My Special One, Vol 1

Viz. (My Special One). Feb. 2023. 200p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974736706.
Gr 7-12–Average girl Sahoko has a biased view of beautiful boys. Her first crush crushed her desire for love, and she refuses to get hurt again. But then a chance encounter with the idol Kouta of Like Legend puts her on the defensive. The admirable lead singer and actor is nothing like she pictured; he’s empathetic, professional, and determined to make her a fan. Sahoko’s attraction develops quickly, even with the consistent conflict between her heart and her mind. While there are blush-worthy moments, this first volume leans more into the comedy. Whenever Sahoko is in denial or resists, the author employs a variety of exaggerated faces and internal dialogue to full comedic effect. For drama, some foils are also set up, especially for Kouta, whose nuanced expressions make his position clear. In this manga, the obstacles to overcome are both personal and social, but through Sahoko’s realizations, the author encourages readers to take steps. Shoujo fans will gravitate towards this stubborn yet timid protagonist, and the promise the next volumes hold.
VERDICT For those who enjoy idol manga, this is a confidence-boosting start that reminds readers that relationships require effort.

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