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Kimi Shika Iranai
Synopsis | Review

At the end of the Marmalade Boy manga, Yoshizumi Wataru explained that she initially conceptualized the main character as a guy. In other words, Miki's supposed to be a guy and Yuu's supposed to be a girl. And Meiko is also supposed to be a guy (as a guy, she's hot. I've seen the sketch) and Na-chan is supposed to be a girl (okay, woman). And Ginta's supposed to be a girl... anyway, you get the picture :D I found that kind of hard to believe because after reading Marmalade Boy, it seems like Yoshizumi-sensei is better with female protagonists (all that angst with Miki!). But Kimi Shika Iranai demonstrated that yeah, Yoshizumi-sensei is capable of having male leads. And Totoki isn't even effeminate like Noel in Minto na Bokura :D Sure, he's kind of a pushover, but he's not effeminate :D

Kimi Shika Iranai is the second shoujo manga I've read that has a male protagonist (the first one's Minto na Bokura). There is nevertheless a lot of focus on Totoki's lady love, Akane. Hmm. Yoshizumi-sensei wrote this after Marmalade Boy, and she even introduced Akane at the very end of her Marmalade Boy Inside Story Part 2 ^_^ Sometimes I think maybe Kimi Shika Iranai is the Marmalade Boy that could've been ^_~ Anyway, the title translates to "I Don't Need Anyone But You." It has two volumes. Yep, it's pretty short. And it has one of those Yoshizumi twists. Twists, you ask? Think of what Marmalade Boy and Minto na Bokura had. Stepsiblings falling in love with each other, affairs with teachers, crossdressing. Keep that in mind and Kimi Shika Iranai's twist won't surprise you much.

It's yet another one of those days when Totoki Atsumu's teacher, Shibuya-sensei, tries to talk him into taking Physical Science III. According to Shibuya-sensei, Atsumu has the brains for it if he applies himself more. Atsumu could see through his self-appointed mentor's facade. Having a PS III student will be great for the school's reputation because it's virtually synonymous with medical school. Unfortunately for the school, he has no interest in overexerting himself for something he doesn't really care about >.<

Atsumu was mulling over the whole doctor thing when he came upon a girl looking out of the school window. Her name is Kurihara Akane, and she just transferred. It was love at first sight for Atsumu. The following week when Akane started school, it seemed like the rest of the male population felt the same way. Atsumu's friends, Anan, Kaidou, and Kimika, were quick to point that out >.< Nevertheless, they were thrilled to know that Atsumu finally noticed the opposite sex :D

It turns out that both Atsumu and Akane live in Senoo, so they're able to go home together and even go to school together in the morning >.< While Atsumu was walking Akane home for the first time, they ran into her little sister, Moe. Coincidentally, Moe's classmates with Atsumu's younger brother, Motomu. It seemed like the stars were smiling down on Atsumu. Well, until Akane was out of earshot and Moe told Atsumu that it's better if he doesn't raise his hopes about dating her sister @_@ Moe said that her sister is "not normal."

The following day, Anan, Kaidou, and Kimika dragged Atsumu over to nearby bushes to spy on a senior confessing to Akane. She turned the guy down. He started badmouthing her. Then Akane gave him a sound tongue-lashing of her own. That shocked Atsumu and his friends (because she looks so nice and gentle >.<) so much that they had to debrief over fast food (Kimika went off to tell Akane how cool she is @_@). Atsumu decided he'll confess to Akane, even though she's evidently strong-willed and her sister is against it.

The following day, Atsumu met Akane at the train station and was about to confess when an gorgeous guy in a suit approached her @_@ Akane told Atsumu to go ahead. Curiosity got the better of him, and he followed them. Akane and the gorgeous guy started arguing, and then she suddenly yelled that the divorce is official and that basically, everything's over @_@ Atsumu was so shocked that he crawled into his bed and refused to budge :D

It turns out that Akane, at 16, is a divorcee. As a child, she was always sick and at one point needed surgery. She fell in love with the doctor, Kikkawa, who did the surgery and they immediately got married. However, Kikkawa cheated on her. She filed for divorce the moment she found out, and her family moved so she could start anew. Akane knew that Atsumu was going to confess to her at the train station. She came over to visit Atsumu (he's still bed-ridden :D) and gently turned him down, admitting that she still loves Kikkawa. Atsumu graciously told her that he'll give up on her and that he's just be her friend that she can go to if she has any problems.

Of course, Atsumu was lying through his teeth :D He decided he'll wait for Akane until she recovers from the divorce and then confess to her again. When Moe found out, she became Atsumu's number one fan and partner-in-crime :D Motomu isn't exactly thrilled at this turn of events because Moe is his rival at school :D Slowly, Atsumu and Kimika drew Akane out of her shell and forget Kikkawa. It's not always easy. At one point, Kikkawa's younnger brother, Hiroto, entered the picture and blackmailed Akane to go out with him or else her school will find out that she's divorced. The the school did find out because a girl who's in love with Hiroto stole Akane's wedding picture and posted it all over the place. Finally, Kikkawa got embroiled in a scandal that made his hospital transfer him out to the boonies. Both Akane and Atsumu then realized that she couldn't really let go of her ex.

Yoshizumi-sensei likes last-minute saves. She did it in Marmalade Boy and Ultra Maniac, and she did it here too @_@ This time, it wasn't really very convincing. It just looked like a last-minute save >.< And it didn't make me like Akane any better. Sure, she's better than the other Akane. You know, the one who always beats up Ranma. Kimi Shika Iranai's Akane is nicer and classier. Unfortuantely, like Miki, she doesn't know what she wants. I say go for Kikkawa. A gorgeous doctor who's in love with you is always better than a cute high school classmate. But that's just me >.<

The artwork is pretty good. It's like Marmalade boy. Actually, Akane looks a lot like Arimi and Atsumu looks a lot like Ginta. Even their clothes look similar. Oh yeah, and Motomu looks like a smaller version of Atsumu >.<

There's really not much in terms of character development, I thought. Like I said, I really didn't care much for Akane. And Atsumu, sadly, frequently faded into the background. There's a lot of focus on Akane's situation with Kikkawa. Then the focus shifted to Kaidou and Kimika's relationship. Then it shifted to Motomu and Moe's relationship. Yep, Kimi Shika Iranai is chock-full of relationships >.< It's a shame that Atsumu didn't have more exposure. He seems like an intriguing guy. Sadly, he's only remembered for being the smartest guy in school and for being a good guy who would support Akane no matter what she does. Kikkawa's so hot that he doesn't need further character development. Then there's Moe and Motomu. They're pretty cute and are two of my favorite people in the story :D Everybody else are pretty forgettable, I think :D

The story itself is interesting. I read straight through it because I wanted to know who Akane would choose (even though I don't like her indecisiveness) and whether her past would catch up to her. It did keep me guessing until the very end (but I still think the ending is a blatant last-minute save). If you're a fan of Yoshizumi-sensei's work, this is worth checking out. If you love Marmalade Boy, then this is a must-read just to see some familiar elements. At two volumes, there's really not much to lose. It's a pretty good read that'll hold your attention ^_^

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