Ao Hara Ride

Ran across Ao Hara Ride manga last night and read as far as I could. 

Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high-school student. Because she’s cute and had a demure personality she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the one boy she has always liked, Tanaka Kou. 

Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but that they cannot go back. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?

 

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Kou Mabuchi, Futaba Yoshioka

WARNING: Spoiler-ishness

As the reader I feel really conflicted between her love interests. On one level I want her to be with her first love because it’s awesome shojo fluff and they really helped each other grow as people. However, as a woman I feel that she made the right choice by moving on to someone who was ready to “commit” to being her boyfriend instead of sometimes kissing partner. It takes courage to respect yourself and know what is most important and move towards it instead of regressing. At this point in the story Futaba has already made the decision to be with Touma Kikuchi and Kou is finally ready to man-up and fight for the girl he loves.

So the question remains: Where does my vote lie? 

 

 

Lovely Complex Anime

It’s been a long time but I’ve started watching Lovely Complex again. At its very core it is a romantic comedy series about a tall girl (Risa Koizumi) liking a short guy (Atsushi Otani).

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Factoid: Lovely Complex is particularly notable as the manga-ka Aya Nakahara wrote the dialogue completely in Osaka-ben.

When Shojo Beat previewed the manga back in May 2007 I went nuts for the series! I read all I could online, looked up pictures, found the anime, wanted to be the voice actress for the English version and even made fanart, pixels and a fanpage. Yep. It was awesome. In fact, I still own the entire 17 volume manga series and have no plans on getting rid of it. It’s just that good. :3

Beast Master Shojo Manga

Purchase #3 &# 4: Beast Master vol. 1 & 2

Once upon a time I used to be a manga junkie. At the peak of my otaku-ness I owned over 500 volumes of manga and LOVED it. Nothing felt better than bringing home a bag of brand new unread manga. Over time I realized some series really weren’t as great as I first thought and engaged in many online trades as the books didn’t have any resale value.  As the economy collapsed so did my manga funding and my collection had to find new homes with the exception of my all time favorites. I have been clean and haven’t bought a single volume since 2011 – until now that is.

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“Leo Aoi looks like a crazy animal with wild eyes- and no one at his new high school will go near him! He does seem to have a special connection with animal though, which intrigues overzealous animal lover Yuiko Kubozuka…”

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One thing to keep in mind about shojo manga is to not take it too seriously or judge it just by it’s cover. (There is no bondage) However this is rated OT for blood, violence and mild language. Despite those warnings I find this series highly amusing and had shared one of my favorite panels from volume 1 back in February. There are a number of such gems scattered throughout the two books but you will have to discover them for yourself~! ;3

Thanks for reading!

Up Next: ????!

 

Handmade Anime

Over the years I’ve read a lot of shojo manga and one of my favorites for a while was a shota title called Meru Puri Marchen Prince by Matsuri Hino; the creator of Vampire Knight. As any good otaku, I would look up related fan produced works such as art and MMVs and happened across this project by TheWindyStar on Youtube. She single-handedly attempted to make her own MeruPuri anime! Sadly this project has long been put to pasture, but it just goes to show what someone can accomplish with enough determination!

(I know the voice sounds kinda wonky, however TheWindyStar used her own voice in this project)