Tag Archives: Shōjo manga

One-Shot for the Weekend – Tsuki to Himawari

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

tsuki1

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 a Weekday – Shisei (刺靑)

Shisei (刺靑)/ Tattoo

Manga-ka: Yokobaba Ryo

Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance,  Shoujo, Tragedy

Forbidden to be together in the world they live in, two young lovers remain as one. They find a means to preserve what they couldn’t have, that they will be together their hearts, all in a form that is etched onto naked skin.

Published as a one-shot in 2009 in Melody magazine by Hakusensha.

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Here is a relatively short one-shot for a week-day, it spans about 22 pages. I’ve been going through a lot of short one-shots lately and though there aren’t that many pages, they still manage to make an impression. This is a period love story where a couple is forced to separation because of one’s profession and social standing. It is amazing how people can always find ways or means to be together again. In this case, with a tattoo. A permanent mark on the skin, to represent undying devotion or to say “I’ll never forget you.” As they forge a unity that would mean only in their hearts or distance. Perhaps that would be enough to keep them going, as they hope to be united again; in the future, or in another life-time.

Rating: 3.7/5 

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One-Shot for a Weekday – Ovally Trap

Manga-ka: Usami Maki

Genre: Romance, Shoujo

Tokunaga-kun, Chiharu Taniyama’s classmate and recent neighbor, is always laughing at her, and it annoys her to no end. How can she be cute? Then, she finds a magazine with tips on being popular. Will she get her revenge on Tokunaga?

Published by Shogakukan in 2005.

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I totally forgotten all about last weekends one-shot! Anyway, here goes.

I’ve been a growing fan of Usami Maki ever since I read Kokoro Botan/Button. After reading Ovally Trap(not a very appealing name I must say); I think its the one-shot that initiated Kokoro Botan even if the publishing date between both is 4 years apart. It’s a nice simple one-shot where a boy and girl go through a little series of events which strengthens their attraction. Of course, you know the drill, this eventually leads to a confession. Like Kokoro Botan, the male lead had a polite appearance but mischievous & manipulating personality so I instantly clicked with this one-shot! I quite enjoy the manipulation in the story! The female isn’t a silly little girl even though she has that child-like innocence and I really like her honesty. I strongly recommend this for a good dose of shoujo manga cute-ness. Usami Maki is great with stories like this.

Rating: 4.3/5

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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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Kamisama Kiss Vol 1

Title: Kamisama Kiss/Kamisama Hajimemashita

Author: Julietta Suzuki

Artist: Julietta Suzuki

Genre: Comedy Fantasy Romance School Life Shoujo Supernatural

Status: Ongoing

Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!

– ShojoBeat

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Read the sypnosis? Reminds you of something? Yes, there are certainly quite a number of plots that begin with the protagonist been kicked out of their homes and parents running away – how very convenient to start off an adventure. A fantastic formula I say; you get rid of the parents and the relatives, then you’ll have nothing to bind the main character down. They’re free to do whatever they want – such as living with a youkai. Now that’s pretty normal. Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga/Manhwa~

Kinkyori Renai

Author: Mikimoto Rin

Artist: Mikimoto Rin

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo

Uni is a prodigy with a cool reserve who is accomplished in everything except for English. One day, she insults her temporary English teacher and he overhears her. He asks her to come to his office after school and somehow, she starts receiving private tutoring from him?!

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One of my best discoveries last month – and it got onto the cover of Betsufure 03/2011! How exciting!


If you’re an avid supporter of the teacher x student relationship, this may be something to check out. My range in this genre isn’t that wide since I usually stray away from them, but this is the first one I have come to love! 

The main appeal of Kinkyori Renai is easily the leading lady – she’s a tsundere and she just goes against all the common aspects of the normal shoujo heroine. She isn’t part of that generation of strong, determined heroines that we’ve all grown to support and love – she’s in her own league all together! Her love interest reflects as her opposite in personality and he’s quite the frivolous(my more professional way of saying asshole) man but he gets likable points after a while. Continue reading

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Otomen Vol 1

*May contain spoilers*

Title: Otomen

Author: Aya Kanno

Artist: Aya Kanno

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

Status: Ongoing

Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things—sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can’t sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he’s falling for?

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My goodness, when was the last time we posted one of our reviews? It must have been donkey years! Well, I do find them difficult to write – and when I finally do get down to it, I leave my draft to arawr for a whole check-up before it goes live (I’ve always wanted to say that – ‘it goes live,’ hehehe). 

Otomen is among one of the tankōbon that I’ve bought blindly in the past (I don’t do that anymore) and I was lucky I enjoyed it! It’s a story that focuses on a male protagonist instead of a female, which is pretty rare for a shoujo/school life/romance manga (without action) – but what I found most appealing was the feminine qualities portrayed by this male protagonist that makes him Otomen. Continue reading

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One-Shot for the Weekend – Doctor Bird

Title: Doctor Bird

Author: Takahashi Pochi

Artist: Takahashi Pochi

Genre: Comedy, One Shot, Romance, School Life, Shoujo

Yuka’s dream is to become a doctor who flies around the world. And the guy who reached this dream before she did is back…?

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“A spring-time of life, where I will run across the sky”

-Takahashi Pochi, Doctor Bird.

 

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I absolutely love this one-shot, it re-created this sensation that I have not felt in a long, long time. It’s creates this moment where happiness & sadness can overlap, without harsh edges. 

The storyline is the biggest strength of this one-shot, it’s about a girl’s dream to become a doctor and to achieve that, she must study hard to take an exam which only takes place every 4 years. The story is quite original but the characters & the way it is executed may seem predictable and cliched to many, but it’s done very nicely.

The heroine is stubborn and childish and she wasn’t quite likable in the beginning but she makes up for that by being determined and passionate about what she does(you can actually see her succeeding in something). Her relationship between the hero is sweet, I’m reluctant to use the words cute & adorable because their relationship has a deeper & solid background and it would just be a crime to go ‘awww.’

Does she succeed in her exam? I loved how the story took an interesting turn from there. I honestly pray that this one-shot will b e continued by the mangaka one day, it’s certainly incomplete for me; not just because of the ‘romance,’ but I want to see the heroine succeed! 

Oh, and I love the art, it’s been my ongoing dream to read a manga drawn in this style. I don’t want to get your hopes up too high(even though I did, arawr was like ‘waddd…’ after she read it), but you might read and find that it’s just a normal shoujo one-shot with an interesting idea, and it is.

*UPDATE: I cut off quite a few bits I wrote.

I present two ratings this once, first of all my shameless, personal rating: 4.5/5

My more ‘professional’ rating would be: 3.6/5

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Lala Issue 03/2011~

*Spoilers Alert*

Good day! Hope y’all had a good week-end. I know I did. In fact, I don’t even have classes on Mondays anymore so I have an extra-long weekend. Who’s J-worded? Here are some photos of Lala 3. Highly anticipated for it’s special Ouran chapter! Also, if you’re an avid fan of Mishounen Produce, it’s final chapter is in this issue. Also, I made the photos clickable now, so you can view these pics in higher resolution, just a little bigger.

This was the freebie/furoku of Lala 3, very cute no? Continue reading

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One-Shot for the Weekend: Amai*Suppai*Horonigai – Love Sickness

Title: Amai*Suppai*Horonigai- Love Sickness or Sweet/Sour/Slightly Bitter – Love Sickness

Author: Chiba Kozue

Artist: Chiba Kozue

Genres: Romance, School Life, Shoujo

Summary: Kae has a weak body ever since she was a child, therefore, she cannot run nor overwork herself too hard and to add to that, she doesn’t have friends. On the other hand, she likes watching baseball from afar since they have tanned skin and can dash onto the field like the wind. One day, she was about to get hit by a baseball in the face when suddenly, a guy saves her. Will this person give her an illness called love? Or will she just try to cure this disease?

Collected in a tankōbon of short stories/one-shots entitled Amai Suppai Horonigai or Sweet/Sour/Slightly Bitter by Chiba Kozue.

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I hope the start of your weekend has been well! This week’s one-shot selection by me is yet another love story but this is just precious & sweet. The plotline may seem rather predictable for some but it felt so new when I read it.

The story evokes this sensation of falling in love for the first time in your life, just when you need it. It makes your heart race a little, makes your cheeks flush, but it doesn’t make you scream in fan-girl mode because the feeling is so personal. It’s a story which doesn’t make love overrated. The simple, shoujo-esque art makes the overall effect really cute and that’s just perfect for this story.

It’s just one of those stories you need when you would like a little pick-up & a little love in life.

Rating: 4.3/5

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