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~

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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 !!