Manga Digest: 2-in-1 Contrast!

Themes 09 & 10: Spring Fever/The awesome, the amusing, the girly~

~As a student who’s been neglecting her school work, you would think I would have the time to scout the manga world for underrated, fresh manga to bring to you dear readers out there, but as cruel fate (and that dastardly disease known as procrastination) has it, I’m still just as busy with family, chores, Meta stuff, and Senior activities. Some days I’m just so drained of energy that I don’t even want to think about going through lists of mangas on Mangafox, Mangareader, etc. With that, I have taken an easier route and checked out manga I had been meaning to read for a while now, which means you can expect some manga that’s already been buzzing around.

So what’s with this 2-in-1 deal? Originally, I was only going to do a small post on manga for the upcoming Spring line-up, and was going to save my lazy-ass idea of making another ‘Hoshi’s Personal Picks’ post (for lack of creativity due to two English classes draining it away) for another week. Yet, my Spring Manga picks turned up short; I’m not, and will never, write only about two mangas! Thanks to that dilemma, I present a special, double-coated manga digest!

Spring FEVAH~!!

A Channel
Author: Kuroda bb
Genre(s): Comedy, School Life, Seinen, Slice of Life
Status: On-going
Volumes: 2
Year: 2008
Summary: 4-koma about the daily lives of Tooru who has just entered the same high school as her best and childhood friend Run-chan, who is now a second year, and her friends Yuuko-chan (whom Tooru bullies cause they meet under bad circumstances) & Nagi-chan (who watches).

Thoughts: Honestly, if it’s a 4-koma, I’ll instantly grow an attachment towards it. I’ve had so much success in the 4koma department (i.e Azumanga Daioh, K-ON!) that I don’t think I could ever hate one. But I was a little hesitant with A Channel since basically it seemed like a mix between Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh, judging from the summary. Yet, the cutsie art dragged me into it anyways and I fell in love. While it isn’t always slap-your-knee, pound-your-desk-because-it-was-that-funny comedy, it does have its good, giggly moments, and I’m quite excited for it to be an anime this April.

All four girls are really lovable characters, and I don’t think I can say I dislike even one! But of course, I have my favorites, one being Run-chan because she’s just so adorable and hilarious, being the main one to bring the comedy. My other favorite is Nagi because we’re actually pretty similar, and I just love how sarcastic she gets at times x’D I seriously think A Channel needs some more love. While it may not be totally original, it’s still worthwhile to check out these adorable girls and their funny experiences~.

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi
Author: Nakmura Shungiku
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Yaoi
Status: On-going
Volumes: 5
Year: 2008
Summary: Onodera Ritsu quits his job and transfers to the publishing company Marukawa Shoten. Sadly, he gets assigned to the editing department that handles shoujo manga; and Ritsu, who vowed to never fall in love again, working on love stories is impossible. Panic ensues when he realizes that the arrogant and tyrannical head editor turns out to be his former first love!

Thoughts: YOU KNOW HOSHI’S PUTTING THIS UP. How could you even doubt me?! As a fan of Junjou Romantica, my very first yaoi anime, I literally rolled around on the floor in happiness when I realized this was made by the same mangaka. Of course, this DEFINITELY doesn’t disappoint and I’m already pitching a fit after leaving off on a cliffhanger -sobs-.

You are going to see the manga-ka’s pattern in that her seme is the serious, hot-headed (but lovable!) type, and her uke is the tsundere, I-don’t-seem-like-I-want-it-but-really-I-do kind. If you’ve seen/read Junjou Romantica, you’ll probably see it yourself. Yet, it doesn’t make me mad, nor bore me since one, it is one of my favorite types of pairings, and two, she manages to make it different to keep me interested. I already fell in love with the storyline since I’m always interested in learning about the manga editing business, so the fact that it is similar doesn’t bother me in the slightest. What’s killing me though is the angst, the drama; it’s another factor that just has me glued to this, willing to even read it during class time.  Can I say Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is better than Junjou Romantica? Honestly, I don’t think I can, not saying that it’s bad (otherwise it wouldn’t be on this list). For me, Junjou Romantica has been set in stone in my heart as a classic, so while it is a great yaoi manga, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is just not so far up those ranks (Sorry if it sounds like my opinion is all over the place |’D). Overall though, I highly recommend it to all you Junjou lovers and yaoi fangirls out there. I’m excited as to what the anime is gonna be like~.

The awesome, the amusing, the girly.

Dogs: Bullets and Carnage
Author: Miwa Shirow
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Mature, Sci-fi, Seinen
Status: On-going
Volumes: 6
Year: 2005
Summary: It is sometime in the future, where a certain European city extends far underground, even secret, dark levels that have the key to the past. Ex-assassin Mihai has returned. Sword-wielding Naoto, Haine a mysterious product of genetic engineering and his sometime partner Badou, not to mention the scary but cute twins Luki and Noki, hang around plying their dangerous, and often deadly trades.

Thoughts: I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now, right after buying the first volume a couple of months ago. I was eye-ing this for sometime because I would frequently see icons made from this series, and I thought, “That looks interesting…”, but never found the time to actually look it up. When I saw it at the bookstore, I immediately got it despite how expensive it was, and trust me, it’s worth it. Right off the bat you get action, and even though I had no idea what was going on, I couldn’t help but get really excited over it, which made me eager to read the rest. It has quite a lot of action scenes, but they’re never boring because the panels and view points are so…stylishly done. This is the first manga where I’ve ever thought, “Wow, this has some really interesting panels!”. The art itself is pretty amazing, and I absolutely love the style.

Story-wise, it’s very mysterious and I haven’t gotten much from only being able to read two volumes, but it’s whats keeping me insanely interested, and obsessing over this manga. I also just love the whole atmosphere to it; the dark, dirty, mafia infested, slum-ish city feel. The background is drawn so well that I can honestly feel that atmosphere when I’m reading (if that makes ANY sense, heh). I’ve heard Dogs: Bullets and Carnage has an OVA, but I doubt I’ll ever see it because I don’t want to ruin the feeling I get from reading the manga. It’s just too…amazing, and even now as I write about it I want to go off, lock myself in my room, prepare myself for any impending revelations that will have me freaking out like a mad woman, and read. Dogs: Bullets and Carnage is a manga you definitely don’t want to ignore~.

Sumomomo Momomo
Author: Ohtaka Shinobu
Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Martial Arts, Romance, School Life, Seinen
Status: Complete
Volumes: 12
Year: 2004
Summary: Momoko is the only child of the Kuzuryuu clan, a powerful martial arts family with inhuman strength. But strong as she is, her father fears a woman will never be able to master the skills of the family. Unless Momoko marries and bears a capable heir, the Kuzuryuu line is doomed to weaken and die off! With this mission in mind, Momoko is sent to the rival Inuzuka clan, where she is to marry the son of their mighty leader. But Koushi Inuzuka abandoned the martial arts long ago. Now committed to his legal studies, the last thing Koushi has on his mind is marriage — especially not to the world’s strongest bride!

Thoughts: We can count this as my April Fool’s joke, if you like, HAHA. Seriously though, I recently bought this just to get something totally out of my typical genre range, and I ended up loving it, despite its occasional (what I like to call) scritchy-scartchy art and cliche story line that also occasionally repeats the same joke and battle arcs over and over again. I found this just so incredibly AMUSING, I couldn’t help but want to write about it.

Martial arts, battles, silly assassins, dirty jokes, panty shots; a typical seinen but it’s pretty entertaining! Mostly the comedy in how tiny Momoko is always trying to get Koushi’s attention, and shows off her amazing martial arts skills, which always shocks a couple of people. The facial expressions too give some comedy just because it manages to fit the situation so well; it cracks me up xD I honestly get a mega kick out of reading this because it’s just so silly, and something completely different than from what I usually read. Read Sumomomo Momomo, and be amused~.

Strobe Edge
Author: Sakisaka Io
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
Status: Complete
Volumes: 10
Summary: Having no experience in romance, the vibrant Ninako curiously explores the meaning of what “love” really is, and is surprised to feel a colorful range of emotions as she grows closer to the school heartthrob, the quiet yet gentle Ren, who also happens to be involved in a longtime relationship. With every intention of keeping her head held high, Ninako prepares to face the mental pain of this one-sided love that she had allowed to take root, facing a series of trials that would either contribute to her growth as a headstrong woman, or break her as it did with other girls.
However, is this really a one-sided love? Or had something been silently sown in the most hidden part of Ren’s heart?

Thoughts: Strobe Edge reminds me that one, I shouldn’t judge a manga by its first chapter, and two, why I love and always will come back to shoujo manga. I had been hearing about this manga frequently on tumblr and decide to give it a try since they were translating it at a rapid speed. First few pages, and I clicked away. The fact Ninako is so…naive, and easily influenced, immediately annoyed me, and I could predict some stupid actions following suit. Yet, people kept spazzing about it on tumblr, so I gave it another chance. Now, Strobe Edge is literally the cause of all my stress lately. It’s actually turned out to be REALLY good, from a frequent shoujo manga reader’s perspective.

First off, I absolutely adore the art. I’m always attracted to shoujo manga with stylish art, and stylish clothes on their characters for some reason, which is one of the reasons why I came back to this. Not to mention, the guys look AMAZING. -minispazz- I’m constantly crying out, “WHY AREN’T YOU IN MY LIFE?!” towards them, especially Andou….ANDOUUUUU❤. *cough* Then there’s the actual drama going on. If you know me, you know that I absolutely can’t stand so much drama, but with Strobe Edge, I got that drama and it managed to make me really excited, angry, and cussing at Ninako a thousands times under my breath without having me completely flake on it. Yet with tame drama, you don’t get a lot of excitement, so I honestly feared I would get bored of it quickly, but it managed to grasp me throughout the chapters, and here I am, shaking the computer screen as I finish the last chapter. Strobe Edge truly is, what I like to call, a classy shoujo manga without too much of that shoujo manga cheesy-ness~.

~Literally, these are all manga I’ve been wanting to let off my chest for a long, LONG time, but just never really found the right theme for them. FINALLY, my fangirl heart is at rest. I hope you all enjoy (or have enjoyed) some of these titles. Until next time then! Le Self-proclaimed manga queen is OUT~.

About

A tired, over-dramatic 20 year old college student who likes manga and cheesy Korean boy bands. Prone to accidentally turning on her natural laziness and refusing to work for hours on end.
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34 Responses to “Manga Digest: 2-in-1 Contrast!”

  1. sassy says:

    I couldn’t really get into A Channel, gave up around chapter 5 or so…

  2. Starry says:

    Ah… maybe it’s time I gave Strobe Edge a chance then. ^^”

    I’ve been putting it off too, because the main heroine looked like some cliche weak and naive heroine. LOLS.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Yeah that’s what I thought so I was like, “I ain’t reading this…” but it turned out to be quite interesting so do give it a chance xD

  3. Alynn says:

    I love Dogs so much! I’ so glad you decided to include it in your post. :] Going to check out those other titles now.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Yeah it’s so incredible *A* I’m seriously addicted to it right now because I’m still haven’t caught up to it yet hahaha.

  4. berrish17 says:

    hehe “Sekaiichi Hatsukoi”!!! XD
    I love Junjou Romantica so im so excited!!

    and yessss I bought all volumes of “Strobe Edge” cause i just loveee the style of art!!its such a pure-love story :)(read some sub ones online)too bad I cant read any of from my manga though T_T Ren’s soooo hot~would love to meet a guy like that…NYWAYS
    o,but turns out the mangaka’s on new series~excited!!
    and I believe the comics coming out….this month!?!?
    Yayyyyyy XD

    • Hoshi says:

      ~YEAAHHHHHHH<3 LOL

      Ugh, yeah I love all the guys from Strobe Edge actually. WHY AREN’T THEY REAL DAMNIT….
      and, NO WAY REALLY? *A*
      AWESOME!! Can’t wait to read it then~

  5. wonton jr. says:

    Dogs: Bullets and Carnage, looks pretty interesting.. I’ll probably read it when I have time …

    Ughh though Strobe Edge is really good, it frustrates me, since Ninako is REALLY DENSE, and Ren is REALLY ANNOYING. I prefer his other friend, uhh Andou I think.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I highly recommend it; it’s honestly the best out of my picks this post.

      EXACTLY! I’m constantly screaming at Ninako, and then at Ren because they just…don’t get it, ugh.
      Oh man I love Andou<3 So adorable~

  6. Miyu says:

    Dogs looks really interesting! 8D Shall try reading it when my mountain of projects, homework and exams disappear (who am i kidding?)

    I love Strobe Edge!! 8D I thought it was going to be your typical shoujo-manga but it’s much more than that *w* Can’t wait for the next update *dies*

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Oh those damn projects, homework, etc…I know how you feel |’D Do manage to give it a try though when you can!

      Same here! Especially because the people who said it was good usually read the cheesy shoujo manga but it totally wasn’t what I expected xD I’ve been waiting for that next update FOREVER ;A; (Someone’s bonus story is coming up right?)

  7. anaaga says:

    i’ll be honest here?
    i actually don’t like sekai-ichi hatsukoi’s story
    but my yaoi fangirl is taking over me, so i’m still reading it xD

    • Hoshi says:

      ~WHAAAAAAAAAA-?!
      *SHUNS*
      I absolutely love it! I’m such a sucker for it…

  8. Ness says:

    I’ve read the beginning of Sumomomo Momomo, it was alright. Not something that I would take up thought. Typical dense girl and smart guy but the thing is that the dense girl is actually strong but the smart guy is weak. I can only handle that to an extent. So childish.

    I saw the Dogs: Bullets and Carnage OVAs, they were pretty cool. Maybe I’ll check out the manga.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Yeah, I don’t take it seriously, but it is quite fun to read, especially when I’m having a bad day xD

      Check out the mangaaaaaa~! I should probably watch them to see the differences but ehh, too lazy at the moment.

  9. Namika says:

    O_O I am NOT reading Sekaiichi Hatsukoi!! Not until the anime is released. If it will, but I’m sure that it will. >.>
    Strobe Edge seems interesting… I may check it out *,* I’m actually experiencing the lack of shoujo, so :D

    • Hoshi says:

      ~The OVA is out, dear *A*
      IT’S SO FREAKING CUTE UWAAAAHH❤

      Lol Lack of shoujo…I’ve felt that, which is why I was searching for some decent ones xD Highly recommend Strobe Edge!

      • Namika says:

        I knoooow ><" I realized that just now T_T baka mitai.. and it’s just DESTINED to be cute!!

        Then Strobe Edge it is! ^^

  10. tofu says:

    NEVER TALK ABOUT TUMBLR OUTSIDE TUMBLR………….WHATS YOUR TUMBLR

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I KNOW HOW HORRIBLE OF ME *GETS SHUNNED FOR LIFE*

      LOL I don’t know if you’d want to follow me, KPOP ALL OVER THE PLACE MAN…especially of my man hurrhurr

  11. MikADo says:

    DOGS FTWWWWW!!!
    cant get enough of that

  12. Captain says:

    DOGS.
    I LOVE DOGS.

  13. Orange-sama says:

    Sumomomomomomomomo….mo?
    I always have trouble saying that…
    But that manga is indeed awesome.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Same here, even more spelling for this post @___@
      I just say Sumomo to shorten things up xD

  14. Junko says:

    Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is now on my list~ And I’ve been meaning to pick up Sumomomo and Dogs since forever now, espcially with Dogs’ awesome art style, hnng.

    Strobe Edge was put off thanks to reading like five other shoujo at the time. I always get the stories all mixed and mashed @__@

  15. Overcooled says:

    I’ve been eyeing DOGS for a long time..I’ll push it up higher on my manga “to-read” list if it’s Hoshi-approved XD

  16. Elyon says:

    Agreed on Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (so far that’s the only one I’ve started reading ;w; )
    But I have to say I like the character designs more than Junjou Romantica. But then again, I’m biased when it comes to guys with black hair and glasses…>w>

    Now I’m convinced that I have to read Strobe Edge XD

  17. Amutofan123 says:

    Ah, shoujo~ I love me some shoujo~ I’ve heard about Strobe Edge, but never really bothered to check it out.

    • Yvoon says:

      you DEFINITELY have to check it Amutofan!

      i wasn’t interested at first either, but my friend kept on pissing me off everytime she told me to read it, so i decided to give it a shot :D

      and i dont regret it one bit! XD

  18. Yvoon says:

    kyaa!!!

    Strobe Edge!! XD XD

    i love it to bits!! good choice made there!! XD

  19. baka_girl says:

    A Channel is definitely not my cup of tea, so…I’ll pass on this one :p

    Already read Sekaiichi Hatsukoi vol 01, and kinda like it. Mainly because of Junjou vibes xD

    Dogs OVA was not that bad in my opinion, especially when we get Sakupyon as Haine and IshiAki as Badou :D
    I would reallly like it if they make it into TV Series anime, would be awesome! xD

    Strobe Edge!! Good thing that Bikkuri’s release was super quick :))
    So, you’re more into Andou? Me too! :D

  20. […] me entirely glued to my computer screen. Her previous series, Strobe Edge, which Hoshi covered in one of her manga digest postscharmed the hearts of many, and Ao Haru Ride doesn’t fail to impress. Art-wise, AHR has a […]

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