初恋エンカウンター | Hatsukoi Encounter
by Nanatsuno Wataru (ななつの航)
That cover ticks off all my favorite tropes. But will this be just eye candy?
Mine wants nothing more than to live his life like the ones he sees on romance flicks. His fated encounter turns out to be meeting Hachikaku, who has erectile dysfunction, and somehow, only Mine can awaken Hachikaku’s slumbering junior.
Hatsukoi Encounter oozes with shoujo vibes. Yes, as the cover suggests, it can get naughty at times, but for the most part, the story is mostly sweet and cute. Mine expects a love life like in the usual romance films – the main lead meets the love interest, both fall in love at first sight. They get together and live happily ever after. We all know that’s not how life works, and Mine discovers that as well as “helping” Hachikaku with his problem turns out to be something more, something bittersweet.
That is not to say that this manga is purely sweetness and cuteness because the boys tend to get hot and heavy when they’re together. This surprised me in a good way. Like one scene you have this fluffy interaction between them which will then transition to something flirty and smutty. I’m not complaining, though.
I love Mine. Despite looking reserved and timid, he gathers his courage and expresses his feelings, whether it is happiness or anger. My favorite turns out to be Hachikaku as he is not the usual seme. Sure, in the first part, he is a bit overbearing and has a lot of room for blackmail, but Hachikaku actually develops into a more well-rounded character than the one who loves sex. He learns to listen and consider someone else’s feelings first. When he does make a mistake, he is quick to admit and apologize for his mistakes. The two of them are adorable to watch as they fumble in their first love.
The sparkly facial expressions drawn in close-up panels remind me so much of shoujo manga. It gives off that feeling of light and fluffy feels often seen in the shoujo genre.
Hatsukoi Encounter is a feel-good story about first love with a mix of fluffy feels and smut. Totally enjoyed my time reading this.