Calling all Maid-Sama fans! If you are having a hard time finding a cheeky male lead like Usui Takumi then maybe it’s about time to read Namaikizakari if you haven’t. Many shoujo animes like Yona of the Dawn, Maid-Sama, Ao Haro Ride, and Fruits Basket have always been fan favorites from they were serialized up until they got animated. But, among them is another shoujo manga that is yet to be on our must-watch list. Namaikizakari is not your typical romance shoujo anime. This is because it features a little bit of spice and everything nice as the story goes on.
Namaikizakari also known as Cheeky Brat is a popular Japanese manga shoujo series by Mitsubachi Miyuki. The manga was published on October 19, 2013, in The Hana to Yume magazine. From then it immediately rose to one of the most well-loved mangas. In fact, it was awarded first prize in its Denshi Shoseki Taishō (E-Book Award).
This award is given to the top best-selling digital Hakusensha manga from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019. Mitsubachi Miyuki even expressed her gratitude to the fans for the manga’s win.
It is an honor to receive this award consecutively from last year. Once again, it came home to me how my works are reaching so many readers through the form of e-books. Many thanks to all my readers and to those who helped share my work.Mitsubachi Miyuki
Therefore, the warm attention fans have given to Namaikizakari resulting in it winning first prize showed that it is indeed a manga that is worth your time. Personally speaking, if there is one romance manga I wish I could read again with zero knowledge, this would definitely be it. The slow-burn romance between the cold, Naruse Shou, and the colder one, Yuki Machida makes you wish to not read further as you don’t want to let go of them because their story is so irresistible.
Five Reasons That Make Namaikizakari a Classic Manga
Namaikizakari centers on the story of Naruse Shou and Yuki Machida’s adorably unusual relationship. Unlike most romance animes or manga, Naruse is the younger one and also the person who falls in love first. Their love story started when they both join their school’s basketball team, Naruse being one of the players and Yuki as the team’s manager. Naruse is very popular among the ladies and is also a very intelligent student. But, he is just head over heels for his senpai, Yuki.
Yuki Machida is not the usual heroine we see because of her intimidating, cold, and strong-willed personality that draws Naruse closer and pushes him to pursue her more seriously. This manga takes its reader on a whole new ride of a story between the love-sick male lead and the hard to get female lead. Their story is even dubbed as one of the best romance manga of all time and here are five reasons why:
Visually Pleasing Art Style
In any manga, the way how the story is illustrated is highly significant. This is because it is also one of the main mediums in conveying how the story will go for the readers. Thus, Mitsubachi Miyuki also takes into consideration the manga’s art styles. The art style is one of the contributors to the success of their works as manga artists. Namaikizakari is a manga that fans praised not solely for the plot but also for its art. The art style of this shoujo-romance manga features a bit of the early 2000s art style. But it also incorporated new forms to express more of the feelings conveyed through the characters.
Masterfully Written Storyline
Namaikizakari might showcase the usual tropes that are often in manga and animes of the same genre. However, this classic manga also took the path of the romance genre differently. Despite Yuki being the girl, she is the older one, the cold and stricter character, while Naruse is the one who keeps running to Yuki.
Their love story was fast-burn in the beginning but slowly gives more insight to the fans on how they developed, individually and as a couple, as the story progresses. This is one of the few romance manga that won’t let you sleep. Why? Because it’s just so hard to let it go and continue in the morning. As you turn from one chapter to another, it keeps on getting more interesting and will not give you any dull moments, that’s for sure.
Sometimes the plot gets affected negatively if the story focuses too much on the main characters. It can get boring for the readers, especially when they’re already out of the courting phase. Well, it’s a good thing for Namaikizakari because it also explores the life of the supporting characters. Not just their contribution to Naruse and Yuki’s relationship but their own relationships as well. There are instances that the side characters’ relationship doesn’t get the same love as the main leads. But, the ones featured in this manga are one hundred percent shipped, rather than skipped.
Not Ongoing, but Complete
There are so many manga and manhwa’s out there that also deserve attention. But, one of the reasons that hold back the readers from starting it is that it is still ongoing. However, this is not a problem with Namaikizakari because it is already complete. Thus, you will not be hung up on reading it.
The manga ended last in the March 2022 issue of The Hana to Yume magazine on January 27, 2022. It has 138 chapters serialized in total including the bonus chapters with two. From strangers to teammates to friends to lovers up until Naruse’s proposal to Yuki. Everything is already set and all you have to do it click on it.
A Well-Established Manga
I know reading a manga or watching an anime most of the time depends on our own standards as the audience. But, popularity is frequently a standard as well by some fans. The more popular the manga is, the higher the chances that it is good. In various media platforms, Naruse and Yuki’s relationship has also been the topic of some online discussions.
Naruse is actually placed alongside Usui Takumi (Maid-Sama), Kou Tanaka (Ao Haru Rude), Haru Yoshida (My Little Monster), and Shigure Sohma (Fruits Basket) as the only red flags that fans will accept. There are a lot of fan edits shared online about the story, specifically in TikTok, where they show their appreciation for the manga. This results in those who haven’t read it yet in giving it a try.
Endless Petition from the Fans
Namaikizakari may not be animated yet, but it already has an established fandom. Popularity and fandoms are very critical in considering whether a manga deserves to be animated. Many fans have expressed their desperation and eagerness for the story of Naruse and Yuki to be animated. Fans have shared videos online and even made polls hoping that someday this could turn into a reality.
Many have been waiting for this to get animated and have been rereading it continuously just to relive the adorable story of the characters. I mean, it is just so hard to let go of something that really made a mark on you and Namaikizakari is certainly one of them. Twitter fans have questioned why no anime announcements have been released, they are also convincing others to vote for it in polls and confidently shared how characters like Naruse will be accepted by the public.
So far, no announcement of whether it will have an anime adaptation has been released yet. However, this does not mean that fans should lose hope. As mentioned, Namaikizakari is already a well-established manga with a well-established fandom.
Therefore, getting it animated is not a dream beyond our reach. Just keep the love and appreciation for the manga and its characters alive because time sure goes by fast and you’ll never know if you’ll wake up the next day with an announcement regarding its highly-anticipated adaptation. You just never know. In the meantime, just keep hoping and practice more patience.