I seem to keep stumbling across shoujo manga series on NetGalley that I’ve never heard of before its translation has appeared. Which is a lot of fun. But it is making me start to wonder how much I actually like shoujo manga these days. I enjoyed this volume. I did. But it wasn’t quite for me, and I’ll get into why down below.
That being said, I won’t be giving this a low rating, and I’d definitely recommend it to shoujo lovers. I just might be growing out of it.
She’s My Knight was apparently called Ikemen Kanojo to Heroine na Ore!?, which people translate to mean ‘She’s the Prince and I’m the Princess!?’. That should tell you all you need to know about this series. It follows Ichinose Haruma, an incredibly handsome teenage boy who is used to the girls flocking all over him. But he’s not the most charming person in school. That title goes to Mogami Yuki. A girl who is taller, even more handsome. And also happens to be the person Haruma has a crush on. This is a silly series about Haruma trying to be the suave guy to impress Yuki, but he keeps failing.
The art in this series is cute. Haruma’s appearance kind of reminds me of Koga from Ensemble Stars, and there is a mini-comic comparing him to a puppy. So that comparison amused me very much. Yuki isn’t typically feminine, but she is pretty. It doesn’t feel like Saisou was trying to make her look too masculine, but she does clearly stand out from the other girls with her height and short hair.
One of the things that I did like was that there wasn’t any homophobia. It really could have easily been done with this storyline, and I was a little worried. As they do try and push the idea of gender norms. Like, Haruma does like to imagine that Yuki is shorter than him as that’s the masculine ideal. But even when you have cross-dressing and them realising that they don’t fit into the shoujo manga clichés of their gender…they aren’t mad. You don’t have Haruma insisting he’s not a princess as that’s gay or Yuki being laughed at by others as people assume she’s a lesbian. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised as the handsome girl and the pretty boy are kind of a thing in anime and manga. But there’s usually more cross-dressing involved than there is in this. Just a single chapter involving cross-dressing here for a play.
I will say that this first volume was pretty funny, and it definitely had its cute moments. Haruma and Yuki really do seem to like each other. Even if she is completely oblivious. He really does his best to impress her, he just fails at it a lot. And that’s hilarious. The chapters in each volume are pretty short, and there are one or two-page bonus chapters in between just for extra laughs.
This was a quick, easy read, and I can genuinely say that I enjoyed it. But I also wasn’t that invested. I don’t feel the urge to carry on. There’s plenty of other slice-of-life series out there where I’m more attached to the characters. A lot of this manga just felt silly. Yes, it was light and fun. And yes, it was exactly what I expected. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I think that’s down to me. I can’t find anything particularly wrong with it. When I was reading it, I did enjoy it. I just- it’s hard to explain.
I’ve always loved shoujo because it’s so cute, and though there’s still shoujo series I enjoy. They tend to be more fantasy shoujo than slice-of-life. I’m thinking the slice-of-life variety of shoujo might just be a little young for me now.
But if you are after a new shoujo romance and want something where the girl can protect a very flustered guy? This is for you.
She’s My Knight is a serialization on the Palzy app and has been since October 2019. It’s published in tankobon volumes in Japan and is also translated by Kodansha.