Cactus’s Secret 1 by Nana Haruta

This checked off a lot of the things I dislike in shoujo manga: rude and obnoxious girl always beating on the guy, dense and clueless romantic interest, and a plot solely based around ‘big misunderstandings’. Honestly, it’s lazy writing and without an ounce of charm.

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Story: Miku was a shy and bland girl who developed a crush on a boy named Fujioka in middle school. By high school, she dyed her hair, learned to wear cute clothes and makeup, and was prepared to catch his attention. Unfortunately, he keeps misunderstanding her advances and so she keeps hitting him. Will she ever be able to convey her feelings to the hot Fujioka?

Miku was very shallow and honestly written to be pretty stupid. All she cares about are appearances so I found it hard to really get into her characters. Actually, admittedly, I thought the boy should continue to ignore her. The story skews very young.

Fujioka, meanwhile, is the clueless but happy-go-lucky hot guy in class who keeps misunderstanding all of Miku’s advances. Fortunately, they get to sit next to each other so there are plenty of opportunities for Miku to scheme to get his attention. There’s some backstory about Fujioka being a bit of a rebel and bad boy in the past but for completely unknown reasons, Miku didn’t know that. Clearly, the plot wasn’t well thought out that a girl gets a super crush on a guy and changes her whole life for him – but only just remembers that he used to dye his hair and hang out with rough types. Yeah…..

There is an attempt at humor in there but watching Miku beat up on Fujioka for misunderstanding her got old fast. Of course, Miku also misunderstands situations and we’re supposed to find her stupidity endearing, I guess. I didn’t.

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