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The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl Vols 1 & 2 Review


Volume 1 cover for The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl. Romantic leads Fuyutsuki and Himuro are on the cover with Fuyutsuki on the left and Himuro on the right.

Publisher Summary


Himuro is a modern-day ice god, an ordinary office worker who just so happens to be the descendant of a snow spirit. He's also besotted with his coworker Fuyutsuki, who's a little unusual herself. At first glance, the pair both seem to be calm, cool, and collected. But beneath Himuro's icy good looks rages a passionate blizzard of love! On the other hand, his coworker's cool facade belies nothing about any feelings she might have for Himuro in return⁠-because she's too oblivious to realize anything! What's a snowman in love to do?


I purchased Volumes 1 & 2 of The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl personally with my own funds.



Background

 

Also titled as "The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague", The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl is a Josei series (manga aimed at adult women) that got its start from the author's, Miyuki Tonogaya's, twitter account in 2018. The series got picked up by Square Enix's Gangan Pixiv manga website in Japan where it is currently serialized to this day.


For those who might find the alternate title familiar, the series received an anime adaptation that ran from January 4th to March 22, 2023.


As a fan of the anime, I was curious to see how the source material was and if the anime was a faithful adaptation. Once Square Enix Manga & Books announced the series for an English print release, I had to pick them up and dive in!


Review

 

Readers might make parallels to Wotakoi when reading Ice Guy. You can tell Wotakoi was an inspiration for Tonogaya when writing the series, but what Ice Guy does differently is that it adds a supernatural twist. Supernatural beings exist in this world (snow spirits, phoenixes, etc.).


They grow up, have families, pay taxes, everything you and I do. Society is aware of them and have accommodated accordingly. Working alongside a supernatural being isn't out of the ordinary.


Unlike its contemporaries such as Wotakoi or My Senpai is Annoying, Ice Guy subverts the romance character tropes by having an emotive male lead and a stoic female lead. Himuro is very emotive on things he enjoys and gestures that his coworker Fuyutsuki does for him. It's refreshing to see!


Himuro reacting to Fuyutsuki's opinion on a keychain. Unlike most romance manga, the male lead is the emotive one.



Himuro is a fun lead. The descendant of a snow spirit, Himuro was granted ice powers such as causing blizzards, turning things (including himself) into ice, and more. While it sounds cool, the drawback is that his powers active if he expresses any emotion, such as being excited causes a snowstorm in the room he's in.



Himuro causing a blizzard in the office because he was so absorbed in his work



While the series plays this for laughs, it keeps in mind the struggle he has to deal with maintaining his emotions. He's very considerate like trying not to have any snowfall or blizzards occur on the company's summer trip to Okinawa in order to not ruin the fun for everyone else.


What I like about his expressions is that they're a payoff for the reader. You're happy when Fuyutsuki does something for his consideration and seeing Himuro break his stoicism is a payoff.



Fuyutsuki is a great lead. Unlike Himuro, she's just a human who is working alongside supernatural beings. Unlike Himuro's expressiveness, she's the stoic one in the relationship. She even mentions that people always considered her "aloof" and "cool" growing up, but she doesn't really think she is.

Fuyutsuki speaking with a Kansai accent to Himuro.

Similar to Himuro, she's very considerate, making sure that Himuro is able to enjoy things such as admiring flowers or being able to get something cat-related when he can't pet cats due to his powers.












Saijima is Himuro's mentee and gets more focus in volume 2. In volume 1, you see him as more of a straight man to Himuro's comedic overreactions to Fuyutsuki. He is able to be more emotional than Himuro since he's human, which you see when he talks with Komori.


An image of Saijima.


He is a good coworker to Himuro and Komori, the latter he interacts with in a similar way Himuro and Fuyutsuki interact. For Wotakoi fans, he would be similar to Taro Kabakura.

Komori is a supernatural being that was descended from a fox spirit. Similar to Himuro, she has to keep her emotions in check or her ears and tail will appear.


I like how the mangaka has differentiated Komori's emotion handling from Himuro. While Himuro will keep all of his emotions in check, Komori is able to act playful and fun with her coworkers. I like Komori as a character because of her fun, cheerful personality.


Image of Komoi, the descendant of a fox spirit whose fox ears and tail appear when she's excited or happy.


I really like the art style in the series. How Tonogaya does close ups of the characters during emotional moments gives the reader a similar perspective as the character on the receiving end of the moment.

Himuro smiling at what Fuyutsuki did for him. The mangaka effectively portrays the perspective of the character reacting to the reader, making you be in their shoes.


For volume 1, the story is a slice of life with a focus on Himuro and Fuyutsuki interacting in the office. It's to introduce the reader to the two leads and how they behave. You understand what makes them work, what they like and dislike, and so on.


The stories are very episodic where you can generally pick up any chapter and not be lost. However, this approach works for the story since it has an office setting. Not everything is directly tied to the previous chapter or day. Sometimes, things get brought up a few days or weeks later in passing.


You also meet some of their coworkers like Saijima, Himuro's mentee and co-worker. You see Himuro and Fuyutsuki interact with other characters which gives the series life. That a world exists outside of the two leads. With that said, I liked the bonus story of how Himuro and Fuyutski met.


For volume 2, the story shifts focus to Saijima and Komori: Fuyutsuki's and Himuro's colleagues. You see early on their dynamic differs from the other leads where they will lightly tease each other but still look out for one another.



Saijima nearly confessing to Komoi


I like this approach because the mangaka is able to provide the reader new points of views via two people in a similar situation and dynamic as our leads.


A subtle detail that was introduced is that it seems like the world has not fully acclimated to supernatural beings (or descendants of them) living alongside humans. One such example is with clothing. You see this with Komori where her blouse will ride up if her tail comes out (which it does). It's a small detail but is an interesting worldbuilding aspect.

Unlike in the previous volume, Himuro and Fuyutsuki attend more events together (but not as a couple). They watch the fireworks together (alongside Saijima and Komori) and go to "Kittneyland". You start to see their relationship grow as they get closer, both seeing different sides of the other. So the reader is seeing some progress.



Himuro and Fuyutsuki going to watch a cat movie together.


My only complaint is the repetitiveness at the beginning of each chapter. It often starts with "Himuro is a descendant of a snow spirit" for several chapters in a single volume.


For the first two or three chapters, it's acceptable but it gets annoying when it occurs at the last chapter of the first volume, or halfway through the second volume.


This likely has to do with the format of the story where the mangaka opts for a writing structure similar to a 4-koma (basically a comic strip format consisting of 4 panels stacked on each other, whether top-to-bottom or side-to-side. The Peanuts comic uses this format). However, it was still annoying since by volume 2, the reader would know the characters by then (they would know the main players by the end of volume 1).



Final Thoughts

 

This series will appeal to fans of Wotakoi. Now that Wotakoi is over, fans now have another office romance they can sink their teeth into!


If you're looking for an office romance manga with a twist, this will be right up your alley! All of the characters are fun and unique, Himuro's and Fuyutsuki's relationship has a chill development that will ironically, warm your heart!


A group selfie of fuyutsuki, Himuro, Saijima, and Komoi during a fireworks festival. Taken by Fuyutsuki


Verdict: Buy It



The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl volume 1 and volume 2 from Square Enix Manga & Books are now available at all retailers

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