by Masami NAGATA
Margaret Comics, 1995
Well, after buying so many one-shot manga volumes, I decided to look for something that was a longer story that lasted for more than one volume. I ended up getting this title, 'Renai Catalog' which had 10 volumes on the shelf, and I know has more than that now. The series started in 1995, and I think it is still running. I liked this manga enough to pick up the next few volumes, and I intend to get the rest of it eventually :) The art style in this, while not groundbreakingly unique, is still very nice and clean, and everyone looks very cute :) (then again I say almost every manga is cute...) But really, this series looks very nice ^_^
The story takes a lot of different twists and turns, but volume one begins with a girl named Mika HINAMOTO. She's 17 years old, and doesn't have a boyfriend, but there is someone she has her eye on. His name is Takada-kun, and mika pretty much fell for him at first sight. Mika reads fashion-romance type magazines for advice, and dreams of Takada-kun asking her to be his girlfriend, etc. Unfortunately for Mika, her first meeting with him is rather embarrassing. However, the second time Mika meets him is much more interesting! Mika goes to meet her friends at a karaoke bar, and wow, Takada-kun is there! By the end of the night (the night of their first 'official' meeting really...) Mika manages to ask Takada-kun to be her boyfriend! Right in front of everyone else!
Not only is it the girl asking the guy out (which doesn't seem all that common to me) but it is on the night they first meet! Amazingly enough, Takada agrees! Granted there is a lot of teasing from his friends at the time.
So now Mika's dream has come true, she is Takada-kun's girlfriend! but are things really as easy as that? They barely know each other. And the first few times they try to date, everything that could go wrong, does. Even though they are a 'couple',
things are very awkward between them. So the focus is on Mika and Takada as they try to figure out their relationship and get to know each other. Then you have to throw in the usual shoujo manga love obstacles like former girlfriends, new guys, etc. This story is very good though!
Despite the unusual beginnings, some of the things they face seem very realistic to me :) the story expands to include other character relationships, such as that of Mika's younger sister. This is a series I recommend to those of you looking for a new longer series to get addicted to :)
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