- Mangaka : Fujisawa, Shizuki
- Publisher : Kodansha
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Shoujo
- Published : February 2022
For the longest time, the tale of romance and comedy in shoujo manga has usually happened between highschool or college students. However, romantic comedies between working adults, which are usually the domain of josei manga, are becoming more common in shoujo manga these days.
There are certain authors out there who have the ability to write about romance between working adults and still make it accessible to the young shoujo manga readers. Fujisawa Shizuki is one of those authors and this manga is one of the best examples of that concept. This is our review of the first volume of Chouzetsu Kataomoi High Spec Yoshida (The Transcendent One-Sided Love of Yoshida the Catch).
Hibiki Yoshida is a handsome and accomplished young man who works at one of the top trading companies in the country. His coworkers admire his work ethic and the positive results that he brings to the company. Some of the female staff even admit their crushes on Yoshida. What they don't know is the fact that Yoshida only has feelings for one special lady, and her name is Sena Shimakaze.
Sena Shimakaze is an easy-going popular shounen mangaka who is constantly being chased by the absurd deadline of a weekly series. She is a carefree girl who never has any interest in romance and her work is the only thing that she cares about.
In order to get closer to his crush, every day after work, Hibiki comes to Shimakaze's place to work as an assistant. Unfortunately, instead of a potential love interest, Shimakaze ends up looking at him simply as an employee. This is the story of Yoshida's one-sided love and his hilarious struggle to get out of the friend zone.
1. A Hilarious and Refreshing Take on a Familiar Premise
The romantic comedy story about a man who would do anything for the love of his dream girl has already been told so many times in the past. Some even connect several male characters to one female love interest and create a reverse harem situation. But, more often than not, these stories add a difference between the male and female protagonist with regards to their social or financial status. Love between the rich and the poor, or between the prince and the commoner.
That is not the case at all here. Both Hibiki and Sena have similar social and financial standing. The only difference between them is that one character is desperate to gain the attention of his crush, while the other character has no sense of romance at all. The woman is a free-spirited mangaka who is married to her work, while the man has been in the friend zone for so long that his experience and dedication is actually rather transcendental.
The dynamic between these two characters, along with a slew of other quirky supporting characters, is the reason why the story is so hilarious, interesting, and also refreshing at the same time.
2. Quirky and Relatable Characters
There are not many characters introduced in this first volume. All we get are Hibiki, Sena, and four of her assistants. That being said, they all have distinct personalities and quirks that make it fun to see their interactions with each other. Not only that - what they do and what they complain about make them feel so much more relatable to the readers as well.
The best example of this concept is when Sena forgets to mention that she actually received an assignment from her editor to create a 100-page one shot story due to release in the following month. On top of that, they also have to do the usual 80-pages worth of story for the regular series.
As expected, her assistants band together to protest the sudden announcement of this nightmarish job. Some scream at the top of their lungs, some bawl their eyes out, while some even lose control and begin to grab Hibiki and ask him to talk some sense into their boss. Needless to say, Hibiki is fuming while Sena is just sitting there, grinning from ear to ear.
1. The Story’s Progression is Concerning
There are a lot of good things that can be said about this manga, but that doesn't mean it's without its faults. One of the glaring concerns that emanates from these pages is in regards to the overarching storyline. At this pace, there are roughly two paths that the story could take: it could either be an episodic story where each chapter showcases one zany situation after the next, or the main premise could advance and move the story forward.
It would certainly be better if we could get some sort of a healthy combination of the two, because pursuing only one of the paths would potentially make the story lose its charm. An episodic romcom can get boring fast, while a sudden shift to a pure romance could alienate the fans of the first volume. However, as the title suggests, it's merely a concern at this point.
The Transcendent One-Sided Love of Yoshida the Catch may have a mouthful of a title, but it is also a manga that is full of heart and humor. The characters are quirky and relatable and the situational comedy is both heartwarming and hysterical at the same time. We have some concerns about how the story might develop in the future, but that doesn't take away from all of the good qualities presented in this first volume and we’re looking forward to reading the next one.
Have you read this manga? If you have, what do you think about it? If you haven't, would you consider reading it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.