Title: Kaeru no Ousama (King of Frogs)
Author: NAGASAWA Satoru
Margaret Comics, 2001
I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve had this manga in my collection, but I’m kind of sad I haven’t talked about it until now because it’s very cute. This is an older one-shot manga from 2001. It’s divided into 2 stories that each take up about half of the book. The art style is very much in keeping with the time period this was published. It’s funny how, while I was reading manga at that time, I never really noticed the particular style, but now, 12 years later, they style difference from what is released now is very apparent. There is a very distinctive style about shoujo manga from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. There is a business to the pages and a way in which the noses and mouths are drawn. It’s hard to describe. I like the style though (well, I like most shoujo manga art styles) so it’s all good 🙂 Interestingly, this author went on to do the Maria-sama ga Miteru manga, which has a more modern style. Anyway, now to talk about this volume.
The first story is the one that the book is named after. The title, King of Frogs, is more of a reference to a frog prince scenario, except here it works in reverse. Our heroine is a high school girl named NARUTO Maki. She has a huge crush on a guy in her class named DATE Koushi. Unfortunately, Maki doesn’t have much of a chance because Date-kun happens to be one of the most popular guys at school. He is like a king because he has the best grades, is the best at sports, and is rumored to come from a wealthy family. He is way out of Maki’s reach, but that doesn’t stop her from loving him from afar.
But Maki is not exactly the type to keep quiet for long, and she eventually builds up the nerve to confess to Date-kun. Only to be rejected 🙁 With a warm smile, Date-kun kisses her, and then apologizes, rejecting her confession. Maki is crushed. However, she doesn’t have long to dwell on her rejection before she runs into Date-kun again. And in a very unexpected place– a supermarket time sale. That’s a sale that markets have at the end of the day where they mark things down in order to clear out older stock. Wait, why would a rich boy be at a time sale? Maki, her curiousity piqued, follows Date-kun home, only to discover the rumors about him were all wrong. He is definitely NOT from a wealthy family. In fact, his home is a run-down shack, and it appears he has an irresponsible gold-hunting father and a little sister to take care of. Date-kun is not the guy Maki (or the other girls at school) thought he was! But now that she knows his secret, Maki’s feelings for him do not change. But what will happen when he finds out she knows? He has already rejected her, how could he accept her now? He can’t really afford to have a girlfriend anyway. Why is he deceiving everyone? What would happen if his secret is revealed to everyone else? This is a cute romance comedy~
Story #2 is also sweet. It is about a very outspoken girl named Kaoru. Right now a number of girls at her school are obsessed with a really popular model named Yuuto. However, Yuuto, who also happens to attend a near by high school, keeps dating and dumping them. Kaoru, tired of hearing about Yuuto, and tired of seeing her classmates cry over him, decides to go confront him and order him to keep his hands off the girls at her school. Needless to say, when she finds him and delivers her order, he is less than impressed. He even suggests something along the lines of Kaoru volunteering to have him lay his hands on HER to keep him away from the other girls, and kisses her! This rude behavior is greeted with a deserved slap. What an awful guy! While Kaoru can admit that Yuuto is indeed hot, he is nowhere near as dreamy as the guy she actually likes, Shinya-san. Shinya is about 5 years older than Kaoru, and runs a local tofu shop. Kaoru stops by often enough that Shinya knows her by name and treats her like a little sister. Will Kaoru ever have a chance to win Shinya’s heart? Things get complicated when she discovers that Yuuto happens to be Shinya’s younger brother! I have no idea how she never knew this or never ran into him before, but now that she knows their connection, Kaoru keeps running into Yuuto all over the place. She can’t avoid him! But even though they started off on such a bad foot, they end up actually acting nice to each other after that. Yuuto can easily tell that Kaoru has a crush on his older brother, and is seems to bother him. Kaoru sees Yuuto escorting popular female model Sakura-san, and their perfect beauty together makes her fells bad for some reason. How could Kaoru compete with such a beautiful model? Wait, why would she want to? She has Shinya? Or does she? This is another fun romance. 🙂