Don’t be scared, it’s not about yaoi yet!
Truthfully, I wanted to write about some light shounen-ai titles. But I was tricked by a certain someone to write about one of my favorite shoujo mangaka, Matsuri Hino. This trickery still makes me feel happy and excited of course, since one Matsuri Hino’s manga is in my Top Yaoi Shoujo list. But since this is a review of Matsuri Hino’s works, some criticism about her will be written here. Like yin and yang, there will always be negative with positive, right?
Matsuri Hino is… a normal mangaka? Really, there’s nothing special about her that sets her apart. She was born on January 24 in Hokkaido, her zodiac sign is Aquarius, and her blood type is B. Oh, and she’s a female; let’s not forget that. Thanks to my Vampire Knight fanbook (amazing fanbook btw), I was able to dig some info about her. She actually started to draw when she was in grade six. She did submit a story to LaLa magazine in her college years, but they rejected her by saying that she has no talent to pursue a mangaka’s career. She didn’t try submitting any story again until years later when her job hunting didn’t go too well. And look now, she’s a mangaka! It’s ironic how she’s working for the company who told her that she has no talent to become a mangaka. And fright, it seems like she’s becoming one of those successful shoujo mangaka now, since all of her mangas are licensed by Viz. Now, let’s see some of those manga!
Author: Hino Matsuri
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Shoujo
Summary: Armelia is an orphan girl who sings for work. One day, she met a boy, Luce, and fell in love with him. Unfortunately, Luce was kidnapped by the notorious pirate, Scar. Armelia swore to herself that one day she would rescue Luce. But the truth is not what she thought it was…
Thoughts: Since it consists of one book only, the story is pretty simple. It is about a girl who’s searching for her first love. She disguised as a dude in order to get into the pirate’s ship just for the sake of one guy. For the sake of that one guy, she’s willing to risk her life. The first work by Matsuri Hino that I read was Vampire Knight. So, when I read WANTED, I was really disappointed. WANTED is a typical common shoujo that can be predicted easily. Just reading half of the first chapter, I already knew what’s going on and what will happen. No I’m not an expert, that’s just how predictable this manga is.
Honestly, I don’t like this kind of shoujo. No, I hate this kind of shoujo. It is so cliché and dramatic. Everything that the main girl does is based on her emotion only, and I hate that kind of character. Seriously, why would you risk your life for one guy? And you don’t even know the guy well! At least have a search party if you want to search for him, so you don’t have to search alone! Where’s the logic!? Why is the main girl not using her brain!? *inhale, exhale* All right, it’s not that bad. It has the potential to be a good shoujo, if the story is expanded. Everything is so fast-paced that you’d think the events happen in one book occur in one month. The art is pretty nice also. If you want to read something to pass the time, I guess you can read this book. But I know I’ll never ever ever try to read this again. NEVER.
Author: Hino Matsuri
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Supernatural
Summary: All high school freshman Airi Hoshina ever wanted was to someday live in a cozy home with a loving husband, and find joy in the little things in life. As a result, she makes it her daily mission to get to school on time because school legend has it that the longer one’s non-tardy streak is, the better boyfriend one will find. But just when her daily routine is working like clockwork, an occurrence of fairytale proportions threatens to disrupt her grand plan.
Thoughts: It was a mistake reading this manga. My eyes were burning in pain when I read it. Every time I see pink now, I cringe because I remember MeruPuri. Yes, I hate MeruPuri. I’d rather read WANTED than MeruPuri.
The story is just WRONG. Okay, I don’t mind the whole adult-in-the-dark thing, but falling for a little kid just because of that? Really? So if there’s another kid who has the same metabolism problem like Aram, Airi is going to fall for that little kid? Because it’s so obvious that Airi starts looking at Aram as a man when she found out about Aram’s curse. And I don’t like Airi because of that; her falling for Aram just proves that she’s a weak character. I don’t like the story either; I find the story to be too shoujo-ish. It’s full of magic, magical animals, drama, angst, and the kind of dresses that I don’t like the most: the fluffy, frilly kind. UGH. Let’s not forget that Aram is younger than Airi too. Not in a good way. Everytime I see some mushy scene between Aram and Airi, my heart screams “But Aram is just a little kid! Airi, you pedo!” Although the story is unique in some ways, the whole pedophilia concept (yes it’s pedophilia. Aram isn’t legal yet!) just turns me off. The art is, as usual, beautiful; but even the art can’t save this manga. Not even going to touch this manga anymore with a ten-foot pole.
Toraware no Minoue
Author: Hino Matsuri
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Summary: Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Megumi finds himself kneeling at Suzuka’s feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn’t know (until that very moment anyway) is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family.
Thoughts: When I first saw this in Mangaupdates, I hesitated to read it. The art is totally different from her other works, and I was in doubt just because of that. And the synopsis didn’t make it better either, since Suzuka sounds like a mean bully to me; and bullies in shoujo do the most ridiculous things for the most ridiculous reasons. I thought Toraware was going to be a crappy manga like Hot Gimmick *screams*. After months of refusing to download it, I finally read it out of curiosity. I was so glad that it didn’t turn out like Hot Gimmick.
This is Hino Matsuri’s earliest work, so you can see the improvements she has in this manga. As a slow reader, I was confused for a while. Book one and two are so random I have to read it twice in order to understand the whole thing properly. In book three to five though, her drawing style and her bubbles’ orders actually improved greatly; especially her drawing style, I love how she drew the dragon’s face up-close. I was rather impressed by that. The story is uncommon, and I like uncommon things. Besides, which girl doesn’t like butlers OH SEBASTIAN!? What I don’t like the most here is Suzuka. The things she does pisses me off for some unknown reason. I probably don’t like her since she’s a perfect shoujo character – pretty (to some extent), honest, pure, naïve, innocent, etc. I don’t like characters like Suzuka. I find it hard to believe that some people can be that naïve and honest (Sawako is an exception though. She’s adorable). Overall, this manga is all right. This is not one of my favorite manga, but I don’t mind re-reading Toraware no Minoue. It’s definitely better than WANTED.
Author: Hino Matsuri
Genre: Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Supernatural
Summary: Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!
Thoughts: Some people love this manga, some people hate this manga. For those who hate Vampire Knight, whatever; anaaga sticks her tongue out to you haters. For those who love Vampire Knight, anaaga loves you more now. Yes, Vampire Knight is my bias. I LOVE Vampire Knight. The summary is deceiving, since the summary summarizes book one to book three only. The rest of the manga is totally different from what the summary says.
Again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this manga. This is one of the few manga that I’m willing to spend my money on just to have the real copy of it. And anaaga is extremely thrifty, so that’s something to be awed about. The story is just amazing. It’s a dark vampire manga full of tortuous surprise. I love how Matsuri Hino describes vampires in this manga as dark creatures; that’s probably the main plus point of this manga. In here, you don’t see vampires as awesome creature people should look up to. This manga shows the negative aspects of being a vampire, why you should not want to be vampires and stick with humanity.
I also like how Maturi Hino is able to draw the characters’ emotions. Every time I read the heart-wrenching scenes (such as that one chapter based on Zero’s POV), my chest would be in pain and tears would flow from my eyes. Matsuri Hino just knows how to put down each character’s feelings and make those feelings real. I love all of the characters too. Each one of them has a trait that makes them special. Except Yuki, the main character. God, I hate Yuki a lot. She can’t make up her mind. Speaking about characters, the white haired guy’s name is Zero, and he’s mine. MINE. Oh, and Kaname x Zero is my favorite Yaoi OTP. Just telling ^^ Anyhow, I definitely recommend this manga to all shoujo-lovers who want a different kind of shoujo. This manga isn’t so shoujo anyway, so I think anybody can read it. The only reason why it’s shoujo is because of Yuki, and she sucks anyway. And for those who love tragedy, rejoice. Vampire Knight is a tragedy manga *le sigh*. Go read Vampire Knight now! Now, I say!
End Note: Phew, it’s over! Ah…*fidget, fidget* I have to write about myself now…* Um, hello, I’m the “freshest” of the writers of Metanorn, anaaga. I was a lurker at Metanorn, but by some twisted fate I ended up as one of it’s new writers. You’ll see me around here, since I will be writing reviews of Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi and some more! 😀 Just like Hoshi, I’m more of a manga/novel person rather than anime, because the manga always makes more sense. Well, more like I don’t have to download 100+ MB files just to read manga. xD My first review here is obviously full of holes and mistakes, so please forgive me. I’m new to this anime blogging thingy. Since I’m new, please guide me into perfection >:D I hope we can get along! ^^