I’m back home now for my summer holidays, so I decided to make this post a little manga sneak peak for two of the upcoming anime this Summer 2011, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée and Usagi Drop.
Before that though, if you want the summaries and trailers for most of the summer anime, you can go check out squidoo. Hope it helps! =D
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (異国迷路のクロワーゼ)
Manga-ka: Takeda Hinata
Genre: Historical, Romance, Shounen, Slice-of-life
During the second half of the 19th century, Europe became intrigued by the Japanese culture. A Japanese girl named Yune travels to France, where she started working in the lower parts of a town in Paris at a craft store called Enseignes du Roy. She and the store owner named Claude communicate with each other in order to get over their cultural differences. This is the story of Yune’s stay in Paris.
I picked this up shortly before I realised it would be aired in the summer, and I have to say that it is definitely one of the anime that I am really looking forward to. From the art, to the story, to the characters and setting… everything is just simply so beautifully executed.
After reading it the first time round, I really wanted to mushroom it. It’s the 21st century, and having to live and study in a foreign country hasn’t been that easy for me – I can only imagine that it should be about 50 times worse for the main character in the 19th century, who knows next to nothing about French culture or its language. Topping it off with the fact all it took for her to travel halfway across the world was her thirst for French culture (and that she’s a kid) makes Ikoku Meiro no Croisée really something that is worth reading.
I think this might be my first cross-cultural slice of life manga. This is a really different take from the usual problems faced by the characters in the slice-of-life genre, which usually deal with personal problems or something else along those lines. The main focus for this genre, however, is the way the protagonists adapt to one another’s culture, despite having misgivings and misunderstandings about them along the way. This new take, if anything, really makes it something that you should put on your shelf, and mark it down for watching this summer!
Manga-ka: Unita Yumi
Genre: Comedy, Josei, Slice-of-life, School life, Romance, Drama
Going home for his grandfather’s funeral, thirty-year-old bachelor Daikichi is floored to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child with a younger lover! The rest of his family is equally shocked and embarrassed by this surprise development, and not one of them wants anything to do with the silent little girl, Rin. In a fit of angry spontaneity, Daikichi decides to take her in himself! But will living with this overgrown teenager of man help Rin come out of her shell? And hang on, won’t this turn of events spell doom for Daikichi’s love life?!
Oh how I love slice-of-life. They are just simply so sweet – Usagi Drop is no different.
Usagi Drop had been relatively popular by the time I started reading it – I kept procrastinating since I didn’t think much of the summary. But when I finally did get down to it, and got to the line ‘Would you like to come live with me?’, I was completely hooked. It probably had something to do with the fact that I kept thinking ‘I’ve seen this line somewhere before!’, but reading every chapter just made me sink deeper into the story. I never fail to fall for the simply told storied that have all these complicated stuff buried deep underneath the placid surface.
And if anybody else is thinking the ‘yo kid, wanna bunk in with me?’ pickup line is familiar, think Fruits Basket.
One of the funniest things I come across in manga/anime are men who are catching up on age *ahemTiger&Bunnyahem*. Throw in one who has to start taking care of a kid when he has zero experience, and it just makes the whole thing priceless. There’s the inevitable drama with this storyline, but it’s nice to see it doesn’t weigh down the atmosphere. While the background for the story is pretty unique, the extremely normal and day-to-day way Unita Yumi portrays it makes it a worthwhile slice-of-life.
I suppose Usagi Drops is a little like Aishiteruze Baby, and quite a lot like My Girl so if you enjoyed the whole ‘I’ll be taking this kid in!’ sort of story, this should definitely be in your to-read or to-watch list. The whole growing up process kinda reminds me of Hourou Musuko a bit as well – but not by much. If you’re a slice-of-life fan, this really is something you shouldn’t miss out on.
– arawr >=3