Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“What do I want? I’ve come to take your life!”
This is one of the more unique and hilarious romances I’ve read. Any story that begins with the hero pointing a gun at the heroine, only to surprise her with a flower and a proposal is setting up for something out of the ordinary.
Riko Kunimi has superhuman abilities that are just far enough above average to wow me, and yet just mild enough to keep her from comic book hero status. Part of what makes her real is her desire to hide these abilities so that she can live a normal life. She doesn’t want to be the outsider.
Naturally, that’s exactly what she is in this story after a rich guy named Ran falls in love with her, literally, at first sight.
Everything about this manga is over-the-top, from the hilarious jerk who happens to be our hero, to the constant action. There’s precious few moments when a person can relax or, heck, just breathe. But what makes the romance convincing is that Ran truly accepts Riko for who she is. Not just that, he loves her for it. By the end of the volume, he doesn’t seem as jerk-like as before.
We’ll see if that continues into the next volume.
Note: there’s a side story called The Need for Artificial Respiration that tackles a painful subject with a surprisingly light touch. It has a very different tone from Flower in a Storm. It’s not a comedy at all. But it’s sweet and I thought it had a good ending.