So I still have to take classes over the entirety of my summer holiday. It seems I am not as free as I thought I was a week ago. Oh well. I read about five romance manga last night and decided to review each of them. So here we go, a review of the last 5 manga read.
- Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me) – Junko: So, I chose this one because the art style looked really beautiful and well done. I had high expectations and I felt very disappointed with the story. This manga is about Kae Serinuma, a fat otaku girl who loves yaoi and dreams up pairings between her classmates (this was not all that bad, I thought it was original). One day, her favorite anime character dies, and she becomes so depressed she locks herself in her room for a week with little to no food. When she goes back to school everyone is astonished with how much weight she lost and how beautiful she is (this part bothered me. Lets ignore how physically impossible it was for her to lose that much weight in only a week with out any physical activity. Instead lets focus on how every one finds weight to be the only standard of beauty and how her physical characteristics changed not just weight. Her eyes got huge, she got large pretty lips, and her breasts were much bigger when she lost weight). The worst part, four boys start to want to date her and three of those four only notice her because of her looks. At first, she does not want any attention from males, since she finds pleasure in just watching them be together. Of the four guys I hope she ends up with Asuma Mutsumi. He is a third year (she was a second year) that is president of the history club she is in. At first he hardly noticed her weight loss, and was the first to tell her that it did not matter because she is still the same person on the inside. It takes him time to realize he likes her. Unlike the others he does not become infatuated with her appearance, instead he likes her personally and that leads to his feelings. He is laid back and chill, and is the cutest one too. But I feel she won’t be with him. The meanest of the boys, named Nana, (teased her when she was fat and cares most about her appearance when she gains weight back) looks like her favorite anime character and she most likely will be with him. I may be wrong, since this is only first impressions, but I won’t be reading the rest anytime soon to find out.
- Watashi no Ookami-kun (My Wolf Boy) – Nogiri Youko: This one, I feel, was the poorest in art quality (but that is an opinionated statement so do with it as you will), but the story was actually really cute. Komugi Kusonoki moves from Tokyo to the Hokkaido (country side) to live with her father when her mom has a business trip to go on. She has some trouble with girls at her old school (bullying) and hopes that the new opportunity will allow her to get along with her new classmates. But she ends up sitting next to one of the most popular boys, Ookami Yuu, who tells her she smells good. One day, she discovers his secret (which you should be able to guess by the title) and school becomes totally different from average. This story is pretty much basic, girl befriends popular boys who everyone else treat like gods. And of course she falls in love with one of them (not the bad boy tsundere though, instead it is the sweet puppy like one). The only thing that feels very original is there secret, which gains points from me. The girl is average, she falls into the category of the closed off girl trying to be normal and accepted, but the one is not overly done so its not like you can be annoyed by her. I thought is was a nice story, but I probably won’t continue it.
- Shuuden na Kankei (Relationship Population) – Oota Yoshio: This one was chosen on a whim, with little to no reasoning behind the decision, except that it looked cute and the story’s summary seemed entertaining enough. This is not a riveting story, but its definitely something nice and carefree to read when you want to pass some time. The story is about a young professional magazine columninst named Hibari, who works long hours and (due to the asshole nature of her ex/co-worker and sometimes her boss) inevitably rides the very last train home. Because of her horrible sleeping patterns doing so much overtime, she often sleeps (defenselessly) on her train ride home; however, being the only person getting off at the very last stop of the last train she always runs into a train station worker, Yokose. Yokose seems to be quite older then her (he calls her a girl and sometimes talks in an odd way), but he is kind and polite and is always looking out for Hibari. There are only 2 volumes, but already you see the feelings between them blossom, so I really hope they end up together. I find the story so easygoing, and it is also funny as Yoosuke is very clumsy (falling at every important moment).
- Gozen 3-ji no Muhouchitai (3 am Lawless Zone) – Nemu Youko: I am so happy I found this one. Absouletly wonderful story. As much as I enjoy some shoujo, I realize I am getting into the age where school life does not always resonate with me. I mean, it still does in some way because I am in university, but many of their problems are no longer problems I can relate too fully. Once I enter into the work force, it will no longer relate to me. But josei can relate a little better sometimes. This one in particular focuses on a girl named Momoko Nanase who gets a job as a pachinko designer (pachinko is a arcade and gambling game in Japan) after finishing schooling to become an illustrator. The office is extremely high pace, with ‘yakuza’ like business and very eccentric coworkers. As she gets bogged down with her work, and has strains on her relationships, she realizes how much she can enjoy working there and meets new people along the way that make it special. Momoko was a cute girl with pretty regular problems, I liked her personality too (pretty simple, a little feisty at times and not too childish most of the times). All the characters are great, and most have a lot of adult problems. TheBetterCup and I read the entire thing with out stopping. I also liked how open this one was about sex and relationships (most the josei and shoujo that I like tend to be that way), it grounds it in reality and keeps the problems focused on things people actually find important (unlike the romance manga where girls freak out over a kiss as if it was the epitome of love). Anyways, it was refreshing and I would definitely suggest trying this one out. The art was also really great, the main character male is not your usual bishonen but instead described as a bear of a man.
- Haru x Kiyo – Akira Ozaki: I did not expect it, but I think I just added another manga to my all time favorite romance manga (up there with Say I Love You, Blue Spring Ride, and Jelly Fish Princess). At first I thought this was going to be my least favorite, but ended up being my favorite in the group (exact opposite of the Kiss Him, Not Me). I came upon it because the cover art was beautiful and colorful and the characters looked amazing. Then I quickly felt disappointed when the main character had hair in front of her face making her less pretty (I see the hypocritical nature that I have and I am both embarrassed and ashamed). Yet I could not put it down, and the story ended up being fantastic. The art style is extremely dynamic, with the characters taking extremely exaggerated emotional depictions at times (think the older shonen anime). The story focuses on a girl named Koharu Miyamoto. She is described as boyish and extremely simple. At 5 ft 9 and only 15 years old, she is a giant that is often made fun of by others, but as always she is a gentle giant. Her personality and reactions (except for the exaggeration of course) is actually really realistic. She is an average girl, not very obsessive of anything, who gets hurt and gets happy with out it becoming the only priority in her life when it does happen. She is not super confident, but it does not come off as self-deprecating (which can be annoying). She befriends a four eyed classmate named Mineta. He is tiny (15? cm as they describe him, so anywhere from 4 ft 9 inches to 5 ft 2 inches), and he is strict (always making sure that when he does something it is the best and most efficiently done possible), and he is also very angry (of course). He is so cute, with sage advice, and when given the chance to be her boyfriend he is so manly you cannot help but like him. He stays straightforward about everything (always saying exactly what he feels he must, even if it is too rough), but he can regret it later. He is also not over confident, no matter how uppity he acts at times. Also I was wrong about the art, it is just as cute as the cover and at some points Mineta is shown as a chibi because that is how Koharu sees him. I loved the manga, and I cannot wait to read more.
Well anyways, I hope you all find something you like. These are all first impressions, so maybe my opinion will not meet up with yours. Have fun.