This month, we will be reviewing Faster than a Kiss, a series written by Meca Tanaka which focuses on the relationship between Fumino Kaji and Kazuma Ojiro. Though they may seem to be just a teacher and student by day, they are really a married couple by night. But don't get any crazy ideas just yet. Though they are legally allowed to do whatever kinky thing they want, they have yet to kiss, let alone anything beyond that.
Faster than a Kiss cover
So why are they married in the first place? Well, Fumino's parents died one year ago, leaving Fumino and Teppei (her little brother) on a long road of hopping from relative to relative. Sick of it all, Fumino decides to drop out of high school and work full time to support Teppei. But before she can go with this idea, her Homeroom teacher (Kazuma), promises to take them into his home. Being the prideful being that she is, Fumino won't believe his kindness unless he makes it concrete (ie: marriage). And so our story begins.
Though the concept and constant feeling of taboo intrigued me at first, there seemed to be a repeating story cycle in each chapter. It went as follows:
- Fumino is seen at school, defending some helpless student, Yankee style
- Fumino and Teppei welcome Kazuma home in cosplay outfits
- Kazuma hugs Teppei in an outburst of "omg you're so cute!"
- Fumino says or does something that provokes intimacy
- Fumino wussies out
- Fumino is presented with a challenge which she takes on wholeheartedly
- Fumino either fails at the challenge or is placed in danger resulting in Kazuma using his super athletic or Ex-Yankee skills to save her
One of the many cosplay scenes
It's cute and durable a few times (like maybe 3 or 4 times), but to have the same cycle over and over again could make a manga reader want to puke.
On the positive note, the artwork is pretty well done and the story does make progressions. Chapter 13 had a cliffhanger that I am curious in seeing the outcome of.
- Teacher-Student relationships: Ah yes, the taboo involved between a teacher and student, adult and child. Constant secrecy in the public eye. Every touch between them forbidden.
- Pure Female lead: Never been kissed, and blushes at every touch. The Japanese have this fetish with purity so it's no surprise that Fumino is that way. Of course, it is always fun watching all of someone's firsts.
- Mysterious Past: This seems to be staple for most mangas. We know Kazuma was an extremely talented ex-delinquint, but that's as far as the information goes. His family, ex girflriends, and childhood all remain a blur. The curious reader will continue to read just to find out more about how Kazuma came to be the plain teacher he is today.
To be brutally honest, there are better mangas out there right now. But if you want a casual laugh, it's a quick read with only 13 chapters currently out.