Manga Review: The World’s Greatest First Love Volume Three

The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 3 focuses on Ritsu Onodera, who has become an editor in the shojo manga department of Marukawa Publishing. It turns out his first love, Masamune Takano, works in the same department and is now his boss. The series follows Ritsu as he has to deal with this strange situation.

The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 3
Written by: Shungiku Nakamura
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
English Publisher: SuBLime Manga
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Volume 3 only has one chapter that focuses on Ritsu and Masamune’s story. Ritsu’s having a hard time getting the employees to take him seriously, and Masamune gives him a hard time. Ritsu’s also feeling confused about his relationship with Masamune outside of work, especially after an encounter that happened in a previous volume. His confusion is only made worse when Yokozawa from the sales department insinuates that he’s going out with Masamune. Poor Ritsu is run through the wringer emotionally during this story, and the chapter climaxes with Ritsu getting drunk and Masamune doing a couple of surprising things while Ritsu is drunk.

The World’s Greatest First Love is a boys’ love manga, and of course this chapter has what seems to be a requisite sex scene between the two main male characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this very romantic at all. Masamune took advantage of the fact that Ritsu was drunk and basically forced himself onto him, even though Ritsu was saying no. It’s made even worse when it’s revealed that Ritsu doesn’t remember anything the next morning.

The remainder of the volume focuses on Ritsu and Masamune’s co-worker, Shota Kisa. He’s also a manga editor in the shojo department. Shota has a tendency to fall in love with people because of their looks, but his relationships never last long. He finds himself falling for a particular male clerk at a bookstore that stocks a lot of Marukawa Publishing’s books. Shota always shoots himself down whenever he thinks there’s any chance of anything happening between him and the clerk. But unusual circumstances force the two of them to officially meet, and unexpected things happen, including a former fling stalking Shota. But how this particular story ends really isn’t terribly surprising, considering that this is a boys’ love manga.

After reading The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 3, it felt like a couple of basic and typical love stories, except they feature two men instead of a man and a woman. The whole idea seems to be for the story to lead up to a sex scene between the two characters. I don’t have much background in boys’ love to truly know how this compares to other titles in its genre, so I can’t truly comment on how “good” or “bad” this title is for a boys’ love manga. It seems like a decent enough read if you’re into this genre, though.

When it comes to the art in this volume of The World’s Greatest First Love, there’s really nothing here to make it stand out. In a lot of ways, it has a lot of similarities to what I expect to see in the art for a typical shojo manga title. The art isn’t bad, but I thought the look and character designs tended to feel like they were on the generic side.

The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 3 will be best appreciated by readers who are already fans of the series or by readers who already enjoy reading boys’ love titles.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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