REVIEW: ‘Girlfriend, Girlfriend,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Girlfriend Girlfriend Volume 1 - But Why Tho?

In Girlfriend Girlfriend, mangaka Hiroyuki takes a bit of a different approach to the romantic comedy genre, seeing what would happen if a protagonist decided to take on not one, but two girlfriends. Girlfriend Girlfriend Volume 1 is published in English by Kodansha Comics, with translation by Jacqueline Fun and lettering by Nicole Roderick.

Girlfriend Girlfriend Volume 1 follows Naoya Mukai, a first-year high school student who has just begun dating his childhood friend, Saki Saki. Just when their happy-couple life is about to begin, Nagisa Minase, another first-year, also confesses to Naoya. Instead of simply rejecting Minase, Naoya is instantly infatuated and proposes a polygamous relationship.

This volume presents an interesting twist on an otherwise pretty generic premise. Most people would never be bold enough to actually present the idea of polygamy to a current girlfriend, so seeing Naoya stumble through the situation with Saki and Minase can be pretty funny. While this volume might not feature any large battles or mind-blowingly amazing scenes, but Hiroyuki knows how to draw a cute character. Many jokes are completely made by Hiroyuki’s art, and Saki and Minase are just plain cute.

Unfortunately, the “oh my goodness, two girlfriends? lol” joke is only funny for so long. As Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 goes on, I found myself laughing less and less, especially as the jokes descend into a more sexual realm. Though Hiroyuki refrains from showing anything explicit, something about hearing sex jokes involving three 15-year-olds just feels uncomfortable and not funny. Plus, it feels as if every joke ends up descending into everyone just yelling, which doesn’t make them funnier.

Other than usual rom-com antics, nothing about this volume is remarkable enough to really draw readers from chapter to chapter. Sure, it can be funny, but the series has yet to find its true footing.

It also feels as if there is no catalyst to push the story along. Sure, there’s the hook of the polygamous relationship, but with all parties consenting, there really isn’t any conflict that demands reading. While one might argue that you would want to find out if the relationship might work, in typical episodic slice-of-life fashion, nothing in Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 really seems to have consequences. It really feels like there is nothing that Naoya, Saki, or Minase could say that would change the status quo, so I’m really stumped about where the series will go from here.

One of the best things about Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 is its English translation. While many series might translate jokes in a fairly straightforward way, Fun translates things much more naturally. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever seen the phrase “exacto mundo” in a manga before, so seeing it here made me laugh harder than it probably should.

While Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 might be an enjoyable read for diehard fans of rom-coms or slice-of-life, most will probably find it lacking purpose. Though good art and translation keep it from being truly bad, I simply don’t have any desire to read any more of Girlfriend, Girlfriend, and I doubt most readers will either.

Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 is available now wherever ebooks are sold.

Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1
2.5

TL;DR

While Girlfriend, Girlfriend Volume 1 might be an enjoyable read for diehard fans of rom-coms or slice-of-life, most will probably find it lacking purpose. Though good art and translation keep it from being truly bad, I simply don’t have any desire to read any more of Girlfriend, Girlfriend, and I doubt most readers will either.