Venus in Love 4Posted: April 21, 2010
Yuki Nakaji – CMX – 2008 – 12 volumes
If it’s possible to have a big crush on a manga, I’ve got it bad for Venus in Love. It is so ridiculously happy and fun to read that I am completely beside myself while going through the volume.
It wallows in its happiness and little slice-of-life style character-focused chapters, so as a result, it’s a little slow. I can see how some might get bored of Suzuna’s constant arm flailing, or Eichi’s shy blushes, or the fact nothing substantial has happened romantically yet. There’s also not much of an overarching plot. But I’m enjoying every single page.
The main focus in this volume is the love triangle between Suzuna, Eichi, and Yuki. Suzuna and Eichi seem to have mutual crushes on one another that neither seems to be a fan of discussing, and Yuki really likes Eichi, something he’s not very shy about. I’m a big fan of how this love triangle is handled, with the unspoken feelings not getting in the way of the close friendship between Eichi and Suzuna, and how Yuki is friends with both and Suzuna doesn’t take a spiteful approach to the rivalry. The two of them fight a lot, but there’s no malice behind it.
I also like how the series seems to be keeping a small cast of characters and giving every one of them just a little bit of story time. Suzuna’s friend Hinako gets a chapter about the relationship between her and the Greek teacher, which is a little easier for me to take since everyone’s in college. Fukami, Eichi’s friend and Suzuna’s former crush, also reappears at the end of the volume for Yuki and Suzuna to ponder. And also to win a beauty pageant.
My favorite chapter was one that was very Eichi-centric, and featured him going on an archeological dig and discussing his motivations for entering that field of study. It’s an unusual topic to come up in a manga, and not only did it give Eichi just a little more depth, the slightly mushy and sentimental nature of the series made all his life’s work talk more sincere than it would have been coming from a character in another manga series.
Other chapters take slow looks at sports activities, Eichi’s brother, Yuki’s coldness towards girls, and just about anything else that might come up during a regular day at school.
This series is magical. I can’t wait to read more. It takes me completely by surprise every time I read it, thinking that it can’t maintain its happy mood for much longer.