Love In Focus Vol. 1 by Yoko Nogiri (Love In Focus #1)
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Available Through The Book Depository: Love In Focus Vol. 1
Summary: Mako’s always had a passion for photography. When she loses someone dear to her, she clings to her art as a relic of the close relationship she once had…Luckily, her childhood best friend Kei encourages her to come to his high school and join their prestigious photo club. With nothing to lose, Mako grabs her camera and moves into the dorm where Kei and his classmates live. Soon, a fresh take on life, along with a mysterious new muse, begin to come into focus!
My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: Love In Focus is a great start to a new manga series that really centers on its main characters and introduces the perfect amount of romance! Mako Mochizuki’s passion is in photography, so her best/childhood friend Kei recommends she join their photography club! Now she’s in a new school, boarding house, and starts her new life in Hokkaido, Japan!
Mako and her grandfather were incredibly close! After he passed away, she continued photography, knowing it was because of him she had found her passion.
“I want you to go out there to see all that I can’t…”
I know this is just the first volume, but I’m absolutely certain this is a manga series that I’ll definitely be continuing. It was absolutely wonderful and I think I’ve found a new favorite series!! (´▽`ʃƪ) ♥♥
Love In Focus just has all the great elements for a contemporary romance/slice of life manga! The main characters are all very well developed and you really get to know the important parts of their backstory, the story flows very well, the romance/friendship develops in a great way, you also get an incredibly introspective view on Mako as a character!
The main characters we focus on in this volume aside from Mako are Kei Akahoshi, her childhood friend who invites her to the boarding house and Mitsu Amemura, who she meets within the first couple pages after taking his picture on accident!
Mitsu surprisingly also lives in the boarding house and Mako not only learns more about him, but finds an interest in him as she discovers he makes for an intriguing photo subject!
As Mako finds more of an interest in him, we see their dynamic develop and we learn why he isn’t a big fan of photography.
Though to some it may seem like a romance/love triangle is obvious, I think it was done in such a great way where you really get to know both Kei & Mitsu and really root for both of them, when it comes to their friendship with Mako!
This is something I only started noticing a lot more recently, but I found the paneling was wonderfully presented. On each page, every panel contributed something to the story whether it was uncovering more about the characters and setting/world, where it felt no space was wasted.
To expand on that, I also found the art style to be very beautiful, especially in terms of the scenery when it became the focal point on the page (I do hope in future volumes more of the nature/city life of Hokkaido is featured). There was one page in particular (I think 124) where the scenery was incredibly beautiful.
Nogiri’s art also wonderfully showcases characters (especially Mako, Kei, & Mitsu’s) subtle expressions. I find its in the character’s expressions for Love In Focus, where their personalities shine and further develop in this volume to make them really well-defined characters!
If your looking for a contemporary manga that really concentrates on the main character and weaves in great development of love and friendship, you’d really enjoy Love In Focus!
Without spoiling, the ending (left me screaming tbh*) but also had me wanting to pick up the next volume right away!
Aside from love and friendship, this first volume also explores grief (lightly, but you can sense its presence throughout the story), alongside the impact art has on us and how it inspires us!
Love In Focus Volume 1 has many highlights and those would have to be the characters (not just the main ones), their introductions, the way the art expresses emotions, and just the overall story really introduces something special!
I really loved this manga and I can’t wait to continue with the series, I loved Mako, Kei, and Mitsu–I’m looking forward to seeing where their story is headed in Love In Focus Vol. 2!
Love In Focus Vol. 1 is a character-driven manga that follows Mako, an avid photographer and her new life in Hokkaido, Japan! This first volume introduces a wonderful cast of characters, exploration of grief, friendship, and a bit of romance! Love In Focus is a series you definitely want to pick up if your looking for a new contemporary, slice of life story to fall in love with!