Manga First Impressions: Perfect World Vol. I by Rie Aruga

Perfect World.jpgNetgalley Synopsis: Perfect World is Rie Aruga’s touching drama about the romance that develops between an abled interior designer and her first love, whom she reencounters one day only to find he is wheelchair-bound.

26-year-old Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together between an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he’s now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn’t date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change…

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“Don’t just go and decide…that I wouldn’t be happy with you. Stop deciding…everything by yourself. Even though…There’s no one that could replace you…”

**Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for giving me an e-book copy of the book for an honest review. All opinions are my own**

The story introduces Tsugumi Kawana meeting her first love as an adult after being separated for many years. Though the times have passed, Tsugumi feels the same emotions as she did many years ago. Itsuki  is a changed man, he is no longer the same person that Tsugumi has known physically. Itsuki is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury during his high school days.

Tsugumi reconnects with Itsuki because the two work together and get closer. Itsuki lets Itsuki know that he is not interested in her neither is he interested in romantic relationships. He understands that he is a burden and does not want that to happen to anyone in a relationship with him. He tries his best to adapt with his disability and pursues the same passions such as basketball and architecture when he was a young boy. Tsugumi believes she knows Itsuki, but with each encounter she learns a little about him everyday.

Itsuki is sickly, he constantly goes to the hospital. He tries to make the situation light about his condition. He reminds Tsugumi that she doesn’t have to stay by his side. Rather than leaving, Tsugumi doesn’t abandon her first love. Her feelings grow stronger each time she sees Itsuki. She learns to become more empathetic being with Itsuki though he is not interested in her romantically. She tries to help Itsuki bring closure in this first volume concerning his first love. The author shows that the stakes are high if Tsugumi continues to pursue Itsuki. She will get her heart broken because of his condition, but that doesn’t stop her.

“It was a night we felt we had connected. But the happiness felt that night…was delicate…as the snow melts, and disappears.”

I thought this first volume was sweet and ended in a cute way. I prefer Itsuki over Tsugumi. He understands his condition. He is fiercely independent, but he has flaws. He doesn’t let people in. He has emotional borders due to the event. He hasn’t completely accepted the fact that he is disabled. He still lives with his disability, but he is not a poster child of it as Tsugumi believes he is. Despite his conditions, he tries his best. The best chapter of this first volume was Itsuki’s interactions with Haruto, a teenage boy that recently became disabled.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First Impressions: Love Is Like After The Rain | 恋は雨上がりのように Vol. I by Jun Mayuzuki

Manga First Impressions

MAL Synopsis: Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

Despite the age gap, Akira wholeheartedly embraces his mannerisms and kind nature, which is seen as spinelessness by the other employees, and little by little, the two begin to understand each other. Although unable to explain why exactly she is attracted to him, Akira believes that a concrete reason is not needed to truly love someone. On a rainy day, she decides to finally tell her manager about how she feels… But just how will he react?

*The Goodreads Synopsis is not that good compared to the MAL Synopsis*

I stumbled upon Love Is Like After The Rain while browsing for new manga to read online. I really liked the cover art and read the synopsis. Yes, I understand that the manga might be taboo. The main protagonist is Akira Tachibana who is still in high school and has fallen for a man who is old enough to be her father. I was intrigued, and was still hesitant to read it because I was worry that this was going to be a perversive love story. I still ended up reading Love is Like After The Rain and I really like it.

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Akira is not giving the time nor day for this guy.

Akira is popular among the boys, but she has no interest in them. She often tends to be alone in class and avoid any situations that will put her in awkward situations. One thing is for certain and that is that she loves working at her job. In this first volume there are glimpses of how Akira came to work for her manager. She used to be a track and field star but injured herself and quit her team because of it. I have a feeling that later on in the story it is going to be revealed what cause her injury. I even suspect that once she quit track and field that she had might have ghosted her other team members and lost friendships.

The first volume has comedy, but it focuses more on Akira observing the life around her. What I really liked is how her manager misinterprets Akira’s behavior. Akira might look cold and angry, but she is the complete opposite of that. Based on this first volume, the love is one sided. The manager does care for Akira and even goes out of his way to help her, but are the feelings there for Akira yet? Not in this volume. Am I a fan of the potential romance? At this moment, I can say no. I do believe the more Akira gets to know her manager more, feelings will develop but I honestly believe that as a couple they won’t be endgame. I feel that by the last volume they might end up with completely different people. Who knows, I might be completely wrong and they might end up together living happily ever after. As for now, I’ll continue reading the manga just to see what happens in this story.

Lastly, this manga is getting an anime adaptation!! 

 

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

Manga Classics: Emma

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goodreads-synopsis

Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen’s classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). – Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

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(Artwork from book)

Book is available on NetGalley.

Emma is an upperclass young lady that loves being a matchmaker. She has fun pairing her friends, but not everyone approves of her hobby. Though Emma has good intentions, she doesn’t realize she causes harm when she tries to matchmake. She constantly finds herself bickering with her brother in law, Mr. George Knightley who feels Emma shouldn’t matchmake at all. When Harriet arrives into town, Emma becomes friends with Harriet. Harriet lacks Emma’s confidence and reputation, and Emma sees her as a project in the making. Emma is independent and feels that she cannot marry. She is better off alone or so she thinks. Because Emma tries to matchmake, she gets herself involve in many situations. This manga edition of Emma is quite hilarious.

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I have not read Emma by Jane Austen, but I know the gist of the story thanks Clueless. With this manga edition of Emma, I knew that I was going to get condescended story. Though I this edition is quite short, I found it to be light hearted and funny. Starting off with the drawing style, honestly I was not much of a fan at first. The more I kept reading, the more I felt that the drawing style suited this story. I even learned to love it by the end.

As for the characters, Emma was by far my favorite from the cast of characters. She is independent, helpful, fun, and childish. Despite her good qualities, Emma is also prejudice when it comes to people of lower standing. This can be proven when Mr. Martin is introduced, and Emma declares to Harriet that she doesn’t associate with people of lower standing.

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For most of the book, she is very clueless…ha ha ha. See what I did there. All right, moving on. Though Emma finds herself in many situations, she isn’t very socially aware of what she is doing. For example, Emma tries to pair Harriet to Mr. Elton, but she does not realize that Mr. Elton is deeply falling in love with her until he confesses his feelings for her. Though the poor doesn’t have a clue, she has a good heart. As for Mr. Knightley, he deeply cares for Emma but doesn’t reveal his feelings for her. Most of the time, he is concealing his true feelings for Emma.

The manga version of Emma tries to stay as close to the original work, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. If this book had a couple more chapters, I am sure that it could have been better executed. I did like all the romantic pairings, except for Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton since they are downright deplorable. If you feel intimidated by reading classic books, I feel manga editions of the book are better since it is easier to understand language and plot wise.

Final rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

miriam-michelle

The Nightmare Before Christmas Manga

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I received The Nightmare Before Christmas Manga in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite Halloween and Christmas movie, and I am sure that many have seen it. I love the plot and the songs, and how dark it is. When I saw the manga on NetGalley, I had to take my chance and requested the book for myself.

Well, the manga is far more shorter than the movie. A very condensed version if I may add. I can understand why someone would buy this manga and put it in their bookshelf, but would I buy it? No, I rather buy the movie. At the same time, I knew what I was getting myself into, but I wanted to be slightly more positive. Folks, just stick to the movie and avoid this one. I read it in under twenty minutes and the animation was okay.

Final Review: ⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

 

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet LetterAuthor: Stacy King, Nathaniel Hawthrone (original)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tragic saga of Puritan America. .Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.”

 

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(Artwork from the book)

Book is available on NetGalley.

I haven’t had the opportunity to read any classic books in manga format. It was interesting, and I saw it was available on NetGalley. I really enjoyed reading The Scarlet Letter in manga form. The manga is a condensed version of the book, so there were many parts that were cut down from the original story.

The story is about Hester and how she has committed adultery in her puritan home. She has a baby, but won’t name the father of her child. She bears a giant A on her chest, which stands for adultery. She keeps her secret hidden from the world. Her society shuns her, and she alone must bear the pain.

What I really liked about the book was the art style. It was easy to differentiate the characters. Hester had the best character design, I wasn’t too keen on the guys designs especially Arthur Dimmesdale’s design. As for the characters, I couldn’t grow to love them. I really thought of the whole cast to be one dimensional. The manga did a great job of telling the story through images. As I’ve mentioned, the manga story does allude to the symbolism and metaphors from the original text. Now if you’re looking for a short version of the book, you should definitely try reading the manga since it is straightforward and easy to grasp.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Beast Master by Kyousuke Motomi: Manga Review

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Summary: 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 animals though, which intrigues overzealous animal-lover Yuiko Kubozuka. In reality, Leo isn’t as frightening as he appears, but Yuiko finds out that he goes berserk whenever he sees blood! Will Yuiko be able to get through to Leo during these violent fits? Or will Leo’s ferocious side eventually devour her?

Commentary: I recognized the art style immediately. Kyousuke Motomi is the creator of Dengeki Daisy!! (; ● ∀ ●) ゝI just can’t believe how short this manga is! It’s only two volumes! I felt that there was potential to expand the manga for a few more volumes. I was a bit disappointed because it was so short. It made me laugh for most of the time too. I read this series in one sitting. The relationship between Leo and Yukiko was the best! Leo was too adorable! I really liked how he was opposite from Yukiko. Animals loved him, but the animal kingdom seemed to hate Yukiko. It was even more ironic since her dad is a vet. I also liked that everyone respected Yukiko by “taming the best”. It was hard to believe that he had a wild side. This manga teaches you not to judge people on appearances. It’s just a cute romance! It made me laugh most of all. The cover art is a bit misleading. ✺◟(∗❛ัᴗ❛ั∗)◞✺ Overall, it’s a fun read! You won’t regret it!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

Cat Street by Yoko Kamio: Manga Review

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Summary: The story centers around Keito Aoyama, a former famous child actor. Due to a childhood incident, she retired from her career early and withdrew from normal society. Now 16, she passes her days in boredom and without purpose. But one day she runs into a stranger who takes her to El Liston–a free school for high school students like herself, who don’t have a place where they belong. Though hesitant at first, Keito decides to enter El Liston and subsequently, she begins a new stage in her life. With the help of her only remaining childhood friend, Taiyou, and her new classmates Rei, Momiji, and Kouichi, Keito slowly finds the courage to open up to others and to accept their support. Will Keito return to acting? Will she find true friends? Love?

Commentary: The manga series was wonderful. My sister and my really good friend recommended it to me, and I finally found time to read it. The first chapter had me hooked! I couldn’t put it down. I can’t believe that I finished it all in one sitting. When I finished the last chapter, I couldn’t believe it. I wanted more. I couldn’t believe how short it was. The series was definitely worth it! ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁)

The characters were amazing. Best character development! Keito was so precious. I was happy how she changed for the better. She went from a low point of her life and was able to find success as an actress. I was really happy that she was able to grow and learn to become a better person. Most of her past events were a bit traumatic, luckily for her, she was surrounded by her friends who were just like her.

I was a Kouichi-Keito shipper from the start! I knew that he was going to be the one she would end up with! I liked that pairing more than Rei and Keito. What I really liked was the their relationship was built up. They didn’t get together from the start, they didn’t fall for each other. They simply understood each other and both of them gradually liked each other. I was so happy that they got together. Keito and Kouichi had more chemistry with each other. He protected her, and cared about her. I just really loved Kouichi. He is on my list of top ten shoujo boyfriends! ヾ(´▽`;)ゝ

Momiji was very memorable for wearing her lolita fashion. She was being true to herself. I wanted her happiness in the end. For some reason, I thought she was going to end up with Rei which that did not happen. I was not as disappointed as I thought I would be because I read the extra chapter. I thought it was really cute that a boy with similar taste in fashion had a crush on her, but she didn’t feel the same. (⋆ʾ ˙̫̮ ʿ⋆)

It did break my heart a bit when Rei revealed that he had no one just so Kouichi and Keito could be together. There were some parts where I was irritated at Rei because of his actions, but I couldn’t hate him. He knew that Keito and Kouichi had feelings for each other, before Keito realized her own feelings. I was so happy that he has matured and started living his dream of playing soccer! (‘ω’)

I highly recommend this manga! I was a really big fan of the animation! The love triangle wasn’t annoying at all. I cried tears of happiness and it has one of the best endings ever! All the problems they faced seem so realistic. I was able to relate with them. In addition, I might check out the Japanese drama. It’s only six episodes long. Lastly, I will add Hana Yori Dango in my to be read list since that’s her more famous work. ( ◞・౪・)

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

Orange by Ichigo Takano: Manga Review

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆Synopsis: One day, Takamiya Naho receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the transfer of a new student into her class named Naruse Kakeru.

The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions—especially regarding Kakeru. What’s more shocking is that she discovers that ten years later, Kakeru will no longer be with them. Future Naho asks her to watch over him closely.

Commentary: I highly recommend this manga! It was so good and really short. It’s only 22 chapters and sadly, the mangaka said she is quit her job. Before the release of the last chapter, I was worried that Orange was going to be discontinued, but it wasn’t! Thank the heavens! This story was amazing. I really enjoyed it. I was rooting for Naho to change the future. I really thought it was cute when all her friends team up to save Kakeru from committing suicide. I was on the edge of my seat near the last chapters because it felt that Kakeru was going to go through with it. I am completely satisfied with the ending. I really liked Suwa because he was always there for Naho. It broke my heart how he had to put his feelings aside and let her be with Kakeru. He was very mature about the situation. I liked both of the male protagonists, it was hard to find them unlikeable. On the other hand, you just want to hug Kakeru and tell him everything is going to be all right. I also liked the idea of parallel universe in this manga. In the original universe, Naho and her friends weren’t able to save Kakeru. By sending letters to the past, the group of friends were able to change Kakeru’s fate in an alternate universe. I was seriously happy that they were able to save Kakeru. Lastly, I am excited for the live action of this movie. I highly recommend this manga!! It’s so good!! The ending had me in tears!! ❣╰(⸝⸝⸝´꒳`⸝⸝⸝)╯❣

P.S. I love the animation!! ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁)

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

Yajirobee (Balancing Toy) by Aiji Yamakawa

*spoilers*  ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)

This manga needed to be longer! I can’t believe that it is only two volumes long. The ending disappointed me; I needed at least one more chapter! I thought this was a cute manga and I loved the drawing style. I liked the story overall, but I felt that it ended too soon. Though I thought that Seiji and Haru’s father-daughter relationship was cute even if they weren’t biologically related. I was worried that Haru was going to pick Seiji…I’m glad that she didn’t. It did feel that she was in love with Seiji, but that got cleared up in the last volume.

I loved Haru and Bonta together. They needed more scenes together. Look at how cute they are. (⌯˃̶᷄ ﹏ ˂̶᷄⌯)tumblr_mwdrluzaHT1s00573o1_500

I thought it was cute to see how much he teased her. I really liked how Haru slept with the stuffed animal Bonta gave her. I was rooting for those two. It was obvious to see that Bonta had feelings for her; she should have paid more attention to him when he was giving her hints. I also liked Towa. He wasn’t afraid to say what was in his mind. I liked how she didn’t like him at first, but gradually became friends with him. I would have loved it if there were a love triangle. If I were to pick between both of them, I would chose Bonta because . It was an entertaining story, but it left me wanting more. Would I recommend this manga? Not really since the ending is such a let down.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5) (•̀⌄•́)

Mairunovich by Sato Zakuri: Personal Thoughts

There are plenty of good shoujo out there, but Mairunovich is by far the worst. I don’t understand why so many people love this manga.

Synopsis: Kinoshita Mairu has a cute name and she’s apologetic for it, because she’s ugly. In fact, she’s apologetic for her very existence because she’s not cute. Classmates call her “Poison Mushroom” behind her back and even her own brother treats her with disdain. However, all of that is about to change with the help of her transgender mentor/neighbor, Fuwari-chan, and the “school king,” Kumada Tenyuu!

Commentary: Where do I even begin? Mairu is one of the worst female protagonist, and I generally tend to like the protagonist. When I first stumbled upon this manga, I thought the art style was beautiful, it reminded me of Hirunaka no Ryuusei (my all time favorite shoujo) and then I saw how many people rated this manga as excellent.

images Mairu   Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.42.51 AM Mirai  tumblr_static_8j784g8w9o0s4gokc4kgg88kc  Tenyuu 

I gave it a chance, but I did not expect it to be so horrible. I felt sorry for the protagonist in the first chapter, she was the typically ugly girl and she was constantly bullied. Then she decides to have a makeover to have better self esteem, I was all for it. Tenyuu gives her a makeover because he saw her inner beauty. She did look like a completely different character, she no longetr had the mushroom haircut nor her glasses, she was now a beauty. Then somehow, she wants to know what love is, that happens after she breaks up with some random guy who is just as ugly as her. It did move a little fast for me, but I kept reading. Eventually, she gets with Naru, a guy that she has meet at an outing, and she loves him. Though their relationship seems great, Naru has jealously issues and he feels that Mairu is dating Tenyuu instead of him. Naru ends up cheating on her with a coworker, all he did was kiss the girl and Mairu saw everything. They break up, and Mairu turns “ugly” again. Then she decides she needs an upgrade again, and becomes beautiful again. She tries dating again, but she can’t get Naru out of her mind no matter how much she tries. Guess what, she gets back with Naru again, even Mirai was trying to court him. She gives Naru a second chance because a friend told her that Naru “accidentally cheated”. How do you accidentally cheat? How is that possible?  My problem with Mairu is that she is too selfish, needy, and shallow. She turns her back on her friends whenever she has a new boyfriend, and then constantly whines. I have no idea what Tenyuu and Mirai see in her. Seriously.  I really liked Mirai, I just hated how long they dated for (one day). I love Tenyuu too, but I just don’t like Mairu. This manga is still ongoing, and I already have a feeling that she will end up dating more guys until she realizes that Tenyuu is the guy she wants to be with. I have considered dropping this manga, but I already read more than half of the manga so I’ll update this post by the time this manga finishes. Lastly, I hope this manga will not get a anime adaptation.

Rating: 💔💔 (The artwork is beautiful, that’s why I gave this manga a higher rating)