Jooro has helped many couples to get together, but he really wants a girlfriend for himself already. He’s been doing his best to get close to his childhood friend, Himawari, and the student council president, Kosmos. They seem to be interested in him, but just when he thought that they’re about to confess their love to him, it turns out that they both have a crush on his best friend and ace of the baseball club, San, instead. Crestfallen, Jooro manages to pick himself up again by deciding he’d help both of them to get closer to San and try to take advantage of whoever gets rejected. After a bunch of more or less successful attempts for either side, Jooro wants some time for himself and makes a run for the library before anyone can start bothering him about San again. Little does he know he’s about to meet Panji there, a girl who seems to know him oddly well and the girl who’s about to change his life – for better or worse…
Being a manga adaption of a light novel series, OmaeDakekayo has the same problem most adaptions have. The characters look great, so that’s a plus right here. On the other hand, you’ll get to see a lot of “empty” frames, with only character reactions and extremely basic background drawings (example further below ’cause formatting reasons) – if any at all. While the story does get across, it still doesn’t help the immersion and imagery. Altogether, it’s alright. Neither disappointing nor hype. The art serves its purpose.
First of all, this kind of story lives from its story developments, I can’t really talk much about anything if I don’t put in spoilers. If you don’t want any spoilers and just a rough idea of what’s headed your way, read the first paragraph of each category (Characters, Story) and you can read the entirety of the “Conclusion.” If you don’t mind spoilers of mild to mediocre degree, then go ahead and read it all. I’m not laying the complete story bare but, of course, major points.
The characters. These f*cking characters though. I’ll probably repeat myself once we get to the story portion of this review, but this manga is categorized as “rom-com.” If this is a rom-com, then it’s a rom-com where everyone’s a freaking sociopath. Honestly, read this manga (there is a translation, I haven’t checked its quality) and name a hero/heroine who isn’t an utter sociopath. The only difference between them is their degrees of crazy. There are five characters worth noting.
First of all, there’s the protagonist, Jooro (I’ll go with the nicknames for everyone since those are used all the time). He really wants a girlfriend, but she’s gotta be hot. He might be on the receiving end of most of the drama in this series, but he deserves what he gets. A self-declared “good guy,” he’s pretty calculating and utilizes a fake personality to try and make some hotties fall for him so he can pop their cherries. On the other hand, he’s also pretty prone to being manipulated himself. Basically, on the inside he’s an ass who just wants some f*ck and on the outside he pretends to be a “good guy.” Ironically, out of all the characters, he’s probably the kindest. He will still stand up for his friends when they need him. He is, however, far from likeable. Especially the ending of volume 2, where Jooro suddenly gets friendlier towards Panji after she shows him how amazing of a body she actually has, shows what an arse he is. Oh, and let’s not forget that he tries to get either Himawari or Komos together with San so that he can take advantage of the weak moment when one of the girls gets turned down; doesn’t matter whom of the two it’ll be. Just wow.
Himawari and Kosmos are both Jooro’s initial love interests – yes, he went for two just to be sure. Himawari is his childhood friend and the energetic kind of heroine. Kosmos is a straightforward but reserved kind of heroine. There isn’t much depth to either of them. They can’t stand each other since both of them have a crush on the same guy. Also both of them manipulate Jooro into helping them to get closer to San. From all the sociopaths in this series, they’re the “most normal” ones, since the degree of manipulation and calculation is something you can expect from people in the real world. They basically use their looks to get Jooro to do favors for them. Calculating as f*ck, but alas nothing unusual. That’s pretty much all there is to them. They think of Jooro as hardly anything more than a tool; as means to an end.
San is utterly mental and the chief sociopath in OmaeDakekayo. He’s systematically tearing Jooro’s life apart because back in middle school, there was a girl that he liked but she was interested in Jooro instead. WTF is wrong with you? He manipulates everyone to a point where the whole school and all his friends turn on Jooro. He even frames him and sets up a situation from long hand where it looks perfectly justified for him to beat Jooro’s f*cking face in. He’s also someone who, on the outside, acts completely different from who he actually is on the inside. Always being nice and a good bud while pulling the strings in the background. Really made me sick to the stomach to read the BS he pulls off. Whew.
Lastly, there’s the main heroine, Panji. She’s the reverse of how the other characters work: A very offending and rude person on the outside, but probably a very kind person on the inside. It’s hard to tell since her methods are so very f*cked up. She might as well take pleasure in the suffering of others, I can’t tell. She’s got a way with seeing through people, seeing right behind their masks, which makes her the driving force behind all the drama that evolves because she’s actually the one who’s pulling the strings on everyone else as she sees through everyone’s “fakeness.” Panji is also the only heroine who is into Jooro, and that with stubbornness. He’s an utter arse to her and tells her to f*ck off a lot of times, but she just keeps making moves on him. However, it’s not like she’s sweet about it, quite the contrary: She’s rude to no end and throws Jooro under the rhetorical bus several times over. For whatever reason, she also just goes ahead and strips half-naked in the end. She also does all she can to f*ck Jooro’s life up in the most horrible ways in order to tear down the fake relationships he has and give him a new, “more real” life.
On a side note, no character undergoes any real evolution. The only thing that happens is that you, as the reader, discover “new” sides to characters – read: sides which were there all along. But characters don’t change their ways yet. The story only spans over roughly a month anyway, so no big deal.
If you only want a rough idea of what to expect, read the next paragraph and then skip to “Conclusion,” I can’t talk about the story without spoiling.
Rom-com my ass. These are the two categories OmaeDakekayo was put in when I discovered it: Romance, Comedy. Here’s how I’d categorize OmaeDakekayo from strongest to weakest aspect: Drama > Psychological > NTR > Romance > Comedy. To get the weakest aspect out of the way, there is, of course, some kind of romantic aspect to this story, since it’s a pentagon (five-way) relationship drama. Volume 1 does have its funny moments. No screamers, but mildly amusing. I don’t think I laughed at all when I read volume 2, that’s where sh*t’s going down for real, nothing funny at all. So much for rom-com.
Volume 1, with both Himawari and Kosmos telling Jooro that they’re into San and him then helping them to get close to him feels painfully NTR-ish. That feeling gets even worse when it turns out that San is into Panji, both of the girls know it, San pulls his sociopath moves and gets them all rounded up on Jooro, and then the girls tell him he’s not needed anymore for hooking them up since they will now help San get together with Panji. That’s the NTR dream right here: Both of your love interests don’t give a crap about you, they are into your best friend, he turns both of them against you, your love interests then tell you to scram and become the dude’s hook-up slaves themselves. Oh boy.
And yeah, everyone playing everyone in one way or the other is just so f*cked up, Jesus Christ. OmaeDakekayo shows what a “rom-com” where literally everyone’s a sociopath would look like. I can’t say too much here without spoiling the whole series for you, but you’ll know why I’d predominantly would describe this as “psychological” once you’ve read it yourself.
If you can’t stomach a huge amount of drama, don’t even bother picking this up. Calling this a rom-com is a false advertisement if I’ve ever seen one.
Altogether, OmaeDakekayo is – while really f*cked up – a very interesting drama with a, let’s call it, “fascinating” character-interrelationship-merry-go-round. I don’t see how it’s a “rom-com” at all, but it did entertain me well throughout the whole experience; although this kind of story just doesn’t leave me with a happy or satisfied feeling. What I hold against it are its plot holes. For instance, Panji can apparently read Jooro’s mind: He thinks to himself and then suddenly gets her answer via text. Uh-huh. Want another one? Here were more concrete examples until I realized I’d spoil too much. Point is, there’s a bunch of plot holes.
OmaeDakekayo is a f*cked up experience you should try if you can stomach the drama. In my opinion, you won’t get the rom-com it advertises itself as at all. While the relationship drama is well-crafted, the plot holes made me roll my eyes and drag it down to a good 7 for me. I wouldn’t read it again, but you should if you’re into this kind of stuff.