Title: Royal Green
Author: SUGIYAMA Miwako
ChuChu Comics, 2006
Er, I actually have absolutely no idea when I bought this, where, or why o.o I was rather surprised to find this while poking through my collection, trying to organize things. How did I get this? I didn’t remember anything about the story at all! So I sat down and re-read it and thought- hey, this is cute! Really, I don’t know how I overlooked this book. I really should be better organized! Anyway, this is a one-shot book that contains 3 main stories, and then a 4th little story that brings us back to the characters in the first story. As these stories were published in ChuChu Magazine, they are all cute, non-smutty, and very silly.
The first story, Royal Green, is about a girl named Kokoro who has some problems. He life… sucks. She is just such a total loser. She tries hard, but things just don’t go her way. The guy she likes ends up dating one of her friends, she fails at learning piano, she fails at the school marathon, etc. Just when Kokoro thinks things couldn’t be worse, she manages to trip in the snow on the way to her school entrance exams. She almost gives up right there, when a mysterious boy appears, half-hidden by his umbrella. HE has a kind smile, and he offers her what appears to be a handkerchief. He leaves before she can get a good look at him, but this kind act gives her enough encouragement to make it to her exams (even though they already started) and she even manages to pass them!
It is after school starts, and Kokoro is looking at the handkerchief that is now like her good luck charm, that she realizes it is much more. Her classmates are amazed when they see the cloth, because it is actually a “fukusa”, a cloth used during tea ceremonies. And it bears the special mark of SHIROISHI Izumi, the school’s most popular boy!
When she tries to find Izumi-sempai to return the Fukusa, Kokoro discovers that getting close to him will not be easy. Izumi is a total school celebrity, which means he has the usual horde of fangirls, plus there is some rule about not getting close to him unless you are part of the royal group, the top class in the school. Even worse, he has a close friend, KURE Haruichi, who is like a body guard. Haruichi is almost the complete opposite of Izumi. He is rough and intimidating, and he does NOT like Kororo! How will Kokoro return the fukusa to Izumi? And wait, what is this about Izumi getting a fiance? A girl from the top class? Kokoro is determined to stop being a loser. She is going to win over Izumi, even if it means she must put up with unwanted help from Haruichi!
Story 2 also begins with failure. Natsumi has gathered her courage to confess her love to Kaji, the guy she likes. Unfortunately, he looks at her like she was a bug he would like to squash. He finds her disgusting. Ahhh! Poor Natsumi! Naturally, Kaji is really popular- smart, handsome, he is the school prince. (Boy, Japanese high schools are filled with princes, aren’t they!) Things get interesting when Natsumi is stuck at a restaurant without her wallet, and no way to pay for the meal she just ate. Guess who the restaurant cashier is! Kaji, of course. He seems eager for Natsumi to be punished by his boss, but instead, boss gives Natsumi a job at the restaurant, saying she can work off her bill! Natsumi is thrilled by this (she gets to be close to Kaji!) but he looks horrified. Why is he so upset that she is around him?
The last story begins with a goukon (group date). Short on girls, Mizutani-chan’s friends convince her to join them so they have even numbers. It is absolutely against Mizutani’s will because after a previous horrible experience with a boyfriend, she definitely does not want to be around guys anymore. She does her best to endure the food and karaoke, but when, in her depression over her past bad love life, she busts out with an enka song, she gains an unexpected admirer. Sakaguchi-kun is also a part of the goukon group date, but funny, Mizutani did not notice him before. He is cute, but in a very average way. HE seems really impressed by her enka singing, and wants her to go out with him! Mizutani is totally against this, but when she realizes later that she somehow ended the evening with his wallet in her bag, she must meet with him to return it. Sakaguchi is a friendly, earnest guy. He reminds Mizutani of an eager puppy. But she just can;t have another boyfriend, especially one who seems to bring all kinds of bad luck and troubles on her!
The volume ends with a brief story about the further adventures of Kokoro, Izumi, and Haruichi from Royal Green. It is only a couple of pages long, but it is very cute 😀 This is a fun little volume of cute romantic stories.