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!
Author: Kuroda bb
Genre(s): Comedy, School Life, Seinen, Slice of Life
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~.
Author: Nakmura Shungiku
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Yaoi
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
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~.
Author: Ohtaka Shinobu
Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Martial Arts, Romance, School Life, Seinen
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~.
Author: Sakisaka Io
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
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~.