Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! (Love Me, Seriously!) is one of the better Takahiro’s romantic comedies. It follows the daily adventures of Yamato, a somewhat sneaky (machiavellian?) guy attending a martial arts school, as he gets constantly involved in power struggles between the school’s prideful (and wacky) martial artists.
The text flows very nicely, while the light-hearted atmosphere and wacky characters suck you into the world of Maji Koi pretty much from the start. Unfortunately, while the work contains pretty much all of the Takahiro’s strengths, namely: wacky humor, likable ditzy heroines and some exciting action set-pieces; his usual shortcomings rear their ugly heads here as well. There is very little depth to any of the characters, or the story itself; most of the routes just contain some arbitrary threat (that is sometimes even hard to take seriously, like in Chris’ route) that the protagonist eventually finds in his wits to overcome and get the girl (how innovative). The routes are so forgettable I can better remember random action set-pieces from all over the VN, than their finales.
There is a grand route which unlocks after you clear the individual routes, and while it, finally, has some interesting things happening in the story; most of them range from “meh” to “wtf” stuff that is way too hard to take seriously. There is also this problem with one of the good guy characters, Tomoyo, being overpowered to the level that it breaks any tension in whatever action scene she is involved with. It’s hard to get invested, or even care, about most fights when you know that the good guys are pretty much unbeatable. Though, the writing of the action scenes themselves, while not on the same level as propeller’s or, god forbid, light’s stuff, is still surprisingly good. Anyway, I think the word “flimsy” pretty much sums up the entirety of Maji Koi’s plot quite nicely.
Nonetheless, even though both the plot and action of Maji Koi are nothing to write home about, it is still a very entertaining visual novel because of Takahiro’s ability to bring about the charm of his characters and evoke this, though somewhat dumb, zany and extremely relaxing, happy-go-lucky atmosphere. It helps that Maji Koi has like a billion characters, all of whom are interesting, if not for their depth then for their wackiness. Actually, I found some of the supposedly side heroines, like Kokoro, even more interesting than the main cast. No wonder Maji Koi is still going strong with its never-ending sequels and fan discs, heh.
Anyway, in conclusion: Maji Koi might not be a particularly profound or memorable experience, but if you are looking to relax with some light-hearted comedy with likable, wacky characters and some over-the-top action on the side, look no further, as, if anything, this visual novel is thoroughly albeit “shallowly” entertaining. Also, check out Tsuyokiss, if you liked this one; I still think it’s the best Takahiro’s work (it’s pretty much like Maji Koi just with better characters and humor).
|Attractive character designs||
Simplistic, flimsy story
|Simple, flowing writing||
Hard to take most of the action scenes seriously
|Light-hearted, relaxing atmosphere|
|Plentiful, likable characters|