Earlier this week at PopCultureShock, the ladies of the Manga Recon team (along with guest reviewer Danielle Leigh) took on several of DMP’s new Harlequin manga in a two-part column, “Hurray for Harlequin!”
First, a confession: I never got into Harlequin romances. For some reason they just never clicked with me. I would even go so far as to say that I actively disliked them the few times I tried to pick them up. As a teen, I was more interested in supernatural or fantasy-tinged romance from the likes of Mary Stewart or Andre Norton, or those generic teen romances with titles I can’t remember and cheesy plot lines I will never forget. No, really.
There was one, for instance, about a high school girl who gets roped into tutoring this guy who nobody likes because (though he is totally dreamy) he’s a terrible student and rude to everyone. As it turns out, he’s actually legally deaf and has been hiding it from everybody, including his dad who thinks he has a problem with earwax buildup. Our heroine, of course, figures it out, helps him cope, and winds up with a totally dreamy boyfriend as a reward.
But I digress.
Though I never got into Harlequin, I’ve read my share of formula romance, so when I was asked to review a couple of these stories I was determined to keep an open mind. Even so, I was skeptical about prose romance adapted to manga, especially as single volumes which would inevitably have to be abridged.
To an extent, my hesitation was warranted, but even a crusty old Harlequin-hater like me found plenty to enjoy.
The two manga I reviewed were Honor’s Promise (Original text by Sharon Sala, Art by Esu Chihara) and the surprisingly charming Only By Chance (Original text by Betty Neels, Art by Chieko Hara). Check out my reviews to see what I thought!