MANGA REVIEW | "Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You" - Vol. 1
Some of the more fun rom-coms involve big misunderstandings. They can be misread cues, or perhaps the usage of a word or phrase that has multiple meanings. For the duo in Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You, almost everything they say or do with one another constitutes a big misunderstanding. As a result, it leads to some pretty big laughs.
The titular character of Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You is a proper lady, one deemed a princess due to her high standings. Sitting in front of her is Matsubayashi, who came from a much more troubled middle school. Despite their two different backgrounds, they actually share many common interests. However, it doesn’t help that either of them have trouble speaking with one another.
Thus begins the journey of Miyazen and Matsubayashi, who take their time getting to know one another. It begins with simple greetings and farewells, before Miyazen starts throwing in references to some of Matsubayashi’s favorite yakuza films. This confuses the boy, who can’t ever imagine a prim & proper lady like Miyazen liking the same movies. But as time goes by, their comfort level rises, as they aid one another at school and eat lunch together.
Author Akitaka does a great job showcasing the anxieties of both characters, thanks in part to some solid internal monologuing. Despite Matsubayashi’s tough-looking exterior and Miyazen’s proper means, both are hot messes when they’re together. From misread pinky promises to sitting close on the subway together, their actions lead to some hilarious worriments on both sides. Yet when one person does something nice for the other, the characters start growing not just as friends, but also as more confident individuals.
A great example of this involves Matsubayashi aiding Miyazen with a bothersome guy. The former becomes embarrassed when the guy refers to his old nickname, while the latter is too flustered by his kindness to notice. It results in Miyazen offering a gift to Matsubayashi, one that he takes great joy in receiving. This moment not only demonstrates the strong humor in Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You, but also the strength of its heart.
However, the one downside to the manga is its bite-size presentation. Each regular chapter runs only a couple of pages, which is normally fine as to not stretch out the joke. But these short blips sometimes lack any actual progress, whereas the longer “bonus” chapters showcase a lot more development of both Miyazen and Matsubayashi. One hopes that in the future, Akitaka gets more chances to tell longer stories with these two.
Despite this, Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You is a very fun read. It has the right amount of cuteness and silliness that’ll grab any rom-com lover’s attention. Although their progress is shown bit-by-bit, the pathway towards love is clear enough for any reader to keep cruising down its road without worry.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Kodansha Manga