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.

Love Is Like After The Rain vol 1 screenshot copy.png
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!! 

 

love is like after the rain vol 1 screenshot 2

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.

Add to Goodreads

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.

the gods lie tumblr.jpg

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.

tumblr_nnuwvksmuT1r5n34uo1_500.png

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!!

Add to Goodreads

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: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Nightmare Before Christmas Manga

he-he1

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

 

T5w: Characters You Are Most Like

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

star gif.gif

Whelp, it’s Thursday! Ha ha. Still wanted to post my picks for this week’s topic which is Characters You Are Most Like. I thought about it at work today and it took me a while to figure out what character I was most like. All of the characters I picked are from mangas. After much deliberation, here are my choices!

  1. Tsukimi Kurashita from Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess) – She is the character that I am most like. Shyness. Check. Naive. Check. Easily embarrassed when talking to guys. Check. And I look a bit like her. I’m actually going to cosplay as her for Anime Expo this year. Check, check, and check. embarrassed.gif
  2. Rei Hino from Sailor Moon – As much as I love the anime version of Rei, I actually feel  that the anime version is closer to my personality than the manga version. She’s somewhat bossy, but has good intentions. She’s hotblooded and passionate about what she wants. rei hino.gif

  3. Robin Nico from One Piece – She loves her history, and she’s the motherly one from The Strawhats. I love history myself, and I can be very motherly at times. I can see a lot of myself in Robin. robin nico.gif
  4. Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi Ni Todoke – Shyness and gets nervous easily. Check. Sawako is naive, and misinterprets situations easily. She cares about her circle of friends deeply, and she finds herself in hilarious situations (this happens to me as well). sawako.gif
  5. Ukyo Kuonji from Ranma 1/2 – She’s a tomboy and girly. She’s one of my favorite characters from Ranma 1/2. She knows how to cook and she’s a fighter when she has to be. Also, she’s very competitive.ukyo.gif

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.”

 

overall feelings copy

(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・)

000b

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•ू❁)

orange-orange-takano-ichigo-34763347-500-442

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