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Are the Japanese very unwell? It amazes me how many deceased parents there are in shoujo manga, but Sugar Family outdoes them all. The first four families you meet have 1 deceased or absent parent, so that everyone has their personal sob story.
I enjoyed this manga well enough, but it doesn’t change the fact that the story is poorly strung together. Teacher and student become step-siblings; teacher has immediate sister complex; student has family issues; 10+ chapters are dedicated to heightening tension by continuously repeating dialogue from a few conversations: “Sensei needs a sister…” “If only we were real siblings…” “We just want to always be together…” Again, and again, and again.
Ultimately, the manga wraps up too quickly and the reader doesn’t really get to see the transition in characters’ feelings, considering all the obvious conflicts surrounding them. Some extended epilogue chapters would have been beneficial.
Overall, I recommend reading this if you’re looking for a more capable shoujo heroine and cheerful/affectionate male lead. Sometimes the genre can be saturated with breathy girls and surly men, and this is a nice break from that dynamic.