Love Round! by Hinako Takanaga Manga Review

Title:  Love Round!

Author: Hinako Takanaga

Publisher: Deux

ISBN:  9781934496558

May Contain Spoilers

Boxer Kubo gets the surprise of his life when he finds Kaoru Komatsuna’s notebook.  When pretty boy Kaoru overhears him make fun of his name, he goes ballistic and KO’s the burly Kubo.  Impressed with the force of his punch, Kubo is determined to get Kaoru to become a boxer – will love bloom as Kubo chases his quarry?

This was cute, if repetitive, read.  Kubo isn’t the brightest guy out there, and he never thinks before he opens his big mouth.  This gets him into a lot of trouble, especially after he meets Kaoru.  Kaoru has a blistering temper, and the slightest offense sets him off.  He’s very sensitive about his name, and with his frail, girly looks, that’s kind of understandable.  When he hears Kubo comment that he has a weird name, he sees red and decks him.  It’s not the last time that Kubo is on the receiving end of one of Kaoru’s punches, and it’s kind of amazing that Kubo gradually finds himself falling for him.

Instead of getting angry about being knocked out by Kaoru, Kubo asks him to join his gym and become a boxer, too.  Kaoru is impressed with Kubo – he’s the very image of the macho man he is trying to emulate.  Kaoru hates that he’s girly looking.  He is even better looking than most girls, and when Kubo comments on that, he gets decked again.  Kubo gets KO’ed so many times that if the author didn’t keep track of the number, it would be easy to lose track.  That comedic plot device was a little over used, and it became a little tiring when Kaoru just couldn’t restrain his flaring rage.  If nothing else, if helps to explain why Kubo was a little dense – taking that many blows to the head can’t be good for brain matter.

When Kubo starts to fall for Kaoru, Kaoru gets pissed.  He may look like a girl, but he’s a guy!  The constant miscommunication between the two give the story a lot of it’s charm.  Kubo’s inability to shut up is also a source of amusement.  He lacks any common sense, and just blurts out whatever comes to mind.  Kaoru is the opposite; he’s a pretty reserved guy, and he is just humiliated whenever Kubo opens his mouth.    It’s a wonder that these guys ever hook up! 

I wasn’t overly impressed with the scratchy illustrations, but the story is fun and never takes itself too seriously.  It was hard not cheering for Kubo, because he is so clueless that you wonder how he will ever win Kaoru’s affections.  Who can resist a nitwit like that?

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Deux

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