A couple of days back I woefully bade goodbye to Kekkaishi as I read its final chapter. It had a surprisingly quite sad ending in certain aspects, but like many other shounen manga it closed with the promise of future – not just for the characters in the manga, but the manga-ka his/herself as well. So as I read the usual final little side note that went something along the lines of ‘thank you for supporting so-and-so… look forward to next work…’ I thought… A-HAH!
Therefore today I mushroom manga from two pretty-much super popular manga-ka who have recently started on their new piece of work!
Gin no Saji (銀の匙) / Silver Spoon
Manga-ka: Arakawa Hiromu
Yugo Hachiken aspires to live separated from his family, so he took the chance by enrolling to an agriculture boarding school. He thinks that the path would be easy for him regardless due to his talent for studying – but he’s proven wrong. Brought up as an all-easy-to-get city boy, he is forced to discover the inconvenient truth about agricultural life. Enjoy Hachiken’s story as he tries to keep up with his friends (mostly farmers’ heirs) who are already accustomed to hardworking farm life.
To start with this is nothing like FMA. So no alchemy, no prosthetics, no walking armour. There is, however, a lot of cows and chickens (beheaded, walking around, laying eggs, running around, served on the plate, sitting around…). I feel like this new work of hers is a lot more like Raiden-18 in terms of atmosphere compared to FMA. I’m not that surprised that she chose to have some sort of farm-related manga (she was brought up on a dairy farm, and there are quite a number of manga-ka who like to stick to their roots). Her much loved comedy is ever-present here as well, and certain characters that never failed to make me laugh seem to have appeared once more…
I’ll be lying though if I said I wasn’t hoping for something more… action packed. Anyway – besides all the alchemy whooshing all over the place – what impressed me most about FMA (that convinced me that it’s the most genius manga to ever be created) was the way everything was structured and planned out. So maybe Arakawa Hiromu will dazzle once more with a different kind of brilliance 😄
Anyway, this is her first venture into the school life genre – and while it might not be as exciting as equivalent exchange or whatnot, I’m definitely still going to continue supporting her!
Ao Haru Ride (アオハライド) / Aoharaido
Genre: Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high-school student. Because she’s cute, she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a misunderstanding, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the one boy she has always liked, Tanaka-kun. Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but now things can never be the same again. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?
The new publication from the same manga-ka that brought you Strobe Edge! I’m not a huge fan of shoujo but I ended up reading Strobe Edge anyway due to its popularity (plus the name is kinda cool even if I still don’t know what it means), and compared to others I can say that it’s one of the better shoujo I’ve gone through.
So when I read the summary for this work I already felt quite annoyed with the main character, but I decided to give it a shot anyway since it’s been garnering quite a lot of positive reviews. It was better than I had judged it to be – while the whole setting and whatnot are all pretty clichéd, the way everything is executed, and the way the protagonist thinks and handles everything is really what makes this manga different from the usual story. Also, unlike the chasm of difference between FMA and Gin no Saji, I can see the similarities between Aoharaido and Strobe Edge. So if you liked Sakisaka Io’s previous work and want more, go ahead with Aoharaido!
Well in any case I’ve only been through something like 2 chapters for both so it’s too early to judge if they’re any good or not =P
Oh Kekkaishi… You shall be missed…