Manga Thoughts and Opinions: Venus in Love

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Let me start by saying: this has nothing to do with the recent closure of manga sites. I just want to express my opinions on the manga I read sometimes. It just so happens that the idea to do “Manga thoughts and opinions” didn’t occur to me until recently. Think of it as a half-assed manga review.

You’ll probably only want to read this if you’ve read the manga yourself, or you were deciding on whether you want to buy/read the manga. I’ll skip the pleasantries of what the manga is about, since wikipedia can do that much better than me. I’ll get right into what I liked and didn’t like about it. Be forewarned that spoilers will ensue. I read the manga from the local library so I’ve only read up to Vol. 7 (Vol. 8 was released recently in the US).

Basic information:

Title: Venus in Love (aka “Love for Venus” and “ビーナスは片想い”)

Mangaka: Yuki Nakaji

The manga started out with an interesting premise. Rather than the usual love rivalries, this one had our heroine Suzuna, and her gay next-door neighbor Eiichi fall in love with the same guy. The reasoning for Eiichi’s infatuation with his best friend, Fukami, is logical. And having Fukami fall in love with another girl, Honoka, is nicely done and keeps the story interesting. The first arc of the series, depicting their love rivalry for Fukami, is easily my favorite. Eiichi, shifting his feelings over to Suzuna is also logical and well done. As a character, Suzuna is easily lovable. She’s cute, kind, and has a simple straightforward thought process, that results with her speaking before she thinks.

The pacing of the manga was probably it’s biggest fault. There were times when a chapter ended with what seems like an interesting situation, then the next chapter starts several weeks later, and no one mentions the events of the previous chapter. It was quite clearly designed to be read with gaps between it’s release schedule. Because of this invariable time skipping, characters sometimes appear bipolar. Depressed at one point, then suddenly excited.

Nothing would happen for several chapters, and then “suddenly” something big would happen(like a kiss or declaration of love) with no build up whatsoever. The manga itself actually says “SUDDENLY!” a lot to denote a sudden scene change where characters just randomly bumped into each other and start up a conversation.

The first few volumes were fairly nice, but to a point, it just got repetitive. When Yuki was introduced, it felt like the first arc all over again, only with different roles. I don’t particularly dislike Yuki’s character but he was about as random as it got, and he totally overshadowed the other characters(including Eiichi). He starts off liking Eiichi with no clear explanation other than “he looked pretty sleeping”. Then he shifts over to Suzuna at the flip of a coin. I’m not even sure if he likes one or the other or both.

A serious problem I saw in the later chapters is, Fukami’s sudden disappearance! Once his arc was over, he literally disappeared from the manga. Not even shown in the background for a good time. The story focuses completely on the SuzunaxEiichixYuki romance. I know he should take a backseat to the main characters, but considering that he’s Eiichi’s best friend, and everyone’s first love, he should at least get a cameo here and there. This is gradually rectified, as the mangaka offhandedly remembers the character and puts him in random scenes with Eiichi just to show he’s in the background.

I actually really like Hinako, Suzuna’s best friend. Her relationship with Hokari sensei is done very nicely with just enough sweetness. She also disappears for a good portion of the series, but not as badly as Fukami. And considering her connection to the story is one of an obvious side character, it’s understandable.

Mangaka corners: I really like reading what the mangaka writes about their personal life in the 1/4 strips so I’ll be talking about that too. Yuki Nakaji has a really nice laid-back style. She talks about her family and cat light heartedly. And her assistants are spoken of as though they were friends. Her writing about her cat’s antics are enjoyable to read. You get a sense of kindness and how easy going she is.

Well that’s about it. Keep in mind that I’ve only read up to Vol. 7. I probably won’t go out of my way to finish the rest of the series. The last 7 volumes will most likely be more of the same. It was enjoyable for a time, especially the first few volumes, but started to falter later on. Anyway, for me, Suzuna will forever be the girl that can turn gay men, straight.

I give this manga 3 out of 5 Yukkuris.

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4 Responses to “Manga Thoughts and Opinions: Venus in Love”

  1. dhyohko Says:

    lol, 3 our of 5 yukkuris…..total win.-even mroe so siince it’s Remiliasama XD

  2. Firetribe Says:

    Lol shojo manga

    That’s so girly. xD

    *throws blanket over stacks of shojo manga all over his room*\

    ;>>

    • motaku96 Says:

      Shojo is about the only thing I find interesting to read nowadays. Sure I read a few manga from other genres, shonen, seinen, etc. But shojo is the only genre that I would read just about everything that comes my way. As a whole, I enjoy it the most.

      • Firetribe Says:

        You don’t have to explain it to the guy who has stacks of shojo manga on his desk. ^^;

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