Manga Reviews

Living Together: Thoughts on L-DK, Koi no Kaihou, and Ichigo Jikan

ichigojikan
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I heard this taboo many times. Women and men should not live together unless they are married or actually in a serious relationship. Furthermore, if you aren’t married, some people may make assumptions that the two of you are sleeping together. For the last two years of university, I lived with guys along with my roommate who is a girl. I was perfectly fine and comfortable with it. Hence, I disagree with this notion that men and women shouldn’t live together unless they are a couple (but this all depends on your own personal tastes and values). Sometimes, it is way more fun to have housemates that are the opposite sex though. It gives you a different perspective on life and you can get away from all the same-sex, girl or guy drama.

Anyways, I’m going to introduce to you three shoujo manga that involves the theme of “living together.” The three shoujo manga are L-DK, Koi no Kaihou, and Ichigo Jikan.

ldk3
(Via MyAnimeList)

L-DK (エルディーケー)

(Manga 2009- ongoing)

By Ayu Watanabe

In L-DK, Aoi Nishimori lives alone, but is forced to live with Shuusei Kugayama after she accidentally starts a kitchen fire in his apartment. While living together, Shuusei becomes friends with her, and Aoi slowly begins falling for him. The two end up trying to keep their living situation a secret from friends, family, and the rest of the school.

L-DK
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L-DK is one of my favorite shoujo manga because of the chemistry between Shuusei Kugayama and Aoi Nishimori. From all the male shoujo protagonists I’ve seen, Shuusei Kugayama isn’t a jerk in my opinion. He seems to enjoy teasing and flirting with Aoi, out of pure amusement. Yet I think his playful teasing is a charming aspect. Shuusei is nonchalant about things, which adds to his awesome persona. Also, I don’t find Aoi annoying in comparison to other shoujo female leads. I think the fact that she lives alone demonstrates her independence and assertiveness, which makes me appreciate her as a female lead.

L-DK has just the right amount of comedy and drama, which I would highly recommend for any shoujo readers.

5/5

Koi no Kaikata
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Koi no Kaihou (恋の飼い方)

(Manga 2003)

By Mahiro Sara

Yurara is a shy high school student. One day, she overhears a fight occurring between her next door neighbor, Oriko, and her classmate, Tsujimachi. Due to unforseen circumstances, Tsujimachi and Yurara end up living together. The two become a couple, and Tsujimachi struggles to withhold his physical desires for Yurara.

Koi no Kaihou is a fun short shoujo manga. It is light-hearted and has a lot of humor for readers. Most of the storyline is a bit generic and dry though. So you won’t find anything unique about it.

2.5/5

ichigojikan2
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Ichigo Jikan (苺時間)

(Manga 2009)

By Kyouko Kumagai

Ichiko planned to move into the dorms at her new school, but she finds out that the dorms are being renovated. She ends up living in a small apartment near-by through the recommendation of a school administrator, but learns that the place is also occupied by an older guy, Ran. Soon after, she learns that her flat-mate is actually the chairman of her school, and they have to keep their cohabitation a secret from everyone.

Ichigo Jikan is a fun manga that fills in all the clichés that occur when a man and woman are living together. It has some hilarious moments, but also gives off an innocent and cutesy atmosphere.

3/5

What attracts me to read these type of shoujo manga is the fact that so much drama and awkward situations can occur when living with the opposite sex. The setting brings forth plenty of dramatic and comedic elements that provide pure entertainment for the reader. In addition, I feel like characters put into a situation involving cohabitation can help develop and spark their relationship because they are put into married-related problems and circumstances which allows the couple to grow and become more mature. Furthermore, these type of stories are a lot of fun to read.

ldk2
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23 comments

  1. Read all three. I like Ichigo Jikan. . I used to like LDK, but the author wrote in too much unrealistic and forced drama, and to be honest, the mangaka should have written FIN when they finally got together officially.. Koi no Kaihou is too forgettable that I don’t even remember how it ended. I only remember the main girl’s brother marrying the mother of the main guy, somewhat of a May to December age gap. The main guy, who is also the son, is closer to the brother’s age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. Oh man, I thought you would comment on the guys xD

      I like LDK for the relationship dynamics. In comparison to like “The Black Prince and Wolf Girl” and “Say I Love You,” I think the couple of LDK have good chemistry. I am very amused by Shuusei, and I feel like it gotten interesting now in the chapters.

      Ichigo Jikan was a cute story. xD

      Like

      1. * smiles * Don’t get me started on The Black Prince and Wolf Girl. I read Say I Love You, but…. * shrugs shoulders *

        You’re right. I usually comment about the guys’ personalities. because shoujo girls seem to always get the short end of the stick, and this fact drives me up the wall. I’m like, ” Girl, just walk away. Forget about him. The jerk isn’t worth it. Now, go get a new haircut. “

        Liked by 1 person

  2. L-DK sounds interesting. The problem I find with shoujo series is that I usually end up comparing them to W Juliet…my word I loved that series. I ended up so immersed in it overall that comparing the early chapters of another series to it is unfair on my part, but I just can’t seem to stop :-s

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that in part it’s because it was my first shoujo, and I find you have a soft spot for your first book, album etc.
        I love gender bending so having a crossdressing male lead and tomboy female lead was nice, especially as they make a really sweet couple. They sorta admit their feelings early on too which I’m led to believe is kinda unusual as it quickly becomes less will they won’t they and more just how will they deal with the threat of people finding out the male isn’t a girl.
        My only real issue with it is that some of the books are kinda samey in how they play out. The leads are sweet enough that I could ride it out though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, people do have a soft spots for their firsts in anything. Cross dressing themed manga/anime are entertaining. I read a lot of shoujo manga (as you can see from my blog 😛 ) and most of the themes/tropes and what-not are all the same. So it is tough to find things now that are pure and unique, but I try to find/search those things in them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Absolutely! For me, if something is either new/unique, or it does an established trope particularly well, then that’s a bonus. With W Juliet, I was happy to see that the crossdressing had a purpose rather than just being for comedy too. As an avid crossplayer, it’s nice seeing it portrayed as something other than something to laugh at.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only read some of LDK (parts here and there), so I’m a bit mixed on it right now. I’ll see once I really read it as the volumes start coming out from Kodansha USA. I remember not wanting to punch anybody out, so it’s got to be better than some shoujo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t watch the live-action. Maybe, I will, but most live-action based shoujo manga tend to be on the not-so good side. You should read the manga though!

      Liked by 1 person

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