When the male lead of Love Roma, forthright and worryingly honest Hoshino, confesses his feelings towards the female lead, Negishi, in the very first chapter – in fact in the very first frame of the very first page - you know this isn't going to be your average series.
Written by newcomer Minoru Toyoda, originally published in Shonen Afternoon (from which Oh My Goddess, Genshiken, Blade of the Immortal and many others originated) and published in the west by Del Ray, Love Roma seems to not only throw away the book on romance manga, but to shred it, feed it to their pet ferret, and then burn the resulting by-products as well.
In this, the first volume of a 4 volume series (romance fans on a budget take note) we see our romantic duo go through such earth shattering problems as a first kiss, their first fight (their subsequent first make up) and their first date...
So, not exactly MARS or Kare Kano I know – but then Love Roma is best seen as a more relaxed, leisurely take on the Shonen genre with potential love rivals shot down with the same lack of angst and over the top drama as the aforementioned first fight. As a result I found that this format created an easy to pick, easy to read tale – it doesn't demand much from its reader, save to relax and enjoy the ride.
In regards of the artwork, the series adopts a very simple, yet expressive style. Those (like our self-professed aesthetic-whore Editor) would probably walk on by, un-enticed by the style the volume offers, but that would be a mistake – the story holds its own.
So if you want a series that doesn't involve 20+ volumes of the lead characters angsting over their feelings for each other then make an effort to find this intriguing little series.