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Monday, February 14, 2011

101 Oneshots Challenge: Batch 3 - Valentine Special (15 Romantic Short Stories)

Initially, I wanted to do A Recommendation List of Romantic Manga/Anime for a Valentines Special but... since I'm not really into stories that are centered on romance.... not enough titles came to mind ^^;

So I thought that I should go and search for new stories instead. Focusing on the romantic ones this time of course, for the sake of the event. But I only checked out oneshots since they're faster to finish, hehe.
Man, it was really difficult...  it's like: out of 100 plots I've read, only around 5 had seemed somehow interesting to me X_X Anyway, I took a break from hunting when I've reached my target number: 15.

So, for this special occasion, instead of the usual 5 oneshots per batch, I'll be featuring 15 oneshots for my manga challenge ;D I'll be posting my top favorite first, followed by 14 others (but in alphabetical order).

Important Note: This isn't a recommendation list, alright? I just listed the 15 recent romantic oneshots I've spotted recently.

by Komi Naoshi
  FAVORITISM: 4 Hearts
Well, I didn't like the stereotype of women not allowed to get involved in a man's fight. (Ugh, oh shounen) There's also this cliche of a weak leading guy being cool when it comes to facing the main boss... =_=
But at least his pathetic side was still shown even during his cool moments, haha xD And even if the girl's physically stronger than him, he ain't no pushover. Also, unlike many shounen romances, the girl didn't really need rescuing in this story (but since I like them, I wouldn't have minded, hehe).
Anyway, who cares about cliche if it turned out to be awesome overall? xD Hehe. Not to mention it's freakin' hilarious xD (Their subordinates being so obsessed with them was so amusing xD)
This has been like the shounen version of Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen (except that it's non-historical, more action-packed, and more violent, haha! Cool Royalties to the babes while Yakuza/Gangster Punks to the dudes! w00!) They also needed to pretend to be lovers for the sake of peace... but they actually don't get along (though deep inside they do like each other, teehee~ They're so amusingly complicated xD). They abuse each other... physically and verbally... their fights were funny xD I love their wacky lines of hatred like: "Good morning, my lovely darling who I want to punch as soon as I see". Bwahahaha xD Oh I love the pairing =3
It has been romantic too~ So cute so cute so cute xD But gaaaah!!! I don't get the ending... they're obviously canon so why take it back in the end???!! Ugh, it's driving me crazy @_@
Anywayz, I enjoyed this oneshot A LOT! Later I found out that the one who did this was the mangaka of Double Arts. No wonder it was so terrific. All hail to talented mangaka~

Angel Sky
by Kurumatani Haruko
It was a sweet childhood romance but... jeez, does one of them have to be close to dying for their relationship to go to the next stage already? ^^;
Anyway, I had been impressed that unlike typical supernatural romances with angels, our angel here isn't just some bishie who had fallen in love with a human. The angel here is doing its job, not playing the role of a lover. But *sigh* I think the mangaka couldn't bear to make the ending a sad one so she used some miracle to make things happily ever after. And oh, the reason on why only the girl was able to see the angel was a little.... lame. Ugh, it had potential to be more unique than the others but.... it preferred to become a disappointment =_=
Oh well, the oneshot overall was okay. It felt ordinary and so-so... but it had been sweet~
Blanc Marie
by Yuki Yoshihara
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts
The bride and her brother-in-law are in love, huh? Well, that would usually disturb me *not fond of stories centered on adultery at all* but the groom was a total jerk so I guess it's okay. Hehe.
The story's pretty nice and sweet but... seriously, things would've been happy earlier if only the wedding didn't push through and mr. bro-in-law just courted her. The girl wasn't stupid; she thought of canceling the wedding 'coz she had realized as soon as possible that her groom's a jerk. Even though she loves the guy, it was mind over heart.
But *sigh*, the mangaka seemed to have wanted to make things complicated by adding some forbidden affairs. T_T It was actually very nice (characters are really decent) and it was pretty romantic~ The forced complication is just too annoying =_=
Devil's Babysitter
by Kamaru Kikuchi
I have never heard of an amnesia that makes you act as a child instead of losing most of your memories o_O It was kinda lame that the amnesia thing had been the way for someone to show his real feelings...
Nevertheless, I find this very very very very cute xD Well, the girl wasn't as helpless as she appeared. She's not really a gofer but was forced to do what he orders because she fears him. She had tried to escape when in danger and she had also protected him as he had been protecting her.
I don't care if the art wasn't that pretty... the story's simple yet very adorable. I love it~
Ginrou no Sakura
by Hibiki Wataru
Werewolves admitting that they are doing bad... and humans are at fault as well! (I love the idea of humans not being innocent either) The werewolf likes the human girl not just because of the usual love-at-first-sight or the-heroine's-always-an-exception thing. Yay to non-typical supernatural love story!
It's not fully focused on the romance either, for it considered that there are other forms of love: like family/sibling love. Though I wish the younger brother had a better role than just someone who goes cutesy and for the heroine to have someone to take care of. Oh well, at least in the end he learned to be independent and pleaded the heroine to do what would make her happy.
But *sigh*, it's hard not to complain about the childhood friend who likes the heroine. He likes her, then when the heroine was thought to be helping the werewolf, he quickly changed her opinion of her, then when it was over he wants to marry her now? Wha... I don't know. He didn't seem to be like a character... just some props or tool x_x
Anyway, depite my complains on the supporting characters, overall this had been pretty good =) It was a nice story between people who were victims of discrimination. And silver wolves are really cuuuute~ Teehee~ I want one!!!!
His and Her Sleepless Winter
by Nari Kusakawa
FAVORITISM: 3 Hearts (3.5 Hearts to Tory & his sexy mole... damnit xD)
This has been like a mix of fantasy and science; fantasy 'coz people in this oneshot hibernate literally during winter, and science coz the main pairing were like botanists that have developed a revolutionary drug that can make them not hibernate during winter. Interesting~
Like other starcrossed lovers, there had been a suggestion of eloping. I'm glad the girl refused because her heart also considered family! (Others usually value their lover too much that they forget about others. Ugh.) Fortunately, the guy didn't force the idea on her and was satisfied with them just being canon. Also, the girl isn't exactly a stupid martyr either that she suggested to the guy to use his brains in convincing her family to let them be together. See?! Things could be talked over, complicated drama isn't necessary to make things romantic.
I'm very pleased with this oneshot =) But hhhmm... though they're a decent couple... for some reason I don't find it that romantic o_O
Kaeru no Saiban
by Saitou Ken
It was a nice story... I like the twist in the end xD There was no need for me to complain on how the hell an animal easily got used to being a human, hehe. But hhhmm... I don't get what's with the stomachaches and headaches were for (it's okay if she was pretending, but it doesn't appear to be so)... the mangaka couldn't think of a way to make the prince take care of the leading girl? Her being drowned and almost-dead would've already worked, in my opinion.
Anyway, the ending was pretty romantic but I'm not really pleased with its love story. I mean, the frog was so desperate to fall in love because she heard girls talking about their love stories? o_O And she mainly liked the prince because she wants to fall in love... not because she's actually in love with the prince. Puh-lease It's pathetic to call something like that as love.
The leading characters may not be fantastic, but at least the others were fun (I like the witch and the dude alleric to frogs, hehe. I wish they had more screentime).
The ending really made up for the flaws. She chose to live honestly rather than to live and look pretty for the prince. Overall, it had been a very nice fairy tale =)
Kingdom of Stars
by Kannou Rie
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts
People who are devoted to their religion aren't bad. It's only when they get too devoted to it when things get ugly. ^^;
I liked it that this series shared to us some wise sayings from their teachings and beliefs, and even if modern society finds them weird, they are still pretty good people. The relationship between the religious girl and her opposite had been quit charming =) The romance was nice... yet sad ;_;
Oh, oh! I'd want to add that I find it cool that the dude rejected a hott chick that confessed to him just because she felt like it. Hooray to characters who don't like being used! xD Hehe
Lunatic Red Princess (Akahime Ranshin)
by Yamamoto Nobuyo
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts
I was looking forward to seeing a psycho character because I saw the word "lunatic" in the title! xD But crap, it turned out to be just some shoujo love story. I'm also not that fond of the student x teacher relationship type of romances =_= Supplementary lessons thingy was used for the two to have moments alone together. Meh.
But well, for a story that isn't really to my liking, I find it nice. The romance was so-so, but I really liked the classical literature references. And the leading guy was a professional crossdresser... he does a good job on it... even proud of it... and even willing to pursue that career by practicing to act more like a girl. Yet, he's not gay and still acts as a guy.
While the girl? Err... I like her passion for literature but everything else in her is so-so...
In short, everything except for the guy, literature stuff, and the art in this is so-so. ^^;
The Man Without A Face (Kao No Nai Otoko)
by Yokobaba Ryo
Most shoujo drama are emo... this is one of those that aren't emo yet dramatic.. and very very sad ;_; It was about separated lovers who got "united again" Good story, nice twists, and... SPOILER: Yay to fanservice to my twin fetish
*ehem* The characters were decent too. I like it that even if the heroine's the type that needed rescuing, at least she was brave and could speak up her mind. She also ended some stupid dispute by using her brain. More importantly, her love wasn't just based on looks. She liked his kindness, not solely the face. Oh it was romantic~ But waaah... bittersweet ending ;_;
Pretty in Blue
by Yoshihara Yuki
FAVORITISM: 1.5 Hearts
Honestly, I only picked this up because of the title (I really can't ignore my favorite color, ahaha) and it seemed to have something to do with art stuff.
But meh, it's just about some perverted girl who does perverted drawings of the love of her life. She loves the guy just because he's perfect (but has a mean personality. Stereotype! T_T)... and her lust didn't end even if she has been rejected.
UGH, I find her pathetic... and she knows she's pathetic, but just in a different sense (she thinks she's lame just because she's ordinary). Oh just die T_T
But since she's the heroine of the story, of course she gets the guy. I don't even see how exactly he fell in love with her. Ugh. (I can't imagine "her wanting to be with him so badly" to be the only reason. It's creepy!!!)
The only thing I enjoyed in this was the guy's father because he's funny xD I think I would have somehow liked this series if the main characters showed some love for art... and not on the girl's pervertedness nor on how beautiful the guy is. Hmph.
The Prince's Waking Dream
by Yuni Yukimura
Oooo... pairing up a witch and a prince, huh? I think that's pretty unusual when it comes to fairy tales~
But she was too nice that it seemed that she was just an evil witch by title ^^; It would've been better, in my opinion, if the oneshot showed that her kind was really despicable... and that she's one of them, then just make her change in the end through character development.
Well anywayz, this was still a good story. It was like Sleeping Beauty reversed xD But it's more than just about waking from a long sleep; it's about accepting reality. People tend to trap themselves in their own world thinking that staying in their imaginary world will make them happier than the real world. But the oneshot reminds its readers that the real world isn't as bad as it appears. And even if dreams are wonderful.... dreams becoming reality is still better ;D
Even if the characters didn't appeal to me much, I find the story very very lovely~
Red Road (Akai Michi)
by Andou Yuuki
It's one of those stories wherein your fated person is connected to you through a red thread. The two were the type of people who just accepts things as they are and cope with their surroundings. So if fate has dictated to them whom they should end up with, they will obey and adjust.
But it turns out that they already liked each other, whether the red thread kept them connected or not. It was romantic~ And I'm pleased that we've got a canon couple that aren't too mushy nor have some stupid jealousy issues in this oneshot~
The climax and ending got me pretty intrigued... it makes you wonder whether the red thread thing was real or just a hallucination~ And the whole oneshot makes you think whether fate dictates what happens to you... or if it was you who creates your fate~
Shiro's Contract
by Tsukuba Sakura
FAVORITISM: 3.5 Hearts
I really really liked the idea of the crow being obliged to do bad things in order for the devil to let him stay human. But oh come on, those "bad" deeds were either so shallow or not bad at all! (why the hell was beating up the anime abusers considered only as a good deed when it's actually bad to hurt others no matter what the reason. And then being nude unintentionally was bad?) I don't get this oneshot's sense of morality. X_X
I also don't like it that the devil turned out to be a nice guy in the end. T_T (Oh please devils, act like one!!!)
And what's with the "familiar" deal? They just had a contract, the crow didn't exactly become the devil's familiar, much less acted like one. Meh. The devil just acted like a fairy godmother to him.
Anyway, though I have SO MANY complains on this, overall it was still a nice story. Not to mention the art was very very very very very pretty *_*
Oh I enjoyed reading this... it amused me a lot that the leading guy's just so pretty that he turned everyone into perverts except for the leading girl, who's just too pure pure, haha! And no, I was not drooling when I saw bishies with wings... No, it's not my angel fetish. Absolutely not. =P
Sweetheart Devil
by Mayuki Anan

FAVORITISM: 3.5 Hearts
Oh gawd... supernatural shoujo really love using devils that don't act like such, huh? And they never get tired of the "you will be prettier without the glasses" idea, huh? The devil's familiar is still nothing but props, huh? Oh well, so many in here could be dismissed as typical shoujo but.... it turned out to be a good story despite the cliches, ehehe.
It's nice that though the girl just summoned a devil out of a whim (we never got an explanation on why the hell there's such a book in that place though... it felt too random), had been aware of the dangers on being in such a contract... and had wanted to cancel it even if what she wants so badly won't be granted. In other words, she's not <i>that desperate</i> to be pretty. Thank goodness.
I was also so pleased that the girl was satisfied in just gaining confidence. What's more relevant is being able to change from within, you don't need others to think you're pretty in order to appreciate your life better. And daaaw... her last wish was really sweet. Oh, I find it interesting that the payment for the contract wasn't the "taking your soul" cliche, the price was even more painful.
I honestly didn't find it that romantic until the ending. I'm a sucker to soulmates thing... you'll love the person even if you lost your memories of your partner.
Daaaaww... this was really cute~ It had the potential to be better... but it's still fine and sweet as it is~

Phew... what a reading marathon. I don't think I've found the other good romantic oneshots though. (Come to think of it, I haven't found one which I find amazing [A- and above]... and only one of them had been rated as 4 hearts. No, I firmly believe it has nothing to do with me not being a huge fan of romance because I have a favorite oneshot which I think is brilliant *_* ) I'll save them for later batches, hehe.


Kencana said...

Yoshihara Yuki tend to have perverted girl as the heroine.

Usually oneshot don't have much character development, so I prefer one volume shot.

Overall, it's nice review. Happy Valentine Day!

chungky said...

GOOD HEAVENS. You're on the roll! Lol.!
i'm quite keen in reading nisekoi, His and Her Sleepless Winter, Red Road & Shiro's Contract.

nisekoi in particular! the art looks FANTASTIC & i really loved Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen. it sounds like a shame that nisekoi is only a one-shot though.

i loved reading your review of Pretty in Blue hahaha. loved how u trashed the heroine LOL.

i've been reading my share of oneshots that featured romances between angels & devils, most of them were pretty meh but i do very much adore the idea. there's something really appealing about it for me. (how dare I, this is blasphemy!)

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Kencana
*researches the author* Ah... so she's an author of smut series... that explains things.

Sometimes even manga in a whole volume still lack in character development. I think it really depends on the mangaka ;D


@ chungky
Yeah... haha! But my marathon list is still looong, haha!

Hope you enjoy reading them xD Yeah, too bad Nisekoi's only a oneshot... it would've been so much fun as a series xD

Hehe, I can't help myself from ridiculing such heroines, ahaha!

Angels x Devils is honestly cliche.... but I also never get tired of such stories, haha! (I recommend "The Devil and the Angel" by Asada Yasuka to you ;D It's veeeeeeeeeerrryyy nice =3)

baka-girl said...

Wow, out of 15 manga you listed here, me only reads Ginrou no Sakura :(
Although Nisekoi & His and Her Sleepless Winter is already on my 'plan-to-read' list xD
I don't enjoy reading oneshot after all. As Kencana-san said, most of it lack of character development -_-

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