Manga Review: Double Special

Happy New Years!! BlogBarista here. I hope everyone had a good day, but most of all I hope everyone goes into the new year with a positive outlook. I for one am not. I feel this horrible feeling of dread that I just cannot explain without beginning to panic. Anyways, outside of all my responsibilities that comes with the spring season, I have been catching up on all my favorite manga (all of which I have mentioned here on this blog at some point or another). They have been helping me cope with the panic of reality, but I finished all of them and have to find more. All day TheBetterCup and I have been reading a bunch of pretty bad manga, and we felt we could share our thoughts on two of them. So here you go.

Hadashi de Bara wo Fume (Stepping on Roses Barefoot) by Ueda Rinko
-What is this manga about?

Well this manga is a historical shoujo romance, that plays out like an Otome dating sims game (I’m addicted to these, so I’d know). It starts off with a poor girl named Sumi during the year Meji 25 (around the 1890s). She has about 6 adopted siblings, all younger then her, and an older brother Eisuke. Eisuke has taken out 2,000 yen (3 million yen now-a-days) in loans (half under Sumi’s name) and gambles away all of it. They haven’t payed rent in over half a year, and to make matters worst as her brother brings more orphans for her to take care of, when one of the children, Tomi, gets a fever, and doctors refuse to help her. This causes Sumi to break down in the middle of a busy street begging for help, and a young gentleman (dressed in foreign like clothing) gives her money for medication. As Sumi immediately falls in love for this mystery man, we discover that Eisuke’s job is to date rich, married women, one of them being the wife of the man who loaned them the money. As the Ooya-san (landlady) threatens to kick them out, and Eisuke runs away abandoning Sumi and her siblings, the loan shark threatens to sell the children off in the slave market. Sumi agrees to make the money over night and runs to the red district to work as a prostitute. In the end a man named Soichiro Ashida (rich, young, gentleman type tsundere) agrees to buy her for 2,000 yen. But when she is taken to his house he reveals that he bought her life. He makes a deal for her to hadashi-de-bara-wo-fume-601321be his wife so that he may receive his inheritance, and he will buy her anything she wants (even help her family) on the condition that she never falls in love with him (this is a hint that they will fall in love). The story continues with her conflicting feelings as she falls in love with the princely man that helped her initially and her husband who has his own conflicts.

-What do I think?

This is the exact same plot as like three of the dating sims I am playing at the moment. The main character Sumi is very 2 dimensional and in my opinion a little too obedient, but she is only 15 years old. The plot is over used, and though I would never bother to continue reading this, if this floats your boat please try it. I know that playing this plot out in the Otome games pisses me off, because I cannot understand how the MC agrees to and ends up loving the guys who put them through this bizarre scenario so readily, but maybe the awkward start leads to a much more in depth plot and characterization.


Hirunaka no Ryuusei/Day Time Shooting Star by Mika Yamamori

tumblr_n5tx1c0icF1shksruo1_500 -What is this manga about?

Suzume Yosano is a fifteen year old country bumpkin whose parents send her to Tokyo to live with her uncle for a while. Through “unexpected” circumstances she meets a mysterious, some what older man who turns out to be her homeroom teacher. Her very first friend in school is a classmate who feels uneasy around women and thus can be very rude. A love triangle forms between her, her teacher, and that new friend. Along her journey in her new home, she makes new friends, falls in love, and learns more about herself (of course). ‘Who will she end up with’ is the most important question.

dhirunaka-no-ryuusei-3227513-What do I think?

I started reading without looking at a synopsis first, and from the get go i liked it. The art was cute and unique, and the girls personality is good. She does not come off as dull but she is not unpleasant and annoying either (at least to me). Then we found out her potential love interests were her teacher and this adorable guy. At first I was not pleased with the idea of a student-teacher relationship, it just is not something that I feel comfortable with. But the teacher was so cool and cute!! He is the type of guy I like in general. then we met the classmate, and he was awesome from the start. I secretly hope she ends up with him. Anyways, I like the art and the plot. It may not be original, but is not boring and cliche feeling so far, it may be because I like the character personality a little more. Honestly this may have been better if it was just a love story with two people (no conflict with morals and no love triangles), just a story of how to people fell in love and got along. I still like it though.




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