Machiru and Hanakago are both in love with Suruga. Can they find a way to make this strange threesome work?
Writer/Artist: Shioko Mizuki
Translation: Sei Kinno
Adaptation: Brynne Chandler
What They Say
Michiru prides herself on near-perfection, and won't give up in any situation - so when her friend starts dating her crush, she suggests the three of them go out! Everything seems to be going smoothly at first, but we know what they say about third wheels... Can three people really be in love?
Go Comi's releases are solid, with sharp, crisp printing, deep blacks, and top-notch binding. No color pages are included, but the overall package is better than much of what's on the market.
Fans looking for Mizuki's sketchy but dynamic style are likely to be disappointed. This is an earlier series than Crossroad, and the difference is very striking. The sketchiness is still there, but it feels rough and unpolished rather than deliberate. Her grasp on anatomy isn't quite where it needs to be yet, especially when it comes to facial proportions. It's definitely a look that takes some getting used to.
All sound effects are replaced with the English equivalent. The translation flowed smoothly, with few rough points, and the translation notes at the end were an especially nice touch.
Machiru is perfect at everything, except math and love. She has rivals in both - Hiroo and Hanakago. When Hanakago declares her love for Machiru's childhood friend Suruga, Machiru does the same, declaring herself his Number One Lover. Hanakago, not to be outdone, declares herself Number Two, and like that the three end up all going out together!
Despite agreeing to share the same boyfriend, things go far from smoothly. It's hard to get equal time and attention, and then there are the rivals. Hanakago's old protector Ichiru can't forgive Suruga for taking his crush away, but his attempts to make her see him as a guy fail miserably. And somehow,Suruga is the only one who realizes that he has a rival for Machiru in Hiroo, who finds himself forced to take more drastic measures to force Machiru to realize the depths of his feelings for her.
In "Romancing Audrey," Audrey is a princess on the run from debt collectors. Spoiled and a little insensitive, the hardships of life on the road are almost more than she can take. Luckily, she has a single bodyguard to protect her. His attitude may not be what she was hoping for, but as they spend more time together she starts to notice his good points. Will she be able to compete with the girl he loves?
This was an exceedingly odd little story, with a not-particularly-compelling love pentagon. There was no real chemistry between any of the characters, and it was almost impossible to determine if any of them, other than the two male rivals, had any actual feelings towards the others, or if it was all some sort of elaborate game. It seemed like Suruga was just going along with the flow for most of the book, but then in the last chapter it felt like his emotions took a sudden 180. Character development was another area that seemed rather lacking. Machiru was decently developed, but the rest seemed to morph to be whatever the story needed at the time. As a romance, even a romantic comedy, this was rather lacking. The parts that did stand out where some of the pure comedic elements - the Left Hand of Emotion elicited a giggle.
Despite having a premise with a ton of potential, this series so far is crippled by Mizuki's lack of experience. The seeds of her style are there - the bizarro relationships, the absurd sense of humor, and her distinctly twisted voice - but this definitely doesn't live up to her later works. Curious fans might want to check this out, but it's not a series I could easily recommend to most fans.