I’m not usually a fan of straight up romance- normally, I need to have some more plot, some substance to get the story moving. With Last Game, I was expecting to enjoy the story some, mostly because it was a reversal of the whole “girl-is-the-best-in-class-until-the-boy-comes-and-beats-her-at-everything” trope (and I did, but more on that later), but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the romance and the characters as much as I did. This turned out to be a much better manga than I thought it would be, and I’m glad.
The plot was a relatively simple one- the guy’s the best until the girl comes in, he tries to beat her for years but ends up falling in love with her, she’s oblivious but ends up falling in love with him too, they get married, happily ever after, the end. It’s a pretty simple formula, but it was very well done in Last Game. The romance wasn’t too rushed, other characters and things like school weren’t completely ignored for the sake of said romance, and the way they both realized they loved each other was honestly- and I don’t use this word lightly- adorable.
I think I actually almost screamed “Finally!” when I read the last few chapters.
I loved all the characters. Unlike in many other manga, Last Game still managed to make every character, even the girl you know is only there to try and steal the male lead, sympathetic. I actually ended up liking everyone, which is quite unusual. The other characters, while perhaps not fully three-dimensional, still felt at least somewhat realistic, and served as more than just plot devices.
As for the two protagonists, I really liked how Yanagi wasn’t a douche all the time, and how hilariously oblivious Kujou was (even if I don’t think it’s physically possible to be that oblivious).
(Also, the fact that the first person that Kujou always thinks about is her mother? Loved it.)
It’s a nice, quick story, and it’s totally worth a read if you’ve got a few hours to spare.