There is a distinct style to [author:Arina Tanemura|311365's work that I think most fans, myself inclued, recognize. Tanemura writes pretty stereotypi...moreThere is a distinct style to [author:Arina Tanemura|311365's work that I think most fans, myself inclued, recognize. Tanemura writes pretty stereotypical shojo with a mix of romance and comedy. At first glance, anyway. But there is something about it, beyond the laughing-out-loud-on-the-floor-dying jokes, the gorgeous artstyle, and the often angsty romance storylines we see on the surface of Tanemura's works, that makes her one of my new favorite writers/mangakans recently.
And I think it has a lot to do with the themes she brings to her writing. While she's often writing about romance, love, and friendship, there is one theme that keeps coming up whenever I read her writing in any form. And, to me, that is the sense of belonging her characters keep looking for. In the stories I've read by her, there is a consistant need to belong that her characters show. They want to belong to one person, a group of friends, but most importantly, to themselves. They don't just want acceptance of their love and/or friendship from others, but from themselves most especially; something, I think anyway, is one of the hardest things to manage in this workd, especially, as in most of Tanemura's writing, when you're a teenager.
Mistress Fortune, the manga and its protagonist, are no different. Kisaki, after all, doesn't want to just belong to her crush and have him accept her love or be a part of the psychi organization she works for, but also wants to be a strong person for herself and her own powers. She wants the love from both those places, but strives to better, instead of allowing them to love her as she is, lesser powers and all.
In many ways, her desire to be loved by her crush is also indicative of her dual personality, Kisaki and Mistress Fortune. She wants Giniro to love her as a partner in both senses, and in both places; hence her continual efforts to bring him into her world and thus fully exist in it. Loving Giniro is kind of a metaphor, in my mind, to loving herself. If he can accept her two sides, then she will have to too.
Enough English major talk.
All in all, Mistress Fortune is a lovely, though short (only one volume! Sads :( Though Tanemura does indicate in her comments that there is always room for more stories), addition to any manga-lover's collection (new or old to Tanemura's work) with an adorable story, beautiful art, and comedy that will have you laughing and remembering why shojo is absolutely fantastic. 4/5
An adorable anthology by Milk, who I first discovered through her series Girl Friends: The Complete Collection 1. This anthology deals with a series o...moreAn adorable anthology by Milk, who I first discovered through her series Girl Friends: The Complete Collection 1. This anthology deals with a series of characters from the same school, but unconnected to the characters in Girl Friends. Its cute, fluffy, and utterly sweet. Definitely a keeper for those who love the mangakan and her style of yuri.
I actually read this online quite a while ago and fell in love, but just never got the chance to buy it. Luckily for me FEH was at Halcon so I could n...moreI actually read this online quite a while ago and fell in love, but just never got the chance to buy it. Luckily for me FEH was at Halcon so I could not only buy it, but get it personalized.
Second time around: Still in love. Probably even more so. 5/5(less)
That weird basketball thing aside, which I sort of get because it did bring the team back together, I was actually okay with the amount of non-closure...moreThat weird basketball thing aside, which I sort of get because it did bring the team back together, I was actually okay with the amount of non-closure (the mangakan apologizes for it profusely), for this series. I didn't feel I had to know all the answers, and I'm happy to imagine their lives afterward.
It was nice having that extra story at the end to show us how Kyo and Chiharu were working on their relationship. It's not easy or simple, and I liked how the story stayed true to that.
I really enjoyed this volume, mostly because the stakes got much, much higher for Kyo, and we finally got to the end of 'is he or isn't he?' arc thing...moreI really enjoyed this volume, mostly because the stakes got much, much higher for Kyo, and we finally got to the end of 'is he or isn't he?' arc thing that's been going on.
While this manga does have quite a bit of basketball in it, Girl Got Game is much more about the draaaammmmmaaaa, often crazily exaggerated, surroundi...moreWhile this manga does have quite a bit of basketball in it, Girl Got Game is much more about the draaaammmmmaaaa, often crazily exaggerated, surrounding the two main characters: Chiharu and Kyo.
Thought to be honest, I doubt anyone reads it for the basketball content. The series is too hilarious on its own to be a true sport manga. Plus that whole romance thing really does steal the show.
I really enjoy the gender bending qualities of the story, however. They make it that more fun!
Even the short stories included in a few of the volumes are fun to read, even if I do begrudge the space they take away from my precious Chiharu
If you've read Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara, much of Honey Hunt, art and character types most prominently, will seem familiar to you. The manga revolves...moreIf you've read Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara, much of Honey Hunt, art and character types most prominently, will seem familiar to you. The manga revolves around a girl named Yura who decides to enter showbiz in order to take revenge, at least initially, on her celebrity parents who are utter assholes jerkfaces. Of course, Yura's motives become a bit more pure and emerge as feelings of pride and her own love of acting. Along for the ride are an older agent who has feelings for Yura (which is really, really gross. 32 and a 16 yo? Heck no.), a super sweet guy who seems to have more of an interest in Yura's musician father than Yura herself yet continues to push for a relationship, and an angry dude that's falling hard for Yura.
At first glance, Honey Hunt reminded me of what little I've read/watched of Skip Beat!, Vol. 1. Revenge-based decision to enter showbiz? Where haven't I heard that before. At the same time, however, Honey Hunt does make itself different from Skip Beat!, Vol. 1's edgy game of politics, and delves more into the romance angle as well as the theme of family, love, and friendships; all things Aihara is definitely focused on in her work.
The characters types that initial appear in Honey Hunt definitely felt like rehashed versions of the main characters in Hot Gimmick, but as the volumes go on, they start to have their own distinct personalities that differ from what I initial thought. The character that reminded me most of Hot Gimmick's Ryoki, Haruka, for instance, turned out to be much soft-hearted and scared than I expected, and pushes everyone away out of fear instead of a lack of love.
The art, as always with Aihara, is gorgeous, and there are, thankfully, enough differences with the hairstyles that it doesn't get confusing with her other works.
The only thing that's a downside to this series is the fact that it's been on hiatus since 2009 as Aihara has been working on another series. At least there are six volumes to get through before you can join Aihara's fanbase in its collective misery.
All in all, Honey Hunt is a lovely shojo series, with enough character interaction and romance to keep you swooning, yet still managing to keep the family theme prominent enough to make the series worthwhile.