“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” – Imadoki! (manga) – 4/10 Disco Balls


We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it. ~John Lennon

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Review Status: Complete (5 Volumes/5 Volumes)

Licensed: This manga is licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Typical shoujo with big eyes and sparkles. Nice to look at.

Summary: For Tanpopo Yamazaki, life at the elitist Meio Academy seems way out of her league. The daughters of wealthy families snub her, other students make light of the fact that she actually tested into Meio instead of relying on family connections, and the cute boy she saw tending a dandelion the day before wouldn’t even acknowledge her existence. Hoping to make friends and have some fun, Tanpopo starts up a gardening committee, but will this help her survive in a school where superficiality and nepotism reign supreme? (Source: Viz)

Review: When you only have so much time to tell a story, it becomes a mash of rushed story and undeveloped characters. I’m grateful that for this story, it wasn’t the case. There were some good things- one of the side characters ends up in a bad relationship, ends up pregnant, but through her friendship with Tanpopo gains confidence in herself and her ability to lead a good life with her new baby. The story wasn’t that rushed, and characters were given a decent amount of time to develop.

However, the good things didn’t outweigh the bad. The mains are faaar to cliché for me to enjoy them- the guy is an arrogant, mean teen on the outside with a small gentle side on the inside. Tanpopo is the typical energetic teen, a bit of an airhead and somewhat clumsy. The others are also typical characters, such as a jealous girl who’s interested in Koki (and later becomes Tanpopo’s somewhat-friend), and another typical love-life-meddling friend.

The story wasn’t really that ingenious either- you have a girl who’s in a school she doesn’t really fit in, and she finds love and friends. It mixed a recycled plot with indifferent characters- a mix that leaves me less than impressed.

Overall, this just wasn’t the best romance manga I’ve read.

Recommended: Not really. But if you’re really interested, then ages 14+. One of the characters is pregnant and not married- but becomes a better person through her friendship with Tanpopo. There is a bit of fanservice, such as when Tanpopo shows Koki where he helped bandage her leg but accidentally lifts her skirt too high, which shows her panties. She’s highly embarrassed by that.

Other titles you might enjoy: Kimi ni Todoke (anime and manga)
Special A (anime and manga)
Lovely Complex (anime and manga)
Toradora! (anime and manga)
Skip Beat! (manga)
Ouran Host Club (anime and manga)
Fruits Basket (anime and manga)

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