Imadoki!

Mangaka: Yuu Watase

On the day before starting school at the prestigious Meio Academy, Tanpopo Yamazaki makes quite a smashing impression on Kouki Kugyou. Literally–she crashes her bike and ends up knocking him right over! Kouki makes rather an impression on her also, however, as a nice boy with a soft impression who cares for flowers, even dandelions (also tanpopo), as friends. When he shows a completely different face at school the next day, Tanpopo is utterly baffled–but not daunted. She is determined to make friends with Kouki. With just about everyone else at the school who seems to oppose her too; that’s just her personality, super positive and slightly flighty. Through her gardening club, Tanpopo certainly manages to bring people together and bring out the best in them . . . but what might surprise her is what the club members end up bringing out in her.

I enjoyed Imadoki! much more that Watase-sensei’s Absolute Boyfriend, which was the first of her manga that I had ever read. The plot of Imadoki! is generally more innocent, and I just like the characters more. I think best of all, I like Tanpopo’s personality. It really does resemble her namesake dandelion–bright, tough, kind of common, somewhat flighty, but able to inspire people. This manga is a nice shoujo story; there’s definitely a romance there, but it’s not overdone. There’s also a nice balance of the romance with a school-life/after-school-club story, which is nice–lots of quality character development in that department, which is fantastic! And of course, Watase-sensei’s art is super cute. I particularly love Tanpopo’s tufty-haired design, which suits her extremely well. For anyone looking for a cute, well-balanced but not too complicated shoujo manga, Imadoki! would be a great option.

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