Ameiro Paradox by Natsume Isaku
If you like Yamamoto Kotetsuko’s manga (Honto Yajuu, Lucky number 13, Konya mo Nemurenai) then this manga is for you! This story about the romance between two rival reporters who are forced to become a team is written in a whimsical, charming style, similar to the way Yamamoto Kotetusko creates her yaoi manga. I always hate bad yaoi, and you can smell it from a mile away because you can cut the cheezyness with a knife, like cheese. you can quote me on that. The nice thing about this manga is that, because the storytelling is so nonchalant and funny, there’s nothing cheezy about this story. It’s a really fun read with charming characters.
(I looked this mangaka up, and it turns out she’s done about 7 Zoro x Sanji manga, and I sort of burst out laughing when I saw that : B I’m actually a huge One Piece fan, but I’m sort of (by which I mean very) a One Piece originalist, so I’m not into fandom. I sort of wonder if these doujin were good or not, even so…if she had them living together in Tokyo it could get pretty funny, actually, but I doubt that’s why anyone would read a Zoro x Sanji doujin. I think Zoro would cut you if he heard you talking about this…we all assume Sanji’s at least bisexual because he’s so homophobic that it would only seem natural that he’s suppressing something, whereas Luffy, who has no interest in romance, could life on Kamabakka island and just hang out for two years, becoming friends with everyone. Sorry for all the extra chat. you don’t have to read this part, but if you’re seing this now, I guess you already have…oops…sorry)
It’s ironic that my speculation on the Zoro x Sanji doujin is actually longer than the review itself. oh well.
A review of Shiroi Kumo by Iwaoka Hisae
This is a collection of ephemeral shorts by the mangaka who created Saturn Apartments (which I have yet to read). She was also a member of Takahashi Murakami’s Tokyo Girls Bravo collective (this is an example of her work from that period: http://images.marianneboeskygallery.com/www_marianneboeskygallery_com/6f124cda.jpg). Unfortunately, not all of the stories in this collection have been translated, only a little more than half.
The drawings in Shiroi Kumo are beautifully rendered, surreal depictions and the stories follow in a similar suit. Each story is a commentary on life, purpose, meaning, and emotion in a simple yet profound way. This is a really beautiful, moving collection and a must read.
Discommunication Seireihen — Ueshiba Riichi
A review of Ueshiba Riichi’s Discommunication Seireihen
let me just say that I absolutely cannot wait for the next chapter of this to be released. When I started reading this, it seemed a little bit sensationalist, and I was only hanging on for the amazing art work, but as soon as the true nature of the story appeared, I was hooked. Welcome to the true world of the surreal, where dreams, ancient religion and spirituality reign. Two mysterious girls must save a perpetual sleepwalker, but to do so they must enter the world of dreams from childhood and ancient times, using toys and the occult a their tools.
Not only is the art in this amazing, but the level of imagination involved as well as the amazing amount of information about ancient religion and the occult is astonishing. This is a work of genius and a must read.
review of Koi to Gunkan by Nishi Keiko
right of the bat, I just want to say that I cannot believe that this runs in Nakayoshi magazine, considering it’s target audience’s age. This story is intrinsically perverted in a sort of hilarious way, but it is definitely not suited for middle schoolers, who are the main characters of the story, or anyone younger.
So…..what happens when a sad and lonely middle school girl falls in love with her town’s cute, 40-something year old mayor? That’s already a little creepy, but then the mayor seems to be in a gay relationship (I hope that doesn’t sound offensive for some reason) with a hentai mangaka, who happens to be a favorite of the protagonist’s new, cynical best friend from school? Everything about this story is is dirty and creepy, but in a sort of ridiculous, hilarious way, although I don’t think it’s meant to be. I will definitely say it’s entertaining, but I will only recommend reading it if you’re really into weird guys in their forties, or tend to enjoy pervy stories aimed at a female audience. This is probably my weakest recommendation ever, because this manga isn’t that good, but it will make you go, “what?! did that really just happen?!” and “This is what Nakayoshi does now??” so it’s entertaining.
review of Chikutaku Bon Bon by Katsuta Bun
This is a subtle but addictive story about a mysterious young clock maker—who may or may not be a vampire—and a ditzy girl from the countryside. I’m assuming that this story takes place in the 20s, which is one of it’s most charming points. If you read this you will get your daily dose of retro boys school uniforms, traditional dress, adorable bats (the winged mammal, not the tool), and profound, real-life problems.
One of my favorite parts is metaphorical drawings of clocks that reference the hardships that the characters face, but also the consistency that keeps them going. This is a lovely josei manga, definitely worth a read.
Finally, a review of Tsuritama!
I just finished watching the anime, so I’m going to review it now. Sorry about the delay!
Tsuritama is the most charming show I have ever seen and I am not exaggerating. It’s about friendship, aliens, fishing, family and an ancient legend. Yuki, a boy whose everyday life drowns hims with anxiety, comes home one day to an adorable alien named Haru, who his grandma has invited to live with them. Haru is insistent that the two learn to fish—he says that it will save the world—and while learning how to fish, the two boys meet the greatest friends of their lives. All together, they must fish up a ‘dragon’ from an ancient legend and protect the Japanese coast. My favorite thing about this show is that it has the world’s happiest, most wonderful warm and fuzzy ending of all time. It was exactly what I had been hoping for and thinking I wasn’t going to get the whole time.
So definitely watch Tsuritama; it’s a wonderful show that will really make you smile and will warm up your heart!
I am completely satisfied with all the manga I have read lately! Runaway o Produce, that array of Nakamura Asumiko stories and Bungaku Shoujo are all magnificent!
Review of Bungaku Shoujo to Shinitagari Pierrot (The Literature Girl and the Clown who Wished for Death) by Nomura Mizuki, Kousaka Rito and Takeoka Miho
I stumbled upon quite a masterpiece here! This is something I found using mangapark’s random manga button. It looked really interesting, and indeed, it was!
The story of ‘Literature Girl’ revolves around the novel No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai, one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century. When reading this manga, I think it’s important to remember that the Japanese title of No Longer Human is Ningen Shikkaku, or ‘A Failure as a Human.’ ‘Literature Girl’ tells the story of several high school students who feel exactly like the protagonist of Ningen Shikkaku in that they believe they cannot experience human emotions. These ‘failures’ become intertwined with the head of the Literature Club, a self proclaimed ‘literature girl’ who eats book. The center of the story is a suspenseful tale of suicide and attempted murder that occurred 10 years ago. The end of this manga was my favorite part. It’s a truly charming and “delicious” ending, as the book eating literature girl would say. This is truly an amazing manga and a must read.
I’m curious because part of this story seems to reference a chapter in Tezuka Osamu’s Barbara where the protagonist has an delusion that he had killed a lover, when in fact, he had destroyed his first novel. I have reviewed Barbara here, if you are interested.