Love Attack, Volume One (Mania.com)

By:Nadia Oxford, Columnist
Review Date: Friday, January 18, 2008

Love Attack's author, Shizuru Seino, is the manga-ka behind Girl Got Game and Heaven!!. If you're familiar with either series, you know what you're getting into with Love Attack: Shojo in its most potent form. If that's the sort of thing that makes your day, Seino's latest will buoy your happiest mood. If you're unfamiliar with the genre, Love Attack is a good place to start. The plot is pretty standard, but it's funny, cute and fun to read.

Chiemi Yusa is a high school student who fights for justice at the drop of a hat. She's particularly good at taking apart bullies who harass weaker, more timid classmates. The school's authorities still don't take kindly to her violent tendencies and Chiemi is on the verge of expulsion when one of her teachers throws her an offer: If she can tame the school terror, Akifumi, her troubled record will be wiped clean.

Not surprisingly, Chiemi and Aki discover they have a lot in common: They both like busting heads, and even Aki reveals himself to be a pretty okay guy after all with reasons for acting the way he does. As fate dictates, they fall in love and start dating, but they don't exactly live happily ever after. Their volatile personalities ensure a lot of lovers spats, which escalate significantly when Chiemi's clingy cousin comes to town (an interesting novelty about shojo manga is the "jealous cousin" angle; marrying one's cousin isn't quite as controversial in Japan as it is in America).

Love Attack makes use of the traits that define the shojo genre: Romance, comedy, exaggerated facial expressions, objects hurled at rivals with impressive force. Fortunately there's enough variety in the story to keep it genuinely funny, and the serious moments are surprisingly thoughtful. Chiemi's cousin is an annoying little thing, but his presence is necessary to develop both Chiemi and Aki.

Oh, and an early warning: At one point in the story, Aki tells a tale about a man who discovers a "magic drink." You will never forget it. Never, never, never. I'm sorry.

Volume one of Love Attack retails for $9.99.



Mania Grade: B+
Title: Love Attack, Volume One
Author: Shizuru Seino
Artist: Shizuru Seino
Rated: Teen (13+)
Publisher: Tokyopop
Price: $9.99