Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the RNG decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: Femme Fatale, by Kaya Shigisawa
The basics: Femme Fatale is a romance manga focusing around college-age people, most importantly Hajime Saitou (known to his circle of friends as “Hai-kun”) and the object of his affections, Yukari
Takeba Ebisawa. They attend the same club (as for what club it is exactly, I’m not sure it was ever even stated), and do regular college-y stuff. And since this is a romance, Saitou is hopelessly in love with Ebisawa, who happens to have a steady boyfriend. What follows is twelve chapters of Saitou trying to come to terms with the big mess he’s gotten himself into and hopefully come out of things without becoming emotionally scarred. Drama! Excitement! Donuts!
To be completely honest, this was downright painful to read, but not necessarily in a bad way. If you read our other coverage, you might remember how much I was screaming about Golden Time and its ridiculous romance antics (or perhaps you could say rom-antics), and this gave me a similar feeling. Except Golden Time was full of humor and bathos and was just plain silly at times, and Femme Fatale is not. This manga seems to effectively capture the weird ambivalence, questions, and ups and downs that come with relationships. Does she know I like her? Is she trying to lead me on? Why is she acting like everything’s normal after what happened last night? The usual anime romance tropes aren’t present in this, leaving only the emotional drama that occasionally decides you need to be punched in the gut.
This is perhaps one of the better (or more realistic, I guess? That doesn’t necessarily translate to better) romance manga I’ve bothered to read. Granted, I haven’t read very many, but I’ve watched enough romance anime to know that the usual stuff doesn’t really do it for me. We could probably use more stuff like Femme Fatale, stories more willing to depict romance as tumultuous and troubling.