Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
I know, the title literally spells “rom-com,” but the contents can’t cash the checks that the title writes. You’ll get a very cute and caring heroine, but a very passive, useless, and cold protagonist. There’s also some pretty hearttearing drama with an unsatisfactory conclusion in here. Even if you’re in for the drama, the plot holes are significant. I really don’t know who I could recommend this novel to.
The difficulty is dead average. Neither particularly easy, nor particularly difficult.
Nothing that I know of.
NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!
Usually, I like to tear my reviews down into parts like story, characters, and so on to try and show you where the book excels and where it falls short. This time, however, I won’t do that. In fact, it might become one lengthy rant, since ShiranaiRomCom has, in my opinion, exactly one strong point. Let’s get that point over with:
The main heroine, Nozomi, is a very likeable, authentic, considerate, and sweet character that you just cannot help but like. She does get an okay amount of depth and tries her best to save this novel, but it’s not enough. Why? Well, let’s start the rant, then.
While the book has a kinda interesting beginning that suggests a cinderella-kind of story, it doesn’t make you wait to disappoint in that regard. This novel basically wants to tell you the same thing that that movie with Adam Sandlers (I think) where he got that remote to control his life wants to tell you: Fast-forwarding through annoying parts of your life wouldn’t help you, or in other words, it’s not just the result that counts, but the way you took to get there. How does it do that? Well, Ashiya discovers that he has the “power” to skip time into the future. Why in quotes? Because the moment he first discovers that “power,” he thinks he’s going to get killed, so I’d even argue he had a mental breakdown and developed a split personality while his original consciousness is gone until it becomes active again – which is two months later in his case. There’s no real evidence that he’s got any power whatsoever. He can’t use it reliably, can’t control it, and it’s basically just him closing his eyes, wishing for time to fly by, and then a random amount of time’s gone, while his split personality as I call it lives his life in the meantime.
Is him having a “split personality” a bad thing? For you, as a reader, it is. Effectively, you’re missing out on 5 1/2 months of a total 6 months of all the stuff that happens in volume 1. And it’s not like you get to read the good two weeks of that. All the good stuff happens in those 5 1/2 months which are skipped, and you don’t get to know all too much about those events, just a few short sentences to tease you that something good happened. Practically, however, Ashiya’s split personality does better than him. By far. When “Ashiya himself” is active, all he does is being a self-doubting, cold asshole, while his split personality actually does an effort to be nice to Nozomi and get closer to her.
That’s actually one of the biggest problems of ShiranaRomCom: The protagonist. He skips time since he’s about to get killed, then awakes two months later and finds out that he’s together with that delinquent girl everyone’s afraid of. He super afraid of her although all she did to him now was showing him sweet gestures and smiles, she didn’t do a single thing that would make him think the rumors are true. He states that he doesn’t just believe those rumors, yet clearly behaves like someone who does. Anyway, on top of not giving him reasons to be afraid of her, after his time skip and them ending up going out together, she goes out of her way to be the perfect girlfriend. Yet all he does is doubting that someone like her would like his sorry ass, so he’s looking for a hitch all the time while showing her the could shoulder or being a flat-out asshole. Like when she’s trying on cute clothes and while he thinks she looks super cute he’s like, “Looks okay, I guess.” You gotta actively try to be that much of a jerk.
He even ends up breaking her heart just because he wants to skip time to not have to face her when he can’t give back a f*cking CD he borrowed. Half the novel is the drama he produces with that dumbass decision. But it’s not the skipping alone that screws him over, it’s also the persistent miscommunication that takes place. I’d go even further and say all problems don’t stem from his “power” but his lack of communication skills. He doesn’t make much of an effort to get the information he’s missing due to the skipping. He breaks her heart by leaving her alone on her birthday, he didn’t skip past her birthday – I’d even bet his split personality would’ve rocked it – he simply didn’t know when her birthday was and ended up missing it. That’s one big part of the resulting drama and heartbreak: Why did he not ask when her birthday is? She obviously told his split personality, so was he afraid to ask since he was ought to know already? Maybe. However, he could’ve just been like, “Sorry, just to make sure: When’s your birthday again? I really don’t want to forget.” But no, he decides to remain silent. Another big part of the drama is him waking up in Yuri’s bed the day before Nozomi’s birthday. To be f*cking honest with you, that’s pretty cheaty already. Even if nothing happened, how would you feel about that in Nozomi’s shoes? Anyway, again, Ashiya made no effort to ask Yuri whether something had happened between them. That also contradicts the message this novel tries to convey, when the skipping’s not the issue, but his sorry uncommunicative ass is. It’s just so frustrating to read nothing but the parts where Ashiya keeps f*cking up trying to figure out what happened by doing effectively nothing. All you read about is him being cold and breaking the heart of one of the sweetest heroines I’ve come across by being one of the biggest and dumbest jerks of all time. I actually agree with him: He doesn’t deserve her.
But even she has her weak points because of the author’s weird sense for story development. Literally the first time Ashiya talks to her, she makes him grab her boobs in an effort to prove that she’s not a delinquent like everyone says. Even suggesting she should strip on the spot to show that she’s got no tattoos. How does that make a point in anything? All it does is leave the impression that she’s a slut, and it just plain goes against the character she then shows to be. Dumb.
Yuri, probably supposed to be the second heroine of sorts, is a character I don’t know what to make of. She seems to be a cute, young nerd at first. But then again she also hits on Ashiya when Nozomi’s a good friend of hers. But then again she doesn’t want to make her sad and only loves Ashiya as a friend. But then again she spends the night with him half naked. On top of that she has dozens of male “friends” who are all over her. I just don’t know what she’s supposed to be. And I’m not sure whether the author knows either.
Honestly, the only thing that would’ve saved this dumb story full of plotholes would’ve been if Ashiya’s “power” would work in both ways – skip forward and backward. If Ashiya could’ve gone back to fix his crap, I could’ve kinda settled with the story. However, all you get is the worst parts of a “rom-com” while the author keeps all the good stuff sealed away in skipped time and then lets it end in one of the dumbest conclusions I’ve ever read. Ashiya doesn’t deserve a second chance by a long shot. His dumb ass broke her heart, he should’ve had to pay for it. Yet, she goes with the “break up with me” bullsh*t and even kisses him. I don’t even…
All this novel has going for itself is Nozomi, and that it’s not a total mess in terms of writing. I guess you could also say that the setting is not a totally overused one, but not a unique gem, either. I can bring myself to give it 4 points, it’s a weak 4, though. A very weak one. Easily one of the worst light novels I’ve read so far.