I think a lot of people have their niche in which they may or may not feel that you fit in with the outside world, but it’s your world. For me, that world included anime, manga, and books, which eventually lead to the blog that I’ve had for a couple of years. I’ve even been judged for not being “girl” enough, whatever that means. I then found The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa that felt too close to home in so many ways. I am in fact protagonist Sunako Nakahara without having my privacy invaded by a bunch of dudes.
This manga, in so many ways, is a crazy rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. We follow four, super-attractive guys, as they move in with the expectation of turning Sunako into a “lady,” filled with all the stereotypes imaginable while Sunako is just trying to live her life watching horror movies and true-crime documentaries: something that everybody is doing nowadays.
Also, for everyone’s well-being, the characters are all eighteen. I don’t care if it says everyone is in their first year of high school. That was a mistake, and we are not questioning it. Just remember 18, mainly for this one character who can’t keep it in his pants. You’ll know who I’m talking about.
For whatever reason, mysteries and school life go hand-in-hand. All of the natural drama that occurs in school just offers itself to the subterfuge that needs to occur to have a good mystery. There is a natural tension that can be exploited. That being said, it could be simple or an overall rollercoaster, which is what we saw with Arisa by Natsumi Ando.
I think it was until the very end that I did not know what was going on in this story as we follow Tsubasa, who is trying to figure out why her sister, Arisa, tried to commit suicide. The only information she has is that it has something to do with her school, so Tsubasa goes undercover as Arisa. Going in, I thought this was going to be very shoujo-y, given the author, but I would say that anyone who loves manga and mystery will enjoy this. Yes, there are shoujo elements, but they are overwhelmed by the want to get the full story.
This manga talks about self-harm as these are thoughts several characters have had or actually carried out. Take care if you decided to read this.
After finishing the first series, as soon as I found out there was a sequel, I had to read it. Unfortunately, Modotte! Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta, the sequel to Mamotte! Lollipop, fell into the trap that many sequels do. It would have been an exciting continuation of the story. All the characters being older had it not been the same story. And I mean exact—all of the plot points were the same. The only difference was that the characters weren’t gradually introduced. Since there are not any new characters, they all start at the same time.
Overall, it is a simple read and quick to go through. There’s just the added romance element that doesn’t really add to anything since the love-triangle has been resolved. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t add anything to the story.
It’s been a while since I read a cutesy manga. It’s been too long if I’m honest, but I think this was the best one to get me started again. Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta was way cuter than it had any right to be. It’s a mixture of shoujo, magic, romance, and friendship that was just really cohesive and came together nicely. A high schooler named Nina accidentally gets involved with a magic contest from another world, and hijinks ensue. One thing I did love was that there was a well-written love triangle. In lots of media, it can become super obvious who the protagonist will get with because one of their options is trash. In this story, although I did prefer one of the boys over the other, I would have been happy no matter who she would have ended up with. They both were fully fleshed out and intriguing. If you like the cutesy stuff as well, I would definitely suggest reading this. There’s also a squeal that I need to get into as well. I just hope it’s a fair sequel worth reading.
If you love it when common-place stories get reimagined, as much as I do, I think you can get behind Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi or Okami-San and Her Seven Companions. One of the things that I loved about this anime even though there was a heavy emphasis on fairytales such as Little Red Ridding which is the most prevalent, the script gets flipped in interesting ways each time. Add on the quirky anime tropes that we all know, love and cringe at, you get a very interesting story. I would just have liked it to be longer. I wanted to know much more about the protagonist and the overall outcome of the struggles that she went through. That, and I wanted more romance, but what can you do. Through some research, also known as going on the My Anime List page, there are also some novels and manga series to go along with it. I’m going to have to check those out.
One of my favorite shows is Bones. Even though it is officially done, I would love something that is very similar. That is how I find myself watching Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteriu, A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet, or Beautiful Bones. Really long names, but it is fitting with the anime. After looking a bit into it, this anime is based on a novel. I follows an awkwardly scientist who loves putting together skeletons and ends up helping the police on cases were there is nothing but skeletal remains of humans. Sometimes she steps in before that because of the incessant nature of her lovable sidekick. I greatly enjoyed the show. It was fast paced in everything seemed to be going somewhere. My main complaint is that the show doesn’t really end. It feels as though they hoped they would get a second season and didn’t. There’s just this huge cliffhanger. Maybe there is something else that I just missed when I was looking around for more, or I might just need to read the book. Either one is a possibility at this point.
So, I finally got around to finishing this anime. It honestly took me longer than I would genuinely like to say, but I finished it. That show would be Yuri!!! on Ice. I think I should start by saying that I am not the biggest fan of figure skating. I recognize that a lot of skill goes into the sport, but it’s not that interesting to me. I suppose that would explain why the show really lagged for me. I really like the premise of the show, but it was just soooooo slow. It probably had a lot to do with having the exact same routine every single episode. There was nothing really different. Some of the thoughts during the skating routines were different, but not really. If you really like figure skating and really enjoy the competition scene, you might enjoy this a lot more than I did. I really enjoyed everything else about the anime, I just couldn’t get behind all the dancing. I’m sorry Panda.
Reading Part 3 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or Stardust Crusaders was an event. Not only was this part the longest of the three, it introduced a totally new concept, and it did so super well. It was such an amazing thing to see how they mixed the concept of Hamon that was prevalent in the pervious parts and mixed it together to introduce the concept of stands. Stands , put simpily, are a manifestation of your soul. Each one, at least in this part, were expressed as tarot cards. It was just really cool to see a mixture of traditional and new creativity. So far, this is my favorite part, followed by Battle Tendency and Panthom Blood. Honestly, each part just gets better and better.
As I am writing this, I finished reading Vampire Knight not even ten minutes ago. I’m still trying to figure out the world’s structures because it was strange. I enjoyed the story, don’t get me wrong, even though somethings were spoiled for me ahead of time (I promise not to spoil anything here, guys.) It’s just a weird story, and I completely understand why I was told to read and not to read it at the same time. I had mixed reviews while reading it. Half-way through, I put it down, because it made my head hurt. It took me a couple of months to pick back up. At the very end, when the action started to really kick in, I couldn’t put it down. In my personal opinion, there was way too much filler in the middle trying to transition from one arc to another. It was just really awkwardly executed. Maybe the anime executed this differently and better. I’d heard better views from the anime, even though the story is weird.
After watching the amazing three-episode saga that was Gunsmith Cats, I just had to read it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original manga, but I was able to read the sequel. I still found it fantastic. All of the characters were well written and had such different personalities. There is an overarching storyline that flows so well together. I did find it a bit slow towards the middle, but it picked back up at just the right moments. This manga is a bit on the mature side, but it’s not too bad in my opinion. Considering the fact that this manga takes place in America – Chicago, in fact – you don’t need to have intimate knowledge of the area like I was expecting. It just happens to take place in America. There was just a diversity of characters, but I do feel like I was missing some background on the characters and some of their motivations. I do wish that at some point I can find the original manga so that I can get the information that I think I missed by only reading the sequel. If anyone knows where I can find it, please please please tell me. It would be very much appreciated.