countrouble, best portmanteau ever

Well, I’ve found yet another manga I’m going to start following.

It’s only a few chapters in, but it’s about teenage guy named Matsushiro Kouta, who gets accosted by Sasara, someone who claims to be an angel but looks like a witch. She puts a spell on him that causes a counter of 10 to appear on the back of his hand. Every time he thinks about his crush and his heart skips a beat, the counter goes down by 1; when the counter reaches zero, everyone in the world will know what he’s thinking. Sasara, basically, is trying to be Kouta’s cupid.

Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned. However, in a somewhat interesting twist, Kouta is the one who ends up desperately trying to get his love to blossom while Sasara just mooches off his house, video games, and food. Apparently all of Sasara’s magic has something to do with counting to 10, but, depending on the effect, a different cost may be necessary.

So far, it’s going down a pretty typical love comedy road with the magic twist; guy keeps trying to use magic to move his relationship forward and runs into various snags or mishaps along the way. The art is quite good, doesn’t really deviate from your typical shounen style, which is a plus where it counts. Sure, it’s the same as everything else out there, but so is the story and setting, no need to risk a different style and make it less appealing if you don’t have a good way of doing it.

What is different, however, is also what counts. The whole “count of 10” aspect can be very interesting, and what’s been done so far has been good and cute, if not especially brilliant. The results are pretty much expected, although how it got to that point was pretty amusing. Sasara, the angel, is a pretty typical character, just not in a typical role or story, which makes her stand out. Her role is similar to Elsee’s from TWGOK, but her personality is more interesting to follow, as are her interactions with Kouta. Aside from her, there’s a male classmate who is very intriguing, mostly just idiosyncratic, obviously a gag character, but reminds me of Shuu from Onidere.

Mmm, firetrucks for dinner!

The other characters, including Kouta, are pretty standard romantic-comedy ones: male guy who doesn’t stand out, isn’t very special, who likes a girl; main love interest seems pretty tsundere to the reader, cold and collected to the other characters, obviously she’s going to fall for the main guy, the question is when she herself will admit it; the female childhood friend who’s spunky and outgoing and also trying to express her love for the main character.

These are really the only characters we’ve met so far, so I hope a more interesting cast develops as the series progresses. I can see the inevitable rival angel who either has her/his own rival human contesting with Kouta or her/himself tries to gain Kouta’s favor, the friend or family member who learns about Sasara and either tries to clumsily help in her/his own way or plots to sabotage their efforts, the eccentric or outgoing teacher character who either deliberately or inadvertently causes headaches to the protagonists… again, these characters may be expected, but it might also be necessary in order to keep the serialization going. I think the magic gags are unique and interesting, so here’s to hoping the author can create the material needed to keep them fresh and creative.

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