Moe imoutos abound.
Oh hey guys. It’s just me, Sumairii, here to bring you some manga. Yes, you read correctly. This is a manga post, not an anime one. I don’t always read manga, but when I do, I write about it. Ok, technically that entire statement is incorrect. But I’d better get on with it before I spew any more awful memes.
What Is It?
So I’m here to talk about Boku to Kanojo no Koi Rogu, also known as Boku to Kanojo no Renai Mokuroku. In english, that’s Our List of Affections. But I will just refer to it as Koi Rogu in this post. First of all, you’re probably wondering what this manga is about. MAL has a pretty laughable synopsis, which is as follows: If you read this, you’ll be able to get a 3-D girlfriend!? A “how to” comic! I kid you not. Go see for yourself. Now before you dismiss this as a generic, dull fanservice manga, let me tell you that it is not. MAL’s synopsis really doesn’t do it justice. I will admit that Koi Rogu starts off feeling like one of those, but then things suddenly get more complicated in a hurry. If I had to describe it succinctly without giving too much away, I guess I would call it an omnibus format gone wrong. And as for the characters? Well, the main character is a self-proclaimed 2D lolicon who turns more into a siscon over the course of the manga. ‘Nuff said.
The Good And The Bad
In a world of mundane fanservice, it’s not too difficult to stand out. All you have to do is add some plot. And no, I don’t mean PLOT. Of course, what separates things from there is how well-done the plot is. That can make the difference between a trainwreck and a work of art. So let me go through Koi Rogu with these criteria in mind. Existent plot? Check. Well-done plot? Err… Well, that’s a bit of a toss-up. Koi Rogu certainly weaves a very intriguing story. Granted, it doesn’t exactly do something completely original, but the topic is fascinating all the same. As I’ve alluded to previously, Koi Rogu delves headfirst into time travel. And not just time travel in the traditional sense, but also travel in the “perpendicular” direction, across alternate timelines. The set up is simple. The main character clears flags and gets together with the girl. Then, much like a dating sim, everything starts over with a different girl. I won’t go any further into detail as I’ve already spoiled enough for you all. And if you’re worried that it might get repetitive, let me assure you that this pattern does not go on for too many iterations before more serious matters come into play.
As much praise as I’ve sung for Koi Rogu, however, it does have one major shortcoming. The topic of time is intrinsically fascinating and thus hard to screw up. There are a few ways to do just that though, and one of them is to rush things. This is unfortunately what happens with Koi Rogu. The series takes up a rather leisurely start, and then begins to pick up the pace at an alarming speed. But right before we reach what we might expect to be a satisfying climax, the series abruptly ends. The mangaka makes an attempt to tie things up as nicely as he can, but it’s painfully obvious that the manga was cut short before its prime. We’re left with a few too many questions, and while this might be pulled off successfully and intentionally at times, it’s safe to say that this is not one of those cases. Koi Rogu simply could have done so much better with a proper conclusion. But alas, we’ll just have to settle with what we get.
If you’ve read the manga and would like to read my interpretation of what the heck just happened, I’ve listed my thoughts in the following spoiler tag. Obvious spoilers are obvious, so read on at your own risk.
So basically, Koi Rogu is a fairly decent manga that you might want to pick up if you have some spare time. The entire series isn’t too long, consisting only of 19 chapters, which is probably due to it being cut short. But I won’t speculate any further on that. I think what makes Koi Rogu work well is its transition from a deceptively simple dating sim manga into a complete head trip. The girls are cute, the main character is hilarious, and everything is just hunky-dory. And then suddenly things get all complex with time travel and alternate time lines. Which might or might not be a good thing, depending on how confused you get. Some might construe the abrupt injection of not too well-defined plot to be a bit pretentious, but I say enjoy the ride for what it is. I thought Koi Rogu was good enough to warrant some deep thought, and so might you.