I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World
地球のおわりは恋のはじまり (Chikyuu no Owari wa Koi no Hajimari)
Shoujo – Comedy, romance
2 Volumes of 5 Volumes (complete)
Mahiru is starting high school, and she just wants to live a simple life. That’s because every time something good happens to her, something bad is usually just around the corner. It’s a life unlike that of her twin sister’s. But on the first day of school, a nice, handsome guy helps her and invites her out. But there’s no way he could really be interested in her, right? Because if something like that were to happen, the world just might end!
Super negative girl x nice guy cuteness.
Mahiru has spent most of her life either being humiliated or mistaken for her twin sister, Mayo. Now while this seems like a manga about the jealousy and rivalry between twins, I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World isn’t. Yes, Mahiru’s relationship with her sister plays a large part in her personality, but as a flashback shows, Mahiru regrets thinking badly about her sister. And by her own admission, Mayo’s sweetness is true, not a fabrication or a means of manipulation. But it doesn’t matter much because, shockingly, Mayo is a minor character in this manga. She doesn’t go to the same school as Mahiru, so we haven’t seen too much of her.
On the first day of school, Mahiru meets Aoi. He’s nice and friendly, but he’s especially friendly to Mahiru: talking to her, demonstrating his origami skills, inviting her to a cafe after school, and then confessing shorty afterward. Mahiru trembles like a kitten each time Aoi smiles her way, as she thinks that bad luck will strike each time she has good luck. So if something as amazing as a wonderful guy falling for her really happens, then there must be a huge disaster just around the corner.
But Aoi doesn’t give up easily, and our protagonist quickly finds her heart racing around him. We also meet Kotone, the sharp-tongued beauty whom Mahiru meets after noticing a dropped ring, and Ginga, who doesn’t necessarily mind Mahiru but will never forgive anyone who hurts Aoi. Mahiru’s tendency to avoid positivity means she happily welcomes their harshness, which both Kotone and Ginga find creepy. So far, there’s not much to suggest they’re going to pair up since Kotone is dealing with an unrequited love. I’d like them to, but that’s because I like both of them and want to see them be as happy as Aoi and Mahiru. Kotone childishly tackles her feelings for her crush, but it’s nice to see how her friendship with Mahiru is developing as two social pariahs. Ginga could be the type that outwardly supports his best friend while secretly threatening Mahiru, but he truly wants Aoi to get his feelings returned even though he personally doesn’t get Mahiru’s appeal.
Mahiru’s self-esteem is very low, but she starts to make changes in herself as she accepts and then returns Aoi’s feelings for her. Aoi has had his own difficulties, as we see the series of events that caused him to fall for Mahiru in the first place. Their romance will remind readers of other similar stories (Kimi ni Todoke probably being the most popular), but I think I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World has a major advantage: its length. Five volumes is enough for readers to see a fast romance without being too fast. Five volumes is enough to get some laughs at Mahiru’s masochistic tendencies without it becoming annoying. Five volumes is enough for the sweetness to not cause cavities. It’s enough to learn more about Kotone and Ginga, hopefully tackle the twins’ relationship, and so on. Perhaps Taamo ran out of time and the ending will be rushed. But it’s short enough that even if I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World doesn’t turn out to be readers’ cup of tea, they won’t have invested too much time and money into it. I doubt the last three volumes are going to be that much different in tone from these first two, so if you read the first chapter and don’t like the tone or whatever, it’s probably safe to assume that you won’t like the series.
Taamo’s art reminds me of Rubico’s. They are both Dessert mangaka, so it isn’t too much of a surprise. Mahiru seems like the type to be expressionless, but she blushes easily and constantly. I kept wondering if Kotone has mixed blood in her or if she just has manga-hair where any color goes. Perhaps that question will be answered later. With the way she praises herself and her sharp eyes, she looks like she should be a foreigner when she’s next to Mahiru. Aoi’s origami and cooking skills are on display. One of the bonuses reveals that his creations actually had to be changed in the book version because the magazine versions were too extreme. Seriously, a Rayquaza twin in just a few minutes? No wonder Taamo went back and made it a dino with less scales! Anyway, because of Mahiru’s “curse”, the manga is full of sparkles and close-ups as Aoi approaches her. Since the manga is described as a sweet love story, the visual humor is kept as Mahiru jumping back or hiding her face. Nothing wrong with that, but based on the title, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think Mahiru’s imagining the end of the world or other far-off scenarios as her love luck changes. We do see some of her bad luck (sudden rainstorm, ripping her skirt), but it’s not nearly as comedic as I would have thought based on the title. That was disappointing, but the art is otherwise good.
… Also, to Mahiru: “It’s just a skeleton”? JUST A SKELETON? That is amazing work of art reflecting human dedication, passion, science, and pure luck that occurred over millions of years of history, of a creature that will almost certainly never exist again. How dare you call a full triceratops fossil “just a skeleton”!! Seriously, who doesn’t love dinosaurs?!?!
Honorifics are used. Translation notes are at the end of the volume, and they include explaining the kanji in the characters’ names.
I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World seems like a cute romance with a length that prevents dragged-out misunderstandings and also short enough so that the concept of a negative girl and popular boy getting together doesn’t wear out its welcome.
Kodansha Comics has also licensed Taamo’s House of the Sun and Atsumori-kun’s Bride-to-Be.
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