Lovey Dovey: So sweet, you’ll puke

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to pick this blog back up and start reviewing again! Graduation, job hunting, packing my life away and moving it 10 hours north all got in the way, but now that I’m settled I realized how much I missed reading and reviewing new titles.

While MangaLife is no more, I am working on projects for ComicsBulletin.com and am planning to sign up for Manga Fox’s reader forum so I can get more involved in discussion boards.

Thanks for checking out my blog and feel free to leave a comment, even if you disagree!

20111205-212013.jpg Romance manga that straddles the line between sweet shoujo and smoldering smut aren’t always the easiest to stomach… You’re either gagging at the corniness or cupping your face in embarrassment when things get dirty.

Unfortunately for Lovey Dovey, the manga never finds its balance and ends up dragging on page after page without a sense of purpose. It’s sugary sweet, so much so you’d have to be 12 years old to really enjoy it… until the off beat smut cues in, of course.

The story starts off with Saika, a student at a prestigious high school with a strict no-love policy she upholds as part of the discipline committee. But her composed demeanor is actually a mask worn to impress childhood-friend-turned-love-of-her-life, Keishi, who is also president of the discipline committee.

Saika thinks she’s on her way to confessing when she ends up in the “special section” of school and runs into renown playboy Shin. When he throws himself at her, however, Saika’s true, boisterous self emerges and she smacks him away, threatening to kill him if he ruins her shot with Keishi.

Rejection only turns Shin on more to Saika (surprise, surprise), and he instantly falls for her outspoken nature.

I will admit the beginning chapters were hilarious, a ring of His and Her Circumstances with a touch of MARS. But once Shin suddenly sheds his playboy persona, this manga becomes as dry and cliche as a bottle of $6 Merlot.

Much like a car accident you can’t help but stare at, Lovey Dovey twists on and on through goofy plot lines and maddening dialogue. There are some genuine moments, especially between Keishi and Saika, but the dramatic, “you’re mine” attitude between Saika and Shin had me skipping more pages and chapters than swooning and sighing.

20111205-212436.jpg I mean, when THE bishie everyone is supposed to fall for becomes laughable and cheesy, isn’t it time to end the series with a sweet kiss, ring exchange and a “let’s be together forever” embrace?

And don’t get me started on the other “guy” characters who always seem to fall for Saika–the development is so flat it’s hard to see them as more than cartoon characters. Saika is also the only girl in the manga, minus a few background characters drawn to fill the panels, which quickly becomes boring and surreal. She’s not a heroine and she even seems to lose her outgoing spirit the more caught up she becomes in her relationships.

This isn’t the worst I’ve read, but for a manga with such wonderful art and potential, the sweet taste lingers sour and you’ll end up wishing you’d spent those hours watching mindless TV instead.

If the title doesn’t warn you what you’re in for, I don’t know what else will.

Liz’s rating: ★