Tag Archives: One Shot

One-Shot for the Weekend – Mario (マリオ)

MarioMario (マリオ)

Manga-ka: Kishimoto Masashi

Genre: Action, Drama, Shounen, Romance

Mario is a half-Japanese, half Italian mercenary  who prioritizes money above everything else. He gets assigned to work together with Saori, another hitman who hates men and refuses to talk to them.

Published as a one-shot in 2013 with Jump SQ .

———

Mario 1It’s pretty much the end of the weekend so it’s coming pretty late, but here’s our recommended one-shot! I’m currently undergoing a Naruto manga marathon, so I decided to choose one of Kishimoto Masashi’s one-shots – Mario. He’s mentioned it before in one of those author rants’ pages in Naruto, where he expressed that Mario was probably one of the best stories that he’d ever come up with. So with no further ado, I jumped into it the moment I saw the one-shot.

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I didn’t know what to expect from it at all before reading Mario – didn’t read the summary or anything. If I unattached it from its Jump SQ label and the fact that the manga-ka is one of the most successful shounen manga-ka to date, I would honestly think it’s a seinen one-shot. There’s a more subdued feel to it compared to the usual in-yo-face shounen action.

Mario gives off a very jazzy feel throughout the whole one-shot. From the yakuza/mafia setting, the black suits and black dresses, the character interactions and just everything overall, there is this general feeling of coolness. The kind of story that depicts a romanticized version of the mafia. This whole ‘jazzy’ feel is really what gives of the seinen feel, and in fact is a bit of a weakness for those who are more used to the ba da bing ba da BOOM aspect of shounen Mario 2manga. There’s no sudden crescendo of action or ground breaking-ly embarrassing romantic confessions – everything seems pretty subdued with a mature over tone.

In other words, it can seem a bit dull.

Not saying that it’s bad or anything, but Mario really seems more like a story that can’t develop in a one-shot since it’s the type that would usually build up on the relationships between the characters; and these relationships can’t be addressed and comprehended in a one-shot. Still, quite an okay read for a jazzy weekend.

Rating: 3.4/5.0

Mario 5

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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.

——-

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 – Danshi Toilet de Machiawase

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase  cover

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase  (男子トイレで待ち合わせ) / Meeting Up at the Male Toilet

Manga-ka: Mizu Asato

Genre: Comedy, Doujinshi, Romance, School Life

An original doujinshi of a girl, a boy and a male toilet.

———

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase  3

Well… this is a bit of an odd one-shot on our part. Sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of our one-shots for the weekend revolve around more or less the same sort of theme, so I thought I’d try something different this time round – and I’m not quite sure how to react to it…?

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase is a one-shot about the scenarios between a boy and girl that find refuge in an abandoned boy’s toilet during their lunch break. The initial thought I had was that it was going to be your usual hanky-panky; but when I saw that there weren’t any of the usual genre associated with a doujin x toilet kind of manga, I decided to give it a go.

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase  2There’s an odd kind of humour for an odd kind of manga with an odd kind of male lead.  Most of the comedy has to do with the situation the girl finds herself in, and the type of consideration the guy provides in return. Rather than having some sort of chemistry between the two, I’d say it’s more like they’ve reached this (unfathomable) acceptance of one another which is really quite sweet.

Quite different from what we usually recommend, but if you just finished another repetitive week with repetitive school/work, here’s a one-shot to just blow you off course and make you laugh this weekend =)

Rating: 3.7/5.0

Danshi Toilet de Machiawase  1

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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 – Koe no Katachi (聲の形)

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Koe no Katachi (聲の形) / The Shape of a Voice

Manga-ka: Ooima Yoshitoki

Genre: Drama, School Life, Shounen

A one-shot about a grade school class that accepts a girl with impaired hearing.

Winner of the 80th Weekly Shounen Magazine Newbie Best Mangaka Award Publicized again on the 12th edition of the 2013 Weekly Shounen Magazine.

———

KNK 1Okay so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything (over a year, really) but I’ll update anyone who cares about it some other time. Here’s some other information about the manga I got from MyAnimeList – “The vector of the content made it difficult for publication in any manga magazine, until it was picked up, after months of legal dispute, by the February edition of Bessatsu Shounen Magazine, where it got first place despite its being a one-shot.”

KNK 2So! I’ll start with the one-shot that’s affected me the most since I went off on hiatus. Koe no Katachi, or The Shape of a Voice. There are some common themes with this manga that you’d see in others as well, but the way the manga-ka handles this doesn’t just make it realistic – he makes it believable. The story is so grounded it felt like a story you could read of your daily newspaper; a story you don’t want to believe, but somehow know that it probably is true.  There are a lot of manga out there who have ‘realistic’ story lines, but making something believable – making it into KNK6something that you can see happening in real life – is something that takes a different sort of talent (and quite a lot of guts in this case due to the controversial content).

The issues throughout the manga that really intrigued me was special education needs (SEN), bullying and teaching. I’ve been pretty much working in a sort of special school setting this past year, so these issues really stood out for me. I did about 5 minutes research about SEN in Japan, and there apparently was a period of time when children with disabilities were placed in regular classes in regular schools. You can read the short article where I got this from here.

Like I said before, a lot of manga deals with this kind of story line, but there’s always something about it that can make you separate fact from fiction. Normally with manga, you end up caring for the character, but can detach KNK4yourself from that universe. In Koe no Katachi, maybe in the end you are able to detach yourself from the characters (if you can’t care for them, you sure are an a**), but you can’t detach yourself from the issues that were highlighted in the manga.

If you’re into a one-shot that chains you back to reality after all the floating away the fictional world has brought you to, here’s one for you. And despite everything I said, the manga does end on an extremely sweet note, so do give it a go!

Rating: 5.0/5.0

KNK 3

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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).

00day7

Rating: 4.5/5

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One-Shot for the New Week/Year – Adolte and Adarte

Adolte and Adarte (アードルテとアーダルテ)

adolte1

Manga-ka: Nakamura Asumiko

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Seinen

A one-shot about twins both living opposite lives. Will they ever find something in common with each other apart from their physical appearance? And how different will they be if they ever trade places?

Originally published in Poco Poco by Ohta Shuppan.

One-shot reviews/recommendations has always been a very Manga Weekend thing, so before we leave New Year too soon here is a one-shot post. The one-shot I picked isn’t exactly mind-blowing or exceedingly impressive but in any case, one that I want to wish you all a good year with.

adolte3

It’s simple, straightforward and predictable. We find twins separated by birth who eventually find their way in life, that we can always start fresh even though we remember our roots and past misgivings. It’s about breaking the status-quo in a way and off to start a new adventure. That itself is common, cliche and straightforward, but what comes after this story, we don’t know but it’s hopeful and that is what I want to wish all of you. There were nasty themes in this one-shot, like greed and regret but in the end, we watch people move forward. Let our lives be a constant testament that there will be a brighter tomorrow no matter what has happened. If 2012 was good to you, I hope 2013 will be even better.

adolte2

Rating: 2.7/5

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