Favorites – The Asian Edition

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , , |

I thought today would be a fun day to talk about one of my more eccentric passions. I have a habit of finding things I like almost anywhere. The result is that I end up with somewhat conflicting points of interest, but at least it makes me fun to talk to!

So for today, I’m going to introduce you to a few things I read…

A Few of My Favorite Things:

Hana Kimi – I’ll start by saying that this is the first full series of manga that I ever collected. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term, manga is the Japanese word for (in a very rough Rae translation) graphic novels. Most manga are in the range of 100+ pages and are divided into two categories: shoujo (for girls) or shonen (for guys). That’s my quick and easy explanation.

This particular manga features Mizuki, a happy-go-lucky, determined Japanese girl from America who dreams of going to the same school as her idol, Sano. Sano is a Japanese guy who has broken many track records with his performances, and Mizuki fell in love with him during a very depressing time of her life. As a result, she works on getting into his school as a new student.

Sounds simple enough, right? Mizuki’s parents allow her to travel to Japan and enroll at Sano’s high school, knowing this is what she wants. What they don’t know, however, is that Sano attends an all-male high school, and Mizuki has enrolled as a male student there. For the 23 volumes of this series, we watch Mizuki attempt to keep her identity under wraps as she lives in the boy’s dorm in Sano’s room and goes about life as a student at this prestigious high school. It’s hilarious and quite entertaining, a very good read.

The Wallflower – This manga is still coming out, but it features Sunako, a very gothic girl who moves into her aunt’s massive mansion where she’ll be taking care of four gorgeous guys. Said gorgeous guys are not entirely sure that they want to deal with this dark and depressing girl whose very presence seems to make lights go out until their landlady (Sunako’s aunt) promises they can live there rent free if they will do one simple task. The task? Turn Sunako into a lady.

The series follows the adventures of the guys as they try to figure out why Sunako turned into such a dark person in the first place, convince her she’s worthwhile, and somehow turn her into a lady before the landlady starts charging full rent. Sunako, on the other hand, just wants peace and quiet while she enjoys the horror movies she’s so fond of.

W. Juliet – This 14 volume series tells the story of tomboy Ito Miura, famous at her high school for her acting abilities, and the school newcomer Makoto Amano, the ultra-feminine girl whose acting seems to outshine Ito’s. The two become friends when Ito protects Makoto from the advances of some of the other male students, and their friendship is only strengthened when Ito finds out Makoto’s secret.

Makoto is a boy cross-dressing as a girl because of his father’s command. In order to not be forced into taking ownership of the family dojo, Makoto has to live as a girl and go to school without having his identity compromised for the entirety of his senior year. If he can graduate high school as a girl, his father won’t force him into being the dojo master and Makoto can do what he loves: act.

So Ito teams up with Makoto to keep his secret. It’s a sweet story full of cute moments and amusing adventures where Makoto’s identity is almost discovered.

I’ll probably do a post later talking about some of my favorite shonen stories as well, but that’s really all I have for today. I’ve got a lot to get done and little time to do it.

Do you have any unusual stories you like? Things that are contrary to what you normally read? Let me know!



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One Response to “Favorites – The Asian Edition”

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Thanks for the rundown. The last one W. Juliet actually sounds a lot like this film Tootsie. I haven’t read a lot of Shoujo manga, but I have read Love Hina and I’m looking into the Fruit Basket manga you recommended.

I definitely need to buy some manga and graphic novels.

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