Tags: anti-Twilight, fandom, lists, literature, not manga, rants, teen lit
Straight from my post at the YALSA blog, I bring you…
Top 10 Most Annoying Teen Fiction Trends!
Tags: go! comi, manga, review, shojo
Cy-Believers, volume 1
No, this isn’t a cool cyberpunk adventure manga. Damn. It’s actually a very weird mix of Miki Aihara-type shojo (now with more assholes!) and random humor, with a bit of “are-they-gay-maybe!” posturing. In the hands of a more competent writer, this could’ve been cool. Instead, it’s a bit of standard-shojo-fare that tries a little too hard to be edgy and offbeat.
Rui is a teenaged girl who’s just transferred to this school, Domus Somethingorother; I don’t remember the school’s full name, except that it’s Latin and very, very annoying and really pointless. She’s there to meet her fiance, some guy who’s name starts with N (I forgot it already; that says something about this manga). She’d thought he’d be a total sweetheart, based on his emails – but he’s actually a semi-rapist-ish, pigheaded jerk who delights in disbanding all other school clubs.
There’s also two guys who may or may not be gay. One of them may or may not be a robot. It’s effing weird.
In short: a very weird, forgettable manga with some nice art moments and an all-over-the-place plot that’s too faux-weird for it’s own good. Try it out yourself and form your own opinion.
Tags: review, shojo, tokyopop titles that don't suck
Akira is a rather good-looking sixteen-year-old boy, but girls don’t like him because he has little to no personality whatsoever (he’d fit in well in Hana-Kimi. Sorry, that was rude). Momoi is a brash, rude sixteen-year-old girl who’s incredibly pretty until she opens her mouth. Yet despite her personality, Akira has a crush on her. Then, due to an accident with one of Momoi’s grandfather’s experiments, the two end up switching bodies; that is to say, Akira’s soul is now in the body of the girl he likes.
This could be just normal shojo (if told from Momoi’s P.O.V.) or a particularly fan-service-filled seinen manga (seriously, think about it), but somehow, this series takes all the cliches, keeps half, and proceeds to screw the othe 50% up so much that it’s just WRONG. And yet… I loved it. I’m a cynic at heart, so seeing shojo tropes turned on their head was awesome for me.
An example of the series’ half-offending, half-completely-hysterical humor: after the body switch, Momoi proceeds to lock herself in the bathroom and, um, examine her new body, as I would have expected the male character to do. This causes un-ending embarassment for Akira, who can’t bear to think of what she must be doing in there – the role a girl would have taken, if this were any normal shojo.
Then there’s Sebongi, Akira’s pre-swap best guy friend, who now has feelings for Akira-in-Momoi’s-body. Even after the swap is revealed to him, he still keeps trying, knowing that it’s his old best friend, which I found completely hilarious. Better yet, Sebongi’s ‘hit on everything that moves’ attitude and Momoi’s possible feelings for Akira lead to some very, very weird situations… including one in Volume Three that’s just too funny to spoil here (one word: doujinshi!)
All in all, I’d have to say this is the best antishojo (although it ran in a shojo magazine) I’ve read in 2009. There’s a bit of Ouran (although more offensive to some), a bit of Hot Gimmick (from what I know of it), and a healthy dose of subverting gender stereotypes. Not for those who still believe there’s good in everyone, but if you’re sick of cookie-cutter shojo manga, why not give it a try?
Art – 6/10. It’s really not all that great, but hey, I didn’t read it for the flower backgrounds and hot guys.
Story – 8/10. FUNNY AS HELL, enough said.
Extras – Had nothing to do with the story. Actually they were all about creator Ai Moringawa’s cats. A little boring, really.
Overall – Cynics who believe that the shojo genre is just recycling ideas, come one, come all. Here’s a slightly screwy shojo that will either make you laugh your brains out, or offend you so much you’ll start a campaign to ban it from your local library. Myself? I’ll go with the former.
Tags: biased reviews, nana, review, shojo, shojo beat
…Whew. I’m kind of exhausted from all that! I spent last night unable to sleep, reading Nana, and I came to this realization:
Holy mother of cupcakes, I’m Hachi!
Er… right. Onto the review then.
This series just keeps getting better and better with every volume! I’m not exaggerating! I’m just using exclamation points because it is THAT AWESOME!
First of all, maybe it’s just me and my slash-goggles, but is Yazawa-san hinting at some sort of… unrequited Hachi/Nana… thing?! I mean, it’s kind of obvious with a few of the Hachi monologues at the end of a few chapters. These are some sixteen-ton-weight size hints she’s giving us here. (And I’m not even a yuri fangirl. Sigh.)
The romance plotlines are getting more and more twisted, as well. Hachi’s hooking up with Takumi, the bassist from Nana O’s rival band; Ren and Nana O reunite after two years; and Nobu is totally pining over Hachi. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Fortunately, all this romantic confusion adds up to some completely amazing scenes, such as when Shin and Nobu (from Nana O’s band Blast) go out drinking after a concert with Ren, Takumi, and Reira from their rival band Trapnest. This is a day or so after Takumi and Hachi slept together, and Takumi offends poor love-struck Nobu by comparing Hachi to a tail-wagging dog. (Um, note to Takumi: you probably shouldn’t call the girl you’re screwing a dog. It’s a bad idea.)
I don’t think I have to mention the art. If you’ve even read a PANEL of this manga you know that it’s gorgeous. ‘Nough said.
Art – 10/10
Story – 9/10
Extras – Quite cute, though there isn’t much. Creator commentary would have rocked my world, but ah well.
Overall – If you’re over the age of 15 and are looking for a manga that will rock your world, this is it.
Tags: ed can has a long name, love for the readers
-My friend Julia (she doesn’t have a blog yet, but look out for it) has been reccomending quite a few Shonen Jump series such as Claymore. I don’t have a very good history with the SJ line (Bleach just got weird after about volume 20 and I don’t mean this in a good way. And what was up with the whole Near arc in Death Note? It wasn’t half as good as the beginning) but everyone’s been saying how Claymore is more like seinen with female protagonists and less harem antics, so I guess you can count me in here.
– Three words: Genshiken. Fan. Book. Maybe I’ll finally get the ending I waited for? (Nah. I doubt it.) Even if there isn’t that ending, oh well- at least there might be some more excerpts from Project G? (Oh, god, I hope.)
– I’ve been meaning to get my hands on X/1999 for a while now, because my library is STUPID and LAME and NEVER HAS VOLUME ONE… (Librarians at CLP, I apologize. I didn’t mean it like that…)
– On the shojo-y side of things, most of you bloggers out there really liked Otomen (which sounds hysterical) and Gaba Kawa (I like the chibis! Chibis are good!) so when I’m looking to fulfill my ~big sparkly eyes omg~ quotient for the week, I’ll keep an eye out for one of those.
– Erika over at Okazu really enjoyed the Read or Dream (R.O.D. spin-off) manga, so I’m going to make sure to look for that as well. Sure, yuri isn’t my thing (most of the time,) but seriously. It’s Read or freakin’ Die. What’s not to love? (And Maggie is totally adorable!)
Tags: best, lists, manga
Quite a few “Best of 08’s” are going around right now, including Manga Life’s, David Welsh’s, and Deb Aoki’s. So I figure I’ll make one of my own – hopefully it’ll be okay, though it’ll probably make theirs look brilliant by comparison.
Best Shounen: Fullmetal Alchemist came out on top, as it does on nearly all my lists. It’s one of the most fun, best plotted series I’ve read in a while. AND it’s got totally kick-ass female characters, too!
(Runner-ups: Bleach, Gin Tama, and Tsubasa)
Best Shojo: I’d like to say Fruits Basket, as a devotee of Natsuki Takaya-san, but it’s kind of dragging lately. So the big prize goes to Nana, for being a modern EPIC of sex (LOTS of sex), drugs (not really), and rock’n’roll.
(Runner-ups: Fruits Basket, Sand Chronicles, and Honey and Clover)
Best Seinen: A manga about otaku beloved by otaku? It’s got to win. For this particular demographic, my favorite I’ve read this year has got to be Kio Shimoku’s Genshiken. Every time I read a chapter, I about die laughing.
(Runner-ups: xxxHolic, Chobits, Higurashi: When They Cry)
Best Hero: Hands down, this goes to Watanuki Kimihiro of xxxHolic. He’s adorable when he’s overexcited and flaily, and even more adorable with an eyepatch (or top hat.) What more could you ask for? No, seriously, what more?
Best Heroine: Haruhi Suzumiya, of her eponymous anime and manga, is FUNNY AS HELL. She may also be a total tsundere, a total bitch, and totally obsessive. But sometimes it’s just laughter that counts.
Best Mascot Character: Sumomo/Plum from Chobits. She’s a computer! And a pet! And an excersize machine!
Worst Manga: It’s a tie between Vampire Knight and Negima!. The former is a cliched, sparkly Twilight piece of bullshit, and the latter was just pedo nonsense (although I do like Nodoka or whatever her name was.)