Romantic Killer, vol. 1 | Review
Romantic Killer, vol. 1
Story and Art by Wataru Momose
Viz Media, published October 4, 2022
Age rating: Teen
In your typical high school harem shojo, the story is always the same:
A girl falls for a handsome guy. She’s flustered. He’s arrogant. They are so different, but somehow opposites attract. Another boy comes into the picture, usually a childhood friend, and he suddenly is attracted to her. Then the rich kid shows up, he is also attracted to our female lead.
Same story that has been used over and over.
Which is why Romantic Killer is such a breath of fresh air because it makes fun of all those harem tropes with reckless abandon, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Romantic Killer centers on high schooler Anzu Hoshino. She is already living her best life. Every day she plays video games, enjoys her favorite snacks, and plays with her cat Momohiki.
This sounds exactly like my life, but I digress.
However, a cute “cupid wizard” named Riri shows up and puts her into a dating sim-like reality in order to fall in love. Why? Because Japan’s birth rate is dropping, and it’s up to Anzu to stop that from happening.
A perfectly reasonable request to ask a high schooler, right? *please note sarcasm*
However, Anzu doesn’t want to because, besides possessing something that most shojo heroines usually lack which is common sense, she’s happy with her life and doesn’t want to fall in love. Instead of letting Anzu be, Riri takes drastic measures to make Anzu participate, by taking away things that give her the most joy: her snacks, her games, and her cat. And to top it off, her parents mysteriously have to go overseas for her father’s job, leaving Anzu alone.
Angered by Riri’s actions, Anzu not only decides that she won’t fall in love, she will sabotage Riri’s efforts in forcing her to. However, when Anzu befriends Tsukasa Kazuki (our arrogant male lead), she wants to make sure it doesn’t go any further than that.
Romantic Killer, whose anime adaptation is currently on Netflix, is definitely different from other shojo stories, and that is what makes it so refreshing. We have an aromantic female lead who just wants to avoid the trials of love.
*Note: aromantic means having no interest or desire to be in romantic relationships, and has no romantic interest in any gender.*
Anzu even tells Riri, with comedic violence that is really hilarious, that she shouldn’t be responsible for Japan’s declining birth rate because she’s a teenager! Smart kid! In addition, she was perfectly happy the way she is. Why should she conform to what society supposedly wants from her? This is a great way to expose readers to understanding that a partner is not needed to make you feel whole. Living a fulfilling life does.
Another aspect that makes this manga enjoyable are references to other popular titles (Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji and Resident Evil for starters) to illustrate how Anzu is handling this challenge in her life. The artwork in the full-color manga are not overwhelming and the facial features Anzu expresses are just so absurd, you have to laugh. While the story does sometimes drag (and it will be noticeable if you watched the anime first), it’s still very enjoyable with great representation on how to live life on your own terms and timing.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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