Tag Archives: One Shot for the Weekend~

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 Last Weekend – X-Tai Shinsho

xtai1X-Tai Shinsho 

Mangaka: Ezawa

Genre: Action, Comedy, Historical, Shounen, Supernatural

Sugita Genpaku made a contract with a demon in exchange for the ability to cure any disease.
But if he doesn’t find someone to treat within the time limit, his soul will be taken!

Published online on Gangan Online in 2011 by Square Enix.

xtai3Okay, I admit, it’s kind of odd that I’m writing a one-shot post for last week considering the coming weekend is just around the corner. But, still, I don’t like leaving an odd bob of a weekend out while we’re active. The one-shot I’m bringing you to attention is X-Tai Shinsho, it’s really similar to another manga series I’ve written about before in a mushroom-manga post called Kaitai Shinsho Zero. It’s whole concept is almost identical in a way, a super-doctor which cures people of extra-ordinary illnesses. I had wanted this one-shot’s story to be more in lined with a Black Jack kind of doctor story. Like a doctor who is curing the weak and sick in a more humane manner than a ball-busting, demon killing-fest like Kaitai Shinsho Zero; but that was not to be, since the protagonist in X-Tai Shinsho also kinda went that route.

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The thing that really caught my interest was the fact that the protagonist would die if he doesn’t cure a person with a deadly illness within a time-limit, it was like, wow Shounen manga really hates their protagonists don’t they. I always find that they always have some seriously depressing past but I suppose that’s how you build a extremely epic story? The manga-ka’s drawing style is also extremely pleasing on the eye, really similar to works from Comic Zero-Sum/Avarus/Gene(I’d fit GanGan Online into this group really). The one-shot was written in the way in which most Shounen manga one-shots are written – to allow a continuation to another extremely long serialisation. I don’t think this one-shot was extremely mind-blowing but I still really like the concept and the fact that the manga-ka chose to set it in a historical era; and having a light-hearted/little haughty protagonist is always a plus(keeps things less serious).

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Rating: 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 for the Weekend: Hibi Kira Kira (日々キラキラ)

Hibi Kira Kira | 日々キラキラ | Radiant Everyday

Manga-ka: Coga Mayumi

Genre: Comedy,  Drama,  Romance,  Shounen Ai

It’s summer holidays for Tomoaki and he is helping out at the daily morning exercise for kids. But recently, he notices that a young man living beside the park has been looking at the exercise group every morning. Is the young man a Lolicon that is targeting his kids, or is it entirely something else?

Serialised in Canna magazine and collected in the Blind of Mind anthology tankoubon, published by France Shoin in 2011.

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Whoa, M.W has been pretty empty this week. I’m actually working on a manga-talk post for a while now but it’s just using me a lot of brain juice…putting thoughts down can be so difficult…

Anyway, a 16 page Shounen-Ai one-shot for this weekend. I don’t venture into the Yaoi genre, but Shounen-Ai is becoming one of my favourites. I’m hesitant to use the term Boy’s Love since it seems to lean more on the Yaoi side of things which features more of the sexual aspect. One thing I really like about shounen-ai manga is that it has a more mature sort of story-telling.  From the titles I’ve read, they really concentrate on character development and their feelings. With this aspect in mind, it makes me as a reader think how sweet it is which is what this short one-shot did. It made me feel all bubbly inside. The one-shot is about one misunderstanding another. Meeting someone new through the most unexpected places, the least expected times, meeting someone who might just change your life forever.

Rating: 4.5/5

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One-Shot for the Weekend: Ability Shop

Ability Shop | あびりてぃ しょっぷ

Manga-ka: Tashiro Tetsuya

Genre: Fantasy,  Mystery,  Romance,  Shounen,  Tragedy

Toshiki is a below average student and often the target of ridicule. After he accidentally runs into a shop sign and breaks it, he enters the shop and finds out it will sell him abilities.. But these abilities don’t come cheap.

Published on GanGan Online in 2008 as a one-shot by Square Enix.

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I’m surprising myself by choosing so many shounen manga one-shots these couple of weeks. That continues this week with a simple story about greed.

The story itself is what one may call predictable; it’s about a boy being bullied and wanting to improve himself then goes too far and suffers the consequences. The idea and theme is very much about human nature which is particularly why I chose it.It’s a morality story and there are quite a number of stories of the same kind using the ‘shop – selling – something – funky’ idea(sorry, no idea what else to call it).

The story opted to be dark in the later stages of the story and though it didn’t exactly attain that aura it wanted, at the end of the day it got the message across – That we should not always take advantage of what is around us, and that we should trust ourselves to strive for better because from one end of life or another, we’ll not be alone.

Have a good weekend.

Rating: 3.5/5

You can read the Japanese version for free on GanGan Online here!

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One-Shot for the Weekend: The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident

Alternative titles: 深山鶯邸事件 | Miyama Uguisu Yashika Jiken | Miyama Uguisu Tei Jiken | The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident

Manga-ka: Katou Kazue

Genre: Action, Fantasy, One Shot, Shounen, Supernatural

The one-shot pilot of Ao no Exorcist. Monaka, the heiress to a prestigious family, is staying with her sadistic and controlling uncle after the death of her parents. Her life is given a twist upon the arrival of an unsual exorcist claiming the mansion is being haunted be a demon.

Published as a one-shot in Jump SQ  in 2008.

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We destroyed a record last week by not publishing a one-shot but ‘real’ life called. I read this without prior knowledge of Ao no Exorcist, I haven’t read the serialisation or watched the anime so I sort of fail in being all trendy in the anime world. So anyway, I don’t think that many people out there know of Ao no Exorcist’s origins since it is of a different name so I shall remedy that.

The story’s setting is really your average Shounen manga. You got the bad dude with a hostage and then your hero. What really stood out for me was the story/flashback of ‘the nameless demon.‘ It gave the story a deeper aspect which I thought made it great as a prologue. It was simple but touching with it’s themes of care and kindness, maybe you would shed a tear. It was also kind of refreshing to have a more western interpretation of demons in the story.

I have no idea what happens in Ao no Exorcist but if you’re a fan, I recommend visiting Ao no Exorcist’s roots as it may be thought-provoking or even allow you to look at the serialisation in a new light. I always welcome the idea of knowing how a story developed from it’s original stimulus. Oh, why do shounen manga heroes always begin as a loser?

Rating: 3.7/5

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One-Shot for the Weekend – Onegai, Sensei : Altair no Koibumi

Altair no Koibumi | Altair’s Love Letter

Manga-ka: Taamo

Genre: Shoujo, Romance, Slice of life, Drama

Sueo, a countryside girl, becomes friends with Tsutsui-kun, the lonely city boy. After that, every summer he goes to see her, without fail. Sudenly, he doesn’t show up, for three years! She sends him letters, but he doesn’t reply. What’s going on?!

Published as the 2nd story in the Onegai, Sensei Anthology Tankouban by Taamo.

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This one-shot illustrates that love makes no comprimises, that it is both painful but also spectacularly beautiful. It’s a long one-shot spanning at about 60 pages and it deserves it.

The one thing I really love about it is that it ends in a very melancholy way, it’s so full of emotion. I’m not sure if some would agree with me but I think sadness can really be the most powerful emotion of all. The ending is in fact a “good” ending, but this element of sadness is consciously in the air from the beginning to the end which just leaves this profound impact.

If I were to choose one word to describe it, it would be ‘powerful,’ you don’t symphatise the characters but you feel their emotion. You don’t care about their flaws or what they’ve done wrong and if we were to ever do something for them; it would be to pray for their happiness. It’s one step beyond other love stories with it’s brilliant concept and nostalgic atmosphere.  I was on the edge of tears.

A story where childhood meets love, where no one bears witness to their everlasting devotion, but the night and the stars above. Will Vega and Altair be able to meet in the rain?

Rating: 4.9/5

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