By Leroy Douresseaux
Oct 12, 2007 - 14:39
Using the name Mikako Aihara, she manages to coerce the young man, Rou Kitajima, into letting her become his new roommate, but before long, Mikako falls in love with Rou. After Megumi falls in love with Rouâ€™s older brother, Sei Kitajima, Mikako is free to romance Rou. While the young man returns the affection and their love grows deeper, various obstacles litter the path of young love, and Mikakoâ€™s tragic fear of abandonment further complicates matters.
[This volume also includes an extra story by Kiritani, â€œSentimental Spillover.â€�]
THE LOWDOWN: The premise Miki Kiritani uses to open Missile Happy! â€“ a high school-age girl investigating the boy who might become her brother-in-law â€“ is quite intriguing. Unfortunately, Kiritani morphs Missile Happy! into a teen melodrama about the pitfalls of sudden love and the awkwardness of high school kids involved in a romance too intense for their lack of life experience. Rou seems a bit ditsy, and Mikakoâ€™s fear of seeing a loved one walk out the door only to never come back is heartbreaking. Kiritani includes plenty of cheap laughs and the mangaâ€™s romantic angle rings true, but Missile Happy! is also a drama/comedy or â€œdramedy,â€� with an emphasis on drama.
While the tone of the story varies, Kiritaniâ€™s art never does. Itâ€™s consistently brilliant. Besides the visual characteristics inherent in shojo manga, Kiritani has strong drawing skills. She has the ability to invent visually striking characters and objects â€“ impressive as much for Kiritaniâ€™s ability to cartoon the human figure and environments as they are for their beauty.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Missile Happy! is as girlish as shojo manga (girlsâ€™ comics) can be, but the artistâ€™s considerable drawing skills make it worth other manga readersâ€™ time.