Keep updated with Manga Therapy via RSS & e-mail! "Like", "Follow", or "+1" me for more lovely conversations about manga & Japanese pop culture!
Text with 10 notes
“What should I do? What do I want? Do I want a boyfriend? Do I want a relationship? Am I interested? Or not? Should I give up? Or expect something? Will I…like him someday?….Or won’t I?” - Ayane Yano (Chapter 67)
For those who are single and have not experienced love (or anyone that’s been through love for that matter), how do you know that you have that intense feeling inside? Can you say to yourself that it’s not just a simple crush? What if you’re afraid to find out? A while back in Karuho Shiina’s Kimi ni Todoke Volume 16, one of the more mature characters in the series, Ayane Yano, tries to address this concern in her heart with regards to the flirtatious behavior of Kento Miura. So when do those butterflies begin to fly in your stomach and should you let them float around?
Text with 18 notes
And here we are, at last, the final road to paradise! Without further ado, here’s a final list of great quotes from Volume 3 of Paradise Kiss. What parting advice do our favorite fashion designers and friends have to say?
Text with 22 notes
And we’re back with more tickets to paradise! Picking off from where left off in Part I, here’s more quotes from Ai Yazawa’s amazing “Paradise Kiss” series, this time from Volume 2 of Vertical Inc’s re-release, that will get you thinking!
Text with 49 notes
If there’s one classic series that that defined youth and coming-of-age, it’s none other than Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss. From the creator of NANA came a series that was not only romantic, stylish, comedic and witty, but it was one that really hit home for many teenagers wondering where their lives will be headed after their school lives end.
The adventures of Yukari “Caroline” Hayasaka and her friends had some inspirational quotes that will take one to their intended paradise. Here’s a collection of quotes that really stand out from Volume 1 of Vertical Inc.’s 2012 re-release of ParaKiss.
Text with 14 notes
With all the manga titles available out in Japan and the world, one wonders how much manga do we consume that’s not really “outstanding”. While titles like Naruto, BLEACH, and One Piece rule the world, readers can get bored with them from time to time. It’s either that or all they know are the mainstream manga titles. Over-consumption of certain manga titles/genres can be pretty dangerous to a reader’s mind as it can create strong biases.
A book called “The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption” discussed an “information obesity” epidemic that’s happening with people in America. There’s too much information out there and people let themselves consume a lot without ill regard. Not many people are able to filter out the distractions the age of the Internet provides.
So, I want to ask you readers what makes a good “manga diet” in your minds. Send me some of your lists/suggestions/ideas and I will post them up here for everyone to see! What manga titles should make the “fruits and vegetables” portion that people need to consume more of? What titles should be our “sugary” guilty pleasures? How much of the “meaty” shonen battle manga can one be allowed to read? Are there “whole grain” titles that naturally get you pumping?
Feel free to send your suggestions to tonyyao82 (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject title, “MANGA DIET”. You can also comment below!
Looking forward to see a variety of diet plans filled with thoughtful stories, great characterization, and riveting protagonist/antagonist conflicts!
Text with 7 notes
Yes, this is the only title. Look how pretty Masakazu Katsura’s art is!
On all seriousness, Matt Blind of Rocket Bomber recently asked manga bloggers to give thanks to the manga industry for all their hard work. He also asked folks to highlight what manga titles we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving 2012. I decided to join in on this feast since hey, creators and publishers really do look out for their fans. With a bit of Jimmy Fallon quirkiness, here are some notable manga series (both licensed and a few unlicensed titles) that make me go, “Arigato, Soushite, ARIGATO!”
Text with 16 notes
If you think Chi from Chi’s Sweet Home is adorable, you haven’t seen what this cat can do.
When you think about the shoujo manga titles under VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint, there are a good number of memorable characters. However, they don’t compare to the little rascal that is Nyanko-Sensei of Yuki Midorikawa’s “Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou)”. He’s a yokai (spirit) that protects the main protagonist, Takashi Natsume, from other yokai that want to kill him. Although the series is different from a typical shoujo manga, perhaps Nyanko-Sensei is a strong indicator that a cat can be a man’s (and woman’s) best friend.
Text with 9 notes
For you shonen/seinen manga readers out there, have you ever thought about reading more shoujo manga? I’m starting to feel that I need to explore more of my feminine side with shoujo manga. The only shoujo title I consistently follow is Kimi ni Todoke and that’s mostly because of my curiosity on its overall popularity among both men and women. Sometimes, I wonder if the cliches that plague shoujo bother me that much.
I first heard of the term “shoujo” back in the early 2000s’ when manga in the States was becoming popular among the young masses. When I used to read webcomics religiously, I remember Megatokyo made a joke about shoujo manga and how one of the characters uses it to solve relationship problems. Yet I have not bothered to really read shoujo manga until the rise of Kimi ni Todoke and I took baby steps into the world of shoujo.
Maybe because I’m not interested in romance or I get emotionally bothered if I read too much romance stuff. I’ll admit that I get spells of loneliness. At the same time, I’m reminded that there’s more to life than just romance and my time will come when it’s right. I’ve seen couples that isolate themselves completely from their friends and couples where one person doesn’t have any friends or family to talk to at all. A friend also once told me that not everyone is built for relationships. For the most part, shoujo manga pushes too much romance and the art can be unappealing to some. I also worry about how the main female characters in shoujo are usually portrayed as people who think romance is the greatest thing ever (when that’s not always the case).
There’s also this lovable character (for you Sket Dance fans out there) that enforces the reasons why I’m turned off by most shoujo material:
However, I do need to broaden my horizons a bit more. There are classics like The Rose of Versailles and modern-day hits like Natsume Yujincho (Natsume’s Book of Friends) that are amazing and incorporate mature themes. I also found Fruits Basket to be quite fascinating based on an entry Ricky Alvarez guest-posted on my blog and found myself similar to Rin Sohma. Earlier this year, I read Princess Knight and loved it.
Maybe I did reach my goal without realizing it. However, I feel there’s a lot more work to be done in terms of reading the gems of shoujo manga. Who knows, they might actually come in handy down the road for real-life relationship troubles.
Guess it’s time to apply more of that Moon Crystal Power makeup.
(So what do you guys recommend for awesome shoujo manga? I would love to hear your suggestions at the comments below!)
Text with 24 notes
With 2011 nearing its end, it’s usually a good time to see what manga series sold well and had people talking this year. One of these titles happens to be the number-one selling shoujo manga title at the moment, Karuho Shiina’s “Kimi ni Todoke”. The title has done very well on the Oricon best-selling manga charts in Japan in the past and 2011 was no exception. It was ranked #9, having sold 4+ million copies. Volumes 13 and 14 of the series were ranked #6 and #7 on the Oricon 2011 best-selling manga volumes chart. If you’ve heard of Kimi ni Todoke and have not read it, you’re probably wondering what makes this title different from all the other shoujo manga titles out there. While the plot is typical of a normal shoujo manga, Kimi ni Todoke goes beyond the cliches that plague shoujo manga and portrays a realistic look at how high school life is really like.
To start off, I want to let everyone know that I normally do not read shoujo manga. However, I read Kimi ni Todoke and love it. Sawako Kuronoma was a character that I grew to enjoy following. You see girls like her in real life. Her character development throughout the story is something to behold. While her romance with Shota Kazehaya is an important part of the story, Sawako’s attempts to change her shy nature reflects the struggle that certain teens may have to go through to gain acceptance. It’s hard to hate a character like Sawako, as she has a heart of gold underneath her awkwardness.
Speaking of the romance between Sawako/Kazehaya, it’s a slow and gradual build that pays off in the end. The story just doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s only beginning as you get to see the two of them getting used to being around each other more often than before. Most stories end with the girl getting the boy. In this case, the girl has the boy and the story continues to highlight the adventures of the girl as she continues to live life. This gets even more readers to follow the series (which is apparently the case with Volumes 13 and 14 selling well) as this is something that isn’t usually seen in most shoujo manga. While the build-up was going on, you get to see the growth of Sawako as a person (which makes readers appreciate her even more) and more insight on her friends.
What’s interesting is that the series also appeals to male readers as well. It could be said that Kazehaya is the reason why males seem to enjoy the series. While he is the token popular guy in school, Kazehaya is pure-hearted and was actually interested in Sawako from the start. He has struggled at times to figure out Sawako’s romantic intentions and even admitted to having faults of his own. Kazehaya is definitely one guy that readers can hang out and have a real conversation with. Young Japanese males do have trouble dealing with feelings of love at times. Sometimes, men prefer not to speak about their feelings in words and let their actions tell the story.
Another thing that Kimi ni Todoke focuses on very well is the love between friends, not just the love between couples. The friendship between Sawako, Chizuru Yoshida, and Ayane Yano is a friendship that many of us desire. All three girls are very different, but they are very accepting of each other. If you ask me, the bond between Sawako, Chizu, and Ayane reminds me so much of the bonds that the Straw Hat Pirates of One Piece have with each other.
Kimi ni Todoke seems to encourage hope to others that no matter how different you are to people, you will always be accepted and loved by people who will want to know you. High school life can be harsh, since being different can lead to being looked down upon. How do unique individuals find others who will appreciate them for who they are? The answer is to just continue to be themselves and things will slowly fall into place. Relationships don’t get built overnight, so you have to be patient and resilient. When Kazehaya saw Sawako’s inner beauty and began to inspire her, things got better gradually for our heroine.
High school is definitely a moment in life that many people treasure. It is perhaps the one time where people begin to grow physically and emotionally. Kimi ni Todoke is a manga that focuses on that precious time and how it affects teenagers. We can all relate to the scenarios that the characters in the story face.
Speaking of the characters, Kimi ni Todoke is a clear reminder that great characterization can make or break a manga series. Even a simple story can turn out to be great with the right amount of characterization.
Let’s continue to give our blessings to Sawako and Kazehaya, shall we?
Text with 21 notes
“GWOtaku: Sept 14, 10:45 AM. A day after release Sailor Moon Volume 1 jumps up to #46 on Amazon’s list of top-selling books…mercy!”
It looks like the manga blogosphere & fans have been enthusiastic with the return of Naoko Takeuchi’s influential & groundbreaking shoujo manga classic, Sailor Moon, to North American manga shelves after years in limbo. With the return of our favorite Sailor Scouts (or Sailor Senshi if you would like to call them that), I wondered about the actual planets the girls represent and if the planets’ psychology reflected the girls’ personalities. Let’s take a look at our magical heroines, shall we?
Page 1 of 2