I’m reminded of Isshuukan Friends, which has a similar plot, when reading this story. The concept of dealing with a memory defect is a tricky one. Not a lot of stories attempt it, and even fewer pull it off well. I have yet to read/watch anything that has satisfied me with its logic behind memory deficiencies. Not Isshuukan Friends. Not Golden Time. Not this.
One of the top reviews for this manga on MyAnimeList focus on how the characters within Seishun Forget! aren’t archetypes. I believe the reason for this impression is that the main characters don’t act like those you would see in typical romance stories. The male lead is obnoxiously optimistic and expressive and loud. His energy drives the earlier portions of the story. The female lead is cold on the outside, but caring and strong on the inside. The amount of work that’s put into how these characters behave is one to be commended… upon further inspection.
What I just described was their outward appearance (except the female lead, kinda). These sparkly characters are indeed sparkling. But what are their true natures? Archetypes. Just because a male lead isn’t oblivious to everything and acts upon the well-being of everyone around him doesn’t mean he isn’t the same character at its core. One can behave differently in typical situations, but when the going gets tough, the cliches come out.
Is there a problem? Absolutely. Let’s solve it by being good-hearted and honest about feelings and making the characters’ faces go “Ahh~” and their hearts go “doki doki.” Not enough? Let’s try our best and fight on and everything will be okay in the end through plot convenience! Still not enough? Why not let some of the minor characters serve as guides, pointing the main characters in the right direction? But writing is hard and progression takes time. Time… Oh! Of course! Time skips to cut out all the unnecessary development between characters!
That last point makes sense with what the male lead has to go through in the beginning of the story, but not by the end of the story.
I can’t even remember the characters’ names and I just finished this story. Not that the characters weren’t memorable, they just didn’t say their names a lot. I think. I may have skipped over them. Whatever.
Male lead is super passionate and energetic. He’s also cliche by heart. He’s just a more entertaining type of cliche. And for that, he’s not horrible. A likable male lead?! In romance?! What the hell?! The female lead is basically just cliche. She’s tsundere in the beginning and… almost turns into the stereotypical male protagonist role by the end. That’s kind of unusual. Like with the male lead, she’s an enjoyable cliche.
Then there are the minor characters. They’re bad. Male lead’s male friend is there to be there. Female lead’s female friend that comes along a few chapters in is there to be there. What’s worse about her is that she’s shown to be super energetic and cheerful through her introduction, but is slowly toned down as the story progresses. They sucked the life out of her for the sake of the main characters. There’s also the loli, who’s shown to randomly go from positive to negative in a moment’s notice. Like with the female lead’s female friend, her token personality is also toned down as the story progresses.
And here’s a paragraph dedicated to the female rival. Male lead’s male friend’s cousin, and childhood friend of Male lead. She’s interesting. Probably the most fleshed out character in the entire story, and the one that makes the most sense. That isn’t saying much. She’s got a sort of logical ego about her that allows for the reader to understand her plight of trying to keep up her perfect appearance due to her rich background. This is stretching it just a tad, but it works better than any other reasoning in this story. I believe she’s the best character in Seishun Forget!. I also found her the most enjoyable to read about.
That’s enough putting off. I hate how everything becomes linked to the heart. Through emotions. Want a super saiyan? Get really mad. Want to power-up your magical abilities to God-like levels? Fight on, brother. Want your memories to come back? Have something really eventful happen. I just can’t get behind this feels fest, man. If you’re going to have a memory defect, make it a memory defect. And if you’re going to give it a chance of being cured, make it through something more concrete than “Some asshole made me happy.”
I also just really hate the backstory in this manga. The reasoning for almost everything is so absurd. Hell, it doesn’t even show how the female lead got the memory defect. It just mildly explains the situation they were in and then moves on. Double hell, a lot of Seishun Forget!’s plot is rushed altogether. Everything is resolved in a single chapter, and then another problem arises. Only for it to be resolved in the next chapter. It’s just sporadic and crazy and blaaaaah!
The art was meh.
It was sickly sweet. Enjoyably dumb. Logically illogical. I’d read it again… once I’ve forgotten about it. The sick feeling it gave me by the end should definitely dig up the memories.