Feeling the tendrils of a reading slump starting to wind its way around my neck, I decided that the best way for me to combat it would be to find something random and different to read; a title that I knew nothing about, nor heard anything of. This led me to the short manga series 100% no Kimi e (100% to You) by Yuki Suetsugu (author of Chihayafuru). It’s quite an old series—written and published in 2004 by Kodansha—and you can really see the difference in her artwork if you read this manga and then read her latest serial, Chihayafuru.
The series revolves around a teenage girl named Yuzu Horiuchi and a boy named Sōtaru Kashio. Yuzu transfers to a local co-ed high school from her prestigious private all-girls school so she can care for her mother who is disabled. She makes a few new friends and formulates a connection with Sōtaru over their mutual fondness for dogs. This leads to them adopting and raising a Shiba inu (puppy) together.
In the spirit of being upfront, I will go ahead and say that 100% no Kimi e is very mediocre. There is nothing new or exciting about it; nothing to set it apart from the tens of thousands of other shōjo manga out there. When the first volume begins, we see Yuzu being introduced to her new class. She quickly makes a couple of lady friends and bonds with Sōtaru. After that the story just slows down as we watch with mounting boredom of how Yuzu’s feelings begin to develop for him. The whole clichéd notion of a girl falling for a person who’s in a long-distance relationship isn’t very new to the shōjo genre, but some crazy ass plot twists help to make things more exciting. With 100% no Kimi e all we have is the Shiba puppy.
The abrupt nature of the series makes it impossible to really create any sort of connections to any of the characters, including the protagonists. Her friendships are established early on and don’t show any details or development. One minute it’s “Hi, I’m Yuzu,” and the next they’re all chatting about boys like they’ve known one another for years. With Sōtaru, we don’t learn much about his personal life. Aside from a part-time job and his co-ownership of Shiba, there’s literally nothing else going on with him. Such colourless and severely lacklustre protagonists are a bit of an annoyance for me, to be perfectly blunt, not to mention wholeheartedly pointless.
One of the elements of the book that did interest me was Yuzu’s mother. She is recently disabled and her relationship with Yuzu is different because of it. The mother’s whole world has taken a huge shift because of how she’s affected psychologically and emotionally by her physical limitations. It’s brought up in the first two chapters, but then so hastily “resolved,” and then never spoken of again. I hated that! This one concept could’ve allowed for so much depth, or at the very least add something a bit more appetizing to a seemingly mundane story.
If you are looking for a shōjo manga that will make you giggle, or fangirl with butterflies in your tummy, then I recommend avoiding 100% no Kimi e. If you just want a bit of mindless reading material that is very short, simple and with brief sweet moments, then you may not mind it too much. Just don’t expect a heavy-handed tale of epic romancing!
2.25 puppies outta 5!