I had the chance to read the first volume of Love Roma this week, by first-time manga creator Minoru Toyoda. It's been on my bookshelves for awhile now, and I was in the mood for a manga since Patrick began reading Death Note and got me all excited about it again.
Love Roma is a romantic comedy that doesn't really look like other manga. It has its own unique look about it, one that Patrick described as "video-gameish." It's kind of stiff-looking, but probably intentionally so. It makes for a different sort of experience if anything. Since it is a comedy, I find that I may not enjoy it as much as other people, just because I have such a weird, narrow taste in what I find funny. But it is a charming book nonetheless. It's pretty silly, what with the entire classroom following the blossoming relationship between Negishi and Hoshino, since Hoshino is blunt and always announcing his intentions and feelings to the classroom at large, who applaud and laugh in response. The two characters are instantly likeable and as a reader, you kind of experience the awkward fumblings of first love through their eyes all over again, questioning and requestioning actions through a very innocent headspace (well, for the most part). Each chapter of the volume sort of inspects a different part of their relationship, from their first kiss to rivals to meeting the parents. Love Roma is a fairly quick read, but it's really fun and lovely, and despite my inability to enjoy comedy to the extent that others can, this book still managed to get a few chuckles out of me.