secretlygeeky: (your heart's a mess)
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)
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.

The Gap

Nov. 10th, 2013 02:07 pm
secretlygeeky: (femme shishio)
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 )