A Reverse Kimi Ni Todoke?: Kimi Ni Koishitei Desu Ka!!

It’s like love at first sight. The first time I saw this manga, I couldn’t help but click the link and start reading the first chapter.

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Have you seen Kimi Ni Todoke? Or Toradora? (If you have not, where in the world have you been you sad person?) If you liked/love/are obsessed with the two stories I have stated, here is Kimi Ni Koishitei Desu Ka, a story about Chigira Ruiji, a highschooler whose face is pretty…unique. (He has been known to have a face similar to an Oni Mask or Hannya) Ruiji is frequently feared because of demonic appearance and what to make matters worse is that because of his unfamiliarity of social engaging with people normally, he is usually mistaken for either a creep by the girls or a delinquent by the boys. Therefore, he has already accepted the fact that he is fated to be….

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Until one day….a certain girl walks into his life….

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Background: 

Kimi Ni Koishitei Desu Ka is a newly published manga (and by new I mean it’s only a month old!) by Shueisha in the Margaret magazine. You remember, the same magazine that published Hibi Chouchou and Switch Girl. The mangaka is Shiiba Nana whose previous works have been mainly one shot volumes. Although I haven’t read her previous works, I can tell from the storyline that Kimi Ni Koishitei Desu Ka will be a somewhat long ongoing work.

Artwork:

This is the first manga I’ve read by Shiiba Nana. I could tell that she is a very clean and simple artist, not emphasizing too much on her details but instead on character traits, in this case, trying to portray Ruiji kun as a total outcast. Unlike other shojos though, Shiiba-San does not use chibi characters, which makes the story feel more realistic but still adding a few comical facial expressions here and there.

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Plot:

The plot is pretty straight forward. A socially awkwardly guy looking to win over his one sided love interest while also understanding the true meaning of actually “being in love”. The thing that really makes this story stand out however is the main character.
The lovability (that’s not even a word) of Ruiji is off the charts. Although quite timid in understanding our modern romance, Ruiji tries his hardest to fulfill his love life of that of a manga, one full with doki doki moments and lovey dovey scenes.  His kindness, creativity, honesty and determination in the story seems so real compared to other series that try to push these noteworthy quality on their characters.

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And!! Finally a shoujo male who isn’t either :

✘ Rich
✘ Playboy
✘ Posy
✘ Bishounen
✘ Attractive
✘ Stupid
✘ Horny

Or the typical “I like you but I don’t want to hurt the feeling of a girl who likes me and will kill herself if I reject her or is too ill for me to turn away so it is my duty  to take care of her, therefore I will tell you I have no feelings for you and let you go with another guy (who treats you like an angel) until I realize I really love you and come crawling only after being pushed by either a talk from my best friend of brother” kind of guy.

Like I said, the plot reminds me of a male version of Kimi Ni Todoke, but unlike Sawako, Ruiji has to win over the heart of Watsuki Sana who sees him already as a crazy psychopathic demon and learns BY HIMSELF the true meaning love. (Awww, poor guy > <)

Characters:

Our main protagonist, Ruiji, is so so so so (I could say this an infinite amount of times) adorable !! One of the other reason I love him so much is for his high level of respect and esteem for the opposite gender, even towards something he doesn’t understand…in this case love.

In one scene (I will try hard not to spoil it this time!) someone gives Ruiji the saying that the most important reason we “fall in love” is because our need for physical intimacy and to use people to our disposal, where then Ruiji replies that although he hasn’t experienced “love” before, he believes there is so much more than to love than what people try to believe they see. He kinda reminds me of a more shoujo-ish version of Ryuji from Toradora (even their names are SIMILAR! O.o Coincidence?) Although both are great guy, somehow, they’re mistaken as delinquents thus resulting from them being isolated. Man they have it hard!

Another thing that really got me about Kuiji is that he is very relatable to the reader.
We’ve all experienced the time when we had our crushes. We didn’t know how to act and when we tried we either: 1.) failed miserably 2.) made a complete fool of ourselves 3.) creep them out

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The only thing I could say about this manga is….And you are going to kill me for this but….it’s currently only on it’s 5th chapter. So yes, although this is quite early for a review, I couldn’t help but post it. It’s just one of those mangas that you feel good reading through the determinations of a gullible character and watching him work his way up towards victory with his sweet perseverance.

So if your just looking for a fresh new manga with an honest and heartwarming male protagonist,  give Kimi Ni Koishitei Desu Ka a try and I promise you, you’ll be waiting for the next update just like me XD

Until next time…..Nyaaaaaaa~ °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

Blast from the Past Thurdays #2 !! Marmalade Boy~

Wow! It’s already been a week! How time flies! Today we have one of our old favorites here which is actually a manga that inspired Taiwanese and Korean dramas to adapt mangas into live actions series. (That’s right! Your “Devil Beside You” and “Boys Over Flowers Ramen” were inspired from this series right here!) Without further or do, I present to you….Marmalade Boy! *O*/

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Marmalade Boy is a melodrama-comedy manga about a girl named Miki who discovers that after her parent’s trip to Hawaii, they have decided to get a divorce and remarry. Nobody likes their parents remarrying to some stranger right? Neither does moving sound pleasant. Well, as you can tell, her parents decide to do both, but here’s the catch, they decided to swap partners with the couple they met on their trip. (I know what your thinking, what the heck??!) Miki isn’t taking this too well. As keeping up with confusing family affairs, school work,  and tending to a previous relationship with her best guy friend wasn’t enough, now she has to deal with Yuu….her newly-turned cunning and mischievous stepbrother.

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Background:

Marmalade Boy is a manga written by Wataru Yoshizumi (Handsome na Kanojo, Ultra Maniac) published by Shueisha in 1992. The manga ran with Ribon magazine, one of the top shoujo magazines of the generation, comparable of being the “Shonen Jump” of the shoujo genre. Mangas that you might have read from the magazine include Full Moon o Sagashite, Aishiteruze Baby and the current Zekkyou Gakkyuu. Because of it’s high popularity, Marmalade was adapted into a light novel consisting of 10 volumes, anime, live action film, anime film, live action tv series, and game. And as I have stated above, it was the first manga to start the trend of Asian dramas using manga as the source of their media series.  (Although I wouldn’t recommend the live action series to the manga because of it’s lack of content and how they altered the characters too much)

Artwork:

A notable trait in this series not only of the shoujo artwork in 20 years ago (sparkly eyes, skinny physique, pretty looking boys) but of is it’s reflection on attire and fashion in the early 80s-90s generation. Girls wearing overalls casually topped with bonnet hats or headbands and guys with high waist trousers having their shirts tucked in along with a sweatshirt wrapped around their shoulders. Reading through the story along with examining the mangaka’s remarkable attention to detail in clothing made me feel like I was living in the particular era. And what do you know….I went down to the store and bought the first dress skirt I could find after seeing it on Miki.

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Plot:

Now, reading Marmalade Boy, I couldn’t help but think of it being similar to a soap opera or drama series. A normal girl, having normal friends and enjoying her normal life….until a shocking events shatters her “ideal” normal conduct. We have Yuu, a attractive young male who just happens to walk into her life like a real life prince charming, and then it turn out he isn’t and blah blah blah. You get the picture. That’s how I initially thought it would turn out. Just like an everyday life situation with a few drama situations inserted in between. BUT NO! It was so much more about it. Marmalade boy might start off as your typical real life turned fairy tale scenario but as the series progresses, you begin to realize how REALISTIC the story is. The characters begin to become more alive and human. You realize that they have their ups and downs, their strengths and their weaknesses. Relationships and unexpected connections are sewed together, giving a more overall feel of why some characters are in the story in the first place, and truths are—ironically—being both uncovered and hidden. The romance part is very sweet and subtle, which makes the reading experience filled with refreshing and just innocent heartwarming moments.

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In my heart, Marmalade Boy will always be known as a classic. It became one of the first mangas I have ever collected in complete takoban volumes, and although the books are located somewhere in another dimension of my closet, I will always have the distinct pastel style drawings in my head.

Characters:

A running gag in the series other than Miki’s awkward household situation is the difference in her character to Yuu’s. Miki, being a non-attrative, somewhat tomboyish girl clashes with Yuu a “Marmalade boy” as Miki would call him; pretty looking, and sweet only on the surface, yet bitter on the inside. I’m pleased to say that Marmalade Boy did an excellent job with sharing background stories throughout their cast of characters. Although the story did revolve around the main characters Miki and Yuu, the side characters such as Miki’s best friend Meiko also has a painful past which she is reluctant to share with both her best friend and the readers. Thought various chapters, we slowly see the story along with it’s characters being more and more open, going through hardships, all the way to discovering the true meaning friendship. Another character that is worth mentioning is Ginta, Miki’s previous love interest. His involvement in the story has provided both a metal drive towards the main characters as well as act as a sort of comic relief to the already drama-ish outcomes. Though his character is seen first as an annoying bastard (you will agree with me once you read it), he learn about his weaknesses and negatives as works his way to become a better man bit by bit. We also have Arimi, Yuu’s previous girlfriend who starts out as the main antagonist of the story, but again, as the story unravels, we understand WHY she is acting the way she is and through her OWN resolution she becomes a more sincere and respectful character.

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I really would like to emphasize the latter because I believe that some mangas have the main characters changing the perspectives of the characters of the story a bit too much that it leaves the side characters as well….just useless and not important. For Marmalade boy, it’s different. We learn about the emotions and ambitions of the characters and watch them as they try to discover who they truly are by struggling and failing, then picking themselves up and improve on their OWN ACCORD, not by any 1st, 3rd or whatever party that might be present.

Overall, I believe that if your looking for a manga that really portrays strong emotions, lots of plot twist (trust me, there were alot XD), a melodramatic feel and a storyline that gives even importance to their side character, then by all means, go search Marmalade boy on Google right now!! ^O^/

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On our next installment, I’ll be reviewing an old shonen manga that I made me actually start getting into the martial art genre! I’m pretty excited for the series, as I also have a complete manga volume set of this stuffed somewhere in another dimension of my closet. (I’ll be sure to find it someday. :P)

And until then………Nyaaaaaaaaaa~  =^..^=

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. 🙂

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 !!