June 8, 2006 at 11:48 pm 16 comments

My new manga this week:

Hana-Kimi 12 – the end of the Christmas dance!  Will Mizuki ever get to dance with Sano?  This first part of the book was ridiculously sweet and romantic.  Awww!  Later, Mizuki gets a summons from her family to return home for New Year's where she runs into her first love Gilbert.  Then of course a couple of the dorm guys show up (so convenient!) and Mizuki has to scramble to keep everyone from finding out about the cross-dressing thing.

Crossroad 3 – Kajitsu is out on a romantic date with her teacher Akai and wants it to be a perfect fantasy evening.  The fantasy is tarnished when she finds out later that Akai won't be leaving the school after all and she's going to be stuck with a real guy instead of a glorified memory.  The tension between Kajitsu and Natsu also fires up as they try to come to terms with their relationship – do they want to stay siblings or is their love changing into something else?  The next volume looks like it will focus on poor neglected Taro, the older brother with the cute sibling complex.

Tenshi Ja Nai! 3 – Hikaru gets stuck playing the Beast in the school play, which is bad enough, but then threatening letters start appearing warning her to drop out of the play or else.  Meanwhile she's struggling with the decision of whether or not to confess to her teacher Ayase, which gets even more complicated when bank robbers crash the school festival.  I must say that Izumi looks much better as his guy self than Makoto (from W Juliet) does.  Much more manly.  :)  It's also very amusing to watch the arrogant Izumi slowly falling for an oblivious Hikaru.  Though what's up with all of the teacher/student relationships in the manga I'm reading lately?  Why are so many teachers attracted to their 15 year old students?  That's just creepy, even if I am trying to turn off my morality filter for the sake of the story.  Perhaps it's just jealousy over the total lack of young, hot teachers when I was in high school…

Aishiteruze Baby 2 – Kippei decides he needs a girlfriend (and Kokoro would be perfect if he can convince her) but Yuzu isn't quite ready to share him.  Especially when Kippei starts forgetting his mommy duties so he can hang out with Kokoro.

Hot Gimmick 11 – yeah, I've already gushed about this one.  Only one volume left!

Nana 3 – poor Nana!  The goofy one, not the band one.  She gets to discover the fun of being broke in a big city while the other Nana makes a start on forming her new band.  Meanwhile Shoji runs into temptation when a new, cute girl starts working with him.  After a slow start this series is really growing on me.  I'm liking it more with each volume, but I think some of the problem with the rocky start was reading individual chapters in Shojo Beat each month.  I much prefer the whole volume approach to manga.  :)

School Rumble 2 – heh.  I like this title.  The weird humour is the kind that appeals to me.  In this volume, we get to see the fateful first meeting between Tenma and Kenji (they're both so clueless it's wonderful), and class 2-C turns cleaning the school pool into a pool hockey grudge match with the class project for the culture festival at stake.  (Only two chapters of many, of course.)  One of my favorite things about this manga are the little messages they have at the edges of the page, like: Harima Kenji: Finally Considers the Events of Chapter 6.  I find stuff like that funny.  Uh, it also helps if you can see the panels the messages are supplementing.  :)

Oh My Goddess! 23 – Keiichi's parents finally make an appearance!  His poor father has a horrible fear of women, though, and ends up trapped at the temple with three of the goddesses.  Then his mother shows up and makes Keiichi race his father as proof of his love for Belldandy.  To make things a little more interesting, she makes a side bet with Bell – if Keiichi loses, Bell must reveal who she really is.  The problem?  Keiichi's never even managed to pass his father in a race before, let alone win against him.  It was interesting to finally see Keiichi's parents.  His father is abnormally quiet and amazing with machines (so you can tell where Kei and Megumi get their love of tinkering and racing from) and his mother is unusually sharp and seems fun loving, but they don't quite have time to get into her character as much.  I guess we'll find out more about her in the next volume if Keiichi manages to win!

D. Gray-Man 1 – haven't read it yet, but it looks interesting.  Hopefully more about it later.

Boogiepop Doesn't Laugh 1 – I haven't read this yet, but it looks like a manga adaptation of Boogiepop and Others, the first novel in the series.

Basilisk 1 – a quick and easy description would be Romeo and Juliet with ninjas, but it's a little inaccurate to put such a simplistic tag on it, even if the idea is funny.  Two rival clans have settled into an uneasy truce which is dissolved in order to choose the next Shogun.  Each clan must enter ten ninjas in a fight to the death to determine which side will gain power and young lovers Oboro and Gennosuke find themselves on opposite sides of the battle.  I stopped reading about half way through this and haven't managed to get back to it yet, so I haven't actually gotten to the part where Oboro and Gennosuke find out they're supposed to be fighting each other.  (Right now there are ninjas being introduced right and left who then all run off to find someone to kill before news of the contest spreads to Oboro and Gennosuke, who are being deliberately kept in the dark by the other ninjas.)  Considering that this is one of the higher priced Del Rey titles I'm supposed to feel okay with paying $20 for since it's a higher quality "adult" title, that doesn't bode well for me.  They also have sucky margins.  :)  One of the guys at the comic store read it too and he also thought it was a little boring, but to be fair I suppose that only reading the first part of the first volume of a series isn't enough to judge the whole thing.  It has the potential to be interesting, and some of the character designs are pretty good even if I'm not a huge fan of the art… I think I'd read it, but wouldn't buy it.

Go! Comi very optimistically printed June as their release date for volumes 4 of Tenshi Ja Nai! and Crossroad, and since I just got to buy their "April" release of volume 3, well…  I don't think I believe them.  Amazon lists volume 2 of Her Majesty's Dog as being released July 5 while according to the Go! Comi website it was released in February.  (I haven't seen it anywhere, though.  Are they the company that's pre-releasing manga to one of the bookstore chains in the States?   One of the publishers I get newsletters from does but I can’t recall which one at the moment.) You know, they pick great manga to publish, but wow, do they need to work on getting their books out on time.

And after my earlier complaints about the creeping margins into the spine thing, I have to give credit to Viz – the Shojo Beat and Shonen Jump titles I read this week had great spine margins.  :) 

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Entry filed under: manga.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend trailer Too long!

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Akane  |  June 20, 2006 at 1:33 am

    I haven’t seen HOT GIMMICK v. 11 yet…I sort of want it now… sniff, sniff…
    I did give in and buy TENSHI JA NAI v. 3 though… Can’t wait for v.4!
    Too much manga, so little time…

    Reply
  • 2. pajcat  |  June 21, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Ha! You have no idea how coveted my copy of HG was. We only got a few copies in the store and I bought two of them.

    I *do* like Tenshi Ja Nai, though I wish Izumi had held out longer in the jerk department. I mean, you know he was going to fall for Hikaru sooner or later, I just wish he had tormented her a bit more first. :)

    And the more I think about the teacher/student trend in my manga lately the more it irks me. First of all, it's wrong. Second, can't they come up with something a little different? Maybe fall for an older waiter or something? At least the teacher in Crossroad is a bit of a weirdo and a perv, but still.

    Reply
  • 3. badtzphoto  |  May 1, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Hi, random stalker here :)
    I’m thinking about crossroad – and I searched for it here and found this post, since I enjoyed other series that you recommended (skip beat, gatcha gacha) … Would Crossroad be in that list? Thanks.

    Also, regarding teacher/student in manga … I wonder why is falling for an older waiter is better than a teacher? So it’s not the age difference but it’s the role of a person? I mean teachers are people, too. Disclaimer, I’m not a teacher :)

    Reply
  • 4. pajcat  |  May 6, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Gosh, it took me a long time to answer this… sorry. Much going on right now.

    I liked Crossroad, but mostly because of the family interaction. I don’t think I would strongly recommend it – I think there were problems with the series. The love interests were kind of messed up – like each other, don’t, date other people, wait it’s a fake… but not in a really suspenseful way. More like, what are these people doing??

    Is that confusing? It’s kind of how I felt about the series.

    The teacher thing… I can ignore the crazy age differences to a certain degree. I’m never going to be a fan of a twenty something man hitting on a sixteen year old girl (creepy! find someone your own age!) but it’s worse if it’s someone in a position of authority. Teacher, boss, doctor… I think it’s because these are people you’re supposed to trust and feel safe with, and the older men are taking advantage.

    That’s kind of why I mentioned the waiter thing. It’s inappropriate, kind of creepy and wrong, but not as bad as a student’s teacher hitting on them. bleh.

    They just made changes in the age of consent laws here in Canada. Some of them are weird and confusing, but the one I definitely agree with is if a minor has a sexual relationship with someone in a position of authority over them it’s illegal. Doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not – I think they see it as coersion because of the influence the older person has over the younger.

    Blah. It’s late, I’m tired and my eyes are killing me. I don’t even know if this made sense. :)

    Reply
  • 5. badtzphoto  |  May 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    hm, I’ve been worried that my comments regarding teachers turned you off. Thanks for replying :) I guess I’ll check out other series – I like Gatcha gacha more and more now – I like Yabe a bit more than when I started the series, but I still root for Hirao and Yuri :) even though Hirao is such a dork …

    I totally agree what teachers shouldn’t hit on their students due to roles, maturity and age differences. When I said “falling for” I actually meant students having crushes on teachers – and not teachers hitting on them – similar to Meiko and Namura in “Marmalade Boy” or Hikaru and Aayase in “Tenshi Ja Nai” …

    Reply
  • 6. cathy  |  May 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Oddly enough, those were two of the pairings that ran through my mind. Hitting on, falling in love, becoming a couple, etc. Only response to a student hitting on a teacher should be, “Thanks, I’m flattered. Come see me in five years and we’ll talk about it then. It’s really inappropriate right now and you’re going to get me fired.” This is a cultural thing, of course. I have no idea how Japanese people react to student/teacher romances. Probably badly considering how many teachers have to quit their jobs in manga… :)

    It does happen a lot in manga, anime and dramas though, doesn’t it? I try not to think about it very hard. I try not to focus on the morality of different situations – I take my cue from the reactions of the characters if I can. There’s occasional overload, though. :)

    Reply
  • 7. badtzphoto  |  May 7, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Probably badly considering how many teachers have to quit their jobs in manga… :)
    Heh :)

    I wonder if the targetted audience is bothered about it or what do they think about it, you know. By targetted audience I mean teenagers … even though I know many grownups (myself included) read it, too. It’s depressing to think that I could be the parent of these manga characters ;)

    Reply
  • 8. pajcat  |  May 7, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Ha, that’s true. The thing I wonder about is how much of this North American teen girls are absorbing and thinking it’s okay. I would hope that they wouldn’t be that easily influenced, but what do I know? I don’t actually know any teenage girls… My nephew reads more fantasy/shonen stuff so it’s a little different there.

    I do wish they had more manga translated for adults (and by that I mean women). The situations are a little more relatable, anyway. I loved Tramps Like Us (LOVED) and have a newer one that I bought that’s a collection of short stories, but for the most part I find most of the adult titles published are either sci fi, horror or fantasy/ninja type stuff. I’m hoping as the teen girls who started reading manga within the past few years get older the publishers will try to keep them as readers by putting out more mature stuff. People MY age are screwed now, but hopefully the future will be brighter. :)

    Ah. And Maison Ikkoku. That’s a good title with adults in it. I loved that series….

    Wow. I guess if I started young enough I could be old enough to have a 16 year old daughter. My nephew was born when I was 18 and he’s 15 now… Time flies.

    Reply
  • 9. badtzphoto  |  May 7, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    oh, I really like Maison Ikkoku, too. Godai is just too spineless :) Poor Shun (sp?)

    I’ve heard good think about Suppli, how about you? I also like Emma by Kaoru Mori. The story about a maid set in England – I don’t relate, but it’s like reading Jane Austen :)
    I recalled you really like Tramps like us. I haven’t checked it out but the premise turns me off somehow (just like my first impression of skip beat and gotcha gocha :) so …) maybe I check that out instead of crossroad, then. I kind of steer away from adult/mature manga because of Sensual Phase – even though it’s actually a shojo. I’m a prude, I guess. I enjoy Shojo, though, just like I enjoy reading books for kids – it’s my escapism – ha. Relive the old times :)

    Reply
  • 10. pajcat  |  May 8, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Oh, the Shun getting married because of the dog thing made me absolutely cringe for him! I saw the anime before reading the manga and I was completely mainlining the series by then. Gosh it was good!

    I couldn’t read more than a couple of volumes of Sensual Phrase either. I think it was just badly written. :) Really, though. You can have an “adult” series without having pointless sex scenes in it. I skip over most of those when I’m reading novels (exception: Jennifer Crusie because she manages to make them funny) and I usually find it annoying when they throw in a sex scene in a book/manga/whatever instead of advancing the character. It’s kind of shallow. Not that I mind sex scenes, I just like them to have a point, or acknowlege that it’s a sex book. Those are occasionally fine too. :)

    I’ve heard good things about Suppli too, but haven’t read it yet. I’d read it if my bookstore got it in but so far we haven’t. Maybe I should order it? :) Emma I liked, but it didn’t grab me the way the titles I really love do. I think the anime is coming out in North American soon, too.

    Tramps Like Us is one that I initially passed over because of the title, art and description. It seemed kind of creepy, or like it would be a fan servicey type book, but I ended up loving it. Sumire is a great character – smart, successful, beautiful, but doesn’t communicate well with others and people tend to think she stand offish instead of just shy. It really affects the way people treat her and adds different stresses to her life. Enter Momo, the homeless (sort of) modern dance student who moves into Sumire’s apartment as her pet! It was great to watch the two of them bond. Even when Sumire started a nerve wracking relationship with a former sempai you could see the difference in the way she could absolutely be herself in front of Momo when she was so misunderstood by everyone else. But her boyfriend was a great guy too! I was rooting for Momo but understood why she was with who she was with. (What was his name, anyway? I have no idea.)

    And there were minimal sex scenes, and usually had Sumire thinking things over during them so there was actually a point.

    Ah, have I gushed enough yet? :P

    Reply
  • 11. badtzphoto  |  May 8, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Oh, the Shun getting married because of the dog thing made me absolutely cringe for him!
    Yeah, that twist was just too much :) I haven’t watched the anime.

    Yeah, I look forward to Emma anime (sometimes in July/aug this year) and Ouran high host club (don’t know when yet).

    After posting earlier, I checked out the scanlation of “Tramps like us” and smiling/laughing throughout book 1. It IS funny – I can totally see it as a reread materials :) Thanks for gushing about it! I do feel sorry for the sempai, though. My guess is she and Momo will end up together … anyway, it’s too early to tell at the end of book 1.
    Then I went to amazon to try to order the books and found out that many are out of prints – ugh! especially #6 – can you believe it’s listed $66 on amazon seller? what’s in that book? Can I skip it?
    so searching ebay and powells, I finally got some volumes.

    Oh good, I’m glad it wasn’t just me regarding Sensual Phase.

    Reply
  • 12. pajcat  |  May 9, 2008 at 7:06 am

    $66?? That’s… insane. Does that mean I can’t recommend Tramps Like Us to people anymore? Sniff. I already stopped telling people about Kodocha…

    I guess I’m feeling a little spoiled right now. I’m pretty sure I could go to one of my comic stores and just buy that volume for $10. I knew I had two copies of one of the volumes so I checked my trade in box for you, but it’s volume 10. That’s no help. :(

    Volume 6… I guess it has some important developments. With Hasumi, and something else that becomes important later. But as long as you can find it to read it *cough* it would be up to you as to how important it is to own it. Myself, I can be a crazy completist when I set my mind on something. I try to work with it. :)

    Reply
  • 13. badtzphoto  |  May 9, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “But as long as you can find it to read it *cough* it would be up to you as to how important it is to own it.”
    It did cross my mind as a last resort – it drives me nuts, too not to have the whole set :)

    Well, only #6 is hard to find but I lucked out when I went to get Skip beat! 12 yesterday at a local comics bookstore and found one for $10 (YAY!). I’m surprised that they went out of print so fast.
    And what’s up with Gatcha gacha 7 not yet shipped? – sob

    I love Kodocha.

    Reply
  • 14. pajcat  |  May 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I got Gatcha Gacha on Wednesday! It was at my bookstore and the comic store when I went in. I was so happy!

    I got the new Tsubasa yesterday, too. I went to the bookstore to pick up Tramps Like Us 11 (I gave away my copy) and your sad tale prompted me to finally go out and replace it. And there was Tsubasa! I forgot that was coming out soon.

    You should see if your comic store can get you TLU #6.

    Reply
  • 15. badtzphoto  |  May 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    “You should see if your comic store can get you TLU #6.”
    I did get it yesterday when I picked up Skipbeat! Sorry that it wasn’t clear in my comment above :) I’m a happy camper now waiting for other TLU … except for gatcha gacha 7 (pout!) I didn’t see Tsubasa 17 (double pout). Maybe I should find myself a new comics bookstore :)

    Reply
  • 16. pajcat  |  May 9, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I’m so glad you got it! I think it would have driven *me* nuts, and it’s not even my collection!

    Comic book stores kind of get screwed over by distributers. Bookstores aren’t tied to the same Wednesday release dates that the comic stores are. If they get them in early (and they usually do) the books go out on the shelf.

    And belatedly, I’m glad you liked Kodocha. :)

    Reply

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