They say good things come when you least expect them. After picking this manga up, will this series make its mark? Or will it be pronounced dead on arrival? Let’s make a diagnosis and see if An Incurable Case of Love is worth reading?
An Incurable Case of Love is a romantic comedy shōjo manga written and illustrated by Maki Enjoji. It is licensed and translated into English by Viz Media while also falling under its Shojo Beat label. There are currently two volumes available in both a physical and digital.
Examining An Incurable Case of Love
Going through medical school to find the doctor you fell in love with after witnessing them save a life on the streets around five years ago can be either admired for its determination or be referred to as borderline psychotic. I guess what they say is true and love truly knows no bounds. But what happens if after all that hard work it turns out the person you adored for so long ended up hating you? Lucky for us, this is the basis of our story. It is fun and entertaining, given how ridiculous it sounds at first. The mangaka could’ve taken the easy way out and gave us a standard romance with no complications and called it a day. Subverting the reader’s expectations at the beginning of the volume is an exciting choice that hooks you into wanting to find out what happens next.
Who are the patients?
One of the most vital things for a romance is making sure that the leads work together and in this case, we have Nanase Sakura and Dr Kairi Tendo. They make quite an interesting pairing in terms of their personalities and dynamics with each other. Nanase having just recently come out medical school and beginning her practice as a nurse is still very green on the intricacies of the medical field. She has a very optimistic and cheerful personality that you can see when she talks to patients. I love Nanase’s determination to succeed and prove herself as capable of being a nurse.
On the other hand, we have Dr Tendo, who can be a bit of a jerk towards his co-workers. His personality resembles that of an operating room at times, cold and calculating. Quite the opposite from Nanase; however, the reason for this being that he cares deeply about his patients. Trying to provide the best care for his patients, along with providing the best working environment for his colleagues is one of his more admirable qualities.
This being said, Nanase and Dr Tendo have a very typical mentor teacher relationship, as he tries to make her a more competent nurse, and you can tell he’s developing a soft spot for her. In hindsight, it might be problematic due to workplace relationship rules. But in this case, I can let it slide since otherwise, we couldn’t have our romantic comedy. I quite look forward to seeing how their characters and attitudes towards each other progress.
What’s the art style?
While the art style is nothing revolutionary, it is still very good. As I read through I found myself enjoying it the more I saw of it. It has a certain quality that makes it feel vibrant and colourful (even though it’s black and white as most mangas are). Especially when Nanase has a moment of joy or is flustered, it gives a sense of cheerfulness. Another aspect I enjoy about it is that it feels quite like an anime already. If it were ever to get adapted into one, I’m sure the same cheery feeling would translate quite well onto the screen. It does, however, have a live-action adaptation released this yeat (2020). In fact, the more I reflect back on it, the more I enjoy it. Overall, it’s a very solid style that I would not mind seeing more of in the future.
There are a couple of small complaints that I had with this volume. The first one being during specific points, it felt as if there was a page or two missing. Perhaps Nanase would be in a situation on one page and in the next, it would be resolved. It felt disjointed, but luckily it seldom happened. It was still distracting enough to warrant mentioning it. The second issue was with the character designs. There is a side character that looks almost identical to Dr Tendo, which led me to reread a couple of pages to clear up the confusion. Overall, these are not major issues, but I do hope that they are resolved in future volumes.
Word of caution
This volume does have a mature rating, although the majority of this volume has a lighthearted and comedic tone. However, I feel obliged to inform you that there are some potentially triggering moments. If you’re someone that has experienced sexual assault or dealt with suicidal moments, elements of these are present. They’re nothing too extreme or graphic, but they took me by surprise. Both of these are instances that, in a hospital setting, are likely to occur. Ultimately I felt they were handled well, but everyone is different, so make sure to read at your own discretion.
Is An Incurable Case of Love worth reading?
If you’ve caught a case for some lighthearted entertainment, this will make for a great read. Having no real expectations heading in, honestly just hoping for a decent medical romance, I was pleasantly surprised by this manga. It really felt as if I were watching a show like Grey’s Anatomy or something quite similar. The characters are enjoyable and the humour is used well throughout. While the darker moments brought a sense of realism that felt warranted, it is entirely understandable why it might be a trigger for some people. However, if you’re prepared, likely, you will still have an enjoyable time.
With the second volume already warming my bookshelf, I’m intrigued to see how the story will develop further. It looks like this is an ongoing series with seven volumes having been released in Japan, and two translated into English. As always if this caught your attention, it would be a great time to jump in. Doctors orders!