Anyway, I’m Falling in Love with You. Volumes 1 and 2 Manga Review

Anyway, I’m Falling in Love with You. Volumes 1 and 2 Manga Review

Anyway, I'm Falling in Love with You. Volume 1

On her birthday, a woman thinks back to her “bright and wonderful springtime of youth” 10 years ago.

Flashback to 2020. Mizuho, a high schooler who is trying to break into the manga biz, is close with four boys her age from her neighborhood: smart-aleck Shuugo, student council member Shin, influencer/model Airu, and Kizuki, whom Mizuho considers the baby of the group. Mizuho has a crush on Saito, an upperclassman who is a swimmer like Kizuki. Saito brushes off Mizuho when she confesses on her birthday, which causes Kizuki to confess to Mizuho. Her editor advises Mizuho to take inspiration from her own life, but she thinks her days are average even though Kizuki keeps trying to be her boyfriend — and he’s not the only one who’d like that honor.

The manga’s main story is set in 2020, and yes, there is a pandemic going on. But the illness is unnamed, and while school events are cancelled, no masks are worn and social distancing is not a thing. So I think some creative liberties were taken, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, I'm Falling in Love with You. Sample 1

The entire manga does not stay in 2020. Things segue from 2030 to 2020 and then back, like older Mizuho watching fireworks and thinking back to fireworks in 2020. Author Mitsui seems like she’s going to tease readers about 2030-Mizuho’s life.

That’s code for “who does Mizuho end up with”, as this is a reverse harem with her four friends plus Saito. However, out of the core four guys, two are clearly romantically interested in Mizuho (Kizuki and Shin), one is not (Shuugo), and another has feelings for someone else (Airu). For me, Airu is the one I’m most interested in. While Mizuho does have a female friend, it’s Airu who handles a lot of the BFF duties in the day-to-day action, including dressing up Mizuho.

Anyway, I'm Falling in Love with You. Volume 2

Had Anyway, I’m Falling in Love with You. been serialized in, say, Dessert, I think the manga could have done a lot with the drama and adolescence. As a Nakayoshi series, while the magazine has had some more mature titles (Missions of Love), this manga focuses heavily on sparkling, dazzling youth. While Mizuho panics about her pounding heart and characters have secrets, the tone is just too cheerful for the story to go as deep as it could, particularly with Airu. And instead of being 16-17, the group acts more like 14-15.

The art also plays a part in the atmosphere with its bright, large paneling; it’s hardly uncommon for there to be only two panels on a page. This is all probably why Mizuho’s father, although shocked to see a half-naked boy in his daughter’s room, reacts without fainting from shock or threatening violence and allows her to go on a backyard camping trip with one tent with her four guy friends.

I also have to add Dad is one of the most active, involved fathers I’ve seen in manga. Bravo, sir!

Anyway, while Mizuho thinks her love life is lacking and is nothing special, Kizuki’s gentle yet firm pressure to get the girl he likes to turn his way does seem to be working. The manga seems to be straightforward, but there’s enough wiggle room for this to be something more than just a PG tale of a girl surrounded by hot guys.

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