After the Setona Mizushiro angsty duology of gay love, I just really wanted to re-read what David Welsh (who is a gay man and manga lover himself) calAfter the Setona Mizushiro angsty duology of gay love, I just really wanted to re-read what David Welsh (who is a gay man and manga lover himself) calls one of the most realistic positive portraits of gay love in a manga.
This sometimes actually reminds me of French bande dessinee in some of the drawing style (and the mangaka REALLY knows her way around anatomy, her naked bodies are beautiful but never exxagerated) - although the beauty of Akira would have been hard to swallow, had I not seen Joe Cheng as Kui in the Taiwanese dorama The Rose (based on the Bara no Tameni manga, interestingly enough).
Since then I totally buy into feminine features being utterly beautiful in real life in a man (and Joe has that very lovely low voice, too - unless he has to scream dramatically ^^).
Because Kento is introduced as simply following along with his grandparents wishes and fairly clumsy socially in general, it actually works for me that he discovers a real desire for Akira and it's the best it's ever been for him. And because he's one of those really earnest shonen guys... think Luffy ^^ or the young Son Goku in Dragonballs - he just goes after what he wants, only slowly waking up to the reality of what this will mean in the long run....more
**spoiler alert** This book took me ages to read because I remember the main storyline from the anime and Iku Kasahara really gets put through the rin**spoiler alert** This book took me ages to read because I remember the main storyline from the anime and Iku Kasahara really gets put through the ringer, in a textbook inquiry attack to be made into a scapegoat so that Hikaru's older brother can blackmail Hikaru into joining the enemies of the library.
Because Kasahara is so open and because her prince/instructor has undergone the same sort of harassment because of the raid where he helped her keep her book when she was a highschool girl this volume really emotionally hits hard (the looks aside when she is made out to be a traitor among the other librarians, etc.).
A nice light end story was the bonus manga again. The mangaka really has a great grasp on these light novel characters. If it was in doubt whether this series was josei, the content of this volume should have cleared this up. Just because the main heroine is open and genki like a schoolgirl doesn't mean that her circumstances are those of a school girl.
I don't need all-out war in this series when intrigues and Machiavellian plots can destroy people just as well....more
**spoiler alert** I don't know who among the Manga Bookshelf crew wrote that this was a whole volume of payoff (because I read them via LJ feed unless**spoiler alert** I don't know who among the Manga Bookshelf crew wrote that this was a whole volume of payoff (because I read them via LJ feed unless I want to comment), but that's exactly what it is - the culmination of the developing love among insecurity and miscommunication (from both sides) of Sawako and Shota.
And because this series at its core is the developing of the shy duckling Sawako into a courageous swan, appreciated by everyone, not just Kazehaya, we have some very moving confessions from her side, even without being totally sure that Kazehaya shares her feeling.
But when he does ^^, well... Okay, the setting of this climax of the last ten volumes amid the class at the cultural festival at school may have been over the top for a real life love story, but it has the great advantage to bring in the tension of two people wanting to concentrate on each other amidst all the claims on their time and therefore nervousness that is even real life inherent in a declaration of love ("Joe" is all I need to mention, I'm sure).
Because Shiina has carefully developed both lovers, Kazehaya is actually conscious that his habit of keeping his deepest feelings to himself - away from everyone, even Ryu - will NOT work when facing Sawako and her unfamiliarity with the average teenage behaviourisms. She won't be able to believe, because she has seen herself as so unworthy for so long, so he has to make it totally obvious (we do get the day after here, too - and all the people at school who can't believe the truth or think Sawako might have misled Kazehaya) - so he actually becomes poetic, and open even with with the whole school watching (and gets the mickey taken out of that scene the next day in front of the whole class, of course... this is a school with teenagers...).
He heroically bears up under this, because he knows how fragile the understanding is until Sawako is sure enough of her own worth to be somewhat confident that she is being loved by him(papering her room and the bath with stickers how the confession hasn't been a dream is one way she deals with this herself).
We also get Kurumi dealing with both being together, which I particularly like. This is just the start of being together with your loved one - the first steps haven't even be taken yet. There is a reason why this manga still goes on, because this is as realistic a teenage love as highly idealised shoujo will offer.
As Kazehaja says in his internal monologue at the most important spread in the volume - his feelings have finally reached Sawako. Reaching you - was his aim. That's the title a scanlation team used to translate Kimi ni Todoke with, and I expect that's the meaning the mangaka actually wanted to convey in the title....more
I don't care that I own the second collection hardcover AND all the pamphlets, even the three new ones that were missing from the 1st edition of the 2I don't care that I own the second collection hardcover AND all the pamphlets, even the three new ones that were missing from the 1st edition of the 2nd volume. Storytelling like this needs to be supported, so I'll be buying this, too....more
**spoiler alert** This time the friends go to the beach and Kazehaya and Sadako manage to hold hands a bit and talk about their families (especially s**spoiler alert** This time the friends go to the beach and Kazehaya and Sadako manage to hold hands a bit and talk about their families (especially since Kazehaya already visited Sadako's house) - Aya and Chizuru are on the one hand pleased for Sadako, on the other hand they want to tease her a bit for the fact that she has got a boyfriend and they haven't (well, it's more Aya's problem than Chizuru's).
At the beach another romance is put into play a bit more (although the girl in question - Chizuru - isn't really aware of that yet). Ryu makes a few moves that get Chizuru to see him as different from her preconception as childhood friend. Ryu being Ryu he's quite satisfied with ruffling her calm.
Kenta and Ayane have a bit of a heart to heart: first it looks as if he just wants to tease Ayane because she's the only one of the three girls without a boy around her and then it becomes clear that he's hoping for a bit of sympathy while determinedly burying his surprising crush on Sadako (if he were less of a suave player, I'd have more sympathy for him actually being surprised into love there).
And then Sadako visits and meets Kazehaya's family - not only is it cute to see how she looks for Kazehaya in all of them and tries her best to make a good impression - I found it totally sweet that when the two of them are up in his room, we can totally see that not only Sadako is utterly shy in the relationship but Shota (whose first real love this is, too) - usually so confident in his role as friend, classmate - can hardly handle when Sadako tries to say his first name. Both of them are amazed to find out when the other fell for them - and respectively how early in their acquaintance that was ^^ (yes, it took a good long while, but Shiina-sensei managed to make clear just why that was so for both of them).
And then we turn a bit of a spotlight on Ayane, who suddenly gets confessed to by a schoolmate none of them have ever met before. Because she has been somewhat envious of Sadako and her feelings (and of Chizuru and Ryu, even as Chizu remains largely clueless) - she decides to accept his confession and become his girlfriend. He is the first boy of the same age who has ever confessed to her, after all.
And so the class trip to Hokkaido starts - and Sadako gets to see a Kazehaya in casual clothes, and to talk with her girlfriends about cute underwear (and Ayane gets to be really wicked and tell Kazehaya what kind of underwear Sadako is wearing at the moment, heh)......more
These are short stories from the time when Natsume Ono was perfecting her craft, and they show the time she spent in Italy very clearly. I can alreadyThese are short stories from the time when Natsume Ono was perfecting her craft, and they show the time she spent in Italy very clearly. I can already see her way of highlighting people's interactions. There is no outward action in these stories (apart from people walking or sitting on the bus or driving) - they literally are a slice of the life of the people.
Even at this point in her career you feel with her protagonists no matter how short the story (view spoiler)[(the two Froom Family stories are the most heartbreaking to me) (hide spoiler)]. Most of the stories have a sort of happy end though and I would love to hear more about almost all the people introduced - especially Sandro & Co. and the beansprout couple ^^.
Readers who like The House of Five Leaves may have problems with the art and the quiet pace and Italy focus - but if you've liked not simple and Ristorante/Gente, too, you should get yourself this beautifully produced volume.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I actually came across this first as a fansub - I was interested in the series after having seen the Ristorante Paradiso fansub. I think the anime gotI actually came across this first as a fansub - I was interested in the series after having seen the Ristorante Paradiso fansub. I think the anime got even more of Ono's drawing style correctly than RP did - but I didn't mind the prettifying in RP because that is a couple of romantic vignettes of people in various versions of love and friendship.
House of the Five Leaves also has friendships and relationships but it's not really a love story. It's historical in setting, but personally I think she might have set the conflict up in a different time period without losing anything about it.
The draw are the characters, if you don't like them you won't have the patience for the slow reveal of the ties that bind them. Outsider Masanosuke, a capable samurai who has such a retiring and shy personality that he can't keep his job anywhere, comes into contact with a self-confident and suave shady stranger, who basically adopts him like a stray dog. He finds himself slowly entangled ever more in the associations of that guy and becomes fascinated despite seeing very clearly that the way of life of this Yaichi person is not conforming to Samurai honor standards.
Having seen the anime, I can guess better now and at more leisure why Yaichi decided to keep contact with Masa even after the initial reason he picked him up.
I have the feeling that the anime sometimes took more time to explore certain areas of Edo life - Matsu's skill of smithery with regards to things like locks and hairpins was detailed more in the anime - but other than that the relationships between the characters can be perused at more leisure when you have a static page.
Also, the SIGIKKI edition by Viz is incredibly handsome, and exquisitely printed plus careful with the honorifics and the necessary explanations. Kudos!...more
**spoiler alert** When I found out that this manga was going to be released in Germany, too, I got myself the German edition because apple and sho rea**spoiler alert** When I found out that this manga was going to be released in Germany, too, I got myself the German edition because apple and sho really strongly recommended this as one of the better salarymen yaoi dramas they'd read (according to the mangaka it is her first personal project - and according to her page here at GoodReads she's been an artist for other writers).
What is strong, apart from the elegant but not too feminine or flowry artwork, is the cinematic sense of timing that Yoneda-sensei has. She starts with Shima, the fragile admitted gay character who has left his good job at another company due to being mobbed by the man he had an affair with, waking up after a night with his current direct boss Togawa and attempting to smoke a cigarette.
Now this is a start I've seen before in other yaoi. Only in reading the book and following their initial meeting and impressions of each other, reading along with their developing relationship, did I realise how important smoking is for Togawa (whose family are all dead, the younger brother dying in a house fire(!) which ought to have killed Togawa, too - and the mother suiciding - all this after having lost the father in an accident) and how much the fact that he decides to cut back on smoking and drinking shows that his feelings for Shima are true and strong.
Shima, who really hates smoke and alcohol (he can't stand the smell in the clothes and the taste in a kiss, and he can't handle alcohol himself, so...) was really brainwashed by his former lover and is understandably afraid that he is making the same mistakes at the new employers but he can't keep his eyes off Togawa.
So we get the back and forth dance of attraction and are wondering how much there is in truth to the feelings - mostly on the side of Shima - and then Yoneda-sensei does a clever switch, revealing a lot about the background of Togawa and showing how desperately he has gone beyond just the fascination with Shima's face and body, trying to find compromises to show him his sincerity.
And Shina breaking it all off in fear of getting hurt, but selling it as a way out for Togawa before he is outed to the world and might be hurt himself. I really liked that Togawa is not a martyr and accepts the slap with dignity - and would not have returned to Shima if he hadn't gone after him finally.
Is there a weakness? In the construction of Togawa falling in real love for Shima the flip of the reader getting a solo scene for Togawa where he brokenly admits his utter love for Shima is not so well prepared as Shima's slow fascination with Togawa. Shima himself remains a bit of a cipher: I can't quite get why Togawa would flip so much because of him.
This is no Future Lovers - which is for me the top standard of fairly realistic men in working positions falling for each other where one of the guys has been straight so far (but then I'm not all that widely read in yaoi manga) - but a strong single title nevertheless....more
**spoiler alert** I'd seen single chapters in scanlation and I really liked the progression of the covers - check one to three in sequence - and it se**spoiler alert** I'd seen single chapters in scanlation and I really liked the progression of the covers - check one to three in sequence - and it seems to be a lovely little smut comedy where so far the heroine doesn't come across as a total doormat for the hero - who is actually quite nice. There's a winning plot moppet who alone is worth the entry fee and even a slight touch of esp powers.
Maiko was in a serious accident last year and is getting back into university just now. She got blood transfusions (from an acquaintance and the nice female stranger who helped her directly after the accident and visited in hospital) and since then she has started having fairly explicit erotic dreams about an attractive man not much older than she.
Once back at university she is overrun by a mob of squeeing female fans and falls down to get stepped on by a man who couldn't see her on the floor - he looks just like her dream lover and her emotions start veering out of control right away. He turns out to be a darling of the literary world and guest lecturer at the university.
Maiko keeps having flashbacks to memories not her own and finally confronts him with it, and after some startlement Yukiya Nagase starts believing, especially when he realizes that Maiko's helpful female stranger was Haruka, who died shortly after she had helped Maiko. She left a young child called Touya behind, being raised by Yukiya, his dad (view spoiler)[(although even now there are careful not spoken hints and acknowledgments left out that indicate it might not be Yukiya who is the dad - personally I expect this to be a background story of twin brothers, one called Sei, and both of them in love with Haruka, who picked Sei. I think Sei may have died together with Haruka and so they left Touya to Yukiya) (hide spoiler)].
While Yukiya is kind, he is also quite happy to be a player - however he sincerely loves Touya who has been very lethargic since Haruka's death. He manipulates Maiko into going along and she recognizes Touya right away, and Touya really gets lively when he sees her.
Due to various plot developments the three end up living together and there's even a tiny bit of possible explanation for the memories, because Touya turns out to have some telekinetic powers that he uses when he's afraid his returned "mother" and father are having an argument. Maiko's main dilemma is having to decide whether Yukiya's advances are due to her having Haruka's blood and some memories AND whether her own positive reaction is just because of Haruka or herself. Until she figures it out, Yukiya isn't getting near the finish line, no matter how much he can sex her up.
Downside: There's a female friend of Haruka's - the only one at that - who is shown as having a fatal attraction for abusive boyfriends. It's played for laughs actually, which is fairly nasty coming from a female creator, to my mind.
You also have to think it funny when Yukiya starts making love to Maiko on the kitchen table - only as far as getting her top off and Touya discovers them and wants to get at Maiko's breasts, too. That was actually fairly funnily drawn, especially when embarrassed Maiko falls of the table. In general the mangaka seems to have a hand with facial reactions, they are certainly more varied than I'm used to in a manga of this sort.
This isn't a must have, but I liked it enough and it's different enough from what I read in this subgenre that I ordered the last two volumes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm not feeling up to my current contemporary romance spree, I have no idea why, maybe a glut of too many of them in one go, so I've been diving intoI'm not feeling up to my current contemporary romance spree, I have no idea why, maybe a glut of too many of them in one go, so I've been diving into my piles of TBR manga this week. And this is the most current read, I'll be working my way back in reviews, before I completely forget (which is why I went on GR in the first place).
I read Rasetsu, the sequel series before this and quite liked it, having bounced off previous Chika Shiomi series in scanlation (and bought books). I think I'll get the rest of the series (Nr. 2 is already on my TBR and will be read next).
The series starts as a mix of high school comedy/possible romance with overbearing heroes (2) and well-meaning, rather colourless heroine (1) who is overshadowed by the guardian spirit who takes over her body when she's endangered by wanting to help spirits move on to the next world.
Having read the sequel series I do know whom she'll end up with and can't quite see it right now. I do recognise the way that Shiomi-sensei already has dark pasts rear their ugly head among the uplifting/dramatic help-the-ghost shenanigans and school comedy....more
This should be average shoujo , not even the artwork is all that special and it has a kimono gimmick - but the directness of the heroine and the reactThis should be average shoujo , not even the artwork is all that special and it has a kimono gimmick - but the directness of the heroine and the reactions of her surroundings to that elevate this series above the usual soup of school life shoujo.
CMX had some of the most unique series of well-known tropes.
1st read July 2010. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fun to reread as well. I got more of the kimono knowledge this time around. It's still a totally cute couple, too....more
Excellent extension of the starting volume, with deft avoiding of the usual handsome brother clichés. I'm a bit sad at the advertisement for a third vExcellent extension of the starting volume, with deft avoiding of the usual handsome brother clichés. I'm a bit sad at the advertisement for a third volume, when we know that CMX was closed by DC.
1st read July 15th 2010. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The older brother annoyed me ever so much more this time around. Player :P. The grandmother remains AWESOME!!...more