Monday, January 11, 2016

Manga Mondays (5): No Longer Heroine, Vol. 1

Manga Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Alison @ Alison Can Read

No Longer Heroine (No Longer Heroine, Vol. 1)
by Momoko Kouda
Original Title: ヒロイン失格 (Hiroin Shikkaku)
Demographic: Shojo
Genre: Comedy, drama, romance, school life
Published by: Shueisha

Synopsis:
This could be any girl. Imagine being a heroine of a love story. Hatori also believed that one day she would get married to her childhood friend, Rita.

But that's not how the world works! This is a hilarious comedy that honestly paints a painful unrequited love story of this young girl!

Hatori is a conceited girl who believes that her future is written in the stars, and that is: to be with her childhood friend, Rita, together forever. It has been cemented in her mind that she is the heroine in Rita’s story. Even Rita’s girlfriends in the past never fazed her because she’s 100% sure that they are soulmates. She never even bothered to confess to him. But then Rita gets a new girlfriend, Adachi. At first, Adachi seemed like the most unlikely person to be with Rita: shy, outcast, lame, and not so cute like Hatori, so Hatori initially just shrugs her off until she realized that there’s more to Adachi and she knew that Rita was noticing it too. This is the first time that Hatori legitimately feels threatened by another girl; the time when she started feeling like she might not be a heroine after all, but only a supporting character. So she comes up with plans to show Adachi that only she is suited to be with Rita and not Adachi. However, practically everything she does hilariously backfires on her and only resulted to Adachi getting even closer to Rita.

Hatori is not a likeable person. She’s a fake towards Rita’s admirers and girlfriends. She tries to force Adachi into situations where she will feel bad about herself. She lies to her to make her look silly, and she wants to steal Rita from Adachi. She can be insensitive, rude, and a downright bitch. She is not the typical heroine, instead she's more like the typical villain in shojo manga. Adachi, on the other hand, is more suited to be a heroine. Even after hearing Hatori badmouthing her, she quickly forgave Hatori. Not once holding grudge on her. She is very understanding of Hatori's feelings because she knew that Hatori is in love with her boyfriend and she sympathized with her. Adachi is everything that Hatori is not.

Despite all that, I found it hard not to sympathize with Hatori, though I am by no means justifying her actions. Unrequited love is just something that I automatically sympathize with. She truly believed for the longest time that the love of her life will one day be with her forever and then suddenly, the realization that she's wrong suddenly came crashing down on her. Even if that's idiotic  to begin with, it doesn't change the fact that it hurts like hell.

Her past with Rita is something that should be taken into account too. Their friendship is a unique one that goes all the way back to their childhood. It was fun to see them bond. As well, these are all done in a comic way that I couldn’t help but laugh at her especially since none of the things she did ever did a damage toward Rita and Adachi’s relationship. The art is good too and the author’s portrayal of Hatori’s face when she’s crying or distressed is so damned hilarious. It was so hard for me to take her seriously. However, there is also an underlying tiny bit of sadness that can be felt in spite the exaggerated comedy. 

Overall, this volume is a good start for the manga. It's very comedic but it tends to downplay serious events which kinda makes this seem shallow. Also, Hatori is a severely flawed character, but I would love to see her grow into someone more mature.

Rating: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. I can see myself having a lot of issues with this one even though I get that unrequited love sucks. Lol, the main character sounds really delusional and I don't like that she's not likeable.

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