Theme 05: mangaka, Asumiko Nakamura~
~(Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve done a manga post ^^; ) For lack of a more creative theme (please forgive me, having two English classes at school has really tapped out my creative juices), I’ve decided to dedicate this Manga Post to my number one favorite manga artist of all time: Asumiko Nakamura. She’s unfortunately on a hiatus at the moment, which has actually flamed my want to make her the main subject of this week’s post in honor.
Asumiko Nakamura is a bit of unknown artist with the English-speaking manga readers (at least I believe since there are still many of her works that aren’t translated), but she is actually becoming a rising star in Japan with her collaboration with Ikuhara “Utena” Kunihiko in creating a serialized manga called Nokemono to Hanayome (who’s first volume actually sold out in one day o.o), and with her popular BL manga called Doukyuusei. She truly is a fabulous artist with an extremely unique art style. I’ve actually had people tell me they don’t read some of her one-shots or mangas because the art seems weird to them. She has very long bodies for her characters, along with odd face shapes and such that throws a lot of people off ^^; Nakamura-sensei though is a fabulous storyteller and has created all sorts of stories for one-shots and mangas. She has quite a lot of BL stories, which I absolutely adore because they’re so innocent and sweet (well, the ones I’ve read), and she has many lovely, artistic one-shots. She can also get quite dark with her more mature manga (which I don’t really like since they scare me a bit hahaha).
I fell in love with her art one day when I bought a Japanese fashion magazine called KERA to help me out in my drawings, and it turned out it was the same magazine that serializes the Nokemono to Hanayome manga. The chapter featured was very short but it captivated me! Her character designs were so unique and wacky, and just her…whole style was extremely lovely. I ended up procrastinating on looking her up, but finally did when I obtained the English version of the Gothic Lolita Bible, which had a translated a one-shot by Nakamura. Since then I’ve tried to read all I can from her, and hoping one day the U.S will license my favorite mangas of hers. So now I’d like to share my personal favorites from Nakamura-sensei~.
Thoughts: It’s a really short one-shot, and at first I didn’t want to include this in the post, but I thought it was too good in my opinion to turn down. At first, you’re really confused on why this little boy is waiting so long for his little sister, but as it progresses, you notice something quite interesting!
I loved the twist in the end so much!! I sort of expected it, but even still it had another twist that I didn’t see. This is one of the reason why I love Nakamura’s one shots so much; they’re simple stories but in the end have exquisite twists that no matter what you may think, she totally turns your mind 360. I love how she only uses one particular color in her one-shots as well<3. You can always tell that it’s by her ;D
Genre(s): Drama, School Life, Shounen Ai, Slice of Life
Summary: A boy met a boy. They were in the flush of youth. They were in love that felt like a dream, like a sparkling soda pop.
Thoughts: This has to be…the most sweetest, innocent yaoi I have ever read in my entire manga-reading years. I-It’s just soooooooooooo cuuuuuuuuute! It has such an innocent storyline, and it’s so-gah! So sweet it’s gonna melt your heart :’D Seriously, it’s gonna give you diabetes! Doukyuusei is a very innocent tale of two high school boys a bit confused about their feelings for each other at first, and then continue to grow their new relationship, of course not without being a bit confused. It sounds a bit too simple, but it’s actually quite entertaning. There isn’t anything dirty (like they don’t do…that), but to the viewers who like those kind of yaoi mangas, don’t turn away!
I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with this manga. Living in a country where sex is almost EVERYWHERE in the media, this was such a nice refresher back to some old-school love stories ^^ I love the typical first-time-relationship situations that they go through, like jealously and wondering what to do if someone found out about them and what not. It’s so cute!<3 Plus, I’m a hopeless fangirl for meganes so I instantly was rooting for the glasses guy (sorry I forgot his name |’D). This story also has a 2 sequels, the first sequeal is composed of two volumes, which unfortunately isn’t completed scantalated yet so, I’m not sure how this wonderful love story ends (the second one is acutally right below this section ;D). If you need a nice slap of innocence in the face, or just want to delve in a nice love story, Doukyuusei is something you should definitely read~.
Sora to Hara
Genre(s): Comedy, School Life, Yaoi
Summary: Harasen a single, lonely 37 years old high school teacher is unable to cope the departure of a student, who is also his subject of unrequited love. Faced with a love sickness, he returns to the clubbing scene to start a fresh where he tangles up with a very troublesome guy…
Thoughts: So this is the second sequel to Doukyuusei (does that even make sense?) that actually deals with the teacher who was in love with the glasses guy (it’s not that weird, trust me). As the summary says, it became an unrequited love. I didn’t even realize that it was the teacher until I actually read it, heh |’D Anyways, it’s a rather interesting sequel! I really like the storyline; it’s pretty comedic because the teacher is very BLEAH and Doom-and-gloom and such, while this ‘troublesome guy’, Sorano, is pretty happy-go-lucky, and a bit naive so they’re always clashing. The expressions Nakamura gives them are really hysterical at times, and certainly fuel the comedy xD
My favorite is, of course, Sorano (you see the glasses thumbnail), but not only because he looks so freaking cute, but because of his personality. I don’t know how to explain it, I just love the nonchalant way he acts sometimes 8) I think they make a cute couple, personality wise. Do you have to read Doukyuusei before reading this? I don’t really think so, but it would help get to know the teacher’s situation and such. It makes me sad that more hasn’t been translated of this series because I do love it so, and it indeed is really good! It may not be as innocent as Doukyuusei, but it can be as cute~.
The Girl in the Diary of Unrequited Love
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Status: One-shot (part of a collection of short stories called Katakoi no Nikki Shoujo )
Summary: Takashi accidentally found his father’s diary and in it, it tells a story of his father’s love for a girl with green flower hair pin. So who is this girl? What’s Takashi going to do about it? Read it to find out the bittersweet story of an unrequited love.
Thoughts: I instantly thought the summary was pretty interesting. I expected this to be a more calm, serious story, but I was totally mislead (Don’t judge books by their covers, kiddies) |’D It was actually quite a comical, no, hysterical story! The situations Takashi gets into while he’s trying to find this girl are just so funny! So many stalker innuendos, hahaha. And the girl herself was totally not what you expected either.
This short story perfectly shows one of the things I love most about Asumiko Nakamura’s mangas: the HILARIOUS, over-dramatic, comical face expressions x’D They are so exaggerated sometimes I instantly start laughing, and I don’t even know what the speech bubbles says! I was cracking up over Takashi’s reactions, each one of them. Sincerely I feel like this is one of her better short stories because of the pretty unique storyline, and the lovely characters~.
~Now I diverted away from showcasing the more mature and…*cough* hardcore BL mangas she does, just to keep this generally mild x’D She’s very bipolar in her stories in a way; one minute she has this innocent and cutsie manga, while in another manga its extremely dark and quite frightening at times. I strongly suggest reading not only these titles, but her other works as well because she has something different for every type of reader. It is going to be hard trying to find a place to read some of Nakamura-sensei’s works, but you won’t regret it~ ;D (I also apologize if this isn’t one of my better manga posts; it’s been a while!)