Oh wow, it has been so long since I added a new manga summary to this site! I feel so out of practice and awkward about how to go about writing one. For this first summary in a long while, I picked a series from Kodansha Dessert Comics. I got this series on a trip to Japan (along with a pile of other books) and I had it sitting around here for a long time before I finally got to reading it. I’m sorry it took me so long, because this is a cute bit of shoujo fluff. It’s a simple high school romance type of story, nothing outrageous or gimmicky in it, but it made me happy.
As many shoujo manga do, this story starts with a love confession. Our heroine, KISARAGI Maaya, has sucked up her courage and confessed to the boy she likes. It’s a boy from her cram school that she has had a crush on forever. Unfortunately, the guy has no idea who Maaya is and flatly rejects her immediately. Well, so much for that. Maaya is sad, but her self-esteem is kinda low, so she is not surprised she got rejected. She can let go of this fleeting love… however when she sees that the guy mentioned her love confession on social media and called her an ugly stalker, it really hurts. Maaya, who would have recovered and moved on, is now seriously upset. So upset that she can’t stop thinking about her rejection, even while on library duty after school. It’s when she’s muttering to herself out loud about that rotten guy’s actions that she finds herself face to face with Chigira-kun, a classmate she didn’t realize was there. He apologizes for eavesdropping on Maaya, and gestures for her to continue, but now Maaya’s shame is even more profound. First the rejection, and now this!
Chigira-kun is one of the most popular guys in her class. He’s handsome and smart, and athletic. All the girls like him. Maaya hasn’t really talked to him before, so this is a fantastic way to start. But what’s done is done, and Maaya informs him that confessions don’t work out for her, they’re too painful. From now on she’s gonna stick with one-sided love and never confess to anyone ever again. One-sided love is the way to go. Wow, how drastic! Chigira-kun only seems mildly interested in Maaya’s declaration, but lets her know that her smiling face really suits her.
But Maaya is serious. She’s ready to find her next one-sided love and throws herself into going to events and match-making parties. Her type is dark-haired guys with glasses (like her crush who dumped her) so she is gonna find one to love from afar.
Only… it doesn’t work. Maaya tries going to events every weekend, but with no luck. Sitting on the train home, she stares sadly at her planner and mutters to herself again, wishing for that elusive glasses guy she is after… only to be overheard by Chigira-kun again. What?! He’s on the same train as Maaya and now he’s caught her talking to herself yet again. He informs her that he has seen her on the train many times, in fact. But Maaya was too absorbed in happily obsessing over her crush (smiling at her phone, showing photos to her friend, etc.). She always looked really happy. Maaya is surprised and once again gets a bit sad at the thought of her failed one-sided love. She tells Chigira-kun about her attempts to find a new love and how she just can’t find anyone.
Then Chigira-kun surprises her with this idea- if she’s looking to be in one-sided love with someone, why not him? If she’s so eager to experience doing all the stuff she does when in one-sided love (stalking, lol) then she can just pretend she’s in love with him. Like the pretend games he plays with his much younger little sister. Maaya is stunned by this idea. The popular Chigira-kun is basically saying it’s okay if she stalks him? Play a game of being in love with him? Why would he do that, he is on a different social level than her? Well, whatever, Maaya doesn’t hesitate to take him up on the offer. She reassures him that this will be just a one-sided love game, he doesn’t have to worry that she will ever actually confess to him. She just wants to experience that one-sided love again and forget about the guy who rejected her before. Chigira-kun agrees, though perhaps he looks a bit disappointed by that? Does Chigira-kun want her to confess to him?
And so begins their unusual relationship, a game of fake love and quite a bit of stalking! Will Maaya be able to keep up the game without falling for Chigira-kun for real?