Cover Image: Romantic Killer, Vol. 1

Romantic Killer, Vol. 1

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3.5 stars, rounded up

I was incredibly and pleasantly surprised to see this was in full color! I am HERE for more full color manga! 

This story is clearly very silly and light-hearted, gently jabbing at shojo manga tropes. It feels like someone finally wrote their answer to the story seed: a girl is born with pink hair, the doctor turns to the parents to deliver the bad news, "She's an anime protagonist." And then the girl grows up spending all her time running away from certain tropes that cause typical anime stories to start.

I'm very interested to see where this goes, but I do kind of feel like the declining birth rate is a poor excuse to force a girl to fall in love?
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Anzu Hoshino has no interest in romance. A young high schooler, she just wants to live her life surrounded by the good stuff: video games, chocolate, and her cat. However, through a series a events, Anzu finds herself thrusted into the middle of a Shoujo Manga! Suddenly her reality is completely altered. She has no games, snacks, and her parents moved out, taking her beloved cat with them!

Struggling with a magical imp that pushes good looking teenage boys on her, Anzu refuses to adjust to her new life. It's bad enough that she can't game anymore, but now the imp is throwing romance at her too? This is indeed not her dream, but someone else's! She meeting Tsukasa Kazuki, a boy who (through a series of magical unfortunate events) ends up living with her. As Anzu dodges the magical romantic plans, she starts to realize that maybe having Tsukasa around isn't all that bad?

This is the first volume of the series. The art is beautifully illustrated, and I love that it is in color! The story itself is so funny, I love that our main character is doing everything she possibly can to get away from falling in love. It's definitely a different experience compared to other Shoujo manga, and I highly recommend this fun read!
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Anzu Hoshino lives a very fulfilling life. She has her video games, chocolate, and her cat and that's all she needs. The trouble starts when she meets a magic fairy named Riri. Riri has this grand idea, if they can get Anzu to fall in love, then they could get anyone to fall in love and reverse the failing birth rate in Japan! Anzu wouldn't be interested in connecting with any hot guys unless all of her favorite things are taken away, so goodbye to all of her joy. That wouldn't be enough to get Anzu interested in dating, so Riri has to introduce Anzu to suitors and make the situations for love unavoidable. 

I was surprised to find that Romantic Killer is presented all in color. That was my first surprise. My second surprise wasn't as enjoyable because I was hoping to read a romantic comedy about a girl who loved gaming. While there are some elements in there, it kind of feels like a bait-and-switch to take her hobbies away. Without those qualities, she's as generic as the boys that are thrown her way. Even with those reservations, Romantic Killer is a breezy and fun read. Hopefully, Anzu can find someone to love because she wants to, not because she's ultimately manipulated.
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I honestly had higher hopes for the plot of this manga, but I was very sorely mistaken. Due to Japan's declining birthrate a fairy is assigned to a high school girl, Anzu Hoshino, who is uninterested in dating in order to motivate her to date... and have kids? (The latter part is insinuated.) The fairy gets Anzu's parents and cat shipped off overseas and takes away the two things she loves in life, chocolate and video games. She is determined, at first, to thwart the fairy's plans but gradually becomes interested in her high school's most popular student Tsukasa Kazuki. 

I am not fond of stories that forces people into relationships. Especially when it's minors. I know that was introduced into the plot as a lighthearted and funny way to get some drama in, but I feel that could have been done better. Like, why not make Anzu a student looking for love but just not having much luck with it? Also, does she have to be a high schooler if the character is needing to fall in love in order to add to the population? Shouldn't the character be an adult? I know I'm thinking too deeply into it considering the story is supposed to be light and fun, but I feel very uncomfortable reading about people being forced into relationships.
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Whatever I was expecting, it wasn't a story about a twit of a fairy who, due to Japan's declining birthrates having an adverse effect on the fairy world's magic, decides to pick a girl uninterested in romance and turn her into a shoujo heroine by stealing her games, her chocolate, and kidnapping her cat. But that's what this is, and despite some implied queer erasure (which is mostly just me thinking how horrible it would be for my aro/ace self to be in Anzu's situation), it's actually really funny. Riri the (evil) fairy pulls out all the stops, transferring Anzu's parents to the US, throwing her into as many shoujo-themed meet cutes as he can, and brainwashing some poor schlub into her childhood friend. For her part, Anzu is doing her damnedest to thwart Riri's machinations, and the result is a send-up of shoujo romance tropes that's pitch-perfect. If you read a lot of shoujo romance, you definitely want to check this full-color treat out.

...and any romance fairies out there had better keep their paws off my cats.
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If you’re looking for a fresh romantic comedy that is guaranteed to be full of laughs then you should check out Romantic Killer. Readers follow the story of Anzu who is obsessed with living in a fantasy world and is constantly trying to escape from reality. Rather than getting caught up with school drama and boys, she would rather spend her days playing otome games. When she gets trapped in a game of an alternate reality with a magical guide will she be able to resist falling into the role of the main character of a shojo manga?

This is a manga that really speaks to shojo genre readers like me. As a long-time reader of shojo manga (especially Shojo Beat) titles, I love stories that can embrace the genre while also adding their own uniqueness. Reading this manga felt similar to an isekai-style story except in this one the female lead is still living in reality with touches of magic. While Anzu would love to experience her own shojo story she is solely disinterested in real-life romance and prefers the fake (gaming) ones. Watching her and the magical imp trying to one-up each other is entertaining and adds to the comedic parts of the story.

The best part of this manga is how much it pokes fun at the silliest shojo tropes in the best way. From ending up in forced proximity living situations to having to share an umbrella in the rain, this first volume has no shortage of these scenes. It’s funny and it made me laugh out loud many times. Anzu has a bright and quirky personality making her a likable main character that readers can get invested in. On top of her budding new friendship with Kazuki she also has to deal with lots of changes and romance constantly being thrown her way.

The artwork reflects the story and gives the manga that sparkly shojo touch and adds depth to each character. The advanced copy I received was in full color and it only enhanced my reading experience. I am curious to see how Anzu will navigate the new romantic relationships in her life in future volumes. Romantic Killer is a great debut series from Momose!
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I love Isekai stories-- however this one fell a little flat for me. I didn't really jive with the art style-- mostly because it was colour, but there was no dimension to it. I think it would have been more visually appealing had the artist used black and white where it is less distracting when shading and dimension is not added. Likewise, I found the mechanism of the videogame narrator to not be needed. It might have felt higher stakes if there wasn't a mascot narrator, but a narrator that had no body, more of a "godly" figure, manipulating the main characters life. 

The obvious world tampering was the funniest part of the story-- with literal storms being incorporated into the story to move the plot forward.
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I received an eARC of this title through NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

I have conflicting feelings about this title. 

On the one hand, I enjoyed the comedy and making fun of the shojo tropes. I thought that part was pretty spot on. I do not read a lot of shojo, but I have read enough to know some of the basic tropes or typical plot lines they follow. I think this was a funny creative way to make a shojo for people who may not always go straight for a shojo title but also those who love shojo. In that sense, it is good. 

Now for the conflicting feelings. I was a little taken aback by how the character forcing the romantic situations on the main character was basically saying if you want a guy, you can't play video games, eat chocolate, or have a cat. Mostly, I was very upset about the taking the animal away from the main character. I thought that was a little too much for me. They also make a statement that if you eat too much chocolate, you'll get fat and then guys won't like you. Again, I thought this was a little too much as eating chocolate doesn't necessarily make you fat, and being fat doesn't mean you aren't attractive. I understand this is supposed to be humorous, but I felt it touched on some subjects that maybe didn't match the 2022 vibe check. 

I am hoping that in the 2nd or 3rd volume of this title the creator will touch on how the spirit forcing this girl to not having her favorite three things doesn't mean she can't also get in a romantic relationship. That is why I am giving it 3 stars. As an optimistic hope that it gets better and starts showing just being yourself will get you a partner.
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Absolutely hilarious. A fresh read for people tired of classic shojo manga tropes. More comedic than sweet with high re-readability value.
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This shouldn't have been put under the Shojo Beat line. I was vastly disappointed by this title. I found the art stilted and awkward, and the storyline contrived. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Ouran High School Host Club, and She's My Knight do a far better job playing with shojo tropes without feeling like they're actually seeking to talk down to shojo fans. I think Shojo Beat really needs to consider their future and what shojosei fans actually want to see from the imprint.
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Romantic Killer was funny and a good counter to all the typical harem titles out there. I never saw the vertical scroll version of this title, but it translated well to the more typical manga format. Volume 1 tackles a lot of the classic shoujo tropes of a heroine living alone, unintentional roommates, the popular guy, and a childhood friend. While I had some literally LOL moments from reading this, I'm not sure yet what will make this stand out, since so far it felt like it was checking off a list of tropes. It's worth a read, and it might be worth adding to the collection just because they already wrote in the author bio that this title will only have four volumes total. (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.)
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You know, I really would have liked a story where our chocolate-munching, game-playing, cat-loving MC felt no romantic attraction at all, and was just fine being that way. While I find the magical creature in need of children's energy, so get with the romance already, both cruel, and hilarious. I also feel this play on romance and Shojo tropes could go further in its social commentary and the pressure in Japan specifically, to get married and have children. It still has room to surprise me, so who knows? Then again, if some magical creature  took *my* cat away from me and told me to get a boyfriend and have kids... It probably wouldn't end well for said magical creature.
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Such a fun and hilarious manga! We follow Anzo Hohshino through her great life of snacks, playing video games and her beloved cat and the whirlwind of her being transported to a traditional Shojo Manga life! But with one difference, without all of her normal creature comforts! This story is funny, has certain moments where we break into the 4th wall and plenty of laughs with the protagonist and the situations she finds herself in. I look very forward to volume 2!
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Loved this manga! Such a fun take on the traditional shojo manga. I was laughing so much as it made fun of all the usual stereotypes. I can’t wait to read the next volume!  Thanks NetGalley and VIZ media for the advanced readers copy, will definitely be recommending this.
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A lot of us want to fall in love, but there are some that don’t. For Anzu Hoshino, she would rather play video games, eat chocolate, and spend time with her cat. Unfortunately, in the world of Romantic Killer, the universe doesn’t want her to do that. After being whisked away by the magical entity Riri, needs to find someone to love. If she doesn’t, the things she wants will be gone in her life forever!

The premise begins weirdly; the reason for this magical takeover is because the birthrate in Japan is at a decline. In order for magic to exist, the wishes of children need to come true, which can’t happen without kids! Anzu protests saying that she’s only in high school, but the story needs to have her date a hot guy so there we go. The rest of the volume delves into a deconstruction of shojo tropes where Anzu needs to avoid Tsukasa Kazuki. This is easier said than done as Riri magically causes a host of different circumstances to force Anzu into conflicts. While the situations feel forced, the actual relationship between the two is genuine and quite charming. It’s when the story tries to veer off into deconstructive wackiness that it’s at its weakest. Romantic Killer works best when it’s a romance, oddly enough!

That said, I think the art style is very charming. Additionally, the whole volume is in full-color, I haven’t seen often for manga. It likewise complements the art and makes for a cutesy, soft style perfect for a shojo manga. For all the begging that Anzu doesn’t want to be in a shojo series, the whole package is quite nice. Check this one out if you want to find a romance series that’s uniquely refreshing.
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This is a fun twist on the "otome" style storyline where the main character to meant to romance different love interests. Here the main character actively fights back against this concept. I enjoy how unapologetic she is about being herself and liking what she likes. I will be interested to see what direction the storyline will go in. A   good start to a new series.
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Anzu's more interested in video games and her cat than having a relationship with a boy.  Enter a stranger magical creature with the ability to re-write the present.  Now Anzu is living in an otome game filled with romantic tropes designed to make her fall in love - and she is fighting it.

I love the art in Romantic Killer - I was surprised to see that it was in full colour too.  Anzu is a great heroine and I look forward to reading the next volume.
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Romantic Killer Vol. 1 wasn't quite for me, but I can see its appeal.

Anzu Hoshino lives a simple and fulfilling life in contemporary Japan. Her family, cat, favorite snacks, and video games are all she needs! But when a magic fairy named Riri appears before her and tells her she's the chosen one in a new magical initiative, Anzu finds herself caught up in a mess of magical bureaucracy and her happy life is instantly turned upside down. Now, she's forced to find love, something she's never been interested in, and live in a world without her family, beloved cat, chocolate, and video games. What's a high school girl to do?

I didn't enjoy watching Anzu lose everything she loved. If a premise is strong enough, I can suspend my disbelief in romcoms and stories built on fantastic, magical premises, but that wasn't the case for me and Romantic Killer. Riri's explanation was so brief and nonsensical (and Anzu made it clear that she wasn't okay with the sudden change) that I could not get behind this premise that ultimately stripped Anzu of her agency.

Additionally, Anzu and her main love interest Tsukasa Kazuki do not have chemistry, and that's usually the main draw in a romance. 

Wataru Momose's art is lively, and the colors are plain but serve the story.

Story and Art by Wataru Momose
Translation and Adaptation: Adrienne Beck
Touch-Up Art and Lettering: Inori Fukuda Trant
Design: Shawn Carrico
Editor: Nancy Thistlethwaite
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Thank you NetGalley and Viz Media for the ARC! Romantic Killer sounded like a fun read. A game-obessed girl (Anzu Hoshino) ends up with her own harem of pretty boys just like an otome game. And the book does deliever with comedy and heart. Turns out Anzu, do to her game obessed ways, is the prefect candidate (as in they need her to stop doing what she's doing) to match make in order to save (or help to save) the decline in the population. Volume one introduces her first option, Tsukasa Kazuki, a popular boy in school, who just might get Anzu to see beyond the games. It's fun and full color and worth a read.
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Anzu is an interesting character, she's into gaming, her cat, snacks, and that's about it. Romance is NOT a factor in her life, so imagine her surprise when a magical creature alters her reality and dumps her into a shojo/otome storyline. Now without games and her cat, and living alone after her parents abruptly move overseas, Anzu finds herself getting into increasingly cliché interactions with resident 'hot guy' at school, Tsukasa. This volume is packed full of tropes, though that's not necessarily a bad thing, the plot is light and largely comedic, and the tropes are used well alongside Anzu's desire to completely mess up this romance story. Surprisingly, this volume is in full color, which is rare for manga, but I did like the coloring. The art style felt hit or miss to me, the cover art was fantastic, but the interior art felt inconsistent (though I highly appreciate abrupt style changes for comedic effect!). I also felt it moved too fast, but the end matter mentioned that the series is only four volumes long, so the pacing actually makes sense. Overall, an easy read, nothing fancy or overly exciting, but i'll check out the other volumes when they come out.
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