Bakuman [2008]

Bakuman。.600.850288Mangaka: Obata Takeshi
Author: OHBA Tsugumi
Tankoubon: 20
Magazine: Shuukan Shounen Jump
Publisher: Shueisha

About (MangaUpdates):

Moritaka Mashiro (Saiko), with his superb drawing skill, is invited by his writing genius classmate Akito Takagi (Shujin) to tread the difficult path of the mangaka!! His sights are set on his naive yet earnest joint dream with Miho Azuki, who is aiming to become a voice actress!! Saiko and Shujin team up as writer and artist, aiming to be serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, make a hit, and then release an anime. They bring their manuscripts into editors and set off on the road to becoming pro manga artists!! This is a new-age story of manga success!!


I Say…

For all aspiring artists/writers out there, this is a good read. You can learn lots from Ashirogi Muto and their fellow mangaka slash friends. Although some chapters were quite dragging, the last few volumes were great. From the same duo who created Deathnote, they whipped up a good success story in Bakuman. I learned so much about manga through this manga. How the brainstorming works from mangaka to editor, down to serialization and the panel of rigorous individuals from the publishing company… all of it was overwhelming. One chapter goes through so much, just for the satisfaction and enjoyment of the readers. A mangaka exerts 200 percent effort and enthusiasm every time. Plotting doesn’t come easily, it’s even nerve wrecking. Even when you’re all dried up and your creativity expires, a good plot wouldn’t come. I am planning to write to Shiina Karuho and Yuu Watase, to cheer them on and wish them good health to be able to write more good stuff in the future.

Next to Ashirogi Muto, my favorite character is Niizuma Eiji. He is a genius. Isn’t it hard to come up with a manga on your own? You think of a plot and then you draw. In Bakuman, it was never easy as it sounds.

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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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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
: 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.


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Love Berrish [2005]

love berrishMangaka: Haruta Nana
Tankoubon: 5
Magazine: Ribon
Publisher: Shuiesha

About: (mangaupdates)

15-year-old Fukushima Yuuya has always wanted to live on her own, in an inn next to her school. This new dorm of hers, the Strawberry Tree Dorm, turns out to be a place with weird people–a girl that touches her chest out of the blue, a guy with one of the shortest tempers ever. But the good thing is, there’s a really handsome and nice guy that she fell in love with instantly! Not to mention a crazy cat who adores him (looks can be deceiving…). Yuuya’s life has just become much more interesting…

I Say…
I’ve always dreamed about living in a dorm, but it remained a dream unfulfilled. I always find myself heading towards home for the rest of my college years. This manga is basically about the life of dorm occupants, specifically those who belonged to the Raspberry dorm.

I enjoyed Love Berrish very much since it didn’t hold in too much conflict. Plus, Haruta Nana has this really cute drawing style… boys with long hair and a bit foreign looking whilst the girls look typically Japanese with trendy hairstyles ans clothing. Nagisa of course, is my special pick, my favored bishounen, since he’s Yuuya’s knight in shining armour from start to end. Fukushima Yuuya’s father kind of resembles the sensei in Chocolate Cosmos.

I guess I am going to read more of Haruta Nana soon because of Love Berrish!

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love berrish volume 4

Andante [2001]

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Manga-ka: Obana Miho
Tankoubon: 3
Magazine: Ribon
Publisher: Shueisha

About (mangaupdates):
Mei is a 2nd year junior high student from the Wind Orchestra Club. She lives with her older brother, Natsu, a musical genius. Actually, they don’t have any sibling blood relation. When Mel, a pretty girl also gets to live with them, Mei with her complicated feelings…

I Say…

Human emotion is indeed very powerful. After reading Andante, Obana Miho became a favorite. I like her award winning Kodomo no Omocha, and I am not surprised this turned out to be equally good. Obana Miho is a tearjerker manga-ka. The conflict was very good, and utterly heart-wrenching. I wished for it to be a mistake or a test… but it didn’t end that way. I hate putting up spoilers so you just might want to check it out. Don’t keep your hopes up. There are no happy endings. They don’t exist.

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Hadashi de Bara wo Fume [2008]


Alternative Title: Stepping on Roses Barefoot
Manga-ka: Ueda Rinko
Tankoubon: 9
Magazine: Margaret
Publisher: Shuiesha & Viz

About (mangaupdates):
Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi’s financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he’ll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she’s a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?

I Say…

It’s the first time for me to read Ueda Rinko, though I’ve seen her name a lot because of the other manga she wrote. I was quite satisfied with Hadashide de Bara wo Fume, again another unforgettable story. I have mentioned before, how much like bishounen who plays pretend until their true feelings eat them up inside. They’re just so cute when they get tired of fighting with their feelings 🙂

I just can’t get enough of Sumi, who always look so pretty in Western clothing! You might want to think she’s in a fashion show at every turn of the page. Even her up-do is too modern for the Meiji era setting. But on top of that, the story is good. There are a few characters to hate but will end up being loved, and a character so loved that you can’t help but hate. The sudden twist was almost unbelievable. The final volume bears the utmost secret so you just have to read on until the end.

Matsuri Special [2008-2009]

Matsuri SpecialManga-ka: Kamio Youko
Tankoubon: 4
Magazine: Jump SQ
Publisher: Shuiesha

About (mangaupdates):

Matsuri is a girl like all the other high school girls. She likes boys, especially one called Wataru, but he hardly notices her even though she watches him like a crazy gal. “Tough girls aren’t my type,” he once said, and now even three street guys call her a tough chick?! Nothing too good to say to the wrestling Princess. Being this kind of princess is nothing to be proud of for Matsuri so it’s a secret that she keeps from her school mates, because it’s her father who wants to make her a wrestler…but what will happen when she’s discovered fighting those three guys by Arata, the bad boy who can even “fight cows”? Discover it and keep track of Matsuri Special!

I Say…

I’ll admit that if it weren’t for Yoko Kamio I wouldn’t be interested  with the plot. I thought it was weird because it’s about pro-wrestling. I’ve read sports manga before but nothing related to pro-wrestling. After getting through volume two I was already sucked into finishing every single page. In short, it got really interesting and I didn’t mind if it’s about pro wrestling at all. It’s still shoujo, and the shoujo elements remain.

Hanyuu Matsuri and Tsukushi Makino have a lot in common. After reading this I concluded that Yoko Kamio is so fond of kickass chicks who know how to take care of themselves.

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Chocolate Cosmos [2007]

Chocolate CosmosManga-ka: Haruta Nana
Tankoubon: 4
Genre: shoujo, romance, school life, comedy
Magazine: Ribon
Publisher: Shueisha

About (mangaupdates):

Sakurai Sayuki was born with sharp eyes that make her look like she’s always angry, even though she’s not. Because of her looks, students around her misunderstand her as a bully and scary girl when in fact she’s “a romantic”. After 15 years without a boyfriend, she started off her high school year with hopes of love…

I Say…

Wow… this short one got me hooked for a while… made me think a lot of possible endings while I’m only reading the first half. I don’t get it why students fall in love with their teachers in the first place, but I like Chocolate Cosmos nevertheless. Even while in a wavered state I am still rooting for Hagiwara-Sayuki team!

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