Year: 2008 – 2015
Status: chapters 21 – 30 of completed manga series
Author + Artist: Kaede Kochi
Version: XscansX (English scanlation)
Love So Life Online: Wikipedia, MyAnimeList, MangaFox, Kissmanga
Genre: Shōjo, Slice of Life, Romance, Drama
Another week has passed and I feel like I am slowly getting on top of the schedule again. This week, I discuss the next ten chapters of the manga Love So Life. In line with the previous week of chapters, we see some character development, the addition of a new character and some development of the relationship between Shiharu and Seiji.
In this week’s chapters, we learn more about Nao Hayami, the ill-tempered young man that has been at the children’s home for eight years and has a romantic attachment Shiharu that she mistakenly views as a familial attachment. We also see Seiji attempt to give Shiharu a gift for White Day and she becomes even more attached to him.
The class lists for the next year of school are made public, with Rio and Shiharu thankful that they will be in the same class again. They are also in the same class as that bitchy girl Tagami again, the girl that bullied them in a previous chapter. No longer in the same class as her two minions, she is now completely alone. In spite of numerous offers of friendship from Shiharu, she continues to be bitchy. However, we begin to learn more about her through flashbacks. After Shiharu saves Tagami from falling to her death during a school trip, Rio slaps an ungrateful Tagami and gives her a kick ass lecture.
After learning of Shiharu’s first birthday (her actual birthday rather than a day celebrating her arrival at the home) in a previous chapter, Seiji attempts to give Shiharu a real birthday. In lieu of the fast approaching birthday of the twins, Seiji calls his mother, Risa Matsunaga. We learn a little bit more about Seiji’s family life. Rio and Takeru take a liking to each other after an outing with Shiharu, the twins and Takeru’s little sister Mana.
Seiji is traumatised after the twins become obsessed with DVDs and Shiharu has to explain what a kiss is after the twins see a couple giving each other a smooch on the cheek. Shinobu Oikawa drops into Seiji’s place and assists Shiharu in answering a question about Strawberries by visiting a strawberry farm. Shinobu sees it as a chance to mess with Seiji and Shiharu becomes suspicious of his motives. We also learn that he is a beautician.
In the thirtieth chapter, Takeru offers to cut Aoi’s hair but is dramatically stopped by his other sister Nanami. As expected, she too has low expectations for her whimsical yet adorable brother. It also turns out that she is a little violent as well and can hold a grudge for years.
We see a bit more character development this week, with possible competitors to Shiharu’s affections, especially Nao. The story is also beginning to get a bit of a Reverse Harem vibe to it as a result, but nothing that is likely to hurt the overall flow or themes of the series itself. We are still aware of Shiharu’s growing affectations towards Seiji and vice versa, but the two seem oblivious to what the other feels about them because it isn’t exactly something that Seiji wants to bring up in normal conversation. Although the story portrays him as being career-motivated, he also cares about what pursuing Shiharu would mean for her future as well and he doesn’t want to destroy his existing relationship with her. There is still the feeling that status and age will be an ongoing barrier for some time, but it also feels like the dam is likely to break sometime in the more immediate future. After all, Shiharu is beginning to identify a growing attachment to Seiji even if she doesn’t realise that it is amorous in nature.
This manga has become the focus of my manga-reading of late in spite of me also wanting to get stuck into some other series as well. Leading up to the halfway mark of this completed series, Love So Life shows so many of the positive traits that seem lacking in a lot of modern Shōjo Romance series. It develops a relationship between two people that genuinely offer something meaningful to each other rather than relying on a lust component. Why is this important? Whilst sex does offer immediate gratification, it strikes me as something that doesn’t offer much in the way of longevity for a series. This is why developing characters and relationships within a story are essential for making it work in the long term. Whilst I know that there is a time limit for Love So Life, I am still excited for what remains for the story because I have quickly grown attached to the growing cast of characters. Each one has contributed something meaningful to the storyline so far, making this series a pleasure to read.
So yes, I will be continuing this series until it concludes and I recommend that you guys take time out to read at least a few chapters if you haven’t done so already. If you have any other series that you are reading, feel free to share your thoughts.