Venus in Love #3 by Yuki Nakaji (amazon)
I continue to enjoy this series about the romantic entanglements of four college students. Suzuna confessed her feelings to the popular tennis player Fukami, but it is clear that he has a crush on another girl. Her partner in lovelornness is Fukami’s best friend and her next door neighbor Eichi. Eichi continues to keep his feelings for Fukami hidden, and he and Suzuna spend more time together working at a toy store over Christmas. Eichi and Suzuna begin to grow closer, but when a dangerously handsome male model spots Eichi in a dangerously cute bunny costume, he vows to make him his. Suzana’s friend Hinako continues to pursue her Greek teacher.
Eichi and Suzuna encourage Fukami after he has a tension-filled date. Suzuna thinks that Fukami’s girl must be really special to him since he’s stressing out so much:
Eichi encourages Fukami to ask her out again:
Fukami is filled with resolve:
Suzuna is surprised that Eichi was so supportive of Fumami’s new romance:
While there’s plenty of romantic undercurrents and blushing going around, the four friends that are the core of the book are genuinely supportive of each other. Venus in Love has a lack of angst that I find quite refreshing. This quality helps make up for the more cliched plot elements like Yuki the male model. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a shoujo manga where the sudden introduction of a male model doesn’t signal trouble ahead. Adding another guy who is after Eichi preserves the girl-boy-boy love triangle albeit with a different focus. And after reading so many manga where two guys are after one girl it is a change of pace to see a girl potentially put in the spot of competing with another guy for her crush’s attention.