Hello, there! I know, it’s late, but I bring to you something that hasn’t visit the blog for quite a while: a manga review! And, of course, it’s a yaoi [a.k.a. gay] title, so sit back and relax: Annelise is back to her good shape, haha!
Today’s series is none other than Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, from Shungiku Nakamura-sensei! This review contemplates the series until volume 9, as it’s still being published on Japan.
Ritsu Onodera is the heir to one of the biggest publishing companies in Japan. He loves his job as a book editor more than anything in the world and has been living the dream since he left college and started working.
But there is one thing that really bothers Ritsu: everybody assumes he’s got his job and is good at it because he is taking advantage of his dad’s position as the president and owner of the company. And, as it isn’t true, Ritsu is determinate to prove that he can be the best book editor in the world anywhere without his dad’s help.
So he quits and leaves behind his perfect life to end up on the shoujo [romance] manga division of Marukawa Shoten publishing company.
And directly into the hands on the most tyrannical manga editor of all times: Masamune Takano.
As if things couldn’t get worse, Ritsu starts to feel that he knows Takano from somewhere and the feeling seems to be reciprocal…
Just remembering that those are my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
This title was another tip from dear Hachiyumi, responsible for the entry of some of the best manga titles ever in my life, like The Tyrant Falls in Love, Ten Count and Super Lovers. I already knew that I would love it, as she knows my tastes almost better than myself, but wow. THIS SERIES IS SOOOO COOL! It explains in detail how a Manga Publisher works and shows their very difficult routine. As a journalist and a manga lover, I was swept away for all the knowledge that came with my delicious gay romance. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi started as a 4 stars series for me because of the art, that was a little weird, but now evolved into a full 5 stars series!
The narrative follows Ritsu’s point of view almost most of the time, especially on the beginning, but as the story goes by and the other guys in the publishing company gain relevance and their own parallel stories, we start to see the story from almost everyone’s point of view. AND I LOVE IT.
The plot is simple, but has a lot of room for anything to happen, as it is the kind of manga that follows the character’s everyday life. Of course, the story has a point: Ritsu needs to fall in love again with Takano, his high school boyfriend that broke his heart (and had his own heart broken by Ritsu). But until then – and even after, if you ask me, there’s so many nice things that can happen! And things get really tangled when the secondary characters become main characters on their own stories. They also have their problems to solve and stay with their respective lovers, so it is all too exciting!
I wanted to take my time reading this series, as a new chapter is out only every four months at time (just like Super Lovers, may I add…). Seriously, this kills me, but moving on. I couldn’t stop reading! I read volume one and held myself, but as I read the next one, I was doomed. I almost cried when I reached the last available chapter, as only God knows when the next one will reach English readers now.
The characters are the best part of this title. I wouldn’t classify them as the strongest point, as we’ll get there, but definitely they are what would appeal the most to any other person in the world besides myself and Hachi, haha! Ritsu is a good protagonist, not overly dense or cocky, but not helpless and pathetic either. Takano is a dominant and stubborn boss that will do anything to get his mangas published right and in time and to get into Ritsu’s pants. [spoiler alert: Takano always gets what he wants, so he got into Ritsu’s pants several times.]
I find highly amusing Ritsu’s perpetual denial of any good feelings that grow inside himself for Takano during the story and that’s new for me. I usually have no patience with indecisive characters, but there was just something about Ritsu that made me love him. To be honest, I love all the characters in this series, haha!
However, I must insist that the strongest point ever in this series is the backstage of the manga publishing companies in Japan. This is the kind of knowledge that you usually only have if you work in the area or is very close to someone who does it. Seriously, it was priceless for me to see how my lovely babies are born and now I want to thank all the editors that brought me the manga titles present on my collection!! ❤ THANK YOU, GUYS!
Now, let’s talk about Nakamura-sensei’s art. It definitely evolves during the series and gets so much better… Here’s a comparison between an image on the beginning of the series and one more ahead:
Amazing, right?? Nakamura-sensei isn’t fooling around by any means, haha!
Overall, if you like gay titles, are deeply interested on how this crazy manga publishing world works and love real and alive characters, just stop whatever you’re doing and go read Sekaiichi Hatsukoi!!
That’s it, thank you for reading! Have you missed my manga reviews? Haha!
*ps: I do not own the illustrations, they were found on Google, belong to Shungiku Nakamura-sensei and were used with illustrative purposes only 🙂