World’s Greatest First Love 2

December 24, 2015

Shungiku Nakamura – SuBLime – 2015 – 9+ volumes

So, let’s see if I’ve got my Junjo Romantica lineage straight.

There’s the main Junjo Romantica series, which is 19+ volumes, and includes Junjo Romantica, Junjo Egoist, Junjo Terrorist, and Junjo Minimum.

There’s a one-volume spin-off manga called Junjo Mistake.

There’s World’s Greatest First Love, which is 9+ volumes and includes “Cases of” Ritsu Onodera, Kou Yukina, and Shouta Kisa (separate chapters for the latter two?  They are the same couple, I think).

There’s a 6+ volume World’s Greatest First Love novel series for Takafumi Yokozawa.

There’s a World’s Greatest First Love novel series for Chiaki Yoshino, which is 4+ volumes long.

There’s… apparently, a compiled Junjo Minimist manga.

There’s three volumes of an Egoist novel series, 8+ volumes of a Romantica novel series (these two might technically be novelizations of what Usagi is working on).

And that might be it, aside from the drama CDs and various adaptations?

That’s a lot of stuff.

Anyway, here’s hoping we can see the main series soon.  I have hope, despite its length, since apparently the last couple Tokyopop volumes wound up on the New York Times Bestseller list, and as I said, the early volumes got 6+ reprints.  I suppose it depends how well The World’s Greatest First Love does.  Then I can start hoping for the novels, which are far less likely to happen.

Anyway anyway, I’m talking about the second volume of The World’s Greatest First Love, which is still just Ritsu Onodera.  I liked it much better this time.  Each volume only has two chapters, the end of which tells us how long it will be before Ritsu falls in love with Masamune.  He’s got a long way to go, considering the sex they have here.

Masamune does seem to be rather smitten with Ritsu, but Yokozawa fills us on on what may have happened.  Ritsu has blocked out his relationship with Masamune, so he doesn’t remember the details.  Yokozawa tells him to stay away, as he’s the guy that threw Masamune to the curb, had a fiancee he was cheating on with Masamune, and later, went back to dating women.  Yokozawa says that Ritsu’s heartlessness really set Masamune back, and made a complete mess of him.  Ritsu doesn’t remember any of this.  I’m not sure what to believe here.  Masamune would know best, and his vote is for banging Ritsu.

Yokozawa (edit: when I wrote this months ago I kept calling him Yoshizawa, my apologies if that’s actually his name) is a little annoying.  He’s one of those characters who’s not really dating the love interest, but wishes he was, and won’t let others near him.  He’s constantly giving Ritsu grief, despite the fact that Ritsu adamantly refuses to have anything to do with Masamune.

Mmm… sometimes, Nakamura’s art bothers me.  She’s got the big hands thing going on, which is more pronounced in Junjo Romantica.  She also has a tendency to make even her ukes tiny, hilariously disproportionate to the huge semes.   And sometimes, there are small things that bother me.  Here, there’s a fantastic dramatic kissing scene, but the way the mouths are lined up isn’t quite right.  I couldn’t figure out if Ritsu was biting Masamune’s neck, and in the next panel, a weird part of their faces is kinda smashed together.  But I’m horribly addicted to her stories, and her art works most of the time.  I like it much better here than in Junjo Romantica, but I’m not sure how far along that series was when this started coming out, so she may have improved a lot since then.

Let’s see, what else… Isaka appears as a CEO-type guy in this volume, and seems to be comically laid-back.  At one point, he realizes Ritsu is the son of the owner of Onodera publishing, and is in a similar scion position to him.  He yells down a crowded hallway “from one coattail rider to another, good luck!”  Ritsu is mortified.

And there are a ton of other Ritsu and Masamune scenes here.  Ritsu is slowly getting better at his job, and when Masamune is not yelling at him, he’s giving good advice and trying to get into his pants.  And when Ritsu isn’t thinking about work (there’s much less of that in this volume), he’s thinking about Masamune.  The romance is great, except for the fact we know Ritsu isn’t going to give in until the deadline at the end of the chapters lapses.  The wait is terrible.  And now I know that other characters are going to start sneaking into the volumes, too.

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