a bad case of the ‘same face syndrome’. I got really confused in a particular chapter (above) where a character was talking to Hajime who literally had the same facial structure as him, which made me even more confused than I was because I was drunk (don’t ask why) at the time of reading because I though Hajime was talking to his inner self or some deep philosophical shit.
Romantic comedy mangas don’t normally last long due to their orthodox yet shallow plot objectives, manga of the genre that do extend for years usually shoehorn in other plot points (coughbokugirlcough), introducing new characters in order to keep the readers interested (coughnisekoicough) or turn the mange on its head to go down the battle manga road (coughtoloverucough). Even though I’m sad that Renai Jijou had a short run, I’m glad Renai Jijou didn’t try to reinvent itself. Bocchi na Bokura no Renai Jijou is an excellent manga to read if you got an afternoon to pass.
The Good Realistic, down to earth plot in a somewhat unrealistic context The childhood friend actually wins Otaku couple best couple Chitose a qt
The Bad Way, way predictable Same faaaace Generic in a lot of ways I want to punch Seishirou, that smug bastard