secretlygeeky: (your heart's a mess)
2014-11-19 09:47 am

Shoujo Manga Heartbreak Remedies: Stand Up! by Yamakawa Aiji

Sorry, this will probably be a recurring theme in the blog until I eventually get over hnr (which is?? never???).... *laughs hysterically while 'I Should Live In Salt' by The National plays*

For those who don't get the drill; I talk about shoujo (or josei) manga to get over a recent shoujo manga heartbreak of mine. And yes, I read more shoujo manga to get over shoujo manga. Huh.

I never really had the chance to talk about mangaka Yamakawa Aiji before. I first read her work Yajirobee, which is a really cute 2-volume series about a girl and her hot shoujo (step)dad™. I swear there's more to the story but that is not mine to tell for now.



I read her other work Stand Up! for the first time last night... and I judged myself for not reading it sooner. It's a sweet and wonderfully done shoujo manga about tall girl Furuya Utako (nicknamed Utamaru) who falls in love with her seatmate, popular guy Harada Naoyuki. The synopsis is not catchy enough, yeah, but Yamakawa Aiji never fails to deliver her stories in a pure, charming way that you just know that if this manga was done by anyone else, it wouldn't be the same.


What I like the most about Stand Up! is that all of the characters are really likable, most especially lead characters Furuya and Harada. Utako is just the cutest and Harada, while he subtly teases Utako at first (in a non-degrading or misogynistic manner at all, which is... pretty rare in shoujo, considering), is gentle, non-imposing, and is pretty much the best first boyfriend anyone could ask for. I swear, if a lot more guys were like Harada in shoujo manga (or better yet, in real life), the world would totally be a better place.

With that said, Yamakawa Aiji is certainly a new shoujo mangaka favorite, and will definitely read more of her works in the future. 
secretlygeeky: (oral fixation)
2014-11-06 07:29 pm

Shoujo Manga Heartbreak Remedies

What do you do when a shoujo manga you love lets you down and breaks your heart?

a. Drink two beers? Check. (Technically, I didn't drink two beers, more like three cocktails....)
b. Mope around all day thinking about all that wasted potential? Check. I'm sorry I'm a loser with no life.
c. Read more shoujo manga? Check!
 

I decided to binge read a familiar title that I never really wanted to check out in the past, because I was initially iffy about the storyline.. which was Marmalade Boy!



a few spoilers under the cut for those who haven't read the series )

Not included in the choices above, but reading josei manga is also a great remedy to get over a shoujo manga heartbreak! Josei manga pretty much has all of the things that shoujo manga sometimes can't offer - more mature themes are explored, there's better character development, and more importantly... age-gap relationships are more acceptable! *sobs* I am age gap trash.

Katsuta Bun is a mangaka I recently discovered when I first read her series Chikutaku Bonbon, which I fell in love with (and now own two volumes of the series!!). Her characters are cute and quirky and it just feels refreshing reading her stories.



My copies of Chikutaku Bonbon volumes 1 and 2, featuring the cute leads Iwa and Sango.







I also recently found out that she has a new series! Pictured above is called Mari Mari Mari currently serialized by Cocohana. I flipped through the pages of the first chapter in their website, and I must say I'm very intrigued, and not gonna lie - it's the male lead that drew me in. C'mon, cigarette-smoking, glasses-wearing, dark-haired, quirky guy? What's not to love? It also reminds me of a certain tragic shoujo character... oh dammit I'm so vulnerable. You can read the first chapter of Mari Mari Mari here.

Anyway, looking forward to reading (and purchasing) more of Katsuta Bun's works! They seem like the kind of thing I need in my life right now. Sigh.
secretlygeeky: (sad shishio)
2014-11-05 11:00 am
Entry tags:

Wasted Potential

.... is exactly what I'd describe the HnR ending. Hah. I'm sorry, but this is what you'd call a hell of a fucking MESS.



(I'm probably going to be doing a lot of swearing so if that bothers you, go away while you can)

My biggest disappointment with the ending was that I really, really feel like a better story could have been told with the extra 20-something pages the author allotted for this chapter. But what happened?

Spoilers underneath the cut, and a lot of disappointment )
secretlygeeky: (love will tear us apart)
2014-10-22 01:35 pm

And so the countdown begins….

Hello all! Just a quick post to say that yes, I'm alive, and I've still got a lot of feelings for Hirunaka no Ryuusei.

Hirunaka no Ryuusei has one chapter left and fans are most anxious to know the answer to the million dollar question: Who will Suzume end up with?


Of course, as per usual, 80% of the fandom's rooting for Mamura. Which is to be expected, considering recent survey results and such. I've long ago tried to convince myself that Mamura/Suzume would have a 90% chance of being endgame due to its surprising popularity amongst fans.

In fact, even with the recent development now, I'm probably fine with a non-Shishio/Suzume ending because the recent chapter was just… so beautiful. I found it so perfect that I'm willing to forgive the flaws in Shishio's character development and the love triangle arc that was a bit painful to sit through. I may just be seeing this through my Shishio/Suzume biased shipping glasses but somehow, there's just something heart-clenching about their scenes together. That chapter pretty much showed the beauty (and tragedy) of the ship. I am still crying over it as I type this.

Anyhow, whatever ending the manga would get, I'm definitely supporting Yamamori Mika! Finally made up my mind recently that I'll be collecting all the HnR volumes. I've currently got 3 in my collection (volumes 2, 5-6), and I recently ordered volumes 9-10 which will hopefully arrive safely in my mail next month -- it was my first time ordering manga online and I got terribly paranoid with my purchase, lol.

2 weeks to go until I either cry of happiness, of heartbreak, or perhaps - both. I'll definitely be crying either way.

-----

Recently, I was making an inventory of all the manga I've bought that was currently in my room, and was almost surprised to find some manga I didn't remember I owned, lol. I decided to make myself a LibraryThing account so I can keep track of the manga that I have, and so I can pretend that they're actually organized properly and not scattered in various corners of my home.



Most of the manga currently listed are just stuff I have in my room, and stuff I do remember owning, but are misplaced somewhere... Haha. Feel free to check out my collection here.
secretlygeeky: (your heart's a mess)
2014-05-25 08:31 pm

volleyball idiots and the actual mess that is the tumblr fandom

Whoa, it's been months since I've last written something! I'm beginning to think I don't know how to write a proper blog entry, considering I'm still in the process of getting used to micro-blogging format courtesy of that monstrous excuse of a website called Tumblr. Lol, here I am talking trash about the website, when in fact for months I've been using it as a form of escapism from reality - to the point that I check every hour, every day. It's gotten that bad. ANYWAY.

here i am getting all ranty mcrant thanks to tumblr, geez )

And as for fandoms, I'm only really following a few nowadays, and these past few months I've gotten immersed into the fandom for Hirunaka no Ryuusei, making edits and fanart and all, which made me feel all reminiscent of my iconing days back in LiveJournal. I started following this fandom back when there was still a thorough lack of scanlations, and because I adored Shishio a lot and saw that people liked Shishio and Suzume together, too!

Ranty mcrant part 2 feat. life ruining shoujo manga )

Which is why I have been diverting my attention to Haikyuu!!, a sports anime/manga series about volleyball, and up to this very day I still wonder why I've gotten so attached to this series, considering that I only really convinced myself to read the manga because of this dirty yaoi doujinshi by Junko. I guess it's just that, the entire cast is super adorable, characterization is great, the story arcs are actually short, and as my boyfriend said: they make volleyball look hella interesting - which I totally agree with, considering that volleyball is one of my worst sports ever. While I really love the entire Karasuno team, and initially read the manga for KuroKen and the Nekoma team, Oikawa from Aobajousai really caught my eye - a.k.a. oh no another two-faced douchebag I'll probably love! Yes, he's good at the sport, and yes, he's got a terrible personality - but I really like that he's not a genius at his craft, and that he worked fucking hard to get to where he is now. I have a thing for characters like these. You go, Oikawa, even if you're fucking trash.

Also, the anime has just started last month and it's the best thing that's been happening to me for 8 sundays now! I'm too lazy to post gifs and photos here but if you go check my Tumblr, I've got a shitload of Haikyuu posts that it's probably about 80% of my blog now. I'm surprised no one has unfollowed me because of that - in fact, I've been gaining followers and some of my existing followers like the series too. Hmm. Surprise, surprise.
secretlygeeky: (femme shishio)
2013-11-10 02:07 pm

The Gap

Guilty as charged, I've become a shoujo manga convert as of late. I'd spend my days off and breaks just giddily reading shoujo manga.. or crying over it, depending on the story, really. Needless to say, I'm still very picky with my shoujo manga.

What I didn't expect, however, was to get into the age gap trope. It gradually started with me liking Hirunaka no Ryuusei a lot, to which I was looking for more good age gap stories. Here are some good manga I've read that fall under the age gap category:

Read at your own risk if you dislike 7-10 year age gaps in relationships, and slight spoilers )
secretlygeeky: (sad shishio)
2013-11-04 10:23 pm

A [sort of] in depth analysis on Shishio Satsuki

Hirunaka no Ryuusei, admittedly, has become a favorite shojo manga series of mine lately, despite just having read it out of the blue. I've become smitten with the perky yet mysterious Shishio Satsuki and his relationship with the naive yet surprisingly strong Yosano Suzume. Notice how I'm mentioning Shishio first as if he's the main character of the series, lol.



I normally really don't like teacher/student relationships, honestly, and I was a bit disappointed to find out that Shishio was Suzume's teacher - I was already sold with the thought of Shishio being Uncle Yukichi's "weird boyfriend"! But what's really promising about HnR is that Shishio and Suzume's relationship is more than just the usual ~forbidden love~ trope. Considering that they first met outside of the school, you'd know that they didn't just fall for one another as just teacher and student.

Though of course, despite all my love and praise for HnR (*cough* and Shishio *cough*), it also has its flaws.

Spoilers under the cut if you haven't read til the latest chapter! )
secretlygeeky: Ever perfect Yamamoto Takeshi <3 (Baseball idiot)
2013-09-29 07:59 pm
Entry tags:

Kimi ni Todoke thoughts and ships

I was never really interested in reading Kimi ni Todoke before because I kinda got sick of those usual "quiet girl meets outgoing guy" love stories. I decided to read about a month ago, however, because I was running out of shoujo manga to read, plus I wanted to know what the hype and the good reviews are all about.

It's nothing new, honestly, but as Sawako would describe Kazehaya, it is refreshing. Sawako is an ok heroine, Kazehaya is actually adorbs, and the two of them together is just so cute and squishy all over. I also like that there's more to Kazehaya than being just a perfect popular guy because he also has his faults, and the conflicts in their love story is not as dramatic, irritating and tedious as other love stories in shoujo manga.

What I also liked about KnT is the unlikely friendship Sawako makes with Chizu and Yano, the former a tall, brutish girl; the latter a teenage gyaru who looks too mature for her age. Think Tohru's friendship with her BFFs Hana and Uo, it's that kind of special friendship. And of course her friends also have their own love interests:

There's Chizu and her unresolved sexual tension with her childhood friend, Ryuu.



And Yano and the other popular guy in class, Kent.



I was first really invested with the ChizuRyuu dynamic but for some reason, my interest in the pairing faltered as I've progressed with the series. Surprisingly enough, I'm most intrigued and interested in this not canon (YET... I CAN FEEL IT HAPPENING) pairing:



Yano x Pin PLZ. THEY'VE GOT SO MUCH MORE SEXUAL TENSION THAN YANO/KENT!! Idk I never really liked Kent as a character so I'm not too invested with him and Yano actually together in the series. Guess he stuck to me as the ass who meddled in Kazehaya and Sawako's relationship SOB I was crying that whole time I swear

This is probably one of the few Teacher/Student pairings I like aside from Shizume in HnR (which is sorta defunct atm SOB) and I guess like most T/S pairings, this will be a complicated relationship. Well, let's see how Shiina Karuho treats this pairing, and I hope she does it right.
secretlygeeky: (lil ol' me or big bad me)
2013-08-26 02:12 am

Hook and Line

I kinda take back what I said from my previous post - that I could hardly tolerate fanservice anime/manga anymore - because there are actual good ones.



So, I've just read every single chapter of Yamada-kun and the 7 witches in one sitting (sort of). It was not my first time hearing about the series, really. I've been seeing the title a lot from my f-list, though never a preview of the actual series itself. From the title itself, however, I was assuming it was a yaoi/BL manga, seeing as it seems like something CJ Michalski would name her manga, prolly because of her work entitled The pretty wolf and the 7 goaty. I'm quite relieved that there's an actual similarity to the names and not just a usual blunder of mine.

It wasn't until earlier, however, that I found that an anime of the series will be released pretty soon, and that there's actually an existing live-action drama of the series already. Plus the gif set was pretty promising - though I've got to admit, the boy-to-boy kissing scenes got me hook, line and sinker. So I figured since the series got both an anime and a drama already, it's probably not so bad, and that I could give it a shot.

This series thoroughly exceeded my expectations. The mangaka of this series, Yoshikawa Miki is the one who did Yankee-kun to Megane-chan as well. And oohh, she's actually a former assistant of Mashima Hiro, mangaka of Rave and Fairy Tail! No wonder the art style was eerily similar. Anyway, I've read Yankee-kun to Megane-chan before - found it pretty funny and all, but I never got the chance to go past volume 1 or 2, nor did I want to catch up on later chapters. So I was expecting more or less the same vibe from this one, but boy was I so wrong. The reviews were right, every chapter gets more and more interesting; and lo and behold - there's more to this manga than just fanservice! *sobs* It was a really refreshing read, as compared to that useless manga I read yesterday.

The story starts with a delinquent student named Yamada Ryuu who gets into an accident with the smartest student in their year, Shiraishi Urara. But here's the thing, they actually switch bodies. How? Kissing. As the series progresses, we find out that there are other students in the school who have the same ability as theirs, so Yamada and his friends go on a ~quest~ to find these witches! There's a gratuitous amount of fanservice in this manga, for both guys and gals alike, so it's bound to be an enjoyable read for anyone, as long as they're not icky on the guy-to-guy kissing. There's a harem, yes.. in a way, but it's not the ridiculous sort that's the usual in shonen rom-com manga. But really, this was such a great read. The recent chapters got me bawling, tbh. I can't wait to read the upcoming chapter!!

While we're at it, imma showcase my favorite OT3 from this manga. I love Yamada and Shiraishi a lot, really, and I'm really pining for them, but this takes the cake:



Miyamura/Yamada/Itou ftw! As to why they're both smitten with Yamada, I'm not saying anything, so go read the manga!



Jfc this manga's hilarious, ok. One of my headcanons (or it's probably CANON IDK) is that Miyamura is actually bisexual aahhhh plz be true lol



One last because Miyamura and Itou are hilarious (and I ship them, too!).
secretlygeeky: (oral fixation)
2013-08-25 02:38 am
Entry tags:

Late night ramblings

I just realized today, after reading 40+ chapters of Nisekoi that I could hardly tolerate these fanservice anime/manga anymore. Really, that Nisekoi one-shot was very promising, and I loved the inverted Romeo and Juliet dynamic, but the series has just turned into one of those cliched shonen manga with a girl harem and lots of fanservice. Which made me think that if I were to read some light hearted high school romance (which, I have to admit, is a guilty pleasure of mine), I'd be better off reading shoujo; yaoi, even.

Sorry, I just had to rant because Ichijou (of Nisekoi)'s harem was growing larger at this point, and I don't even particularly like his crush Onodera, and I reckoned it'll take sooooo long before the series would reach its closure, so I had to stop. Honestly, if not with Chitoge, I want Ichijou with Seishirou (who is a girl, by the way, but wouldn't it be rad if she were a guy??).

Enough of that. I finally have people to talk about SnK with! The only problem is that they're all guys. How could I possibly tell them how much I think Jean and Armin would make such a cute pairing and that Erwin and Levi's hot stuff? Oh well.
secretlygeeky: (good for health)
2013-08-13 10:50 am
Entry tags:

Getting your boyfriend into fandom, and other things

As of late, I've been drifting along with the mainstream and actually getting into current anime series such as Free! and Shingeki no Kyojin, but I have to admit that I've become easily hooked to the latter. Because of that, I've been desperately seeking out friends from the fandom to discuss the latest chapters and spoilers with. Hence, I've been nagging friends to watch the series so I could have someone to fangirl with and actually get what I'm saying.

So far, my latest victims include a high school friend of mine and my boyfriend, both of whom I've been coercing to watch SnK because they both seemed interested. Luckily, I got them both hooked - though they aren't exactly up to date with the series (one follows the anime only, the other has only read up 'til the female titan arc). But! I found out recently that another good friend of mine has apparently been following the series and has read the manga, too, so I've been able to discuss some spoiler-y stuff with him. Yay!


Yes, Yagami Laito, this never gets old.


The downsides of getting your boyfriend to like SnK, and possible spoilers, so read at your own risk )
secretlygeeky: (beautifully tragic)
2013-08-12 02:11 pm
Entry tags:

Well, hello Dreamwidth.

I finally succumbed to making an account here on Dreamwidth, for reasons such as LiveJournal being kind of dead (though I still love updating my lj blog) and honestly, I don't know where fandoms hang out anymore. I guess they're all on Tumblr now, but at times the crowd there can be so taxing.

I dunno what to expect from here, but I'm hoping to have fun. I really miss reading through active fan communities.