- Mangaka : Yuama
- Publisher : Seven Seas Entertainment
- Genre : Yuri, Comedy, Romance, School Life
- Published : January 2022
Yuri Romance, Distilled to Perfection
It’s nice to be proven wrong. Manga reviewing is an interesting business, one where your initial assumptions can often be proven (unfortunately) right when a cliched synopsis pops up. Love at first sight? Gorgeous senpai? Bubbly kouhai? Pretty standard fare, right?
And yet, every once in a while, the stars align and the manga gods deliver us the perfect combination of character, plot, and pacing. Ikemen Sugi Desu Shiki-senpai (The Girl I Want is So Handsome!) is that manga, and is worthy of every ounce of praise.
The Girl I Want is So Handsome! finds its way to English-language shelves as a duology bindup, containing the two original Japanese volumes, complete with all of the bonus content and mangaka commentary. These two volumes together tell a full, complete romance – from a meet-cute to awkward miscommunication, all the way to the final rewarding payoff.
If you’ve ever wanted to dive into a perfectly comforting yuri romance, this is definitely the ideal manga for you! Please join us today as we discuss Ikemen Sugi Desu Shiki-senpai (The Girl I Want is So Handsome!).
It’s love at first sight for bubbly, hyper-energetic first-year Hina when she accidentally bumps into the cool, athletic second-year Shiki. It’s a moment reminiscent of another recent yuri series, Sasayaku You ni Koi o Utau (Whisper Me a Love Song), but that doesn’t make The Girl I Want is So Handsome! feel derivative by any means.
Through a series of misunderstandings, Hina ends up as the basketball team’s manager – despite her otaku roots and complete lack of athletic ability. All she wants is to spend more time with her senpai, but she secretly fears that Shiki only thinks of her like a little sister. After a fake ‘date’ and the excellent ‘looking after you while you’re sick’ trope, Hina and Shiki eventually realize their true feelings. There are a few hiccups along the way, and lots of first-love jitters, but ultimately this wholesome journey concludes with a healthy dose of happy, loving vibes.
Hina absolutely shines throughout this two-volume bindup. Her infectious energy, exaggerated expressions, and hilarious over-reactions make her an utter joy to read. Shiki is gorgeous and reserved, but possesses surprising passion, making her an excellent counterpart to Hina’s chaotic energy.
Everything about The Girl I Want is So Handsome! oozes charm. The artwork is gorgeous, the full-panel spreads make for impactful moments, and the chibi forms of the characters deliver the perfect laughs every time. This is the type of manga you’ll want to re-read for the sheer joy of it!
1. Pitch-Perfect Pacing
The Girl I Want is So Handsome! excels in pacing. Despite having only two volumes, the duology somehow manages to perfectly capture the beats of a great high-school romance without ever feeling like it’s forcibly marking off a checklist. There are definitely numerous tropes and cliches here, but Hina and Shiki’s relationship progresses at the perfect rate.
Although we’d love to see even more of Hina and Shiki, the manga ends at the perfect moment, never overstaying its welcome, yet never feeling undercooked.
2. Yuri Without The Drama (Mostly)
The Girl I Want is So Handsome! does manage to keep things interesting with a few small hurdles for our main characters, but there’s none of the torturous heartbreak that so often dominates the yuri genre. The challenges are easily surmountable for our characters and leave them with a palpable sense of growth – this, in turn, makes the bindup a pleasant reading experience that won’t give you (too) much heartburn!
We didn’t pick up Ikemen Sugi Desu Shiki-senpai (The Girl I Want is So Handsome!) expecting much beyond a cliched storyline and some cute-girl moments. What we found was a near-perfect distillation of the yuri romance genre, expertly reduced into two volumes that leave you wanting more but never feeling cheated. The main characters are memorable and the storyline is utterly wholesome, representing the very best of LGBT+ representation and romantic comedy.
If you’re thinking about picking up this volume (and we highly encourage you to do so!), or if you’ve already read it (wasn’t it great?!), let us know down in the comments below. And as always, thank you so much for reading!