Daydream Sanctuary Features

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Manga Discoveries: Guys turn to Girls, Unconditional Love, Rock Star's Love, Artist's Life, and Bishies for Romance & Friendship (ft. Otoyomegatari)

I finally caught up to Otoyomegatari... and I wanna know more about Smith *_*

I am not a sewing freak but the patterns featured in the latest chapter are indeed very gorgeous *_* I really love this series, and I discovered recently that one of my favorite mangaka, Akizuki Sorata, actually has a copy of its first volume! Fantastic mangakas also have awesome tastes xD I knew it xD Ohohohoho!

Anywayz, I've been manga hunting once again! Hahahah! I don't like missing an awesome series so I check out new titles as much as I can xD So anyway, I've discovered a number of series but for this batch I will be including those that I recommend. ;D

[ Featured in this Post ]

(This manga is not featured in this post but that's the portion of the Belca portrait to be given away in the ZeroSum anniversary. *_* Kyaaa! And oh, +C is one of those that I like... so sort of fits in this post? o_O)
:: Agape ::
(criminal profiling and catching crooks... police stuff hell yeah!)
:: Ame Nochi Hare ::
(traps in the next level!)
:: Boku to Watashi no Henai Jijou ::
( rock star x epic fail baker girl FTW!)
:: Chibi-san Date ::
(what a Hetalia fan shouldn't miss!)
:: Seishun Kouryakubon ::
(yay for bishies with friends and in love)

[ Agape by KASHIMA Jun and ISHIGURO Masakazu ]

The metropolitan police have a special squad of negotiators for talking down violent criminals in hostage situations and so forth. The two top negotiators have great knowledge of human psychology and experience in dealing with criminals, but they are missing something important.
They are searching for someone who is capable of agape love-- unconditional and selfless love for all people. Such a person would be able to develop rapport easily with criminals, and therefore be a natural negotiator. Instead of finding a person like this on the police force, they find her in the form of the teenage girl Haruka. Will they be able to persuade her to become a negotiator for the police?
I love a series that emphasizes the power of a form of love that isn't eros love. I'm already a sucker for psychology and police stuff... and I find it really cool when cops don't just barge in, but actually study the criminal's actions and behavior. What made me more pleased with this series that being able to understand criminals and having the ability to apprehend them isn't everything that is needed to fully solve a case. Being able to reform the criminal is something much better than just by imprisoning him to make him repent. Oh the power of love... this is how incredible it is.
However, I don't fully agree to how this series presents agape through Haruka. Yes, she was indeed able to show that during the crime scene (and it was WOW!). But the beginning part... when someone confessed to her... she says that she only laughs with the guy because he does... and she doesn't understand passionate love either. Hmmm... for me, if it was really agape, she should be laughing with him because she does think it's fun, not just because he's having fun as well that she should follow to please him. And I think someone capable of agape could also know passionate love, she just doesn't have extreme favoritism.
Nonetheless, this is still a very interesting series. I'm liking the psychology dude... knowledge is power xD Yay nerds~

[ Ame Nochi Hare by BIKKE ]

Amagai Gakuen, a prestigious school for boys, was hit by an unusual spring storm during the entrance ceremony. Four boys - Hazuki, Toma, Yusuke, and Junta - were all caught in the storm's violence and were affected by a strange phenomenon. All of them were transformed into girls!!
Inevitably they will meet someone and fall in love. Bikke wholeheartedly introduces this new, beautifully drawn series about boys and girls coming of age.
There's a lot of manga wherein guys crossdress as girls... but there isn't actually much that I know of wherein they actually turn into girls (except for 3 of them... I'm not that sure of the third one because there's someone else taking over his body). So that alone easily convinced me to check it out. But before that, I already got interested on it because it's by a ZeroSum author xD I enjoyed Bikke's oneshots from the Arcana Anthology, so I expected Bikke's series would be as good. And I'm glad I was right =)
The guys in this story have an interesting dilemma: they always turn into girls when it rains, but they study in an all boys school and that will be a problem to explain to families. Because of this they are forced to study what being a girl is like to be able to act like one, and fortunately they hadn't been perverted enough to harass themselves (I'm not that sure of one of them, LOLz) because they don't need to buy porn to see naked women. Haha! In other words, this is no ecchi manga. I don't have to worry about them getting pantyshots or anything as stupid.
Interestingly, since deep inside they're guys, they would naturally fall in love with girls... but the problem is that they turn into girls and the girl that they may like may only know them when they're in girl form. I find it very interesting on how these things develop and get resolved!

[ Boku to Watashi no Henai Jijou by AMANO Shiro ]

Jin is a rock artist in the making, and in a relationship with Tama, a wanna-be bread maker. However, as Jin's popularity grows, he feels he doesn't have enough time for Tama, and breaks up with her. Tama agrees to call it off... A little too easily. The two go off their seperate ways and decide to meet new people, but is their relationship really truly over? Watch their piping hot love slowly unfold!
I do not ignore love stories wherein the main couple is canon form the very beginning... seriously it's not common in animanga. I'm so happy that even though this kind of love story is not common, it's also very entertaining! They're so sweet but at the same time veyr hilarious! Hahahaha!
Yeah, they broke up, but they broke up out because they care. They're idiots for that but it's difficult to hate them for it because they still genuinely love each other. The moments wherein they worry about the other falling for another person (or are simply worried about the other's condition) are so amusing xD (my favorite is the part wherein Jin's tone in his song changes if the word "tama" is part of the lyrics xD Bwahahha!) And those times when they reminisce their happy moments are just so touching... makes me teary.
They're idiots but their fun personality (wifely boyfriend ftw xD) and their love for each other make them such adorable characters. The other characters had been fun as well! I enjoy reading this so much! It's not often for me to appreciate a manga wherein the focus is romance~

[ Chibi-san Date by HIMARUYA Hidekaz ]

On the crescent-shaped island of Nantucket lives Seiji, a young Japanese artist. This heartwarming story is about his daily life and interactions with the people there.
I admit that this would never have gotten my attention if I didn't know the author. "Chibi" just screams loli and "date" implies to me that it'll be some crappy romance. Bah. But well, since I knew that this is by Hetalia's author, I didn't need to think twice in checking this out.
It turns out that the main character isn't actually the title character but the artist named Seiji and in this manga we watch his daily life. An no, this isn't your typical teen manga.... because the main characters are mostly adults. Anywayz, we see him try to find something to draw, get inspirations, learn new ideas, and so on. The story is highly influenced by the people he interacts with (and what's interesting that he's actually in a foreign country, so more culture and new things for him to learn and explore!), so far he's been having positive relationships... but they're still various. It appears boring but if you have a thing for cute, you won't have any problems with this. Haha!
I admit that there are things that I dislike in this series... for one is the girl from Japan who used to like Seiji... I thoguht she had an everlasting love for him and the reason why he's not interested in other girls romantically is because of her... but later we find out that she got married already... perhaps she couldn't wait for him any longer. Meh. And I also can't stand Chibi-san... she's all "Seiji" Seiji" that she even dreams about him o_O Creeps me out...
I love this series but I can't imagine loving it as much as Hetalia. Hetalia is really in a much different level, and brilliant in more ways xD Hehe. But still, don't like/read Chibi-san Date because they look similar to Hetalia characters. This series is great on its own.

[ Seishun Kouryakubon by AKIZUKI Sorata ]

Isesaki, a second year from Kamiyama Boy's High, has had his heart captured by a girl he saw in the window of the neighbouring girls' school. A school route madonna!! After 2 months, it's time for her to graduate...!? It's a 17-year-old's summer starting from spring, chockful of idiocy and friendship enough to make you cry.
Most crappy love stories are shoujo... but this is shoujo by Akizuki Sorata! As I've expected, it won't be something typical!
Yeah, yeah, it's one of those school life stories wherein a guy from an all boys school quickly falls in love with a girl from an all girls school. So what made it so different? He fell in love with her non-smiling face. Yes, she's pretty and she hadn't been the type to ignore him, but what really captivated him is that expression. And no, it wasn't an angry, mean, grumpy or cold look either (which would be the actual opposite of a non-smiling face). She's just not smiling. Seriously, that's something uncommon, if not something new.
And is this manga teaching its readers to prioritize love over everything else? NO! Our guy has acknowledged that the love of his life studies very hard... so he won't be neglecting his studies his studies like skipping a test just for the sake of being with her. She has even became his inspiration to study harder. That's what love should be.... changing you for the better.
And you think it's just about romance? NAH! It also deals with relationships between friends and in understanding people. Friends like you for who you are, hang out with you because they like being with you, and they will also help you out in whatever way they can. There are people not being appreciated by the majority, but once you get to know and understand them... they turn out to be someone you'll enjoy hanging out with. This has been beautifully presented by Isezaki and Kurata, and even Isezaki's other friends (they get more spotlight on the later chapters).
Akizuki Sorata has impressed me so much on Akagami.... and she still hasn't failed me even with her new series. *sniff* Oh I'm crying from so much joy~

ALL OF THESE ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! Fine, if I have to rank them... the one I enjoyed the most in this batch is Boku to Watashi no Henai Jijou. Then followed by Seishun Kouryakubon because Akizuki Sorata is really a shoujo prodigy xD (And I freakin' love Kurata and Isezaki!!! KYAAAA!!!!) After that would be Agape, because it's quite a different police seinen manga. Next to that would be Chibi-san Date; I really love it when Hidekaz explores art and culture... and his characters are really freakin' cute xD Last would be Ame Nochi Hare; I really adore it and one of them looking similar to Fem!Tieria doesn't help xD LOLz~
All of the titles in this batch are something different from the usual/typical. They are awesome in their own way... they make me cry for being so wonderful xD And ah, another similar thing with them is that I like MOST of the FEMALE characters in these titles (because I don't like some of them... particularly those I've mentioned in Chibi-san Date, and I don't know the personality of the female in Ame Nochi Hare yet)... my favorites from this batch would be Tama from BtWnHJ... she's so cute xD
More manga should be like these.... Anywayz... *sigh* unfortunately, even though I love these series so much... I don't think I can blog them x_x But hhhmmm... maybe I'll be blogging about them as the "Random Parfaits" that I do at times... either that or I'll change my mind on the blogging thing. Gah... I wish I had all the time in the world ^^;


Kiseki said...

Oh God, reading your thoughts about Chibisan just made me sad (urgh, and after that gay chapter too) again about Seiji x Yuriko. TT_TT

Seiji is gay, anyway.

You'd have to consider how marriage was like in the 1960s, I suppose. Note that she married a rich guy? She probably had to move on, give up on her first love, and face life. Yuriko getting married was a horrible shock to me, since all the pictures/scans I've seen before showed that there was at least a slight chance of them ending up together.

In one of Chibisan's profile, it says that she loves Suehiro, Seiji, and lighthouses very much. She probably likes Rocket or something though.
I find her being the mascot character (another one of her profiles says that she's (probably just) the mascot) very fitting, as she's cute, sweet, and innocent--kind of like the series itself.

You know, I really want to take out that "heartwarming" part after chapter 8. xD; That was written based off of its many summaries, but only one of them had "heartwarming" in it. = 7 =

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Kiseki
I'm not sure about the gay chapter you're talking about.... or you mean chapter 8? *latest she has seen*... I think Chibisan has been invisible to my eyes if ever she was there.

When's she's with Seiji it kinda creeps me out... but I find her cute when with Rocket. *complicated fangurl* But I'm really not that fond of little girls x_x

As for Yuriko, even if I consider how marriage was like in those days, it was a HORRIBLE shock to me... I like how Himaruya fooled me on the chance of them being together (it's awesome when authors do different from what readers expect in terms of what's going to happen).... but it saddens me so much that she didn't wait. SEIJI'S MUCH CUTER THAN THE ONE SHE MARRIED AFTER ALL xD HAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!

As for Seiji being gay.... I honestly STILL don't see him as gay o_O but hhhmm... his reactions to that new character is staring to make me doubt. Haha!

Kiseki said...

Derp. You saw just how much I spammed in that LJ post derp derp.

Yeah. TT_TT
But I honestly gave up on pairings when it comes to this series. Seiji x harem is going to happen.

aoriichan said...

Sapphire Pyro do you actually read the Japanese raws? I'm just wondering if I keep getting the impression that you do xD. This made me think of it again since Ame Nochi Hare hasn't really scanlated enough to really see where it's going---

You also made me spam a buncha genderbenders because this gave me a light craving XD

Most of sorata-sensei's character designs are... EXTREMELY recycled. I know most mangaka will reuse aspects of old characters but in Sorata's works I always feel like I'm seeing the exact Shirayuki characters (since that's the first one I read).

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Kiseki
Ah.... yes... I saw. I giggled so much on how much you declare how gay your favorite character is xD Hahahha!

You really gonna translate it? I'm interested in Crumb *_* He's... hott *nosebleeds*

LOLz, I have no complains on Seiji x harem... blame Seiji for being too lovable xD

@ aoriichan
I do but errr... I don't fully understand it ^^; My Japanese is epic fail, and if ever I was able to understand more of what I'm capable of, it only means that my friends who understand Japanese have spoiled me about it xD Hehe.

Ame Nochi Hare is around chapter 3 now.... hopefully scanlations catch up to the latest xD

"You also made me spam a buncha genderbenders because this gave me a light craving XD"
---> Ohohohohoho xD

On Sorata-sensei's works, I agree that the character designs are recycled (Heck, I still call Isezaki a Zen-clone sometimes xD) and lack of ideas on character designs usually disappoints me BUT Sorata-sensei managed to make the personalities of the characters with similar faces really different so... no complains~ She's still a genius for me so I shall continue praising her~ Ohohohoho!

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