Kengai Princess by Aida Natsumi

kengai2I should really do a mythology post soon; it has been a while since I did one. I have been reading a lot of manga lately and have hardly talked about 1/5 th of them, but Kengai Princess is one I really liked, so I thought I should share.

Plot:

Kengai Princess is about Meguro Mito, a young girl who is kind of ugly (not because she is over weight, but just in general). She has little self-confidence and loves discussing otome games with her two best friends. She often gets bullied, but makes friends with a boy in her class after he sticks up for her. The first half of the manga is all about how she falls for her friend while growing as a person (and she becomes a little less ugly just by becoming more confident and happy). The second half is when she goes to high school. She exercises and learns to use makeup and becomes extra pretty, but this part feels more like basic romance manga tend to be.

Character:

kiMito is the protagonist of the manga. She is a young middle school girl who loves otome games and is not very pretty (she has a chubby face even though her body is average weight). She is often bullied and does not do well socializing. After becoming friends with Kunimastu-kun, she slowly grows into a ‘normal’ girl and gains confidence in herself. When she goes into high school, she works extra hard for her high school debut. She exercises, learns to use make up, and gets cute clothes. She has a great personality that can be pretty funny at times, especially after she stops putting herself down so much.

kisKunimastu is the classmate that saves Mito. He is an athletic young boy who seems stoic and cool, but is really just a simple sweet heart with little to say. He is kind and can be friends with just about anyone, and sees the good stuff about people. He and Mito become great friends, and he protects her many times when getting bullied (even beating the shit of one boy after he tells Mito to kill herself. This makes him go berserk because his own mother died, and he couldn’t take this lightly). I personally like him best.

kissKanata is the second boy that Mito falls in love with. He looks just like the young man in her favorite otome game. He is a basic shoujo male protagonist. He is rich and mean with a tragic back story. He sleeps around and treats Mito badly, but gives her advice that allows her to grow (and she in turn gives him advice to grow too). Personally, I am not a fan. He is as typical and cliched as a target for shoujo love can get, but oh well.

Art:

I like the art. Its nothing extra different (seems like many other shoujo artstyles), but it is still super cute. I especially like how Mito is drawn. Even after becoming prettier she is still drawn differently from the other girls (round face) and lots of characters have small little imperfections which is nice.kengai-princess-27-pic-8

Final Thoughts:

kengaiTo put this simply, I liked the manga. The very first part was the best. It felt like it would be a normal shoujo where the ugly girl falls for the average (not too rich or smart or talented) cute boy who like her for her. But instead, she gets rejected and has to continue on in her growth. Then she gets into high school and it becomes your basic otome game, shoujo romance, and its still great! I also liked how she really was ugly to begin with. She was not chubby or a glasses girl who was technically cute. She was unfortunate and drawn to be that way (I loved that she was not fat, cause I hate how they always use being ‘chubby’ means you are ugly and unattractive which doesn’t work when the characters are still cute). I am really glad I started to read it and it quickly became a favorite romance manga of mine. If you like romance manga, especially the kind where the main character female is not to annoying, then I really recommend this one.

-Blog Barista

 

Mahou Shoujo of the End by Kentaro Sato

Half way through the week, I am thankful the weekend is almost here. I really feel I need to buckle down and focus more on my work and studies, but as I am saying this, I am in class focusing on the wrong stuff. Oh well, I would like to give a little preface on this: I hate horror/psychologically f*** up manga. It is my least favorite genre on the face of the planet. I try my best to ignore it. Every once in a while, I want to be spontaneous and try something new, and I make the mistake of trying another. I cant imagine finding any of these good (or at  least continuing the manga for long). This one is a horror manga, and I read it because its about magical girls which is my absolute favorite.

101Plot:

Kii Kogami is a dull high school boy. He seems to hate how ‘normal’ or ‘average’ his life feels, but he is the type of person who will go out of his way to avoid adding stress to his life (even ignoring his friend being bullied). One day, as he is looking out the window, he sees a little Lolita girl attack and kill his professor. An Apocalypse begins. Soon the world is taken over by murderous magical girls, wiping all human life. It turns out that magical girls are descendant of a single witch, and their blood was somehow used to create this end of the world.

10Character:

Most of the characters die. I want to say about three or four of them are major characters, but I am not to sure. All I know is that the story is hella messed up. Plot twists everywhere.

Art:

Its well drawn, but extremely gory. The fan service is also too much, but you can get past that. The magical girls are pretty impressive. They can be creepy and cute at the same time, and take a dark twist to what magical girl powers are like.

Final Thoughts:

This is horrific, but really good as far as horror stories go. I loved this! I honestly thought I wouldn’t, but after getting deeper into the plot, I fell in love. At first it feels sickly and gory, but it got so good so fast. The twists really make it worth it, and I love the magical girls!

-Blog Barista

Valentine Manga

This is extra late, but I figured I wanted to make a post about romance manga and manhwa that were fun to read and February is the best time of year to do so. These are all mostly really sweet love stories and great shoujo/josei stories.

Picture1Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai by Nakahara Aya

I loved the characters so much, thirty year old love story

This is a  josei manga that focuses on a 29 year old unemployed Shibata Michiko. She wastes all her money on a frivoulous university student after losing her job in a company (it went out of business). One day she meets her old boss Kurosawa, one that she hated because he was so strict, and he ends up helping her get her life back together. Along the way, she ends up trying to help him too.

I love how the characters interact with each other; they are just so funny. And I also like how simple the story feels up until now. The fact that they are older helps keep the story grounded and more real world (though the fact that Shibata is almost thirty, never had a boyfriend, and acts like shes a middle schooler in love may be the most unrealistic part). The art is pretty cute, and the characters are great because they aren’t delicate or shy high school characters. They are sarcastic little bastards and really sweet at the same time.

Picture2Tsubasa to Hotaru by Haruto Nana

Such a sweet story, high school level

The manga is about Tsubas Sonokawa, a high schooler who is rejected by the upperclassman she loves because of her ‘extreme’ personality. Just like the previous manga, this girl too shows affection by being as helpful as possible and trying a little to hard. Through some events, she ends up becoming manager of the basketball team and makes some great friends with the players. This is cute story, simple like some of the better shoujo tend to be (no extremely rude or narsistic male characters who fight a lot with the girl or treats her poorly). I like most of the characters and even root for the other guy that falls in love with her. This isn’t my all time favorite shoujo romance (Ao Haru no Ride and Say I Love You are much better), but this one is still really great if you like this genre! I love the drawing style too, especilly the side profiles.

Picture3Our Relationship Is… by Lee Yun Ji

Colorful love story, university level

This was definitely my favorite of the bunch. I found the characters easy going and very relatable. This is a manwha that focuses on two friends, Do Gayoung a girl who is also nicknamed Pig and Han Woojin a guy nicknamed Hanwoo (beef). Both are in university and have been friends since high school. Slowly, Do Gayoung realizes that Hanwoo means a lot to her and she begins to develop feelings, but he has his sight set on a super cute friend of hers. Right now I can’t help but to root for Do to end up with Hanwoo. The two of them have such a wonderful friendship and it feels more real to think of people who have known each other for a while to fall in love (instead of like most manga where it is a little rushed). The story is going at a great pace, and it is so cute. The art is pretty and its all colored in light pastel colors that make it extremely aesthetically pleasing. I love it and plan to continue reading when new chapters come out :D.

 

 

The first two characters had something in common. Both Tsubasa and Shibata were the type of girls to go overboard, to try and do everything in their means to help, and were ‘extreme’ in their affections. I really liked them for being that way. To be honest (though we may not all be that extreme), I felt a little bit of a connection to them, and I feel like maybe lots of other people can imagine a time where they did something similar.

Bonus Stuff:

Picture4Witch Workshop by So Hee Park

So so art and story, but it is interesting and unique

I also read this manhwa. It was OK, but I don’t think I would continue reading it. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. The story is about 3 families that have been cursed for 400 years, because of a really creepy situation that happened in Europe between a witch and a noble family. The main characters girl, whose name escapes me now, has no idea about the full story, but its about her and two other guys (one who is the descendant of the noble family and one from a Korean family that is meant to protect the witches) as they try to fulfill their own personal goals. Its hard to explain the story with out giving away too much. The art is ok, I am not a fan, but the colors are really pretty.

 

Check them all out!

-Blog Barista

Shuumatsu no Laughter by Tanabe Yellow

I just took an hour out of my day to read as many chapters of this manga that I could, and let me tell you: I am in LOVE! This is an amazing story; I don’t even know where to begin.

Shuumatsu no Laughter means Laughter at the End of the World. It follows a young man named Luca, a demon who hunts other demons, and his kid sister about 20 years after a great monster with a thousand mouths tried to swallow the world. After the monster was killed by the church (swords of light), many human beings became ‘infected’ and thus became immortal demons. This plot is truly breath taking, with twists that will really get you hooked, and the art is stunning! Yellow Tanabe is an amazing manga writer, and I hope she continues to make such amazing stories in the future. This one is unique and I loved the characters (Luca and Haru). I don’t know if the series is on-going (I think it is not to be honest), but I really hope it is because I can only see this becoming more and more successful.

Chapter1The most important part of this series (since it is so short) is the characters. A major theme is understanding how people interact with one another and how they judge one another. Especially in the case of the two main characters, one who looks/acts like a demon and the other the personification of innocence. It also focused greatly on what fear is, and who are to blame in situations where both parties act out of spite and anger/fear. And through this, it brought into question the humanity of the demons and of those shunning them.

I really loved the plot, and wish I could tell you how it goes, but I think its best you read it on your own. Trust me its awesome!

-Blog Barista

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This was supposed to be written by TheBetterCup, but she is a little to busy to do so. We got this book recently (if about 3 months ago counts as recent), but we know that the book is fairly popular and well known by this point. Anyways, Nimona is a great fantasy comic book with an unique art style and story line, that we feel lots of people can enjoy.

nimona

The story is a mix of sci-fi and fantasy (which is TheBetterCup’s favorite genres) and focuses on a story of a super-villain who meets a young girl who wants to be his side kick. The super-villain, a mad-scientist, isn’t all bad though, he just plays the part given to him and was actually a knight once. But the titular character, Nimona is a young shape-shifter who doesn’t seem to operate on the same moral code has him. Together they learn a lot about each other, the meaning of god and evil (and what that means about a person), and the types of institutions that affect a person’s ‘morality’.

The story is fun and actually really hard to put down. It also does a great job of showing the grey-area of reality and morality. Its extremely funny, and the characters are really lovable even though its not a very long book that has time for characterization (but the author does a great job anyways). I love how the story took a twist in the end, and completely ended in a way that at least I didn’t see coming. I just wish that the characters could have been together longer, but I hope that their lessons in life at least made sure that they were happy.

Well I hope you guys check it out (if you hadn’t already),

-Blog Barista

Birdmen by Tanabe Yellow


birdmen-6842905I only started reading this a week ago, and it took me about 2 days to catch up to the most recent chapter. I am only making a post about it now because I finally got a little time to do something that was not for school. Right now, I should be tutoring and technically I should be finishing an essay I was working on for a class, but I would much rather take 30-ish minutes to do this instead.

This is an amazing manga, and I am enjoying about every aspect of it. It is a sci-fi, shonen, slice of life manga. The story is about Eishi Karasuma. He is a pessimistic but lonely 15 year old. One day he decides to skip class with his only friend is Miksada Kamoda (a youthful but sweet fourteen year old who is often mistaken to be part of gangs). While out they meet an energetic girl (she is pretty basic) named Tsubame and her friend Rei (a rich pretty boy). While in the bus, they get in a bus accident that nearly cost them their lives. But low and behold they are saved by a mysterious winged boy, and of course their lives change drastically.

The art is beautiful, especially when it involves the mysterious winged birdman, and I love the characters. I feel like the story is not as easy to predict as most other stories tend to be, and I am so grateful for that. It feels funny one moment, and then the story gets dramatically darker as the small details add up. This has a tad bit of magic mixed with action and basic life problems, all the while being super science like. I am so excited to continue reading this, and I hope TheBetterCup picks it up soon so I have someone to fangirl of it.

I hope you guys check it out,

-Blog Barista