Tag Archives: Mangaka

One-Shot for the Weekend – Tsuki to Himawari

月とひまわり | Tsuki to Himawari | Moon & Sunflower

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Manga-ka: Tanaka Meca

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life

Asahi-kun is a carefree junior-high student, never attaching to girls even though he enjoys going with them. But when the school’s number 1 honor student Mitsuki “cyborg” Konno asked him to a 1-month date, in exchange for the front row ticket to his favorite singer’s concert, he was forced to accept. He only has to show her what it feels like to date, right? He is ready for that…however, what he’s not prepared for was his heart’s reaction…

Published as a one-shot in Lala magazine in 2007 and later collected in Volume 1 of Faster Than A Kiss. There is some sexual context used in a more humourous manner but I thought I’d highlight this element.

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tsuki3There is something that talent cannot give you and that is experience. It arms you with a good grip of things – how to approach story-telling, art-style, polishing your work and pretty much gives you an identity. In shoujo manga, the usage of cliches are endless, after-all its more or less based around romance and slice of life, and its really up to the manga artists to renew over and over the distinguishable themes that is in shoujo manga. This one-shot illustrates such ability that is uses both skill and experience. Reading the blurb sounds like nothing new is put on the table, but the way it is executed by Tanaka Meca, proves she is an industry veteran who delivers a good story.

tsuki4This one-shot reminds me very much about Natsu no Kakera by Amano Shinobu because of the cheery theme of sunflowers. This is the type of story you’d expect Haha and Haha til the end but yet it changes its gear in a direction that brought so much greater depth and intention. It is somehow so familiar, that weird initial shoujo manga setup that eventually opens a box of surprises that makes you think – hey, this is why I read shoujo manga. Its not all about frivolous love triangles, the unstoppable occurrence of school life, its often about life(albeit the less than RL circumstances) and very much with the real surprises we often discover when we least expect it.

This one-shot is set in the same universe as Faster than a Kiss. So, if you’re a Faster than a Kiss fan, read this, for this is in fact the story that invented FtaK’s universe for it was the predecessor.

Have a good weekend.

Rating: 4.3/5

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One-Shot for the Weekend – Natsu Yasumi Zero Zero Nichime

Natsu Yasumi Zero Zero Nichime (夏休みゼロゼロ日目) | 00 Day of Summer Holiday

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Mang-aka: Akizuki Sorata

Genre: Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life

Sometimes love visits you in the most simple yet unexpected moments in our daily lives. Where love can come in even a form of a pop of a bubble, to give us the courage we need to take our relationships.

Originally published in Aoi Lala by Hakusensha.

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You’d think that because it’s winter, we’d toss out a winter themed recommendation. Or perhaps choosing a summer one-shot for the winter is way predictable? After a few weeks of adjusting my life in the States again, I hope to start blogging more consistently. Akizuki Sorata has been one of my favourite manga artists of all time, it’s strange that I’ve never really pushed her work as strong as I may have done but I do have my own reasons and frankly, she doesn’t need that extra publicity anyway. Her work can pretty much do all the talking and I hope to cover her most popular work in the near future. I chose a summer one-shot because I really need a bit of warming up, like literally. The temperature just plummeted 20 degrees and my sister has been sending me photos of London being thrashed by snow. I dislike snow unfortunately. I’ve also been suffering silently in my room freezing and I’ve just bought a portable heater to make myself feel like a normal human being.

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But weather-y rants aside. This is a breath of fresh air for those who need some escape from the wintry months both physically and emotionally. In some ways summer is about being carefree – do whatever you want and be adventurous and in this instance, in love. Summer love is a strange little thing, it’s always associated with pain and everything seems to fall apart after the sweaty season. But yet, most of us are willing to go through it again, whether we be hurt or not. I believe in taking the plunge. This one-shot is fresh, the scenario is new, but with the nostalgic summer spirit of bubbles cascading in the air. The characters are normal, familiar, they aren’t blown up just like slice of life is suppose to be. And with Akizuki Sorata at the helm, she never fails to add her poetic touch and remind us that reality is often just as sweet as the imagination. So here’s my current winter manifesto, take the harsh winter with a summer heart. Or for some, embrace winter with a mind full of snow(quoting Wallace Stevens).

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Rating: 4.5/5

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One-Shot on an Impulse – Pinocchio Dreams

Pinocchio Dreams (ピノッキオは夢を見る)

Manga-ka: Fujitsuka Yuki

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Sci-fi,  Shoujo, Supernatural, Tragedy

Fubuki’s dog, Chloe, gets hit by a car. Kio spots her and tells her to come with him to save Chloe. After Toba Daisuke, who is famous to weirdo, saves Chloe, Fubuki finds out Kio is a robot! She is shocked and creeped out but they eventually become friends. 

The final one-shot in the Kara no Shounen(Empty Boy) anthology by Fujitsuka Yuki, published by Hakusensha. 

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It’s been a long while since we’ve posted anything, but I won’t go into details about our MIA-ness until I feel like blabbing so. Allow me to release upon anyone of you, a post I wrote on impulse, as well as a homage to our most frequent and fun posts – the one-shot recommendations. So how did I get inspired to write about this one-shot? It has to do with a game that some of you might heard of and that is, the League of Legends(which I have been quite obsessed with, although I’m totally into Diablo 3 at the moment). My favourite ‘champion’ or character, to make things simpler, is called Orianna – the lady of clockwerk. So each ‘champion’ or character has a lore and Orianna has a very sad story in which she is a product of her creator’s effort to replace his real daughter called Orianna. It’s a tragic story, but how does Pinocchio Dreams compare?

Well, the only relation is that both stories feature a character that is created through advanced technology. I’ve always been enthralled by the idea of robots learning and attempting to be more like humans, its melancholic yet so soft and gentle(not Orianna though, she’s a killing machine). It’s about a conscience that grows from childhood innocence into a character with much stature and care though they risk being insensitive which often leads to confusion. But, sometimes, the mere act of thought, the act of thinking, is enough to touch one’s heart. Pinocchio Dreams really unleashes a wave of emotions within me. Emotions that I would compare to ‘sympathy’ or ‘pity,’ but really not the words to describe so. It’s positive, full of heart and love. It is hopeful and sweet, melancholic. Like life, its fleeting, yet it is timeless, because those feelings that are experienced, will be remembered for a lifetime.

“It’s the thought that counts right?” – Kio, from Pinocchio Dreams

Fujitsuka Yuki is a great mang-aka, her art is unique and distinguishable, girly and manga-y(not sure myself what that means), yet they convey all the character’s emotions, and her story-telling beautiful. I have written about another one-shot from the same anthology before – Sunny Spots Typhoon, and I highly recommend the entire anthology. This one-shot is one of the best I’ve read and I love re-visiting it, over and over again. This one-shot was first published in Lala DX in 2006 and after being compiled in the Kara no Shounen anthology, Fujitsuka Yuki included a short little continuation which is just bliss.

A rather lengthy rant for a one-shot. Have a good week, and perhaps, we will meet again soon.

Overall Rating: 5/5

-chungky

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Mangaka of the Month – Kure Yuki

Kure Yuki 

(呉由姫)

-April-

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Name: Kure Yuki

Date of Birth: December 4th

Hometown: Chiba Prefecture, Japan


Yuki Kure made her debut in 2000, with the story Chijo yori Eien ni (Forever from the Earth), published in monthly LaLa magazine. She was born on December 4th, and is from Chiba prefecture. La Corda d’ Oro is her first manga series published. Her hobby is watching soccer games and collecting small goodies (fancy goods).

-ShojoBeat Continue reading

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Mangaka of the Month – Midorikawa Yuki

MIDORIKAWA YUKI

(緑川ゆき)

March

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Pen Name: Midorikawa Yuki (緑川ゆき)

Hometown: Kumamoto, Japan

Date of Birth: 23 May 1976

Her pen name ‘Midori-kawa’ (green river) was given to her by her sister, who named her after one of the rivers in their hometown. It was her older sister who made her start thinking of becoming a manga-ka when she was in middle school. She debuted in 1998 with her one-shot, Coffee Hirari (珈琲ひらり) and won the “Fresh Debut Prize” for the 18th LaLa Manga Grand Prize (LMG). Her first published story, Akaku Saku Koe (あかく咲く声) received Athena Shinjin Taishou by Hakusensha in 1999. Her most popular series, Natsume Yuujinchou (夏目友人帳), has been adapted into an anime with a forthcoming 3rd season July this year.

Midorikawa Yuki chose Hakusensha was due to her interest in some of their published works, such as Boku no Chikyuu wo Mamotte (Please Save my Earth)and Doubutsu no Oisha-san (Mr. Veterinarian). Some other works and manga-ka that have influenced her are Shinohara Chie’s Umi no Yami, Tsuki no Kage (Darkness of the Sea, Shadow of the Moon) and Mochizuki Karin.

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Mangaka of the Month ~ CLAMP

CLAMP

Current members:

Nanase Ohkawa

Place & Date of Birth: May 2, 1967. Osaka, Japan.

Writing scripts, designing graphic novel covers, planning and sales

Tsubaki Nekoi

Place & Date of Birth:January 21, 1969. Kyoto, Japan

Drawing super deformed characters, assists in character design, applying screentones, correcting manga illustrations

Satsuki Igarashi

Place & Date of Birth: February 8, 1969. Kyoto, Japan

In charge of the design of the tankōbon, assistant to Mokona and Tsubaki Nekoi, production coordination, line artist, character designer

Mokona

Place & Date of Birth: June 16, 1968. Kyoto, Japan

In charge of character design, illustrator, colorist, composition designer

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Mangaka of the Month – Kubo Tite

KUBO TITE

(久保 帯人 KUBO TAITO)

January

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Real Name: Kubo Noriaki (久保 宣章)

Hometown: Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima

Date of Birth: 26 June 1977

Kubo Tite’s most significant work to date would happen to be one of the most popular manga of all time –Bleach. His talent was recognised by one of the editors in Shonen Jump when he submitted an entry for one of the magazine’s contests. Although he did not win, the two worked together and he managed to produce three one-shots. His first serialisation was Zombiepowder in 1999, which ended in 2000 with 4 volumes. His next work is also his current one – the ever famous Bleach that has run in the Weekly Shounen Jump since August 2001 with over 430 chapters.

Some of his greatest influences include Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki and Saint Seiya by Masami Kurumada.

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