Saturday, July 27, 2013

Manga Review: Kare First Love, Volume 1, by Kaho Miyasaka

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo)
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: Some.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. (Almost Out-of-Print)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Karin Karino finds herself torn between keeping the friendship of her classmate Yuka and entertaining the advances of a boy named Kiriya, who also happens to be Yuka's object of affection.


I read several books in this series a long time ago, and remembered really liking it. I’ve had my eye on the series for a while, wanting to read more of it, but just not getting around to getting any of the volumes. I’ve finally decided to jump on board with it, though, and got a few volumes the other day, and am in the works of getting the rest of the series.
It’s starting out similar to what I remember, but so much of it is a blank for me, that I’m enjoying re-reading it so far. Also, the beginning of the series: not very good in terms of story and character. It gets better, though (I think?), and I’m excited for that.
So, Karin, our main character, is a quiet, ‘ugly’, shy, and awkward girl. She’s also holding in a lot of anger. But she’s ‘friends’ with Yuko, a very ‘pretty’ and popular girl at her school, who is constantly putting Karin down but making it look like she’s being nice/it’s all a joke, and also always flirting with boys. Karin incidentally meets this popular, playboy from another school, who's interested in Karin from the start, but who Yuko is trying to win over, and yet who Karin is trying to ignore.
Karin, at this point, is just okay. I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t dislike her very much at the moment. She gets better, I believe/hope, but at the moment her anger is a little over the top, and yet she is also not doing anything about it. Plus, her reactions are always done so over the top, and that’s just kind of annoying at the moment.
Kiriya is alright too. He’s nice, and he’s tough (I guess?), and he has good intentions. We don’t actually get to know him very well in this volume, so I’m looking forward to finding out who he actually is as a character.
I don’t like Yuko. She’s just an over the top bitchy popular girl, in a very stereotypical fashion, and I’m looking forward to her plot line being finished. Karin is also starting to interact with another girl in her class, Nanri, who is collected and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. I like her. And I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. 
Overall, this volume was a little weak. It’s falling very easily into the mean girl trope with Yuko, including her already threatening Karin after finding out she was hanging out with Kiriya. Hopefully that plot will end in the next volume (or two, at most), and something better with happen. And I don’t remember how far I got in this series before (about halfway, I think), but I’m enjoying reading it over again, especially since I remembered so little, and I’m looking forward to getting to the story that I don’t remember anything about.

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