Title: Kimi Ni Ai Wo! (Loving You! / きみにあいを ! )
Author: Noll Shikisima (Story & Art)
Genres: Shoujo, Romance, Drama
Rating: Teen (13+)
Published: 2018 – 13 chapters [Ongoing]
English Publisher: Renta Comics
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes
Synopsis: Aio Ueda has been head over heels for her boss, Yuri Natsuno, for two years now. So much so that every season, she asks him out. Yuri hates wasting company money and isn’t the friendliest guy around, so Aio’s the only girl in the office who likes him romantically… Every so often, Yuri shows his softer side, and that just makes Aio’s feelings for him grow… Aio’s determined not to give up, but what will happen to her and Yuri…?
First and foremost, I was drawn to Kimi Ni Ai Wo because of its beautiful art style. Artist and author Noll Shikisima is clearly talented and I found her art style very similar to what I might find in a physically published tankōbon. So big thumbs up from me on grabbing my attention the way this title did. ^_^b
Some first impressions:
- The premise of Aio have an unrequited love for her boss Yuri is cute (though nothing out of the ordinary), but gets a little icky when it starts sidestepping slightly into non-consenting territory. The main example of this is a scene within the first couple of chapters where Yuri is sleeping at the office and Aio gets ready to kiss him in his sleep. Nothing happens thankfully because Yuri wakes up in time but I did notice myself becoming uncomfortable when it became clear that Aio was getting ready to kiss her sleeping Prince Charming. I know it’s probably meant to be lighthearted, I’m just noting that my reaction to this scene was a little different than perhaps what was anticipated by the author.
- Aside from that unpleasantness however, Aio’s love for Yuri and their work relationship is handled very tastefully. Aio’s feelings for Yuri are very well-known around their workplace, but everyone is supportive of Aio’s endeavors to get Yuri to date her. No one is overly pressuring Aio OR Yuri to do anything they are uncomfortable with; rather they are more generically supportive, with their fingers crossed that Aio will one day get the results she hopes for.
- As the subject of Aio’s very “determined” feelings, Yuri is never anything but respectful and polite to Aio. Even as their relationship begins to change, when things get awkward both Aio and Yuri are able to put aside those feelings and shift into work-autopilot. Yuri is calm and direct when giving Aio her daily tasks, and she is quick to respond and give her all to what he’s asking of her. There is no Jeykll-Hyde split personality like in other titles I’ve read which contain workplace relationships (Butterflies, Flowers come to mind), making Yuri and Aio’s relationship much more enjoyable to read about.
I had gone into this review intending to review it after only 3, maybe 4 chapters, but here I am heading into later chapters because I just. Can’t. Stop. Reading. Noll Shikisima does an awesome job with setting up big cliffhangers, leaving readers wanting more more more.
Once a critical stage of Aio and Yuri’s relationship is reached, a lot of the manga revolves around Aio and what goes on inside her head. With Yuri as her boss Aio has always been naturally passive (typical of Japanese working relationships between boss and subordinate), but she has to learn to be more confident and comfortable around Yuri, and have more conviction in herself. He hasn’t completely rejected her, right? So have faith in yourself and trust Yuri, Aio!
Some of the scenarios are a little predictable (oh no, Yuri’s ex-girlfriend has re-entered the picture! Aio’s confidence falls dramatically!), but I’m hoping the author will take different approaches to the events she writes so the reader is kept on the edge of their seat by what happens next.
There are only 13 chapters which have been released so far and while I haven’t yet finished what material is available, but I can guarantee that I will! I will be cheering for a happy outcome for Aio and Yuri! 😀
Do I Recommend This Title?: Author Shikisima knows just how to tease readers with the right amounts of romance, drama and slice of life to keep them reading. I am head over heels for this title and have subscribed to future updates so I can continue to read the story of Aio and Yuri.
Final Score: 9/10