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…

commentary

“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)

The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki

Natsuru Nanao, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio Suzumura. Natsuru plays hookey from soccer camp that summer, and instead of telling the truth to his mother, he spends all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.

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I kept seeing this manga being advertised on my Amazon recommendations, and I decided to check it out. I read this manga in under an hour. I do recommend checking out the The Gods Lie from the library rather than buying it.

When it came to The Gods Lie, I was captivated by the cover and the title. The title is what drew me in. I did not anticipate finishing the manga in less than an hour. The Gods Lie felt rushed. There was not enough material for me to be satisfied. I felt that The Gods Lie could have had at least five more chapters to have a solid, well rounded story that could have been memorable for readers.

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What I liked from reading The Gods Lie was the unlikely romance between Natsuru Nanao and Rio Suzumura. I felt that there relationship was cute, but I did not like that how rushed the romance was given this manga was five chapters long. So the romance was very fast paced for me. It felt as if they became friends and suddenly they fell in love with each other. I also liked that The Gods Lie dealt with maturity, especially for Rio Suzumara’s case. Rio had to be the adult in her family despite being a pre-teen. While her classmates were enjoying their youth, Rio had to be an adult. She had to tackle the responsibilities that were literally thrown to her. In addition, Rio and her younger brother had to deal with abandonment from their father. Rio had to be both mother and father to her younger brother without the help from any other relative. At the same time, Natsuru learns about Rio’s situation and becomes her protector. Natsuru learns to love Rio despite their differences.

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As for the twist, I did see it coming. The manga does give small hints about the twist. So when it was revealed, it was sad but not shocking to say the least. The ending had a hopeful ending for the protagonists. T Originally I was going to rate The Gods Lie a four out of five, but after much thought this manga is a solid three.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tokyo Tarareba Girls Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura

“I spent all my time wondering ‘what if,’ then one day I woke up and I was 33.” She’s not that bad-looking, but before she knew it, Rinko was thirty-something and single. She wants to be married by the time the Tokyo Olympics roll around in six years, but…that might be easier said than done! The new series by Akiko Higashimura erupts with sharp opinions on girls and tons of laughs!!

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When I heard that the creator of Princess Jellyfish had another manga she was working on, I had to check it out. Princess Jellyfish is an amazing manga that I fell in love with. I got Tokyo Tarareba Girls Volume 1 for free when I went to Anime Expo at the Book Walker booth. Unfortunately, Tokyo Tarareba Girls is only available as an ebook file for English readers. I would have to continue buying the ebook if I want to continue to read Tokyo Tarareba Girls, which I don’t mind. I would love having a physical copy of the book instead, but oh well. Also, there is a Japanese Drama adaptation.

biological clock ticking

Tokyo Tarareba Girls is extremely relatable for women that are getting older and have stayed single. The story’s protagonist is Rinko. She is a career woman that has not dated since her last boyfriend proposed to her ten years ago. She is 33 years old and realizes that her biological clock is ticking. Rinko has spent her life focused on herself and knows her youth is fading. She and her group of best friends gather to drink at a pub and complain about life and marriage.

When people want to set you up with someone

I found Tokyo Tarareba Girls to be a hilarious take on the pressures to get married by a certain age, especially if you are a woman. This manga tackles social norms of society. Society wants women to be a certain way. You have to settle down and have kids. Rinko knows that younger women in their 20s are her competition when it comes to dating and her career. Rinko is also pure of heart. She has the innocence of girl, though she is a woman. What I love about Tokyo Tarareba Girls is how anyone can read this manga and relate. The comedy was by far my favorite aspect of the story, especially the situations that Rinko was involved in. As for the love interest, I am really interested to see how it is going to be developed since the guy is younger than Rinko. I can’t wait to continue reading Tokyo Tarareba Girls because I see the potential in this story. I really want the story to focus on Rinko’s friends and their potential romances in further volumes!!

Feeling Hollow

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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)