Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (となりの怪物くん) /The Monster Nearby | My Neighbor is a Strange Classmate
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
Mizutani Shizuku is the type of person who only cares for her own grades. But when she accidentally delivers the lesson notes to Yoshida Haru, Haru becomes convinced they are friends.
Haru turns out to have a very innocent personality, but who would’ve thought that Haru would actually confess to Shizuku?
A cold-hearted girl x super troublemaker romance with a fresh new perspective.
The two stories I’ve selected in this mushroom post are in the shoujo genre but they are both similar in which they both have a rather shounen manga ‘feel’ to them.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is one of the less sparkly shoujo manga out there; if it were a kind of photo finish, it would be matte instead of glossy. The story is told in the perspective of a cold young lady who cares about nothing but her grades with an ambition gross about 10 million Yen a year in her future. She could easily take the role of Maka’s(Soul Eater) more heart-less twin sister who’s placed in a normal world. The hero, however, might not be Soul from Soul Eater but he is the odd character like the title suggests. He fights and seems naturally macho but he then transform into an aimless puppy(or a chihuahua that can’t stop barking) who drags himself behind the heroine. As the story developed however, he sort of gave me this roller-coaster of a confusion since as soon as you think you know his character, he changes and this really makes me feel strange and odd…
The unlikely but humourous combination makes a good laugh considering the heroine has almost no points in the caring personality department. What I enjoyed most in the story was when the main characters grew into a four. They all have really individual personalities which draws lots of different reactions whenever they encounter a situation, it really is entertaining!
I’d like to call it refreshing but it doesn’t have that quench-thirsting effect of ice water. Instead, it’s rather like wood with the matte finish I talked about earlier. Like wood, it’s solid and in its own way, a strong piece of work. However, I think it risks being a bit dull occasionally, but I really emphasise that it’s really quite unique in its own right. A good shoujo addition, recommended if you’d like a more muted shoujo selection.
Yasuko to Kenji (ヤスコとケンジ) / Yasuko and Kenji
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Since the death of her parents, Oki Yasuko, a second-year high school student, has been living with her mangaka big brother Kenji, who used to be the boss of a biker gang. Bickering nonstop, their relationship is hardly harmonious.
One day in the cram school Kenji forces her to attend, Yasuko falls in love with Tsubaki Jun. But chaos ensues because of the history that Kenji and Jun’s sister Erica share!
I can’t emphasise how hilarious this manga is! It utilises shounen manga humour along with the dramatic shounen art-style; one can’t possibly think it’s shoujo! It’s story is well planned & executed with a fast, ongoing pace which makes it never boring. It accommodates young people’s attention span quite well and once you start you may might not stop. I enjoyed how each of the story’s characters all have a part to play which doesn’t have this ‘prop-py’ or background space-filling role and it just creates this oh-so-fun playground full of laughter!
In contrast to Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, this story’s atmosphere isn’t rigid and is full of freedom. It’s just like shounen manga – anything can happen. It humour is just equivalent in counting how many times the epic ‘table-flipping’ is used and it just gets you all the time. The reactions are accompanied with wonderful ‘aura’ & and background art which really adds up to the overall experience. The manga-ka really went all out to produce a work for gags and having a good time – the whole thing is a joke and I can repeat that again and again!
Highly recommended for laughs!
I hope you have a wonderful week! Lots of love to everyone!