Category Archives: Mushroom Manga

“As my love first came to realization, Word had already spread.”

chihayafuru1It’s kind of amazing how you look at something differently after watching it the second time. I spent yesterday and a bit of today re-watching the first season of Chihayafuru (and unbeknownst to me so was chungky). For those of you who don’t know it, Chihayafuru is a manga/anime about a bunch of high-school kids playing karuta. Karuta’s basically a game based around the hyakunin isshu, a collection of 100 poems by 100 poets.

Chihayafuru really changed for me when I re-watched it; most probably because my understanding of karuta was a lot better, but now that I knew some things were going to happen, I could pay attention to others instead. For example, there are times in the story where they use the poetry from the hyakunin isshu to illustrate the relationships between the characters; before I thought they were just pretty words that relate really well to the situation. But my second experience with Chihayafuru found the description to be so beautiful, I’ve quoted some of them in this post!

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Let’s start!

I read the Chihayafuru manga before the anime came out, and I’ve been captured by it from the very beginning. Maybe it’s my own bias for stories that use the ‘childhood friends’ card; I always feel that the relationship between children are a lot more direct, honest and simple (e.g. not manipulated by hormones yet). So anyway, the three main characters are 1, the heroine (Chihaya), 2, the transfer student who introduces her to karuta (Arata) and 3, the bully/friend (Taichi). I’ll be going off on my own rant about it from here on, so spoilers will follow. But if you’re like chungky who went all “Well, 6don’t mean to spoil it for you, but looks like the bully’s gonna get her,” when I’d only explained what characters were in the story and nothing about storyline, then we all never had to worry about what ultimately would or would not happen.

BUT THAT’S THE THING!! Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga Talk (?) – Changing the Past in Orange

Orange (Takano Ichigo) /オレンジ (高野苺)

Manga-ka: Takano Ichigo

orange cover

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Shoujo, Romance, School Life, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural, Tragedy

In the Spring she was 16, Takamiya Naho receives a strange, but detailed letter from herself, ten years in the future. At first she thinks the letter is a prank, but then the things written in the letter actually happen, including the new transfer student that sits next to her in class, Naruse Kakeru. In the letter, her 27-year-old self tells her 16-year-old self that her biggest regret is that Kakeru is no longer with them in the future, and asks her to watch him closely.

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So I don’t usually read – much less write – posts around the shoujo/drama genre, but there was just something about Takano Ichigo’s Orange that compelled me to get typing. The story revolves around a high school girl called Naho, who somehow receives a letter from herself 10 years into the future. The letter orangebasically tells her to re-do the things that her 10-years-later self (let’s call her Naho2) regrets even to her present day, from the little things such as not stepping up as a batter in a class softball tournament, to not being able to save somebody very, very precious to her.

Gosh I feel old but it’s about half a year since I’ve turned 21, and chungky’s also just turned 21 so Happy Birthday dude. Anyway, around the time I turned 21 I started doing everything I always wanted to do, but had been afraid of failing, or having people laugh at me since 1991. There’s always this nagging at the back of my head saying “Well you could’ve done it 10 years ago; you just chickened out,”. I should have been more persistent, I should have been braver, I should have said this, I should have done that. Should, should, should.

But I didn’t.

orange 16

Continue reading

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4-koma for Beginners? Sonna Mirai wa Uso De Aru & Wa!

As I reflect back upon this year’s spring anime, I think about the bottom 2 anime on my list – Sofutenni and A Channel. The former, I just found impossible to find interesting; and the latter I just loathed with every fibre of my being. Anyway, both have the similar trait of having 4 girls as their characters and being adapted from a 4-koma – I’ll be focusing on the 4-koma aspect here.

I’m not discriminating against 4-koma adaptations- there are some that are among my favourite (K-On! And Working!!) but I never really got down to reading the manga itself. Honestly speaking, it has quite a lot to do with the 4-koma style – the plain, 4 panel boxes and the very ordinary pacing that comes along with it. This is made especially more since I’m used to the flashy slashy jumpy panels with my shounen manga. Stories that I would usually like a lot end up being liked only a little, which I find is such a huge shame.

So I tried something kinda of 4-koma ish, but not exactly a 4-koma. I started with Sonna Mirai wa Uso De Aru, also known as That Future is a Lie.

Sonna Mirai wa Uso De Aru (そんな未来はウソである) / That Future is a Lie 

Manga-ka: Sakuraba Koharu

Genre: School life, Shounen, Supernatural

A girl who can see the future. Another girl who knows if what you’re telling is true or not. Continue reading

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Summer Adaptations – Ikoku Meiro no Croisée & Usagi Drop

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

Moving on!

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.

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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. Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga – Yasuko to Kenji & Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (となりの怪物くん) /The Monster Nearby | My Neighbor is a Strange Classmate

Manga-ka: Robiko

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. Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga – Gin no Saji & Ao Haru Ride

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

Genre: Comedy, School Life, Slice of Life, Shounen

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.

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I didn’t even bother reading the summary before I started going through this. Gin no Saji, or Silver Spoon, is by Arakawa Hiromu – and being an avid fan of FMA, this was a definite must-read. Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga~ Otoyomegatari & Tora to Ookami

Hi everyone! Manga Weekend has been rather quiet these two weeks, I’ve just finished all my assignments and I’m so ready for spring-break! I’ve recovered from my fatigued state so I’m hoping to post a little more though I don’t know what I’ll be blabbering on about.

This mushroom post, I present to you two stories by two very well-established manga-kas, Otoyomegatari/A Bride’s Story by Mori Kaoru(Manga-ka of Emma: A Victorian Romance) & Tora to Ookami by Kamio Youko(Manga-ka of Hana Yori Dango). It comes no surprise that when they start a new story, it will be under the care of highly capable hands.

Otoyomegatar/A Bride’s Story

Manga-ka: Mori Kaoru

Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance, Seinen, Slice of Life


A Bride’s Story tells the tale of a beautiful young bride in nineteenth-century Asia. At the age of twenty, Amir is sent to a neighboring town to be wed. But her surprise at learning her new husband, Karluk, is eight years younger than her is quickly replaced by a deep affection for the boy and his family. Though she hails from just beyond the mountains, Amir’s clan had very different customs, foods, and clothes from what Karluk is used to. As the two of them learn more about each other through their day-to-day lives, the bond of respect and love grows stronger.

-Yen Press

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When I read Emma, my first comment was that it was a story that I wanted to read ever so much but it was also the story which was all to rare to find.

Emma brought real Victorian life into the spotlight with genuine accuracy, it wasn’t part of the bunch of try-hearts who tried to re-create the posh-ness of England’s Golden Age(Everyone would hate me for this but I’m thinking of Black Butler). Otoyomegatari has that same factual accuracy to it, but this time round, Mori Kaoru-sensei brings about the life and history of a place on earth that is often famous for the turbulent events on the global stage, Central Asia. Continue reading

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