So today my post shall be over my somewhat recently new Saturday Manga posts that I started up last month. As I said then I wasn’t planning on doing it every single Saturday but only once or twice a month.
Today I will talk about three Shōjo titles that I am currently (somewhat?) following and really enjoy.
First for anyone who might not know what Shōjo is the definition is… well kind of ambiguous really. Shōjo is less a certain thing as much as it is meant to appeal to a certain demographic. Such as Shōnen appealing towards boys in general who are young Shōjo appeals instead towards younger girls. Here in the West we tend to mislabel series as Shōjo because we tend to see it more as anything with female leads and especially romance to be Shōjo when in fact even Shōnen and definitely Seinen can have romance in them as well. So in the end Shōjo isn’t a genre like Romance or Action or whatever else but is meant to appeal towards young females. This of course doesn’t stop strapping men in theirs twenties like myself from reading them.
First up we have:
My Love Story is currently airing its anime and I must say it is faithfully adapting it and I couldn’t be any happier because of it. But putting that aside for now because this is about the manga I will give you the synopsis over the manga:
Takeo Gouda is a GIANT guy with a GIANT heart. Too bad none of the girls want him! They would rather have his best friend Makoto Sunakawa. Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!
OK so if it wasn’t obvious from how much I have talked about this series already… I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!
One reason why I love it so much could be for how… in a sense… realistic it can actually be to some people. Takeo Gouda takes on the role of the “Nice Guy” that ends up always single because girls don’t want the “Nice Guy” if he can’t also be incredibly good looking a long with it.
So he inevitably sees all his crushes go confess to his handsome best friend, who always turns them down, while he has to just stand there and more or less suck it up.
Of course when it comes the time for someone to actually like the Mr. Nice Guy he immediately thinks that they are only befriending him to get to the handsome friend.
I admit I am a big fan of romance and cute stories, this has both and plays them to the max and in a very good way (for me) and I just love it. If you are looking to expand your Shōjo experience this would be my first recommendation.
Next up we have:
Quiet and unassuming Mei Tachibana has spent her high school years without making friends or getting a boyfriend because of a childhood incident that left her believing that people will betray each other sooner or later. When she encounters a popular boy named Yamato Kurosawa, he becomes interested in her, and it is through their tentative friendship and blossoming relationship that Mei ultimately begins to branch out and befriend others.
Say “I Love You” is one of those interesting cases where the anime adaptation wasn’t ‘bad’ per se. But the manga ends up being quite a bit better in my eyes. While it has been awhile since I have read the later chapters past the six volumes currently released in English I seem to recall it starting to get a little repetitively bland in spots as well as putting more focus on the side characters and their relationships rather than the main pairing.
The series also pulls out a lot of… well I guess we can just call them cliches for the type of story it is. Such as the rivals that threaten to tear a part the couple only to bring them together with a stronger bond. A simple misunderstanding that breaks down relationships only for them to finally realize it really was a SIMPLE misunderstanding. Other such things that you would expect from relationships and the genre are probably all over but I don’t feel like spelling it ALL out.
That all aside though I still really enjoy the series and though it does start to pander around and focus more on characters that are not the main pair it is still pretty good. One warning I will say though… if you have seen the anime and like cute innocent Mei from that… be warned… after awhile she turns less innocent, especially since the manga actually is uncensored. Not that it is in your face nudity like say… Monster Musume is. But it goes into more detail about some of the scenes than the anime did.
And last for today:
Sawako Kuronuma – dubbed Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to the character from The Ring – has always been feared and misunderstood because of her appearance; rumors around school report that she can see ghosts and curse people. However, despite her ominous appearance, she is actually a sweet and timid girl who only longs to be able to make friends and be liked by everyone else. When her idol, the popular boy Kazehaya, begins talking with her, everything changes. She finds herself in a new world, making new friends and talking to different people, and she can’t thank Kazehaya enough for giving her these opportunities. Slowly, but surely, a sweet love blossoms between the two as they overcome circumstances and obstacles that stand in their way.
OK so Kimi ni Todoke while being PAINFULLY slow is still good enough to be probably in the Top 10 of my Manga and its anime also resides on my Top Anime List.
But I do warn you if you want to try out this series… it is PAINFULLY slow.
How painfully slow do you ask?
If I remember correctly the main pair don’t actually get together until like volume 12 and then nothing much changes for them until like volume 17 or 18.
So yeah it is pretty damn slow.
But obviously I love it despite it being so slow if I can hold it in such high regard. Yeah that is probably half enforced by my masochism if I am willing to wait for 12 volumes before there is any progress in a relationship followed by another like 6+ volumes for any more progress.
And though I am making it sound bad it isn’t really THAT bad unless you are expecting Say “I Love You” levels of progress with kissing done withing the first volume… hell first chapter if I remember correctly…
Sawako though easily misunderstood and easily misunderstanding things around her is cute and a great character. The rest of the cast is enjoyable and unlike some Shōjo out there it doesn’t heavily rely on the whole rivals bit to make it progress. There is a little bit of a rival thing but nothing really happens from it unlike other series which use the rival bit to have close to or even have NTR moments, which is just bad taste in my opinion.
Well that is it from me for today and I would recommend all three of these series to anyone wanting to increase their Shōjo reading experience.
Now to go
torture convince Sacae to do more blog posts.