Title: Sakura Irony
Author: KOTOU Matsu
Flower Comics, 2007
Here is one I have been meaning to talk about for a while. I actually had intended to go over this series back in 2007 when the first volume was released, but this book got lost under my manga piles, and I only recently unearthed it ^_^; Poor lost book! Even though I haven’t discussed any other series here by this author, I really do like Koyou-sensei’s works. There is another one I should really cover soon. Anyway, this series is 2 volumes long. Volume 2 contains two unrelated one-shot short stories that are also very cute. The art in this series is nice. It occasionally gets sort of messy, but the there are some really nice panels. I think the art actually improves a little as it goes along. I know I prefer the art in the series she made after this one. Comparing this author’s early works to this one, and there is a noticeable difference. It gradually gets cleaner and less messy. It’s kind of fun to see.
This series starts out as a Teacher-student story, sort of. It’s more like an unrequited love story 🙂 It all begins on the last day of middle school for our 15 year-old heroine, Chiho. Chiho has a huge crush on her homeroom teacher, Somei-sensei. She is determined to confess her love to him today, but even though she planned for this for a long time, now that it is time to confess, she is suddenly very nervous. It doesn’t help that the night before, she’d had a bad dream about the last time she tried to confess to someone.
That was back in elementary school, and she had confessed to her classmate, Gaku-chan. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well, and instead of accepting her confession, he pushed her down and made fun of her. He teased her about her panties which were showing as she lay there on the ground, calling her “panda” after the animal printed on them. Gaku-chan was awful! He had all the other kids in the class teasing her too, and after that she was relentlessly bullied.She cried so much at that time! Chiho was relieved when Gaku-chan moved away.
So considering her previous bad experience, Chiho just can’t bring herself to confess to sensei. She tries to get his phone number instead, but even that leads to disaster, thanks to the rude interruption of a boy from her school Chiho has never seen before. This boy is rude and arrogant, and wouldn’t you know it, he is present when a gust of wind swirls around Chiho and lifts her skirt. Once again a rude guy has seen her underwear! It’s a good thing this is the last day of school, and soon she will be in high school and able to start over. A clean slate is a good thing!
Ah, but of course things could not be that easy. Yes, high school is amazing, with all the new faces and teachers. But hey, what is this… that awful guy is at this school too! And he is in her class! And… you guessed it, Chiho has to sit next to him! Hooray for obvious horrible shoujo manga coincidences! Ah, but the coincidences continue! Of course you know who this rude guy is, right? It takes a while for Chiho to realize, as his last name has changed from when he was in elementary school, but it’s Gaku-chan! And he is just as mean and obnoxious as he was back then! Chiho still hates him!
But maybe not all coincidences are bad after all? There is a new tenant of the apartment across the way from Chiho’s place. And it’s Somei-sensei! Lucky! Maybe Chiho will get her chance? Or will competition appear from an unlikely place? Chiho has to face a lot of emotional ups and downs in this series. There is disappointment in love, feelings of betrayal, coupled with growing confidence and unexpected popularity.
Yes, there are a lot of predictable shoujo manga things in this book, but there are still a lot of things I like. The supporting characters amuse me, including the boy who has a crush on Gaku-chan too. Gaku is mean, but he has some issues. Not that they excuse his behavior, but he isn’t a totally flat character. Chiho gows more mature as the series goes on. I kind of wish there were more volumes 🙂