Lovesick Ellie was originally released in English digitally as a part of Kodansha’s digital-first initiative. Fujimomo’s romantic comedy about a girl who’s caught up in horny daydreams garnered a lot of positive buzz and I’ve been looking forward to its physical release for some time. Having now read the first two volumes of this manga, I’m ready to discuss my thoughts.
Eriko is a shy and ordinary high school girl whose life is so dull, she’s become completely forgettable. But this awkward wall-flower has a secret online life where she posts as Lovesick Ellie. Under this pseudonym, Eriko records all of her perverted fantasies and pretends that she has an amazing boyfriend – one who not-so-coincidentally bears a striking resemblance to Ohmi, a handsome and charming boy at her school who’s the picture of perfection. Her provocative posts are all made in good fun, and it’s clear to her followers that it’s all made -up, but it would still be humiliating if anyone Eriko knew ever found out. Especially if that someone were Ohmi himself – So, of course, that’s exactly what happens!
Poor Eriko’s embarrassing ramblings are exposed when Ohmi picks up her lost phone. At the same time, she accidentally overhears an exchange that reveals that Ohmi is far from perfect and his gentlemanly persona is all an act. Now that the two know each other’s secrets, they’ve reached an impasse and each need to keep their mouth shut if they don’t want their dirty laundry aired to the whole school. Will these unlikely circumstances wind up drawing these two lonely people together?
I liked these first two volumes of Lovesick Ellie and I think the manga is off to a strong start. I was a little worried that the hype around the series might lead me to disappointment when the manga failed to live up to my expectations, but it’s in fact a fun read and I can see why it became popular.
If I were to breakdown the series appeal, these are what I think are its best features:
- A Unique Heroine
Having a kind of nerdy protagonist who’s at the bottom of the social-hierarchy is hardly a new concept. Plenty of shojo romance manga will feature an ordinary or un-popular girl as the main character so that readers will empathize with her and root for her to get the guy. What’s not so common is to have a female lead who’s horny and, dare-I-say, a bit of a creep. Ellie’s silly little fantasies can get pretty weird and some of them are even off putting (like when she admits to wanting to steal Ohmi’s jersey so she can sniff it), but it’s not everyday that a manga acknowledges that teenage girls have sexual urges, so I found Eriko to be refreshing.
2. A Great Sense of Humor
While she can be a bit of a weirdo, Eriko’s antics are hilarious. She’s constantly off in her own little world or freaking out because she thinks her daydreams are about to become reality as she and Ohmi get closer. She’s always mistaken, of course, but Eriko is ever the optimist. I loved watching this deluded girl stumble her way through navigating her growing feelings for Ohmi and their developing relationship.
3. A Story that Isn’t Exclusively About Romance
At the start of Lovesick Ellie, Eriko is not only single, she also has no friends. It’s a pretty lonely existence, so a significant chunk of volume one revolves around her getting to know another girl and attempting to become friends with her. I loved this storyline and I appreciated that Eriko’s life outside of her romantic pursuits was explored and given attention. Volume 2 meanwhile focuses on Ohmi’s relationship with a former friend and his feelings surrounding how that friendship ended. This storyline really helped to flesh-out Ohmi’s character and I’m hoping that he’ll be able to salvage that relationship, since he could use some real friends in his life just as much as Eriko.
4. A Central Romance That’s Pretty Cute
While it’s great to see that the characters in this manga have more going on in their lives than just romance, the relationship between Eriko and Ohmi is nevertheless a big selling point.
I was initially a bit on the fence regarding Ohmi. I loved Eriko right away, but Ohmi’s true personality seemed like the typical jerky shojo manga love-interest. Someone who’s usually kind of rude and grumpy, but who’s occasionally nice to the heroine. This is a overdone character trope in the genre and not one I’m particularly fond of. Thankfully, Ohmi quickly evolved into a more fleshed-out character, and by volume two I was cheering for him and Eriko to get together. Ohmi is actually just as awkward as Eriko and most of his attitude from the early chapters is dropped pretty quickly. Ohmi still teases Eriko, but in a playful way that she doesn’t seem to mind at all. These two are both accepting of each other’s foibles and their interactions with each other help them both to grow and face up to some of the things in their lives they’ve been avoiding. They’re shaping up to be an adorable couple!
So, that’s my impressions of Lovesick Ellie. This manga is funny and cute and, in my opinion, lives up to its reputation. I’d recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun romance with some silly humor.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Kodansha’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Have you been reading the digital releases or are you new to the manga too? Let me know in the comments.
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