I must be some kind of stupid because it took me until halfway into the third volume of Love Roma to actually understand why it’s called that. The four circles in the series’ logo should have been my first clue because the title has four kana when written in Japanese (ra-bu-ro-ma). I think the catalyst for my “a-ha” moment was looking at the title of chapter 15, “Another Love Roma”. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the series so far and am looking forward to reading the final two volumes. Warning: the summary below is longer than most of my recent ones for single anime episodes.
Negi helps Hoshino study to pass an exam so they can make it to their second year together and it is implied that Hoshino’s dream is to become an astronaut and land on Mars. After they become second-year students, Hoshino is roped into soliciting for the light music club and Negi decides to help him. Hoshino wants to move further in their relationship using the achievement of touching Negi’s boob as a milestone. (Now you see why Del Rey rates this manga Older Teen 16+.) The gang throws a sakura viewing party and Negi gets drunk. Later that night when Negi sobers up, Hoshino accomplishes his goal with Negi’s permission and then says it was no big deal.
Yoko and Tsukahara, the meddling pair of normally silent students, are given some alone time and agree to go out; Yoko is the more proactive one and thinks of ways to scheme Tsukahara into spending time with her in later chapters. However, their relationship develops much slower than that of Negi and Hoshino.
Negi asks Hoshino if she can meet his family since he has already met hers. That Sunday, when Hoshino’s mother comes home and sees Negi there, she decides to take everyone including her guest out to an aquarium. She then changes her mind after hearing there’s a discount at the amusement park and later invites Negi to stay for dinner. Negi comes away from the experience knowing more about how Hoshino grew into who he is today.
Yoshitsune suggests that his classmates go to his uncle’s bed and breakfast for summer vacation and forgets to tell they would have to work to stay there half-off. While riding a boat overnight to the island, the couple sleeps on the deck but Hoshino can’t get any sleep. After her first day of work, Negi really wants to spend time with Hoshino on the beach. The workers get a two-hour break to enjoy themselves in the sun and after hearing Hoshino could have lent her money to pay for her room but is instead working for her sake, Negi decides to pay him back by escorting him to the fireworks display. When they meet there the next evening, Negi complains that they should have swum more and she hadn’t bought a gift yet; Hoshino says he had a good time on their first time together because she was with him so she should forget about those worries.
In between some of the chapters in the volume are short vignettes of when Tsukahara and Hoshino met for the first and second times. After finishing this third volume, I continue to feel a little strange in that there’s no depressing parts but then I think that is perhaps a good thing, for readers to get the message that if you care enough, things will be fine. I still like the characters including “bully pair” Yoko and Tsukahara and the tsukkomi-boke relationship between forthright-to-a-fault Hoshino and tempermental Negi although it seems the secondary ones like Sugimoto (think Hinata from Naruto) have faded into the background.
I’m going to get the fourth volume this afternoon, hopefully read it over the weekend, and then wait until February to read the end of the story. So far it’s been a delightful manga although I would like a little more if there was more drama. Then again something could come up as Negi and Hoshino start to contemplate life after high school.
P.S. I must find some other manga to follow because three months is a long wait between volumes of anything. So, readers, do you have any recommendations for a good licensed series to start reading? I’m looking for a tongue-in-cheek comedy and/or something with tasteful sexiness. A nice drama would also be appreciated. I’m thinking about starting Yakitate Japan but I want something else to contrast the gag elements.