Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu

Status: Complete

You can have it all if you have brains and find romance

My second time reading the manga, and it's just as good as reading it the first time round. It's similar to Horimiya in the sense that what you see is not exactly what you get, and it's these types of manga which I enjoy reading over and over.

Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu has an interesting main girl called Hibino Tsubaki. She's a smart cookie but fails to get into the elite high school she's been wanting to go to and fails to be the top student in the high school she's able to get into. Bad luck much? I guess you could say her hopes aren't completely dashed when she meets the student who beat her to first place in this school's entrance exams, but then that'd be a certain extent. He's called Tsubaki Kyouta (also a strong main guy and I hope the names don't confuse any of you!) and turns out to be a rude guy to Tsubaki when they first meet in school, resulting in her cutting his hair in disgust. As punishment, he vows to take all her "first times", but little do they know that this blossoms into something they soon learn to cherish.

So Tsubaki and Kyouta don't get off to the best start, similar to Kyou and Misao's reunion in Black Bird, but it's fun to see in a way. Tsubaki sees him as healthy competition academically since Kyouta is top student in their year, but at the same time she's sort of swayed by his "romantic" gestures as part of his revenge against her. But just as things look like they've calmed down between the two of them, Kyouta begins to hate her for a while after she confesses to him for personal reasons on his end, but they soon realise that they can't not be together. There's plenty of drama to go around as a result, with most coming from Tsubaki who is now experiencing romance for the first time and tries to balance it with her studies, as well as dealing with a lot of rage and hate from the other girls in their year since Kyouta is also the most popular guy there. He, on the other hand, tries to understand Tsubaki whilst she's undergoing some transformations, whether it's related to appearance, academics, and in general, and realises that he too is experiencing some first times because of her despite having a much calmer nature. For example, the experiences he had as a playboy never meant much to him, but with Tsubaki they're of some importance to him. Because of it, Tsubaki is insecure about their relationship even though Kyouta is changing (bless him), in particular his feelings for her, but it helps in getting things moving in some parts of the story, can be used in different scenarios and is counteracted by Kyouta's much stronger character. The moments end in romance, and some things they come out with are genuinely sweet. Some parts are kind of mature, but there aren't as many as you'll fine in Honey X Honey Drops (which I have read and may review soon!) And I will say this: the ending is one to look forward to, but it's added in as a bonus chapter rather than a main one. I don't think it really matters since the concise story is just really sweet as it is.

The story isn't solely focused on Kyouta and Tsubaki, as other characters have their moments to come, do their bit, and then leave or stay in the background after all is said and done. It kind of brings in the slice of life part to the manga a bit more, as Tsubaki and Kyouta are affected by the outcome there and then, or it triggers something which may affect them later on. The results are kind of mixed in some sense, but these parts bring in much welcomed development both story and character wise.
A newly turned high school girl finds herself on the wrong side of the top student after cutting his hair in disgust, which later turns into a romantic relationship
Anything else?: You gotta hate a particular character for what they try to do (spoiler alert)