Strobe Edge [2007]

Strobe Edge v10 - CoverMangaka: Io Sakisaka
Tankoubon: 10
Magazine: Betsuma
Publisher: Shuiesha

About (mangaupdates):
Having no experience in romance, the vibrant Ninako curiously explores the meaning of what “love” really is, and is surprised to feel a colorful range of emotions as she grows closer to the school heartthrob, the quiet yet gentle Ren, who also happens to be involved in a longtime relationship. With every intention of keeping her head held high, Ninako prepares to face the mental pain of this one-sided love that she had allowed to take root, facing a series of trials that would either contribute to her growth as a headstrong woman, or break her as it did with other girls.

However, is this really a one-sided love? Or had something been silently sown in the most hidden part of Ren’s heart?

I Say…

I think I may have a bit of hang over from the latest Toni Gonzaga movie that I kind of guessed this story will get messed up in the end. What I meant with saying messed up is that the heroine, not ending up with the person she loves in the beginning of her own story. You see, I give up a fraction of my own idealism every time I read. I always want stories to end the way they should. I don’t have anything against happy endings, they’re beautiful… but not all happy endings are beautiful. Every ending has to be realistic to be beautiful, right? That’s my mind, speaking. Sorry about that.

Since it took away my precious sleep, I might as well make a great, positive response to Strobe Edge. Not to short, not too long. The turn of events are good, just my ideal shoujo manga. This can be in the league right next to Crazy For You and Kimi Ni Todoke (both done by Shiina Karuho btw). You get a lot of those heart-squeezing moments, yet you choose to go on and on. I wanted an unexpected pair to emerge, but that didn’t happen. (SPOILER) I just love Ninako’s reply to the much-awaited confession that almost never happened… her heart and soul was all out and her innocence added up a bit humor.

I became a high school kid for a few hours… and now I can’t sleep. It’s all because of Ren, maybe. This is even better than G2B!

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Auto Focus [2001]

Auto Focus coverManga-ka: Aya Roppongi

Tankoubon: 5

Publisher: Hakusensha

About (mangaupdates):
A girl with a strange mother who brings home a new father and stepbrother. She loves photography, and her new stepfather is a photographer. They begin living together and have to overcome many difficulties.

I Say…

Reading all 5 volumes was a huge struggle. Adults usually drag kids into really tough situations. I just kept on guessing if Miwa will choose Riku over Wataru…and in case she does, how will they live through it? Very Marmalade Boy, serious yet less painstaking and confusing.  

For photography enthusiasts, this might turn out to be an interesting read. A little  basic photography was incorporated by Aya Roppongi. The artwork is very nice too, their expressions felt so vivid and almost life-like. I like the image of Wataru very much.

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My Chinito Boss [2013]

Author: Tsina Cajayon
Publisher: Lifebooks
Year: 2013

AboutMy Chinito Boss:
She’s clumsy. He’s impatient.

She’s Ms. free-spirited hipster girl who doesn’t care about her looks. He’s Mr. Arrogant who always looks smart and awesome in a suit.

She believes in happily ever after. He doesn’t believe in true love.

She’s his secretary and he’s her new boss.

She loves him. He loves her…not.

Mabilis pa sa instant coffee ang pagkahulog ng puso ni Sam sa bagong boss kahit pa madalang pa sa patak ng ulan ang mga ngiti nito. Ngunit, hindi niya inakalang ang lalaking magiging laman ng kanyang mga panaginip at pangarap ay siya ring magiging simula ng kalbaryo ng buhay niya. Wala sa hinagap niya na ang tall, chinito and expensive Korean boss at pinaka-rigid na lalaking nakilala niya ay twin brother pala ni Hitler.

They went to Seoul, Korea for a business proposal and to find out about her descendant, her identity, ang free round trip ticket at ang tungkol sa demanding, arogante at masungit na si Jae-Sun Choi na isa palang miyembro ng Kkangpae (깡패) o Korean Mafia.

I Say…
It was so fast paced but still enjoyable. Did they edit too much? The chapters were cut too short, I think. From secretary to brand manager to becoming the heir… it happened way too fast. It would be great to know a bit more about Sam’s family and Jae Sun Choi. How exactly did Greg became connected with the Kkangpae who wished to kill Sam?

Sam sure is weird. If you receive trip tickets to Korea, would it be bad to grab the opportunity if it’s free? Well, she is a bit weird but very lovable. I am betting on her patience. Well, if I have that kind of boss, might as well! I just keep on imagining Lee Min Ho… even though his eyes are way too big to be ‘chinito‘.

The cover art may be a bit weird and not that attractive plus all the typo errors (yes even in native tongue there are plenty of typo errors) made me re-read sentences, but this little book is feel good and romantic as can be. You can’t really judge as book by its cover.

Campus Royalties [2013]

Campus RoyaltiesAuthor: Purpleyhan
Year: 2013
Publisher: PSICOM

About (goodreads):
Royalties? Princes and princesses in the 21st century? Tapos sa campus pa? Oo, maniwala man kayo o hindi. Kilalanin si Steff, isang “princess” kahit ayaw niya, at ang babaeng ipagpapalit ang lahat para sa pinakamamahal niyang strawberries at chocolates. Anong mangyayari kung may makilala siyang “prince” na sobrang charming pero walang ginawa kundi pagtripan ang buhay niya? Lalo niya bang isusumpa ang pagiging prinsesa o unti-unti niya itong magugustuhan? Well, this is not your typical prince and princess story. It is a story involving Kingdom University—ang school na may royalties.

I Say…
It’s not exactly the most beautiful book ever written, but the humor will get you hooked. It’s your typical romantic comedy and belongs to the easy read types, not too much conflict, Very light and entertaining.

I can’t imagine a campus so fan crazed! I am glad Kingdom University is fiction! Lol. All they did was stalk couples, play paparazzi and be in the scene through accessing the underground website. And seriously, is there only one girl worth looking at? Is she even human to be that perfect? Lol again. Campus Royalties gave me a good laugh and the “kilig” was there all throughout. You’re a monster if your heart won’t melt with a serenade or a special song sang on stage just for you!

Eleanor & Park [2012]

Eleanor and parkAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Year: 2012
Publisher: Orion

About (bookbrowse):

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet? Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

I Say…

I know. I am not the only one. Not in here. The whole world loves Eleanor and Park now. OK. This is my second time to read the book and I don’t want to visit Goodreads again to glance at the ratings. It’s my turn rating it. It’s far from OK. It’s more than inviting, like coffee when you pass by an open door of Starbucks… that moment makes me always want to buy myself some coffee. This book gave me the same effect.

The book was set in 1986, where people play Walkman and use AA batteries, and use mix tapes? It was the era of very good music. No wonder Park got into Eleanor’s system that easy. Who doesn’t love the 80′s by the way? A lot of things evolved because of what happened during the 80′s. Hairstyles. Music. Dating. Name it.

I wanted to highlight a lot of phrases in my copy of the book, but never mind. I’ll remember them anyway. Park sure knows how to say the words at the right moment…Rainbow Rowell nailed it! It sucks you in and spits you out shortly afterwards. It’s like reading poetry and comics at the same time. I don’t know how to actually explain it, but it felt good. Painful, but really, really good. First love is painful. But it’s good. There’s always something there to remind you about it, FOR SURE. It will haunt you, no matter how long it has been… or how good or bad it went. It will always be there within you. I think Rainbow Rowell made that very clear in her book.

I hate putting up spoilers here, so you just might want to check it out. Rainbow Rowell will make it big a few more years from now.

Hatsukoi Lunchbox [2009]

Hatsukoi LunchboxMangaka: Kodaka Nao
Tankoubon: 3
Magazine: Nakayoshi
Publisher: Kodansha

About (mangaupdates):
Despite the fact her mother’s a model, (famous for being on the magazine Charisma Housewife), Sae’s usually left home alone. And although she has what classmates call a ‘sub-space stomach’, Sae can’t cook. In an attempt to help a friend with her love, Sae becomes closer with a classmate named Yuuki, who works at a cafe. Will Sae actually learn to cook? Will this closeness develop into a one or two-sided love?

I Say…
Every chapter features a dilemma for love confessions, and the answer? Expression through food. There is a different bento customized for those who seek Sae-chan’s help. What made it even more interesting is that, at the end of every chapter, the recipe is there, neatly drawn and simplified. It has easy to follow steps and even tips! The trickiest bento for me was the one with omurice, as it remains my dream recipe. I can’t wait to try making egg rolls with the square egg pan and those huge chopsticks!

Guys like Yuuki who can survive in the kitchen are just so cute. Even Sae couldn’t resist him. All the annoying stuff about him vanish whenever he moves around the kitchen, making the scrumptious side dishes.

Chocolate [2009]

Chocolate Volume 3Mangaka: Fukushima Haruka
Tankoubon
: 3
Magazine: Nakayoshi
Publisher: Kodansha

About (mangaupdates):
Chii-chan is an elementary school student who is really inexperienced with love. When the new transfer student Rei-kun arrives at her school, her life makes big changes. Is he the one for whom she had looked for these past years…?

I Say…
Although this manga is by the same mangaka as AAA, it’s not as disappointing. I like the art a lot, the characters have big expressive eyes, and you see it a lot whenever Chii has a crying scene.

Chocolate is almost tragic, Chii cried a lot until the end. But indeed, love is bitter and at the same time sweet. Rei is such a mystery, no background at all about his beginnings and why he kept on wanting to die. And just like that, he became Chii’s first and only love.

[Cover]

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