Venus in Love 3 by Yuki Nakaji: B

From the back cover:
Suzuna’s had her heart set on Fukami but she’s been afraid to tell him her true feelings. Now Fukami’s out with another girl, and they seem to be turning into a steady couple. Suzuna finds herself spending more time with their mutual friend Eichi and a surprising development leaves the two of them with confused feelings about each other. Just when Suzuna thought things couldn’t get more complicated… they do!

Venus in Love is a comfy read. There’s no angst that a little encouragement can’t cure and bright smiles abound. Unfortunately, there’s also not a lot of resonance to the emotions these characters are supposedly feeling. If one were to compare what passes for love in this series to Ann and Daigo’s relationship in Sand Chronicles, for example, one would find the latter far more poignant.

Even though the series might miss the mark in depth, that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. The characters are likable, and I am occasionally a little surprised by twists in the story, like when the new male freshman character turns out to be interested not in Suzuna (what shoujo usually does) but in Eichi. But even then, his interest is shallow, of the kissing sleeping people and proclaiming “he will be mine!” variety.

Venus in Love has the goods to make me smile and I’ve learned by now not to expect more than that. I read it when I’m in the mood for some pleasant fluff, and with that expectation, it satisfies.

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