Himuro is the descendant of a snow spirit; he doesn’t just look like an ice god with white hair and a stoic exterior, he also has powers over snow and ice, which can make working in a modern office a bit ‘frosty’ for his colleagues. One colleague, Fuyutsuki, seems to not be bothered by his icy powers; in fact, despite her aloof personality, she’s very kind to Himuro. He’s in love with her, but does she love him back? She’s so calm and collected, it’s hard to tell – but can one snow prince and one office princess ever make it work?
Just to make it clear, this series is called The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague on Wikipedia and Crunchyroll, so if the synopsis above seems familiar but the titles don’t exactly match, that’s why. When publishing the manga, Square Enix decided to call it The Ice Guy and The Cool Girl which I personally prefer (less words and rolls off the tongue better). The anime debuted in January 2023, and this is the first time the manga has been made available in English. I have not seen the anime at all, so this review will be purely based on the manga, with no comparison to the anime.
The first volume of the manga is quite thin, at 128 pages, but there’s a lot crammed in here as nearly all the chapters are short. Not yonkoma (4-panel) style but short enough to set up the theme of each chapter and hurry to the punchline and/or romantic climax. There’s a total of fifteen chapters plus two bonus stories, and in that time the relationship develops slowly but promisingly. Let’s first look at the snow god himself, Himuro; from the opening panels you expect him to be the cool but distant love interest, someone who needs their heart thawed before they can fall in love. But from the start of the story, he’s already head over heels for the heroine. His standoffish exterior is not without reason however, as everything he touches has the habit of turning into ice (flowers for example) and he can’t enjoy warm weather so office holidays at the beach are out of the question. So, it’s understandable that he’s a little hesitant to get close to people or put himself out there. The way his powers come out is also really cute and creative; when he’s super nervous he literally freezes over in one spot (something that most of us can relate to, even if the ‘frozen’ part isn’t literal) and blizzards can appear around him when his emotions are high, which produces many funny background gags of other colleagues having to work around a sudden snowstorm in the corridor. There’s more that I won’t spoil but it’s nice how something so supernatural can collide with the mundane and produce creative results.
The other half of the couple is Fuyutsuki, who’s a totally normal girl, but one with a big heart, she’s very cool and doesn’t seem fazed by anything that Himuro throws at her, but she’s very intuitive and creative, often coming up with unique solutions to Himuro’s everyday problems that not only perk him up wildly but also start to bring the two closer together. In one chapter from her POV, she admits that a lot of her friends say she doesn’t express emotions, but it’s clear there’s a budding love slowly developing between the pair. He’s not one to pressure however (being too shy to make the move, or worried his powers would get in the way) and Fuyutsuki will take time to get around to figuring out how she feels, but it’s the journey that counts and the pair not only complement each other but also look so cute together. It’s a sweet start to a new office romance, with a touch of supernatural flair just to make it stand out from the crowd.
This is the only series officially translated by the mangaka, but according to the author’s notes; this is Miyuki Tonogaya’s first attempt to write romantic comedy, mostly having experience about the Shinsengumi with seven other series under their belt (aside from this series). Whilst the romantic comedy writing might be new for them, art is not and you can tell as it’s very gorgeously drawn; the main pair look beautiful together, there’s great use of shading, backgrounds are expertly detailed and the detail of the frost and ice is very believable on the page as well. It’s very pretty-looking manga through and through. Translation is provided by Julie Goniwich; there’s no translator notes but her work is smooth, she gets the comedic timing and romantic tension across in English very well.
If you like office romances, modern supernatural series or just want to see a romance of a different kind, then The Ice Guy and The Cool Girl is a good choice to check out. Its sweet couple and mini-bite sized chapters slowly developing their relationship is a winter warmer for the heart.
Our review copy from Square Enix Manga was supplied by Turnaround Comics (Turnaround Publisher Services).