MANGA REVIEW | "Romantic Killer" - Volume Two
Romantic Killer may have come out of nowhere, but it’s easily shot up to one of my most anticipated reads. Its first volume showcased a plethora of jabs and uppercuts at a genre that desperately needs to take a long look in the mirror at itself. (Its Netflix anime adaptation also shines as one of the best in its genre, a rarity for the streamer to pull off!) Volume Two continues to berate poor Anzu, with a great mixture of comedy and heart.
Soon after Kazuki moves in to her abode, Anzu now has to deal with two other possible love interests. The first is the so-called “childhood friend” Junta, whom Anzu has zero recollection of in her life. Koganei, the rich prince of the school, makes up the other new addition, whose attitude riles up Anzu to the point of wanting to punch him. However, no matter what sort of evasions Anzu tries to pull, the
asshole imp magical fairy Riri will do all that they can to make some romance happen.
A lot of the charm in Romantic Killer comes from Anzu’s avoidance of anything romantic. Whether it’s a shojo trope or a dating sim choice, the moments that “magically” fall into Anzu’s lap causes her more anguish than anything else. But no matter what she attempts or whichever cat-themed clothes she puts on, Riri will be there to make sure that Anzu goes along with the plan. All of it, of course, makes the veins in Anzu’s head throb more than her heart should.
But it’s when the series goes a more heartfelt route when we see the narrative pivot into something more meaningful. Anzu is there for Kazuki whenever he’s swamped by girls, with his feelings coming off as a mixture of PTSD and claustrophobia. Junta, a star baseball player, legit has feelings for Anzu, who may actually have played some sort of part in the anti-heroine’s past. As for Koganei, for all of his tsundere-like mannerisms, he finds ways to be grateful to Anzu for teaching him how to act like a normal person should.
Of course, it’s always Riri that steals the show in Romantic Killer. For the first time, the
jackass magical fairy takes a human form, posing as Anzu’s cousin. With them now publicly showing themselves to the other humans, it leads to some crazy antics that leaves Anzu feeling completely helpless. Our anti-heroine may want to kick Riri’s ass, but we all love them for pushing her towards some bonkers situation.
One has to give a lot of credit to creator Wataru Momose. On top of the art looking great (and in color, to boot!), the face game here is some of the funniest you’ll ever see in any manga. Whether it’s Anzu fending off a panty thief or looking completely out of place in feminine clothing, the look of every mug she pulls off will have any reader laughing out loud at what’s on the page.
Volume Two of Romantic Killer delivers with plenty of heart and hilarity. The addition of two new love interests not only fills the playing field, but it gives Anzu more opportunities to riff on other parts of the rom-com genre. She may be feeling tortured with all of her favorite things confiscated, but one can’t help but admit that Anzu’s pain is the reader’s pleasure. Here’s hoping that feeling continues onward in Romantic Killer, so long as Riri has a say in how this lovey-dovey deck of cards is being dealt.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media