Venus in Love 5 by Yuki Nakaji: B

Venus in Love is a cozy shojo romance that seems to firmly belong in the era of titles like Marmalade Boy, except without as much angst.

College students Suzuna Ashihara and Eichi Uozumi have been friends and neighbors for couple of years now. They both started off liking the same guy, but have gradually begun to realize that they might actually fancy each other instead. And when I say gradually, I mean it. A year ago, they shared a kiss at Christmas, and the holidays have just about rolled around again before they have their second smooch at an amusement park. And yet they still aren’t dating. They’ve both acknowledged their feelings to themselves at this point (and I do like that we also get Eichi’s perspective of this process, as well), but have not yet managed to confess and solidify their status as a couple.

The chapters in this volume are all self-contained and manage to make some progress toward official couplehood for Suzuna and Eichi. Mostly, though, they’re just cute. There’s the one where they go to the zoo and are happy, the one where they go to the aquarium and are happy, et cetera. My favorite is the chapter where Suzuna takes a job working nights at a convenience store in order to buy cavity-ridden Eichi a swanky toothbrush for Valentine’s Day. He gets wind of her job and secretly watches over her every night to ensure nothing bad happens to her.

The one complaint I really have about this series is its over-reliance on silly shojo clichés. I swear Suzuna must trip or stumble at least three times in this volume and accidentally falls asleep on a boy twice. It got so that I’d heave a great sigh whenever such an act was repeated, which detracts from the overall pleasant reading experience Venus in Love provides.

Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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