Stupid Love Comedy, by Shushushu Sakurai

Shushushu Sakurai's Stupid Love Comedy is an odd duck—it's packaged like a conventional romance manga, but most of the story is devoted to meta jokes and background information about manga publishing. The plot centers around Suzu Sakura, a manga artist who is disorganized, inconsiderate, and perpetually late. When her original editor changes jobs, Suzu is assigned to Hasegawa, the editing department's devastatingly handsome new recruit. Suzu instantly falls in love with him, but Hasegawa just wants her to start meeting her deadlines...

I kept waiting for Stupid Love Comedy to turn into a standard romance, but it never did. Instead, it focuses on goofy depictions of Suzu's misbehavior (apparently inspired by the author's real-life hijinks), and Hasegawa's irritated reminders of all the people she is inconveniencing. The resulting plot—which provides a rough guide to the manga publishing process—reminded me of an educational telenovela I had to watch in high school Spanish: there is a thin veneer of entertainment slapped over a nonfiction base. I still enjoyed reading Stupid Love Comedy (although I've done some editing work, so I found all the publishing stuff quite interesting), but romance fans who shell out $25 expecting the “love comedy” of the title are likely to be disappointed.
Posted by: Julianka


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