Title:My Special One Vol. 1 Author: Momoko Koda Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Shojo, Romance Publication Date: February 7, 2023
My Special One revolves around an unremarkable, plain teenage girl name Sahoko Wakaume. Sahoko feels that love isn’t in the cards for her stemming from a terrible experience back in middle school. Because of that experience, she wishes to curse all good-looking men to become fat, bald, and old. All of that is about to change.
Her friend Yuko is a big fan of an idol group called Like Legend… more specifically… she’s got a bias for their most-popular star, Kouta Kirigaya. Despite Yuka’s best efforts, Sahoko has no interest in Like Legend or Kouta… that is until Kouta stops in for a bite to eat at her family’s diner. There’s a rather awkward and brash meeting between the two and the experience actually makes Kouta cry! He promises that he will do his best to make her his fan.
On the surface, it’s just an idol doing his best to strum up business which will lead to more ticket sales but little does Sahoko know, Kouta truly means it when he says that he cares about what she thinks. The two of them end up running into each other more and more and even though Sahoko tries her best to steel her heart, Kouta continues to chip away at it bit by bit until she realizes that she’s doing what she swore she would never do again… fall in love with a beautiful-looking boy.
As she comes to realize her feelings, a chance event happens where Kouta’s group will be using her school as a film. He orders lunch from her diner which she brings. After things wrap up, Sahoko decides to go for it all! Our volume ends with the fallout of her decision!
Sahoko is an interesting character. She doesn’t act like your typical high school girl which, in and of itself, is quite refreshing. A bad experience where a love letter she wrote to her crush got exposed and ridiculed left her unable to find love again… or so that’s what she chooses to believe. Despite her steadfast will and her great efforts to keep her promise to herself, she ends up falling in love with Kouta but… she’s not dumb enough to know that there is a massive possibility that it wouldn’t work. After all… she’s a Plain Jane and he’s a nationally-famous idol adored by millions.
Still, Sahoko is a symbol for some advice… advice that the manga even spells out for you. You shouldn’t let your thoughts get in the way of your goals. If you don’t have the courage to press forward, you’ll never change and you’ll always remain in your comfort zone. That advice led Sahoko to take a chance. She even knew ahead of time that rejection was highly possible but despite knowing the odds, she took her shot anyway which was very admirable. She’s a great character that can serve as a vehicle to many readers but overall, she’s really relatable as many people have gone through situations like her and may even share the same sentiments that she does.
Kouta, on the other hand, is a character that I feel is trying WAAAAAAAY too hard to maintain his popularity BUT… just when you think his sincerity is nothing more than typical idol lip service, we get some clues and hints that suggest otherwise. Kouta said it himself that he was told that he had the power to make people smile. For some reason, he wanted to use that to become an idol… not for fame or fortune, but to make as many people smile as possible. Even though he overdoes it way too much, there are some yet-to-be-revealed reasons as to why.
At the end of the volume, without spoiling too much, we actually see Kouta’s true face for once but it’s not what you would believe it to be from someone like him. There was a real side to him… one that looked to be hiding some dark pain. That served as the hook to see what would happen in the next volume and that finally got me to like him as a character. Before that, I found him incredibly annoying. His super try-hard attitude was on the nauseating side so I’m glad some human elements are being woven into his character.
As for Yuka… what can I say? She’s a typically run-of-the-mill high school girl that’s upbeat and cheerful. There isn’t much depth to her as a side character but in a series like this, you don’t really need that. Just having her fill in the gaps while they focus on Kouta and Sahoko is all you really need.
This was a pretty good start! Sahoko is definitely the star of the series with how grounded her character is. Again, she’s very relatable and that is what is going to draw in readers. Also, while her character isn’t unique, it’s not one you see too often so it feels like a breath of fresh air versus all of the other romance stories that are out there. Kouta definitely takes some getting used to. He’s sweet one minute, a complete goofball the next, and all-around a fun character but I think he goes too far. A few scenes add a more human element to him and I think that was sorely needed because he was acting just as Sahoko kept reminding herself of… a nationally-famous idol.
It just seemed too fake so that reality check instantly made him a better character. Plus, all the seeds have been planted and we have a clear picture of what this series will be. Whether or not Kouta x Sahoko is going to be the end goal, the journey has been laid out and all we have to do now is walk it. This one seems pretty straightforward, though. With the way everything was set up, I don’t think there will be many twists and turns (i.e. love triangles, competition, etc). This just seems like a series between two people and their journey to becoming a couple.
Should be a fun one! Looking forward to reading more!
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