Title: Make Sweet
Author: MAMIYA Rin
Margaret Comics, 2009
Here is an adorable collection of one-shot stories from an author that is new to me. In fact, this appears to be her first collected volume of books. After reading this, I must say that she is off to a pretty good start. I was initially attracted to this book because of the simple cover and the nice name in English. I like that while she is blushing, the guy actually is, too, though it’s more difficult to tell 🙂 The stories in this volume aren’t very complex or mind-boggling original, but they are simple, cute, and sweet. Yes, this volume lives up to the name 🙂 These are all school romance stories, and are not smutty. The cover says there are 4 stories, but it’s actually 4 main stories and a short 5th chapter that is a bonus story related to the first chapter. The art style is clean and attractive. I have a small issue with how she draws profiles sometimes, but for the most part, it all looks like the work of a pro. She has another book coming out next month. I look forward to picking it up too.
I like shoujo stories that involve baking, so this first chapter is a lot of fun. Yukio-chan is a second-year middle school student who is a member of “Make Sweet,” a baking club/class at her school. The club is made up of all girls from class 2-9. Given the subject matter of the club, they don’t see a lot of guys. So when a first-year boy named Soushi arrives asking to join the club, it is quite an event! The other girls are all fangirly over how cute Soushi is, but Yukio is nervous and uncomfortable around him. However, Soushi’s lack of baking skills helps to break the ice a bit. He may really be a nice guy after all. Could she actually… like him? But of course, he is popular with the girls in his class, and Yukio is awkward enough as it is. Will Yukio be able to express her feelings to Soushi?
Story 2, called “Sugar Baby Love,” is actually my favorite chapter in this book. It’s about a girl named Shiki who has had a one-sided crush for a very very long time on her classmate, Take-kun. The fun begins one day during lunch when two of their classmates casually suggest that Shiki and Take start dating each other. They seem to be having fun trying to randomly matchmake the pair. Shiki freaks out at this suggestion. How embarrassing! But to her surprise, Take-kun doesn’t reject the notion, and asks Shiki if she wants to go along with it. But Shiki is too shocked and defensive over her personal one-sided love, that she reacts with a big “That’s impossible! (right?)” And thus, Shiki manages to reject dating the guy she likes.
Naturally, she feels incredible regret over her decision when she thinks about it later. Why couldn’t she have just agreed? Miraculously, Shiki gets a second chance when Take actually calls her up and asks her again to go out with him. This time, she agrees. OMG, What has she done?! It’s like a dream. Shiki can’t believe what is happening. Is she really going out with Take-kun? Is she really his girlfriend now? With this level of confidence going in to the relationship, you can imagine that it won’t take much for Shiki to start feeling uncertain. Especially after she meets two of Take’s friends from middle school. The girl is so pretty. Did she used to date Take? There is no way Shiki could compare! Wil Shiki and Take ever become a real couple? Take-kun has a bit of a confession to make…
The couple in story 3 are also adorable. The heroine is a very fashionable girl named Mashiro. Due to her dyed hair, short skirt, and penchant for wearing jewelery and other non-regulation items to school, she is always yelled at by KATAYAMA Kenji from the student council. Kenji is tall, with dark hair and glasses. He is very strict, and always speaks using formal language. He never seems to be happy when he sees Mashiro’s latest violations of the school uniform code, but Mashiro couldn’t be happier to see him when he arrives to scold her. She looks up at him like a lovesick fool, and can only think about how wonderful he is, and how she can get him to take off his glasses. Even though everyone at school thinks he’s too strict, Mashiro knows he is really a very kind guy. Kenji rescued her from some trouble a while back, and he was very gentle. Mashiro fell for him instantly. But how can she get a straight-laced guy like him to fall for her when he already has a smart beauty, Asakawa-sempai, near him? Someone he doesn’t use formal language around?
The last full story in this book is a teacher-student story! NANAHARA Urara is on very good terms with one of the teachers at her school. His name is Haruna, and he might as well be a student, considering how young he looks, and how immaturely he behaves. He lives by Urara, so every day on the way to school, he hitches a ride on the back of her bicycle, or he takes over the bike and puts Urara on the back. At school, Haruna is liked by everyone. He’s very hyper, outgoing, and he flirts with and teases everyone. Urara is in love with Haruna, but even so, he is a teacher. There is that teacher-student boundary, not to mention the age difference. Haruna only sees her as his student, right?