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- Published on Amazon.com
I was hesitant on picking up this manga. It's in omnibus format, so I was sure it would be of poor quality, floppy and easily damaged like the Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Skip Beat, etc. omnibus versions. While it's not your Viz Sig quality, I was very pleased. Hold any of the Viz regular manga and imagine it contains 2 volumes, not 1. That's essentially what this omnibus feels like. And the paper quality is as good as a regular Viz manga copy. I have no complaints.
The story is your typical shoujo, but done well in such a way to keep you intrigued. You could easily decide to watch the anime and be pretty satisfied with the ending, but there's a LOT more to the series than the anime has. SO, if you enjoyed the anime at all, it's definitely worth the revisit through the manga, and discover the things that were not in the anime. While the adaptation was pretty faithful, there's a lot to gain from reading the manga, considering there's still so much to the story that the anime wasn't able to cover.
Story: Basically, our heroine, Misaki, has a pretty poor family, and she's dealing with protecting the girls in her school from guys as Student Council President. Because some guys, like Usui, capture their hearts and then reject them. Her rage at the opposite gender at her school earns her the nickname, "Demon President" and all the guys are terrified of her. When Usui finds out that Misaki is working at a Maid Cafe to support her family, he realizes there's a lot more to her than her strict, cold demeanor at school.
Intrigued, he begins to pay her more attention, saving her from bad situations and generally just annoying Misaki, who can't believe that she has to entrust her secret job to him from school. She's not your usual shoujo heroine: she gets pissed, she gets violent, and she is very complex. She has a lot of things to get through before she can look at Usui in a romantic light, and he has to work through his own issues as well.
Eventually, their growing attraction starts to lend some light in the series. Usui falls for her first, and Misaki must deal with her confusing feelings on top of a ton of things that happen in her life. The manga can be quite silly at times, but mostly it feels like it's satiring other shoujo tropes. Nothing feels forced or contrived. It's written well, it's got a lot of humor, fun characters, and a love-hate relationship that blooms into love.
It's a classic shoujo title that really deserves the praise it gets. I would have liked a Viz Sig for this series, but shoujo never gets that treatment. However, the omnibus is not cheap looking or feeling, and honestly does a great job presenting a well-loved series to both new-comers, and returning fans. If you like romance at all, spunky heroines, a shoujo that manages to do a lot of things right, humor, and just a fun time, I have to recommend this.
Or you could try out the anime and see what you think. I purchased this at Barnes and Nobles.
- Published on Amazon.com
I collected the previous version of this series, released by Tokyopop. I rather enjoyed the series then, but it has been a while since I originally read it.
First of all, I would definitely recommend this version over the Tokyopop ones. The translations are better, but this time, all of the sfx are actually translated, as opposed to the panels that Tokyopop couldn’t be bothered with. I like the font, as well, and the pages look cleaner. The design and color of the covers look nicer, not so plain. Plus, it’s a two-in-one, at a fantastic price.
I would have liked extras or color pages, but that’s okay.
Now, with a more experienced mind, I did notice different things in this read. Firstly, that it’s a bit rushed and exaggerated in the beginning. The transition of Misa’s job being revealed to Usui is super fast, and her reactions are a bit much. The story lines are a little rushed at times, and Misa’s hate for men is definitely exaggerated. The way she takes on every single responsibility, as well as her overprotective feelings for women, still drives me crazy. Why is she the only one who ever does anything? Not a single other girl can fight? Really?
It gets better as time goes on, though, as does Usui’s characters. He’s a little too pushy at first, but I do like him, and I enjoy the way he teases and cares for Misa. He does push her being a girl too much, though, like she needs to be weaker. In contrast to that, I like that Misa can easily handle her own most of the time, and he doesn’t always have to save her.
Misa also has to learn at times not to let her hatred of men take over when making decisions as president, and I like that she does actually listen. That shows growth, which I appreciate.
I like Yukimura, too, and the idiot trio. I hope that Misa makes a real girl friend soon, who stays in the picture. Overall, though, I enjoyed this volume. It was fun to re-read the books, and I’m definitely excited for this release to catch up with where the Tokyopop one ended. I can’t wait for more.
A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!
[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, to which there's a link on my profile.]