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.

Image

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….

Forever_Alonetumblr_mkqtxxhaB61rxkurco1_500

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

✿✿✿✿✿✿

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.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

✿✿✿✿✿✿

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)◜✧˖°

Advertisements

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*/

Image

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.

mb_v01_c001_031 mb_v01_c02_048

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.

mb_v01_c001_028mboy_v05_c24_154

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.

mb_v02_c07_063 mboy_v05_c24_177

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.

mboy_v04_c17_094mb_v02_c09_143

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^/

★★★★★★★★

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~  =^..^=

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

Image

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!

Image

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…

Image

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.

Image

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´=)

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

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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~

Manga Review : Horimiya

Image

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~