Manga Review: Those Not-So-Sweet boys by Yoko Nogiri vol 1

Sometimes you just want to dive into a fun shoujo manga. And that was why I was so excited to read this manga. It wasn’t one I’d heard of before. I hadn’t even heard of the manga-ka before, but the art looked nice, and the plot sounded fun.

Midori is a teenage girl whose family situation means that she has to take on a part-time job in a café bar. But working part-time is against the school rules, and she could lose her scholarship. The school chairman gives her an out though, if she can get three boys to come back to school, then she’ll keep her scholarship and be given a new school-approved job. What she doesn’t know is that even if she manages that? She still has a lot more work to do to keep them in line.

I won’t lie, I was a little worried that this could be a little bit off. That these not-so-sweet boys would be assholes, and I wouldn’t be able to get behind them. But from the first few pages, you see that they are not actually bad guys. They’re just a little misunderstood, and their reputation is worse then they are. They’re lazy and a bit awkward, but honestly, apart from one of them, I actually really liked them. I’m excited to see them grow together with Midori and see how she gets them to open up and helps them out.

As I said, I liked all but one of them. And one of the boys really does act a little off. I don’t think that’s supposed to be him just being an ass though, nor is it romanticised. It does seem kind of obvious that maybe he’ll be a love interest, later on, the dick guy who can play with the girl’s feelings but there’s some tension there. I think, and I don’t obviously know yet, that he’s probably just being defensive and trying to protect his friends. So even he’ll probably grow on me. But for now, meh.

I’m really enjoying the art. There’s nothing special about it, it’s pretty typical shoujo. But it was cute and I liked looking at it. The boys and Midori are both adorable. I will say the adult guys are all kind of similar looking at the moment. There’s a scene where you see a picture of one of the boy’s dads, and I thought it was the chairman for a moment. It wasn’t, but it did take me a second.

I’m not shipping Midori with anyone in particular yet. It’s so early on. And, honestly, I really am eager to carry on with the series. It seems like it’s going to be an easy read, a light manga to pick up every now and then if I want a break from my heavier novel tastes.

4/5 Stars

Those Not-So-Sweet Boys was a monthly serialization in the magazine Dessert. It’s published in tankobon volumes in Japan by Kodansha who also handle the English translation.


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