Venus in Love 1Posted: November 3, 2008
The plot of this series was what grabbed my attention, basically a love triangle between a girl and a boy who are rivals for the same guy. Taken seriously, I thought this would make for a great premise, and I was right.
Aside from the premise, I think this series succeeds because it is extremely energetic and pleasant. There are a pair of girls and a pair of guys who wind up as friends as they all enter their first year of university. Three in the group knew each other from high school, and the main character meets the other girl at entrance exams and is the neighbor of one of the boys. These four never fight, and are usually joking and hanging out with one another. The two girls are refreshingly normal, and traits I would hate in real life (the fact that they both seem to be boy-crazy to a fault and somewhat shallow) are what make the two girls so constantly happy and joke-y. The characters do antagonize each other, but never seriously, and when they get mad at one another for teasing, they usually have a smile on their face. It’s just… really nice to see such healthy and sturdy friendships between characters like this, and their happiness is infectious.
The romance doesn’t come in until later. The main character falls in love at first sight with her neighbor’s friend, and some time is spent having her blush and be awkward around him, but not in the typical shoujo manga way. The awkwardness is done with a light touch, and you don’t feel so bad for the main character since she doesn’t seem to be seriously agonizing over it herself. It’s not until later that she realizes her neighbor is actually in love with his friend, and she makes a bigger deal out of him teasing her for her feelings when he had a crush too. It actually doesn’t linger too long on the fact that he’s gay, which is really interesting and, again, refreshing. He’s just another rival, and I love that the two of them are still friendly after this fact comes to light.
There are things about it that I don’t like, but I think that it mainly has to do with the characters being fairly shallow, something I’m sure will be fixed as the series goes on. It wasn’t absolutely fantastic, and I generally prefer a little more drama, but a drama-less love triangle like this is hard to pass up, and is really worth reading for the sheer novelty of it. I’m pretty pumped about reading the next volume.