Monday, May 26, 2014

Manga Review: Ai Ore! Love Me, Volume 2, by Mayu Shinjo

Rating (Out of 5): ~1-1.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: 2011
Volumes: 8 (5 or 3 omnibus + 5)
Spoilers?: Yes, cause rant.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T+ Mizuki is the female "prince" of her all-girls school and the lead guitarist in an all-girl rock band. Akira is the male "princess" of his all-boys school and wants to join her band. Love may be on his mind, but romance is difficult when everyone keeps mistaking Mizuki for a boy and Akira for a girl

Mizuki's neighbor Shinnosuke returns from college for a visit, but the championship boxer is surprised to find the girl he likes involved with someone else. Will Akira be able to compete for Mizuki's affections against such a manly rival?


So, I think I’m done with Mayu Shinjo. Just… done. I think?
I really, really want to like her series. She’s kind of like the smutty shojo author, the one to read, the one that everyone loves. But I just really don’t think I like her style.
I read up to the second volume of Demon Love Spell before giving up, and was reluctant to pick up this volume before relenting and getting it. And now I just don’t think I want any more of her. This volume was not nearly as bad as Demon Love Spell, and it was even kind of getting better at the end, so there is always the possibility I will pick up another volume, but I’m in no hurry to do so.
It’s just… the offensive material that Shinjo handles, almost in an offhand way, is ridiculous. And I hate it, and it makes me rage all over the place. (I mean, read the review for Demon Love Spell Volume 2, it really proves my point.)
This volume starts with Akira practically laughing while the woman who hurt Mizuki is being almost-raped. Thank god Mizuki comes in to stop it, and it actually stops, but afterward Akira gives a dumb reason about failing as a man and Mizuki forgives him. They practically ignore the fact that he organized for a woman to get raped, no matter what she did, and it’s never even mentioned again. Like that’s an acceptable thing to do. Like it’s an acceptable thing for a person to try to have done. Akira sure as hell doesn’t learn his lesson, that’s for damn sure.
There are some actual plots in this story, I guess. Mizuki has an older friend who loves her, Shinnosuke, who Akira wins against in a fight over Mizuki, where he pretty much cheats and flaunts, really, and everyone acts like Akira got hurt, when he didn’t even get hit once. And the whole thing is because they both feel possessive of Mizuki, without her having any say in the matter. Particularly when Shinnosuke first finds out and demands they break up, he tells Akira to do the breaking up, not even acknowledging Mizuki. Then he forces himself on Mizuki a little, gets her flustered and upset, and claims that in the future he’s going to steal her heart or whatever.
Then Akira’s friend has problems with his family, Akira gets sick and Mizuki takes care of him, and their schools have festivals and they each get possessive of the other.
Akira continues to not care what Mizuki wants. He’s constantly pushing himself on her, ignoring when she says no, being overly possessive and not wanting her to feel good about herself with anyone but him.
For instance, on their date he makes her dress up in girly clothes that look good on her and make her feel good, then selfishly demands that she change out of them because he doesn’t want anyone to see her that way. Which, I understand not wanting other people to see the way you do in that acceptably possessive way, but not when Mizuki was finally feeling good and like a girl, when she’s constantly bothered when other people think of her as a boy. Then again at the end, she feels good “flirting” with the girls at her school, dressing as a prince and winning competitions, she’s genuinely happy about these things, but Akira barges in and makes her dress like a princess and steals her spotlight.
There was another point in the volume where Mizuki invited him inside, and he expected them to have sex, and then guilted her when she said that she wanted to just hang out with him. Like actually getting to know the person you like, instead of only ever making out and having sex with them, was a bad thing. That just pissed me off.
I don’t like Akira very much. He’s possessive and selfish and demanding and never listens to what Mizuki actually wants. I don’t like Mizuki much either, because she’s always falling all over him, giving in, when she shouldn’t be.
I will admit there were a couple of things I did like about this volume, as it seemed like Mizuki was growing, and even taking control of a couple of their intimate encounters, and opening up to actually liking them, which was good. I don’t think it was really enough to make me like the volume, however.
I don’t know if I’m going to pick up another volume. At some point, maybe, or maybe one of her other series. But maybe not.

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