Daydream Sanctuary Features

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Manga Discoveries: Some New Shoujo Guilty Pleasures

I do not know WHY but recently I've been reading so many shoujo manga. I love the main four demographics (shounen, shoujo, josei, seinen) but among the four, the one I like LEAST is actually shoujo. So I really find this situation awkward . . .

Anyway, I've been catching up on Recipe for Gertrude, Perfect Girl Evolution, and Otoyomegatari (oh, that one's josei). Next will be Watashi ni xx Shinasai (Shigure x Yukina!!!!).

I was not only catching up, but I've been checking out new series as well. Apparently, most of them are shoujo. And sadly, they are actually nowhere near great. However, they all had something that delights me so much, which is: AWESOME BISHIE/S!!!!

So yeah, there are my new Guilty Pleasures....a.k.a. Series-That-I-Think-Suck-Or-Have-So-Many-Flaws-But-Has-An-Awesome-SOMEONE-To-Make-Me-Read-More.

Oh man. Ah well, at least none of the leading ladies of the shoujo manga I've discovered recently aren't as annoying as Sakura from Sakurahime Kaden (which is another guilty pleasure. It gives me damn headaches but I love the bishies, especially AOBA!!!!)

Alright . . . moving on . . . this post will feature the following:
Faster Than a Kiss, Heart no Diamond, Hime-chan no Ribbon (+Colorful), Ryuu no Hanawazurai, and Ultimate Venus

Faster Than a Kiss by TANAKA Meca
After losing their parents, Fumino and her brother hop from one relative to another. Getting tired of all those moves, she finally decides to quit school and work to support her brother on her own. As they sat on a park bench, her teacher appears in front of her and agrees to her demands of marrying and supporting both her and her brother!! Is he serious or just playing around...!?

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
namelissis made a post saying that the leading guy of this series looks very similar to Zen from Shirayukihime. Yeah, that alone made me think of reading it (I ignored this before because of the "kiss" in the title. I hate mushy manga)
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
Idea was really unique and I was really impressed at the beginning. However, I could no longer count how many times the leading girl being so sad that her husband hasn't touched her yet (but he already sexually harassed her for so many times. the only thing they didn't do is kiss and make love. I don't get the "no touching" disappointment), and how many times she has blushed, and how many times she ran away, and how many times she got rescued, and how many times they had a loving hug after a serious event. It's so repetitive. I celebrate on chapters that don't turn out like that . . .which are rare.
:: About the leading lady ::
She's actually okay but she got me so disappointed that . . . you see, she is capable of fighting. But I only saw that tough side when she's beating up dudes to protect her girl friends. But when she's in danger, it's ALWAYS leading guy who will do that job. AND I COULD NO LONGER COUNT HOW MANY TIMES THAT HAPPENED. Oh jeez, what's the use of making the leading girl a fighter if those skills are not gonna be used at all? Yes, rescues are romantic, but pathetic girls make me vomit.
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
THE HUMOR!!!! Oh god no matter how many times they repeat those jokes, they're still so hilarious! Bwahahahha!!!!! ALSO THE BROTHER COMPLEX!!!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
I FREAKIN' LOVE KAZUMA (He's nothing like Zen, namelissis, and I like Zen more, but he's pretty similar to Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen's Prince Johanne though~) He's soooo funny~ Him and his cosplay fetish. Haha! And I have a liking to former delinquents~
Ryuu is love as well~

Heart no Diamond by SHINJO Mayu
Himeno's chest will hurt if any boy touches her because she has the diamond of the heart. However, when she was young, she befriended two boys -- the gentle Mamoru and the blunt Keigo -- who are able to touch her without harming her. Without knowing about the diamond of the heart, both Mamoru and Keigo promised to protect Himeno. When some people threaten to take Himeno's heart, who else will protect her but her knights?

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
The "diamond" word in the title caught my attention *likes that pretty gem*. And I saw the chapter cover having bishies with CARDS. I didn't need to think anymore~
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
The plot wouldn't have been stupid if it was used in a fairy tale, in my opinion. But how the manga made things happen was really so stupid for me. Many things are so predictable and how could the bad guys be too typical, too evil, and too stupid? And how the legend of the heart shape thing was learned . . . was just like that? I didn't see . . . the story. Oh my headaches.
:: About the leading lady ::
OH GAWD she's the typical kindhearted young girl who is so pretty yet couldn't protect herself. And because she is so special, bad guys go after her and it's up to her knights in shining armor to protect her 24/7 because she's a USELESS princess. Can I strangle her?? PLEASE???!!!
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
THE KNIGHT AND CARD STUFF!!!!!! This might've been cooler if there's more action . . . BUT KNIGHT WITH CARDS IS STILL SO COOL!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::

Hime-chan no Ribbon (+ Colorful) by MIZUSAWA Megumi (original)/KOMIYUNO Shiho (remake)
Tomboyish Himeko is a popular and athletic middle schooler, who can beat pretty much all her male classmates at sports. Sometimes, though, she wishes she could be more cute and feminine, particularly around boys she likes. One day, a girl with the same face appears to Himeko and introduces herself as Princess Erika from a magical kingdom. Erika gives her a magic ribbon, which allows her to transform into whoever she wants. Being beautiful and feminine is, for the first time, within Himeko's grasp!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
I've been seeing it around. And I was curious on what's with the ribbon in the title. And when I found out it was a remake, I looked for scans of the original title.
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
For a magical girl manga, I'm relieved that it isn't one of those "magical girl saves the world" thing. But still, this series is typical shoujo manga, but not as typical as the original. For some reason, though it's typical shoujo, it still got me interested to find out what happens next. Bottom line: Story sucks but strangely it's pretty interesting.
I fear this might be something like Shugo Chara, which is a HUGE disappointment. The original had like 60+ episodes . . . . . oh please don't make an anime of this to make it a pathetic mainsteam shoujo . . .
I hope the remake will improve the original. Art is much prettier already, and there had been changes . . . . hopefully they'll be for the better~
:: About the leading lady ::
Being good in sports and preferences to shorts over skirts DOESN'T make a girl a tomboy! I'm getting sick of the tomboy stereotypes. And oh, in the original, the leading girl gets rescued SO OFTEN by the leading boy, it makes me so sick. Not to mention she's so stupid and reckless too. My head . . . oh my head . . .
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
The magical kingdom thing . . . and the idea of having a "double" in two worlds. Also . . . I like elegant females with Erika's hairstyle . . . they remind me of my goddess Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
As usual, my favorite is the knight in shining armor~ This one is the brattiest among the bishies featured in this post . . . . his kindhearted side was shown more obvious in the original, but I think I like both. YAY FOR BRATTY BOYS! Hahahaha!

Ryuu no Hanawazurai by KUSAKAWA Nari
Teenage Shakuya, the next head of the Dragon Clan, suddenly finds herself with two fianc├ęs! The first vanished years ago but has now mysteriously returned. But betrothed number two is not about to just step aside. What's a girl to do? Her mother decides that at the end of a year, Shakuya will marry the man she has the strongest feelings for. How that will be determined is by "magic tattoos" on both of Shakuya's hands, each representing one of her suitors. As her love grows, so do the tattoos! And complicating all of this is that fact that whenever Shakuya gets upset, she turns into a fearsome dragon!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
Kuroneko003 commanded me to check out the other manga by Kusakawa Nari xD Hahahaha! Ah well, it's stupid of me not to do that earlier, because I love the mangaka's other work, Recipe for Gertrude, a lot~
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
I find it unique that the feelings of the girl is so obvious to the point that everyone can see it (the actual level, actual proof, etc.). But making the fiances compete to get her heart . . . I find it foolish to use romance as a game like that. I prefer how Hanasakeru Seishounen did it, for the girl and the guys don't know the identities of the candidates. It's more fun if they don't know. But in this series they do, and seeing the chapters spend on saving the girl and the guys flirting with her as much as they can . . . it's getting me bored. Why not put some adventure in this at least? I hope it's more than just some love triangle romance manga. But it . . . *sigh*
:: About the leading lady ::
Typical kindhearted princes with a wild side (in other words, she's pretty wild yet so soft and can be vulnerable). And though she's the one with the magical power, she needs two bishies to protect her. The hell . . .
Moreover, Her dragon form is ugly. Guh. (If the bishies were the ones that has a dragon form, they wouldn't be pretty useless like her. IT'S ALWAYS LIKE THAT!!! WHY???!!!)
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
I love Recipe for Gertrude so . . .mangaka bias? And oh, I find the interactions of the two leading guys so much fun (they're rivalry's fair too~ They also know how to work together. They're no idiots. Yay!)~ Even the baby tigers. Haha!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
I like Lucien but KUWAN IS REALLY MORE OF MY TYPE (He also looks pretty similar to Roy of FMA)!!!! Police bishie that seems intimidating but can also be very loving . . . and scary when jealous . . .AND HE BITES!!! ROFLz . . . that part got me sooooooooooo amused~

Ultimate Venus by SHIGEMATSU Takako
Poor Yuzu is an orphan who's too clumsy to hold a job. She's reduced to living in a playground -- until a handsome stranger named Hassaku informs her that she's heir to a fortune, and whisks her into a world of wealth, power, and more hot suitors than she can shake a scepter at! But there's a catch: Hassaku must turn this klutz into a lady of refinement, or Yuzu will lose everything!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
Kuroneko003 has been mentioning this often. And well, we have similar tastes in shoujo (she likes more shoujo than I do though), so I thought of giving this one a try.
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
I do not know why but even though the story's pretty nice, at times, I find it boring. The stories that don't involve the leading girl much are the ones I find more interesting actually . . . the other characters had the chance to shine, but I feel they're not enough . . . Ah well, but story-wise, this is the most decent one among the ones in this post. I'm very impressed with its twists and surprises. I'm pretty relieved it wasn't as bad as I expected.
:: About the leading lady ::
I find her a little boring (I'm also sick of her mother's rule talks) but I'm impressed she doesn't always rely on her bishies to get away from trouble. She gets rescued, yes; but she also kicks balls, and that's hell better than crying helplessly or acting like a stupid martyr. But hhhmm . . . I still find it a little unfair for her to have all those bishies easily . . .
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
The story isn't really fantastic but for some reason it still keeps me interested on what happens next~ And oh, I looooooove the master and servant relationship here~
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
IYO IS SUCH A DARLING~ Masaya also amuses me~ I like Hasaku too, and Yuzu can have him all she wants. I WANT IYO!!! SO IYO, GO BACK TO BEING THE LOYAL SERVANT BOY OR JUST BE ALONE!!!! This doesn't need to be a reverse harem, please . . .

Okayz, for batch overview:
Most Decent Storytelling: Ultimate Venus
Most Likeable Pairing: Kazuma x Fumiko (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Entertaining: Faster Than a Kiss
Most Decent Leading Female: Yuzu (Ultimate Venus)
Most Hilarious Bishie: Kazuma (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Badass Bishie: Kuwan (Ryuu no Hanawazurai) and Kazuma (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Adorable Bishie: Iyo (Ultimate Venus)
Favorite Bishie Ranking in this Batch: (1) Kazuma [I love hilarious bishies] (2) Iyo [I wanna huggle him] (3) Kuwan [he's sooo hott] (4) Mamoru [prince charming!] (5) Daichi [I love rebellious boys~]
Favorite Series Ranking in this Batch: (1) Faster Than a Kiss (2) Ultimate Venus (3) Ryuu no Hanawazurai (4) Hime-chan no Colorful (5) Heart no Diamond

Other Notes and General Comments:
- I am not afraid to bash leading females I hate because for some reason most leading females of shoujo manga are REALLY SO PATHETIC! But of course, there are exceptions. And definitely, I may hate the character, but I don't hate her fans.
- Oh please, I don't hate the leading girl just because my favorite bishie is in love with her. I don't have such stupid hallucinations. If I said such, I'm doing it for humor or for exaggeration.
- honestly, my hatred towards a leading female has nothing to do with my opinion of the seies in general. however, the behavior and actions of the main character affects the story of the series, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise for me to dislike the quality of a series because of how much I think it's leading female sucks . . .
- the guy in the preview image of each series is my number one bishie of the said manga. AREN'T THEY SO GORGEOUS??!! xD Hahahaha . . . .


namelissis said...

You're blaming me ;_;

And oh, btw, the only reason I compared them is they looked alike in that instant... All my comparisons are based on their physical features 8D~

I <3 Kazuma as I <3 Zen...
but lately, I'm swooning over his brother, Shouma...
(the chibitars proved it, I still haven't make a Kazuma XD)

OHHHH, you read Heart no Diamond!
Keigo <3~!
Himeno is stupid and uhm, annoying :P Well, typical in Mayu Shinjo... Hot Guys + Stupid, Annoying Girl 8D

taciturndream said...

I've been trying to find good new shoujo but failed. The only one I tried reading from your list is Faster than a kiss and I didn't enjoy it for silly premise of staying just like that in a strangers house or something.

And I agree with the female leads...and, especially on the tomboy aspect. Wearing not so cute clothes could be, but why do they have to be top at sports?? That isn't a need for a tomboy! She can suck at it too!

Anonymous said...

For Hime-chan, I find the characters degraded in Colorful. :/ Erika annoys the crap out of me, to say the least.

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ namelissis
Of course I blame you~ Because of you, I was awake 'till like 3 am reading FTaK!!!! Damn you! *hugs*


Okayz, take Keigo while I'll get Mamoru xD Ohohohoho~

Let's kill Himeno together =_=

@ taciturndream
It's difficult to find good shoujo. That's why I don't read much from that demographic =_=

Faster than a kiss is indeed stupid. I only read it for entertainment and for the crack bishies. Well, I did say this post consists of my guilty pleasures. They're addicting but they still suck =P

Oh the tomboy thing. I hate the shoujo tomboy stereotype. They have it so wrong. =_=

@ Anonymous
Yes, they're so degraded xD Series itself is actually stupid typical shoujo. I only like Erika out of bias . . . why do elegant women with that hair look so wonderful . .

Aorii said...

Just found this blog, you have an interesting way of getting the point across xD

You make a great point with the 'why make the leading girl a fighter if they're not going to fight and only get rescued'. Sadly, this is way overdone in Shoujo manga. Personally I think that romantic pairings cross the line when the guy completely overshadows the girls in everything... ugh. This is why Akagami no Shirayuki hime is so gold (I noticed you read that).

Oh, and the main heroine from anything Shinjo Mayu writes is always USELESS. I can't think of anything she does that ISN'T a guilty pleasure.

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Aorii
Thank you and I'm happy that you were able to drop by here =D

It's really a sad reality that it's something overdone in shoujo manga ;_; And yes, Akagami had been such a gold for that! Rarely do I see leading females that don't fall into such pathetic roles.

Shinjo Mayu is so evil for that =_= There's a limit to the headaches I could bear. But damn . . . the bishies!

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