Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru [2013]

The_Liar_and_His_LoverAlternative Title: The Liar and His Lover
Director: Norihiro Koizumi
Writer: Tomoko Yoshida, Norihiro Koizumi
Manga-ka: Kotomi Aoki
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Distributor: Toho

Takeru Sato as Ogasawara Aki
Sakurako Ohara    as Koeda Riko
Takashi Sorimachi as Takagi Soichiro
Shohei Miura as Shun Sakaguchi
Masataka Kubota as Shinohara Shinya
Kouki Mizuta as Ono Kaoru
Koudai Asaka as Yazaki Teppei

Plot (Asianwiki):

Set within music field, “Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru” depicts a love story between a 25-year-old sound engineer and 16-year-old high school student Riko, who possesses a gifted voice.
25-year-old sound engineer Aki (Takeru Sato) is a member of popular band “Crude Play,” but right after the band decides to make their major record debut Aki quits the band. But, Aki provides his music to Crude Play under the name of producer Soichiro. Aki begins to date Riko (Sakurako Ohara), whose father runs a fruit and vegetable shop. Riko doesn’t know about Aki’s background, but she likes to listen to him hum. Riko is in a band herself, with childhood friend Yuichi and Sota. One day she is scouted by producer Soichiro.


I say…

To be quite honest, I’ve had hesitations before watching this movie. I’m not so sure if it’s because I haven’t read the manga or I am afraid of disappointment since this is a movie in between Ruroken. But I have to watch. Definitely have to watch because it’s Sato-san 🙂 So I did. After that I think I am going to read the manga until the last chapter, and it didn’t bring about disappointment even though it’s not a Ruroken movie. You could just look up all the movies he did and notice one thing: manga adaptations. All of them came from different genres. For me this means Sato-san can easily step up or down and transform into any character you would want him to be.

Out of 5000 applicants it was Sakurako Ohara who got to play as Koeda Riko. Lucky girl indeed, as she got to kiss Sato Takeru thrice 🙂 Being the focus of the story, she didn’t act like a newbie at all. The sweet image suited everything well. I love her stage presence and all… as far as I know it was her real singing voice. I guess that became her “X Factor” to be chosen as Koeda Riko. My heart stopped for the scene Ogasawara Aki played for her and then she started to sing her own rendition of “Sotsugyo“. My focus on the movie started to intensify from here onwards. Maybe this is what they call “effective acting”. It made me want to read the manga right there and then.

Takashi Sorimachi was hateful enough and it made me laugh that this hateful guy used to be Onizuka-sensei (GTO, 1998). He will always remain Onizuka-sensei to me, though.

The music greatly influenced all moods and emotions of the movie. This movie came with a good soundtrack that you will surely search for right after. I just did, and it is currently playing as BGM, in writing. Being in my favorite scene, the acoustic version of Sotsugyo became the most “abused” song on the track list as it brings back all the “feels”.

I haven’t read a single negative review about the movie, and it made me think where all the hesitations [to watch the movie] came from. It was a good one. Make sure to hang on and finish the roll of credits. The best is yet to come. You’ll know why!


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!

StrobeEdge_v01_ch01_p000a    Strobe-Edge-v02ch05-p000a     Strobe-Edge-v03ch08-p000a

Strobe-Edge-v04ch12-p000     Strobe-Edge-v05ch16-p000     Strobe-Edge-v06ch20-p000

Strobe Edge v07 - Cover     Strobe Edge v08 c27 - 000     Strobe Edge v09 c31 - 000

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.

Auto Focus cover 1a Auto Focus v02 c03 - 000-Cover 2a 

 Auto_Focus_v03_-_cover Auto_Focus_v04_c10_-_000a  Auto_Focus_V05_Ch14_p01

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.


Chocolate v02 c05 - 000

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!

love berrish volume 1  love berrish volume 2

love berrish volume 3

love berrish volume 4

Andante [2001]

Andante v01 c01 - 000

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.

 Andante v02 c06 - 000

Andante v03 c11 - 000a