Tag Archives: Usami Maki

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~ Shinkuu Yuusetsu & Kokoro Botan

Hello sweet peas! It feels like ages since I’ve posted something! Arawr suddenly had this blogging-spurt which came out of nowhere. While she took the helm of posting, I’ve been working on the the blog layout as you can see; made a new header and created some gifs which took me AGES(still a newb). I’m trying to fully utilise the trial of my photoshop CS5 before I downgrade and use the ancient CS version(which I hope will be able to achieve 99.8% of the same results with CS5).

I’ve also been slightly pre-occupied with our side-project, Weekend Betsuender – our scanlation team which will debut with a one-shot called Natsu No Kakera by Amano Shinobu. I doubt that we’ll be able to debut soon considering that I’ll be extremely busy with university during the next two weeks.

Announcements aside, here  is my mushroom manga post:

Shinkuu Yuusetsu (真空融接)

Manga-ka: Bikke

Genre: Fantasy, School Life, Shounen Ai, Slice of Life, Romance

In this country, every person has to be matched up with a partner. Partnerships are made around when you turn three or four. The doctors decide who gets paired together. One person acts as the ‘supplier.’ The other as the ‘receiver.’ It is impossible for a ‘receiver’ to continue to live without periodically being given power from the ‘supplier.’ And in the same way, it is imperative for a ‘supplier’ that a ‘receiver’ accept some of the power generated within their body. This ‘power’ can’t be made anywhere other than inside a ‘supplier’s own body… So for the ‘receivers,’ we ‘suppliers’ are completely indispensable….

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I went slightly ga-ga over reading this – correction, I went completely ga-ga. It’s the cutest thing I’ve read in a while though I haven’t been reading that much throughout these few weeks. I believe this is the first time I read something from Be x Boy magazine (or was it Be x Boy Gold?). I’ve seen these magazines constantly in stock in Japan Centre without fail and they cover serialisations in the shoujo, josei, shounen ai, and yaoi genre. So anyway, back to Shinkuu Yuusetsu, this is a terrific manga as a whole regardless of whether it’s shounen ai. It’s a first class piece of work and I’d place it right next to Seven Days – no, actually make that one step above. I really hope this gets licensed because I really need to collect this(not sure whether it ever would since it’s been 4 years since publication. I might have to get the Japanese copy instead).

The story’s concept is what will distinguish this manga from many others of it’s type. It’s an original, and I have never meant that word more than I do with Shinkuu Yuusetsu. If you’re afraid of venturing into shounen ai, this is a chance for you to experience a good one. The first chapter can easily be read as a one-shot. The first couple of pages might seem like a chore to read but it’s all explanation and background information which really in itself is quite interesting. The idea of people relying on each other as ‘supplier’ and ‘receiver’ is genius and the act of kissing to ‘re-charge’ isn’t executed in a gimmicky way just for the reader’s pleasure though I have to say it really is quite cute. Continue reading

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One-shot for the Weekend – Caramel Milk Tea: Kirakira no kimochi

Title: Caramel Milk Tea: Kirakira no kimochi/A Sparkling Mood

Author: Usami Maki

Artist: Usami Maki

Genres: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, School Life

Summary: Narumi tries to make the most of her time before she moves on Christmas Day, but falls unexpectedly in love

The third chapter in Usami Maki’s tankōbon of one-shots, ‘Caramel Milk Tea’.

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Okay, so I dug through my resources and went through what felt like a dozen Christmas one-shots (in reality it was just like five or something) and in the end decided that the one-shot for this weekend would be Kirakira no kimochi. Reason being:

1.       It’s a Christmas themed one-shot. It’s Christmas this weekend. I thought I should get into the festive mood.

2.       It’s not the usual ‘let’s go on a date!’ or ‘what present should I get?’ or ‘I’ll confess to him!’ type of Christmas plot.

3.       The rest were just a bit too annoying. This was the cutest I could find. Done.

Anyway it’s a little different in the sense of what Christmas means to the main character. I mean, really, in the real world who would be crazy enough to move on the 25th (can you imagine the TRAFFIC?); but hey, that’s the manga world for you. And this is Japan. Maybe it doesn’t apply.

Sweet, cute; it’s got the general shoujo flow going on so you can pretty much expect how everything’s going to start and end. It has the typical plot development as well – but one that utilises the Christmas theme in a more unique manner.

Hopefully chungky won’t get on my case for writing a four-lined review. Oh well. Have an awesome Christmas weekend! =D

Rating: 3.6/5.0

-arawr >=3

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