Blast From The Past Thurdays! : Power!! aka Girl Got Game!

DISCLAIMER: Whew ! I decided to start on a weekly “past” series review in addition to the weekly/biweekly/monthly/bimonthly/yearly(wait what??! O.o) reviews that I normally do. Hope that this Category not only interests you in reading an amazing past manga work, but also remind you of the creative stories that had once made us laugh and smile with enjoyment. 🙂

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I’m really excited to review this manga, because not only is Shizuru Seino one of my favorite mangakas, but because this manga is just that ALL-IN-ONE set that you never seem to get tired of. Power!! Is packed full of romance, comedy, school life, sports, gender swap, and just random silliness. This manga has not only shown me that love can prevail against any complications, but also that no matter how old a manga is it’s comedic effect never fades.

Background:

Power!! is a manga published by Shizuru Seino, known for mangas such as Junai Tokkō Taichō! (Love Attack!) and Heaven! Power!! was published in the Bessatsu Friend from 1999-2002. That’s right we’re bringing back a manga that was written over 13 years ago!

Critically acclaimed mangas from the magazine include MARS, L-DK, Peach Girl and Life. The manga has been licensed by Tokyo Pop, which finished their release in 2005.

Artwork:

Whether it’d be her use of exclamation points on her manga’s titles or her strong “tomboyish” way of drawing (creating the most muscle crazy female leads you can ever imagine), Shizuru Seino has always been very distinct and confident in her style. Creating tough, macho girls, along with either a jock or delinquent male protagonist is her forte. No whiny heroine waiting for her prince charming here! Think wonder woman pairing up with teacher Onizuka (GTO).

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Plot:

If you ever watched the movie She’s The Man, then you know where I’m going. Kyo Aizawa is a high school girl who just wants that simple girly life. A boyfriend, wearing a knee high (or as anime attire have it as “almost seeing your panties” high) skirts, and just enjoying highschool! And does she get that? Nooooo. You know how your parents tell you they want to give you a better life that they ever had? Well…Aikawa’s dad takes it to a whole new level. Not being able to attend the NBA’s because he tore his Achilles’s heel, Aizawa’s father forces her to attend Seisyu, an academy holding one of the top ranked boy’s basketball teams in the country. With her hair cut short and her dream uniform tossed aside and replaced with a jacket and trousers, Aizawa attends the school as a boy.

There she meets Chiharu Eniwa, her quite “tough-front” roommate and one of the best players in the basketball team. Aizawa’s and Chiharu’s relationship start off rough at first, but through humorous and absurd events, the two begin their crazy adventures.

As the series progresses, we stumble upon the complications of Chiharu dealing with his feeling for Aizawa (he still thinks she’s a he XD), Aizawa’s adaption to learning to become a male basketball player, her difficulty of adjusting to a boy’s team as well as her risk of being exposed with every turning event.

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Characters:

Let me just point out first that all the characters in the series are hilarious!! It’s like a gag reel of Slam Dunk or Kuroko no Basket. The side characters appear frequently and try to serve as support for Chiharu and Aizawa’s relationship but always end up being their obstacles instead.

Another key character I would like to mention (my personal favorite in the series) is Kensuke Yura. With his photographic memory and one of the ONLY characters to realize the obvious,  he is basically a shoujo version of Kaede from Slam Dunk. *imagination activate!* Without spoiling too much, I would like to leave a side note that not only is Yura extremely cute on all possible corners, but he has some of the best “I didn’t know” moments ever.

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Conclusion*:

✧ Hilarious non-stop laughing story with the most ridiculous characters you can ever imagined.

✧ A light and cheerful plot if your looking for a stress-free read with a balance of romance and gender benders thrown in between.

✧ It’s complete! So you don’t have to wait for updates! You can also find it at your local bookstore if your interested in buying the tankobon volume.

And there you go! Our Blast from the past Thurdays! I was debating what manga/anime to open with my very first “sceduled” post, and I finally came to a conclusion after seeing the manga stashed at the back of my closet. (Trust me, you do not want to see what kinda crap I keep in there @__@)Hope you guys give Power!! a chance and until then….Nyaaaaaaa!! (=^-ω-^=)

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Zekkyou Gakkyuu: A series of short and twisted horror stories!

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Aha! Yes, I was finally up to the challenge of reviewing a Horror manga. Here we have Zekkyou Gakkyuu, a first ever manga published Ishikawa Emi. If your really interested in mangas that aren’t focused on one single character and want to read something not too cutesy or obvious, then read on!

Background:

Zekkyou Gakkyuu or also known as “Screaming Lesson” in their English format, is published by Shueisha, in the Ribon Magazine. (The magazine that brought you Chibi Maruko-san, Full Moon o Sagashite, Aishiteruze Baby, Kodocha and Stardust Wink) Pffft!! I know right? The same magazine that targets readers around 9-13 years old is serializing a horror manga?? I’m happy to say that with it’s monthly update, and already 10 volume long series, we can see Zekkyou Gakyuu as an ongoing project and also as a live action film soon to be released this Summer!

Artwork:

Surprisingly, the first time I saw the chapter, I literally thought it was just your normal shojo manga. It had all those big twinkly eyed characters, typical romance themes, and even some adorably drawn male characters. Ahh, but this is where all the surprise come…Although Ishikawa-Sensei is fully capable of drawing down to earth looking characters , she is also able to draw one of the most scariest scenes I have ever seen. (e.g The Land of Mermaids) What I admire about her artwork is that although her manga is in the Horror genre, she is still able to identify how “scary” her manga should be. There are some moments where she throws in a “Happy Ending” or fades her scenes to black to have her reader decide what happened to our protagonists.  Her ability to combine horror with Shoujo was really something unexpected!

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Plot:

Zekkyou Gakkyuu is set up as a series of anecdotes. There are different characters, setting, scenarios in every chapter. (Excluding chapters that have the title of Part 2 or Part 3) In addition, every chapter is introduced by our main character, Yomi , who is basically a ghost who lost half of her body. (yes, she is just floating with her upper half) After each ending, she appears once again and gives a sort of “moral story” to her readers. I guess you can say it’s a more “ghastly” addition to your typical Aesop’s Fables.

Although the manga SEEMS to have all those themes you would find in a regular Shoujo manga, the way the author carries out the plot is very interesting. The manga tackles scenarios such as “What happens when you get rejected from a confession?” go back home and cry. Nah. Something much much more…obsessive…

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Or if “What if you get into a fight with your best friend?” Let’s just say you won’t come back in….one piece.

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Characters:

As I have stated in the previous topic, all the characters in each story differ. The only character you see to have a regular occurrence is Yumi Akimoto (aka Yomi), our story’s host and raconteur.I actually think it’s a creative outtake on your typical “following the story of….blah blah blah” Instead, you get to follow up on the lives of different characters and how they cope with everyday life decisions. And let’s admit it, it does feel quite satisfying to see those spoiled characters you always hate get a horrifying punishment or two 😛

If you liked Zekkyou Gakkyuu, or are interested in the horror genre be sure to check out either these mangas below:

Fraken Fran (has a similar short story format as Zekkyou Gakkyuu except highly explicit and uncensored. BEWARE!)-
Uzumaki (Not for the faint of heart. Will create nightmares for you.)
Another (Started as a light novel series, has a similar school life genre to it with a little twit of mystery.)
Yuureitou (Very cool plot, but if you don’t like plots where characters have to develop slowly, this is not for you)

I’ll be sure to add a reviews of all of them later on in the future 🙂 Until them…happy reading !!

Nyaaaaaaa~ (=`ω´=)

Nanatsu No Tazai : An Authurian based manga with a 7 Deadly Sins twist!

DISCLAIMER : Wow…my first shonen review, and actually on one of my favorite mangas of this year! (Bare with my excitement here XD)

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So you’ve heard on using the 7 deadly sins from various manga plots; from the Industrial alternate universe of Full Metal Alchemist to the present day time of Code Breaker. But using the & deadly scenes as a means to define characters in Arthurian type timeline, can’t say I’ve ever considered that before.

Nanatsu No Taizai is about a group of knights known as the “Seven Deadly Sins”, who have been awfully framed for the murder of the Great Holy Knight of Britannia (no, this is not Code Geass’s Britannia and Lelouch will not pop up anytime soon :P) Ten years later, the Holy Knights have now decided to claim Britannia as their own, initiating a new domineering dictatorship. Elizabeth, the heir to the throne, sets out on a mission to seek out the help of the “Seven Deadly Sins”. After stumbling across a local bar, she meet Meliodas, the frank and dauntless leader of the seven deadly sins. Together they set out to find the remaining members of the legion as well as uncover the truth of their false accusations.

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Now that the Era of the “big three” are close to being at being at it’s peak, it’s time for a new series to take the spotlight.  Naruto has had it’s run in being the veracious ninja of the Konoha village, and Luffy as the gallant member of the Straw Hats, but after reading Nanatsu no Taizai for quite some time now, I have noticed how eligibly well it is able to compete for ranksmanship (I know it isn’t a word, but it’s the only thing I could come up with =__=”), especially against big names like Fairy Tail, Ao no Excorcist or Beezlebub.

Background:*

Nanatsu No Taizai is published by Kodansha in the Weekly Shonen Magazine (You guessed it! The same magazine that brought you the wonderful worlds of Fairy Tail, AKB49: Ren’ai Kinshi Jōrei, and Cage of Eden as well as previous works such as Negima!, Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle, and Great Teacher Onizuka).

Due to it’s weekly release dates, you can expect to see a dependable run of chapter updates. So if your one of those people who love to read mangas at a steady and punctual continuous pace, this fits in the criteria perfectly!

Artwork:

Now this is the first manga I have read by Suzuki Nakaba, but what I can tell from his artwork is that it reminds me so much of the 90’s era. You know, like artworks by Akira Toriyama (e.g Dragonball or Dragon Quest), the very early Final Fantasies, and the tales series.Another special feature of the artwork, is how it matched perfectly with the adventure tones. The author collects delicate details such as the armor texture, breathtaking “middle age” landscape, and the common lifestyle of the era. Being a person who doesn’t read manga just based on “looks” but instead on “how the artwork can compliment the storyline”, Nanatsu No Taizai was fully able to grasp my attention on this capability.

Plot:

This story first reminded me on Ubel Blatt. The good guys are considered bad while the good guys are just plain horrible!! With a story full of knights, a troubled princess, swords and sorcery, in a way this story is given off as a “back to basics” type background. Ironically, with these reminiscences, the story becomes both new and refreshing thanks to the author’s creative twists and noteworthy character qualities.

The story’s pace is fairly quick which lives up to it’s exciting and fiery tone, perfect for readers who would just like to sit back and watch epic fighting scenes with a well rounded and interesting plot with an enjoyably written storyline.

Characters:

Badass Protaginist. The two words I would like to point out about the main character. Meliodas also known as the leader of the 7 deadly sins (being the sin of wrath) as well as owning the Boar Hat bar with his trustworthy companion Hork.

Despite his short appearance, he comes off as an utterly fearless person, one without an. What I like most about Meliodas is that he isn’t just some shonen saint who tries to make friends with EVERY character, (or ENEMY for that matter), he encounters. No, instead he keeps his composure and acts according to the situation.Pretty contradictiong compared to his assigned nickname of “wrath” don’t cha think? Well, what’s scarier than an angry person? An angry person with a straight face wielding a sword with a broken blade capable of annihilating an entire town. Yes…he is just that GOOD!!

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Meliodas is also shown to be somewhat lewd and bawdy. But then again, the author is able to perfectly keep it at a level where it’s considered more as a comical reason instead of something “ecchi”.

For our heroine, we have the lovely princess of Britannia, Miss Elizabeth. I know what your thinking….”Oh no, not another damsel in distress”, “Shonen girls are so useless”, or “It’s going to be another Sakura character” you’d be surprised after reading a few chapters of this manga. Although Elizabeth has been raised in the line of royalty, she was certainly taught the RIGHT way of being a genuine leader. Not the posh and extravagant lifestyle but about the will to be able to sacrifice one’s self for the greater good of her citizens. Her courageous attitude and her trust towards her beliefs (e.g Going out to seek the 7 deadly sins even though they have been deemed an enemy of her country) has made her a much admirable character, comfortably fitting into the storyline. On the comical side, she is also a very gullible person, often unable to identify Meliodas’s pervy actions. XD

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Other characters include the humorous Hork, who serves as a sort of “voice of reason” in the group. (And who knew! He’s a pig!) As the series progresses, we get to be introduced to the various members in the 7 deadly sins. From a female giant, to a seemingly immortal man, to the disdainful Holy Knights, Nanatsu No Taizai certainly explores a variety of quality traits.

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In conclusion, if your really into adventure stories and would like just a new and fun filled story with awesome characters, a nostalgic aura, superb fighting scenes, classic scenery and reliable updates,  then this manga is just what your looking for!!

Until my next post!! Nyaaaaa :3

*the reason I added the asterisk was because it was an addition to my normal Plot, Artwork, Character Check. 🙂

Shy X Shy, an unexpected love story!! Hibi Chouchou~

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This is where the phrase “actions speak louder than words come in.” We’ve seen playboys with shy girls, tsunderes with nerds, yankees with the dreamer, I could go on naming different archtypes, but have you ever seen a couple where both the guy AND girl are both….well…shy?? Not just shy like Kimi Ni Tokoke, but completely and utterly just EXTREMELY QUIET!!?

Meet Hibi Chouchou, a manga about a quiet girl and a quiet boy!Suiren has just enrolled as a freshman at her high school and she has become famous! All the boys and even some girl look her way, either entrapped in her elegance or literally falling in love with her. All but one. Kawasumi kun. Why is she so interested in him? Why is it that he is the only person that makes her overcome her fears?  Who is Kawasumi kun….and why does her make her heart beat so fast?

With ever little scene, you can be positive to squell/shout/think/disco dance around the room/scream “AWWWWWWWW!!”

Background*:

Hibi Chouchou is drawn and written by Morishita Shuu, known previously for her one shot manga Mada Amanogawa ni Ikenai. It is published the Shueisha company in the magazine Margaret, also known for the mangas such as; Akuma to Love Song, Hana Yori Dango (the best selling shojo manga in Japan!), Switch Girl, andMairunovich.

Artwork: 

Let me just say that Morishita-Sensei diffidently knows how to draw kawaii shoujo manga characters. Suiren, who is known in the story as a natural beauty,  is drawn to look so lovable that you just wanna grab her from the page and cuddle her in your sleep!What is also special about this manga’s artwork is the depth of emotional meaning the author has considered. Our main heroine can barely slip out a sentence in a chapter, but the mangaka is fully capable of having her readers understand her emotions by just how perfectly she can interpret love and emotion without an effort of having it in text.

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Plot:

Like my other post about Liselotte to Majo no Moki, Hibi Chouchou is a “progressive manga” Though the story progess may seem slow, I believe that in each chapter, you learn more about the hardships each of the characters are facing at trying to overcome their obstacles. Through this, the plot become more appealing and suspenseful with each “Doki Doki~” moment. ^ ^ Our main characters are struggling to try and break their comfort zone and understand the meaning of falling in love for the first time. With each and every chapter I read, I feel as if the story touches my heart in a sort of “tingly” feeling. Like I’m a fourteen year old girl excited for her first invitation to prom. XD The innocence storyline makes the whole manga just a charming and admirable read, sometimes even reminding you of your previous love experiences, the difficulty of confessions, the embarrassing eye contact scenarios, or even the aftermath of a long-planned date. If your in that “in love” mood, I recommend that you start searching for Hibi Chouchou volume 🙂

Characters:

Cute. Cute. Cuteeeee!! After reading manga with the over-the-top harem story line, cry baby protaganist, or the classic best friend/guy next door triangle, it’s refreshing to see something new for a change. Suiren is a graceful

Another thing I would like to note, are the side characters. We have Aya-chan, Suiren’s best friend since kindergarden. Acting as a support system as well as encouraging Suiren’s stepping up towards her fears, Aya chan can be one of those people who you just want to share all your secrets with. Her along with Sayuri-chan, another good friend of Suiren, come up with various scenarios to have Suiren and Kawasumi to meet…frequently under both of their embarrassments. 😛

Next we have Kawasumi best friend, Ryosuke , who is head over heals for Suiren. He provides a sort of comical effect for the manga, being that he is oblivious to the fact of the relationship between Suiren and Kawasumi, as well as being TOTALLY clueless in everything!!!

Then we have Suiren main love rival, Kotaru. Unlike many if not all shojos, Kataru is not your typical evil antagonist. (which are either being identified by 1.) their fake looks and suggestive personality 2. being a complete b*tch 3. extremely annoying 4.all of the above)No, instead Kotaru is just so realistic. Instead of soiling Suiren’s chances with Kawasumi by trying to ruin her reputation, Kotaru fights for her OWN reasons, trying to make Kawasumi respect/fall in love with her instead of depending on someone’s misfortune to fulfill her goal. Thoguh there are moments where she discourages Suiren, I only believe that it is part of her “test” to try to understand Suiren/’s feeling for Kawasumi, whether they are genuine or not.

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And that’s all folks! (*insert Warner Brother’s theme song*)
Hope to see you blushing and heart-beating with this unique love story!! Until next time!!

Nyaaaaaa~

Like Fruit’s Basket? Check out Natsuki Takaya’s new series! Liselotte to Majo no Mori

ImageYup! You heard me! Natsuki Takaya the popular author of the best selling shojo manga, Fruits Basket (which is the FIRST best selling shojo manga in the USA, and SECOND best selling shojo in Japan) has yet again created a “I-never-want-to-put-this-book-down” series!! Giving a twist between fairy tales and a medieval type aura, Takaya-Sensei has presented us with yet again, a pitiful yet kindhearted heroine.

Liselotte to Majo no Mori or “Liselotte and the Witch’s Forest” is about a young lady living in exile in “a far far away place, in the east of the east of the east”. She is accompanied by her two twin servants, Anna and Alto, who worry for her well-being daily. (Well who wouldn’t, she manages to cause an uproar every time she tries something new, e.g get’s blisters on the second day of trying to learn how to plant crop or tries to cook, proving no avail and almost poisons one of the characters in the story..)

While on one of her gardening routines, she finally meets a witch who provokes her with different colors of apples (it’s snow white gone colorful O.o) and surrounds her with pitch black darkness. She is saved by a mysterious person named “Engetsu” who remind her of someone of her past…..just who is this person? Why did her brother banish her after taking the family throne? And is “En” the person who she has always been looking for?

Artwork:
If your familiar to Takaya’s works from either Fruits Basket or the citically acclaimed Hoshi wa Utau, you’ll know just how she adores creating characters with such simplicity yet uniqueness. Her lines are nice and clean, making the characters neat and adorable at the same time. One thing special about her artwork that you seem to notice is that she likes to play with a type of cinematography. She draws her characters from different angles, experiments with light shadings, and includes small distinct details in each panel.
An example of this is when she darkens her drawing and creates shadows when trying to show that her characters are behind a tree.

Plot: Takaya-Senei had always been inspired by things out of the ordinary. From Zodiac spirits to broom flying witches, she has always been able to bring her readers into the story.
In Liselotte to Majo no Mori, we can sense our main characters trying to piece together her life back and try beginning to “live” We can see in recent chapters that it hard for her to try expalining her situations and just basically just brushes off her misfortune by telling everyone she aa-okay. As the story progresses we begin to further see what happened before she moved to the forest and all the pain she was put though (T_T of gosh I’m going to cry)
Tragedy put aside, we also have some comical moments such as that of her servant Alto, being the protective person he is, not being able to accept “En” into the household. We also have an amazingly adorable witch’s familiar (ooops, spoiler) who makes you just wanna go “awwwwwww >///<” every time you see him. (at least, I think it’s a him =__=)

Given the tone of the character’s daily life, you can also consider this manga as a slice of life type manga, something you can read that will just make you feel comforted and relax.

Finally, for those who are interested in those historical themes,  the manga is filled with monorchial terms such as days of provisions or royalty ranking, and that of fantasy references. (witches, familiars, magic, curses…you get the picture)

Characters: 

Another thing that Tayaka-Sensei is able to create are her memorable characters. One of these is “Engetsu” who is a somewhat dimwitted and straight forward individual. His quiet composure makes him seem like he’s holding many secrets, including his wish to find a certain witch. Although Engetsu doesn’t speak much and frequently disappears (yes, he just vanishes), he is always popping up to help Liselotte either in physical or mental matters. (as seen when he is hug…..AHH! Spoiler! Really, you guys need to read it before I ruin the story!!)

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Now, if your really into those quiet mysterious guys, you really need to check out this manga and see for yourself just how adorable he is.

We also have Alto, which is the COMPLETE opposite of “En”. After his mistress had been banished, her bravely decided to follow her along with his sister to become her support system. Although he may seem a little uptight, it’s because of his loyalty that he is able to go through great lengths to see Liselotte safe and sound.

We also have Anna-san who is a down to earth, although she is protective of her lady, she i fully accepts her determination to try and learn different things and is always trying to help Liselotte towards her goals.

As you can see, or read…the characters are very genuine and subtle, making Liselotte to Majo no Mori a must read for this month !!

Manga Review : Horimiya

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Horimiya is about a girl named Kyoko Hori, whose is trying hard to simultaneously raise her little brother Sota while also trying to balancing her social life and maintaining her her high academic scores. The difficult part of all this, is trying to hide the fact of her workaholic lifestyle to her friend, thus preventing her from either going out with her friends or inviting them over. (Isolation !!)

During one of her “house-sister” moment (you know, how you look when your in your comfy clothes and no makeup with your hair tied in the most messiest way possible) she runs into Izumi Miyamura, the known “quiet glasses boy” of the same class….the only problem is….unlike his school counterpart, he’s not your stereotypical nerd guy with glasses who you would think to be the genius of that. Miyamura is the exact opposite. Firstly, he is horrible in academic. Secondly, he basically look like a punk rock band member, with numerous amounts of tattoos and piercing in who knows how many places !!

Now, Miyamura and Hori have someone to finally share their little secret with! But, will what started as just secret keeping lead them towards…mutual feelings?

I’m so glad to be able to review Horimiya !! I have always loved this manga since it’s release, and the slow progress between the characters have made me respect the reality of a growing attraction between two individuals. Here are just my pinpointed notes involving the manga:

Artwork: Some might consider this manga to be pretty “simple”, no exotic details, grand scenery, and ehem….bulging if you know what I mean. Although that may apply to Horimiya, I think that the artwork perfectly fits how the author want to portray the storyline. It gives the manga a sort of not being simple but having “simplicity” not too dramatic as to discourage it’s readers but instead, to have then enjoy the sweet plot and adorable characters.

Now, Miyamura is drawn by an artist named Hagiwara Daisuke, and surprise surprise !! He is indeed a guy, and Horimiya is apparently a shounen manga. This could be because the manga is currently serialized in a shounen magazine, although I am not quite sure which one. Pretty cute love story for a shounen huh?

Plot: I know what your thinking, “this is just another manga about the main guy and main girl keeping each other’s secrets until at the end of the manga everyone finds out and tragidy strikes and everyone gets sad but then they reunite and blah blah”

Well you sir, are then deranged because Horimiya is nothing like that. It’s about two individuals trying to cope with trying to decide to pursue their mutual feelings (being that both are inexperience in love) or just pass it off as if they are just friends. Thrown in the storyline are also complicated love triangles, discovering the true meaning of friendship, learning to be yourself , and some of the most humorous scenarios I have ever read. If you haven’t considered reading Horimiya because of this well…….KEEP READING !! >O</

Characters: The characters are sooooo lovable, especially Miyamura. You see him as this little kitten with such an innocent personality, contrary to what you would think when you see someone all covered with tattoos. This goes to show just how important it is to not judge a book by it’s cover 🙂
Hori is also an extremely kind-hearted heroine. Her determination in trying to prioritize family with school just makes me feel so…..=_= well happy…but i somehow feel useless when compared to her…*mumble*

CONCLUSION:

Now if you haven’t read Horimiya yet, I considered you check it out NOW!! Don’t even consider it…just go !! Please feel free to leave any comments involving the manga and any other mangas you think I should check out!

Nyaaaaaaa~

My first ever blog, and post, and basically everything !!

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Yay!! It’s finally the day!! The day where I finally get up from my lazy butt of reading manga from either the living room couch or online through my iphone screen.

Truth be told…I really don’t know why I still from that tiny little thing…I have a computer…which proves to have both a bigger screen and better quality =__=

Any ways, irrelevant comments aside, although I am clearly talking to myself while writing this blog (which clearly, no one is going to read yet..or ever T__T) I would like to say how an honor it has been to be finally able to join the wordpress community and express my feelings towards something that I really love!!

I hope that in the future, I can post notes that are both informative and fun for everyone to read. And now off to trying to understand how this thing work !!Nyaaaaa~