Kanojo mo Kanojo (Girlfriend, Girlfriend) is a romantic(?) comedy manga by Hiroyuki, the creator of Aho-Girl. Much like his last series, I can only describe Kanojo mo Kanojo as extraordinarily odd and incredibly bizarre. The manga wastes no time in confusing and shocking its readers in the first few pages alone.
The End of Monogamy
Kanojo mo Kanojo follows the straight-laced and energetic protagonist Naoya Muka, a first-year high school student who recently started dating his classmate and childhood friend Saki Saki (yep that’s her legal name) and seems very happy with the relationship. Not long after, however, Naoya is approached by another girl named Nagisa Minase, who confesses to him out of the blue. See, an average person in a relationship would probably politely turn down any romantic advances towards them, but it turns out Naoya is far from an average person. The situation becomes a lot more complicated when he reveals that he has feelings for both his girlfriend and this stranger that’s confessed to him. He then asks Nagisa to convince Saki to allow him date both of them.
Saki unsurprisingly (and violently) denies his request, but Naoya doesn’t budge. In contrast, Nagisa surprisingly isn’t reluctant to join in on the relationship as if there’s even a slight chance that she’ll be able to date her precious Naoya she’ll take it. Despite having strong moral convictions against it, Saki eventually caves in and reluctantly agrees. It didn’t help that Nagisa, her now co-girlfriend is “so darn cute.”
Naoya’s Turbulent Dating Life
Thus began Naoya’s bizarre two-timing journey. He even convinces the two girls to move in with him as they all try and sort out their new relationship. I can only describe Naoya’s quest for polyamory as shaky at best. The manga’s first volume basically centers around the three’s rocky relationship and nothing else. However, we at least get to know who these characters are for the most part. Naoya is portrayed as serious and honest despite being an insufferable pervert and idiot. There’s also nothing special about him in the slightest, which raises the question as to why these girls fall for him. Though as it is a common trend in anime and manga for girls to unjustifiably fall for potato protagonists, I’m not the least bit surprised.
On the other hand, Saki is a boisterous girl who has strong feelings for her childhood friend Naoya but is a bit of a pervert herself. The manga also tries to inform us of her strong moral convictions, which she quickly throws away just so she doesn’t lose Naoya, which is honestly sad to watch. Then there’s Nagisa, who seemingly came out of nowhere to disrupt the peace, but it’s revealed that she’s had an intense and quite frankly worrying crush on Naoya for quite some time. It’s not revealed why she does, but it’s clear she’s really devoted to him. She’s also kind and sincere which again, makes no sense as to why she likes Naoya.
Some Glaring Flaws
A very noticeable aspect about Kanojo mo Kanojo is that its story lacks depth. Its beats are also repetitive, and it’s somewhat unrealistic. The first volume solely focuses on the three characters and their wacky antics together, but it gets pretty dull after the mid-point once its clear that these characters show no depth. The manga’s comedy sense consists of the protagonist getting punched a lot and the characters constantly yelling, contributing to its monotonous reading experience.
An actual humorous part of the manga however, is its unexpected translation. You’ll see words like “hella” and “Exacto Mundo,” which I have to admit is just crazy enough to be funny, but it often takes me out of the experience. As for the art, much like Hiroyuki’s other series, Aho-Girl, the character designs are cutesy and well detailed with a lot of focus on the environments. Overall, while the manga’s core premise is amusing, its slapstick comedy doesn’t hold up for long, and its lack of an actual story prevents it from being engaging. Here’s hoping the manga’s upcoming anime adaption is a lot more entertaining.
The first volume of Kanojo mo Kanojo is available to purchase right now from Kodansha Comics
A copy of this manga was provided for review by Kodansha Comics
Have you read Kanojo mo Kanojo? What do you think of our review? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.