It’s a little hard to believe that this is the author’s first published komik, because what it did, it did quite well.
Ai, a member of an art club, is given a somewhat long poem by a fellow student with a crush on her, and who remembers her from a few years back. (The poem is given at the end of the booklet.) But love is a concept Ai has pushed far back in her mind, disappointed as she is by her parents. A poem and a dream about it are about to change that, though.
The art is quite solidly manga-style and does use a lot of its usual aspects such as large eyes, cute hairdos, anthromorphism, SD-mode, and panic-flailing. But unlike many of its contemporaries it has a higher-than-usual skill level. Furthermore it’s a story set in my country with its cultural points, simply utilizing a manga style. (Most manga-style komiks get it wrong: they make a story that could practically be set in Japan and uses all manga tropes without an attempt at accepting that they are Pinoy, and thus a Pinoy sees differently and should present content differently.)
Paneling is pro-grade, although the typesetting can use a little improvement. The digital inking for the art is also very well-done. The mascots in this story are also all cute and have distinct personalities. The story starts and finishes with enough characterization provided, and sufficient backstory given without info-dumping. The pace is just right, regularly interspersed with enough comedy without it feeling forced.
Overall it’s a nice example of what I look for in manga-style komiks: take from it by all means, but don’t make a clone, instead make it yours. I’m hoping for a long series by this author.