Ao Mimori, Author, Ao Mimori, Illustrator . Viz $8.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4215-1802-2

In this quick shojo read, 16-year-old Sakura has a crush on Fuji, the unpopular bespectacled boy who sits next to her in homeroom, until she finds out he works at a host club. Sakura tells him anyone with such a morally dubious after-school job is unworthy of her affections. Up for the challenge, Fuji replies, “I will absolutely win your heart.” Fuji proceeds to manipulate Sakura's emotions in a halfhearted romance contest, and the naïve Sakura falls for all of his ploys. Sakura declares a new crush on the more upstanding Inaba, chairman of the Library Committee, only to get involved in a shady sexual situation with Inaba in the library. Fuji saves Sakura, and Inaba admits he actually swings the other way and has a crush on Fuji. The scope of the story is frustratingly small. Sakura has no life outside her crushes, and no distinctive personality. The plot wanders just enough to stay interesting, but the reader will likely wonder where this is going, as the series is on volume 12 in Japan. The artwork is adequate, but Mimori includes an excessive number of flashbacks to scenes that happened only a few pages earlier. The hilarious author's notes overshadow the humor in the story. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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