Monday, December 17, 2012

Manga Mondays: Love Master A Volume 1

Following in Alison from Alison Can Read's footsteps, I decided that since I love reading it so much, I'll be reviewing manga series that I come across whether in my library or in the bookstore.  

Love Master A Vol. 1 - Kyoko Hashimoto


Determined to start a new life away from all the rumors and nicknames, Aria transfers to a new school - only to find that thanks to the nosey boys of the student council, her reputation preceded her.  Ironically nicknamed "The Love Master" due to her bad luck with romance, Aria nevertheless decides to turn over a new life - helping other couples overcome their problems, whether they like it or not.

**Warning: Review may contain some story spoilers.**

The Dish: 

Very cute if a bit extreme on the energy.  After being rejected by 50 boys to whom she confessed her love, Aria has decided to forsake love and make a fresh start at a new high school where she hopes her nickname as the "Love Master" won't follow her.  

Much to her surprise, on her first day Aria is chosen as the first years' student council president by the other first year student council members: Jin Kadomatsu, the health and safety coordinator who literally sweeps Aria off her feet, secretary Mizuki Tachibana who hides in the student council room to avoid other girls, treasurer Kurusu Umezono who spends most of his time utilizing the budget on technological means of monitoring the school, and vice president Chikayasu Takebayashi who is practically the reincarnation of a benevolent and loyal samurai.  And much to her dismay, the other student council members know about her reputation, but Aria manages to bounce back with energy to take the wheel of the first years' student council.

The art style is quite unique despite its similarities to most shoujo romance manga with the large eyes of main characters on otherwise fairly minimalist faces.  What I really appreciate are the unique characteristics of all of the main characters and even of side characters.  With some manga series, it can be difficult to distinguish between characters due to physical qualities that are too similar.  Readers will have no trouble knowing who is who in Hashimoto's adorable romance story.

In the way of the story, the first volume is told in a series of short vignettes and experiences involving the first year student council as Aria tries to find her footing as president.  Most readers will enjoy the pacing of the stories and the hilarious situations endured by the student council.  Personally, I found Mizuki's quirk of being afraid of other girls so endearing, and when readers see Mizuki, I think they'll understand her fears.  The last vignette starts the first of an over-arcing story which involves the second year student council trying to unify all the student councils together.  This story also involves the second year student council president, Takara Sakakiyama, wanting to make Aria his girlfriend.  While Aria is in debate over her feelings for a member of her own student council, she's unsure what to do to refuse Sakakiyama's advances.  What will she do?  Find out in the final volume.

While the story and art are fairly tame, this series is recommended for teen readers and above.


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