We actually have character growth! (Review of KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ manga volume 07)

Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 7 (ID)

*nik falls off her chair*

Because in the overall scheme of things, this development is huge—albeit not in the strictest sea change sense of the word. However, it was enough to induce eyebrows-disappearing-into-the-hairline which should indicate just how unexpected I found the inclusion of this story-telling requisite.

And astonishment aside, one I truly welcomed.

The transition to a more intense character development had clearly been marked by the front cover of volume seven depicting only one image of , as opposed to the twin images gracing the covers of the preceding volumes.

Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 1 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 2 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 3 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 4 (ID) Front cover I Love You But I Hate You 5 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 6 (ID)

Given that the last time used a solo image for the cover was back in volume 0—and that particular tankoubon was infinitely faster paced in development than the six succeeding volumes put together—Front cover I Hate You But I Love You (ID)I should've twigged quicker. *sweatdrop* And upon reflection, it was to be expected as we're a mere three volumes away from series conclusion. That volumes eight to ten of KISS… ~Bokura no baai~ or I Hate You But I Love You all feature solo cover images support my conjecture about real character growth upcoming, or at the very least, represent a shift from how the story has been evolving.

I Hate You But I Love You Volume 07

Before I get into the proper (which unfortunately deteriorated into a hella long ramble *another sweatdrop*), lemme just note some key differences between this volume and those preceding it.

One, the usually angsty back cover has been toned down.

Secondly, the Yuuya fantasy that customarily opens the tankoubon also differs from previous excursions. Here asks his boss if the latter also thinks that (wearing the same convenience store uniform as ) is beautiful. As did help out at the store in the second story, this situation could have been real/not just in Yuuya's head.

Thirdly, the omake is also different: it's a short piece starring our lovable leads instead of the usual supporting characters.

These more than blatant hints taken care of, the contents of volume seven are:

  1. Pernyataan Cinta di Tengah Badai (Declaration of Love in the Midst of the Storm) | SakisakaHatori
  2. Liburan Musim Panas Berdua (A Summer Together) | SakisakaHatori
  3. Special Edition/Memmory (sic.) No. 000

* * S P O I L E R S     I N C O M I N G ! ! * *

Pernyataan Cinta di Tengah Badai

The Declaration of Love in the Midst of a Storm (or perhaps A Stormy Love Confession? ^^) set of stories is very Rika-senpai-centric not so much because we all lurve the girl but because she represents a trial, one that —especially Mao—will weather fabulously.

Sakisaka's version

Mao and Yuuya run into Rika-senpai at the train station. It becomes as clear as the righteous anger the older girl radiates that she had separate encounters with the couple at the convenience store the previous night. As Rika-senpai hints to Mao that the younger girl's train is arriving, Mao's apprehension grows. She is torn between not wanting to leave her boyfriend in the other woman's clutches and guilt over deliberately hiding her meeting with Rika-senpai from Yuuya, a near-inexcusable sin given their promise to stop keeping secrets from each other. Yuuya leads Mao away - I Hate You But I Love You 7Yuuya saves her further anguish by putting his arm around her shoulders and saying to Rika-senpai that they have to go.

Mao is about to apologize for keeping quiet about the run-in but Yuuya beats her to it. He tells Mao sorry for not informing her, explaining that it was because he didn't want to ruin their time together. Me, too! I felt the same way! Mao agrees silently just as the PA announces the arrival of the train.

Before she steps into the carriage, Yuuya—seemingly out of the blue—tells her, There's no one else for me. Now and forever. The PA system then warns that the train doors are closing.

In previous volumes, Mao would've gotten on, albeit unwillingly, and all the way to school berated herself for not reciprocating Yuuya's declaration. But here, she goes against her norm and gets off the train, much to Yuuya's shock.

Me, too, she tells him. For me, there's no one else but Yuuya.

The day passes. On her way to meet Yuuya after class, Mao again encounters Rika-senpai who reveals that she has just been to see Mao's boyfriend. When Mao asks Rika-senpai why, the other girl bluntly replies that she went to confess her love. "I like Yuuya" - Rika (I Hate You But I Love You 7) Rika-senpai goes on to confide that she's always liked Yuuya, which was why she endured being the senpai he could always unburden himself on. And because Yuuya has never considered her anything more than a friend, she wanted to confess her feelings so that just for once, Yuuya would see her as a contender for his affections.

Rika-senpai further warns Mao that girlfriend or not, Mao has no right to forbid her feelings.

Her head full, Mao plods on to her destination. Again, contrary to her natural inclination, Mao tells Yuuya that she saw Rika-senpai on the way and asks him what the older girl had been doing at the convenience store.

Yuuya discloses that she was there to look for part-time work, the excuse Rika-senpai herself gave him. Before Mao can react, Yuuya grabs her hand and tells her earnestly that if Rika-senpai becomes an employee at the store, he would quit and find another job.

It seems Mao is slowly getting more secure in their relationship, or at least, has decided to show her boyfriend that she understands. It's okay, Mao assures Yuuya. Even if you work in one place with Rika-senpai, I'll understand.

Yuuya walks Mao home. It is the apex of kawaii that he is crestfallen when they reach Mao's home too quickly. Yuuya kisses Mao and on (reluctantly) releasing her, is dismayed to find Mao crying. (Aside: Mao in tears looks utterly, luminously pretty!)

Still teary, Mao asks Yuuya why he likes her. It turns out she's been pondering over Rika-senpai's pronouncements and has realized just how alike they are: If Yuuya didn't like me, I would be as devastated. Yuuya questions her, What did Rika-senpai say to you? Mao answers that it was nothing. Please don't say anything. Even though he is loathe to, Yuuya accepts her dismissal but adds before leaving, If there's anything bothering you, call me.

The next day dawns and it's a rainy one. Mao acts like a typical girlfriend and berates Yuuya for not bringing an umbrella. What would you have done if I also forgot to bring mine?? she asks him a tad indignantly. Yuuya replies airily, We would've waited it out somewhere together. Mao can't help but smile at his totally breezy response and avers that Yuuya forgetting his umbrella and their having to share one is a good thing. She then promises to pick him up after class to make sure he doesn't get rained on.

After school, Rika-senpai goes to the convenience store. Again. She tells Yuuya she wants to apologize, saying that she didn't really want the part-time job. The reason she said she did was because her love life was in the dumps and she was miffed at how well Yuuya and Mao's relationship was progressing. She also returns a CD Yuuya lent her and bids him, Good-bye, Yuuya, before walking out into the pouring rain.

Something in her facial expression makes Yuuya go after her, bringing with him one of the store's umbrellas.

Mao sees Yuuya rushing out, the umbrella in his hand clueing her in. Fearing the worst, she runs after Yuuya and sees him with Rika-senpai. She lets go of her umbrella and confronts the pair with a very rare and spectacular anger.

You liar! You told me you would never do anything I didn't like!

Both Rika-senpai and Yuuya are shocked at Mao's outburst. Placing a hand on Yuuya's shoulder, Rika-senpai tries to defend Yuuya and convince Mao that it's not what she thinks.

Don't touch him! Mao snaps. Tears running down her cheeks, she repeats, Don't touch him. You don't have any right to be close to Yuuya.

Yuuya is MY boyfriend!

"He's my boyfriend," says Mao (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

In an iteration of Yuuya's declaration to Fuse in volume six, Mao vows, I'm not going to let anyone else have him!

In her defense, Rika-senpai unlike Fuse knows when to give up. She tells Yuuya, She says you're her boyfriend. Is that great, Yuuya? She then dismisses the entire drama as boring and concedes that she can't wrest Yuuya away from Mao. She finally walks away saying, I'll take this umbrella. You guys get wet in the rain together.

With Mao's fervent Yuuya is my boyfriend! hanging in the air, our lovable leads are reduced to a silent awkwardness. But not for long—Yuuya's elation gets the better of him and he starts turning somersaults. Why are you so happy? Mao asks. A beaming Yuuya answers, Because you love me! A little mystified, she follows up, Haven't I already told you that? I've been telling you that.

I love you, she repeats for good measure and then adds, Can I wait out the rain at your house?

So the love confession in the storm, unlike what was intimated in this volume's back cover blurb, wasn't Rika-senpai's but Mao's.

Hatori's version

(Please bear with the overlaps.)

Yuuya's version of the same story starts with Rika-senpai musings: what is nice person she is; how similar their interests are (especially when it comes to music—to the extent that they regularly lent each other CDs); and how well they get along. (Hold the rotten tomatoes, minna-san!)

Seeing her again at the train station thus makes Yuuya recall Valentine's day and how he chose to summarily cut off all ties with her because he considers Mao more important. And while acknowledging how horrible his behavior was, Yuuya nevertheless holds fast to his decision to never let anyone or anything hurt Mao. This goes through his mind as he gently herds his girlfriend away, saying to Rika-senpai that they have to go.

Mao's obvious distress and feeling that an apology wasn't enough alarms Yuuya and reminds him of what happened in middle school when Mao thought he and Rika-senpai had something going: she bid him a terse and painful good-bye. Fighting back a growing panic, Yuuya searches for some way to reassure Mao and comes up with There's no one else for me. Now and forever.

He only has a little time to regret the inadequacy of his declaration before, wonder of wonders, Mao gets off the train and echoes his sentiments. And all he can think of is how much he loves her. This feeling (I'm gonna die of happiness… no, I don't wanna die now!) accompanies him throughout the day, sustaining him as he waits for Mao to finish her lessons.

It goes without saying that Rika-senpai showing up at his workplace is an unwelcome development. What do you want? Even Yuuya is shocked at how cold he greets Rika-senpai.

When she states that she's there for the part-time work advertised, Yuuya scrounges for reasons to dissuade her, ultimately telling his senior it's going to cause him problems if Rika-senpai works at the same place as him.

Who cares? That has nothing to do with me, she retorts before flouncing out. Mao arrives not much later after. Having also met Rika-senpai, she asks Yuuya what their senior was doing at the store and Yuuya repeats what the older girl told him. Feeling Mao growing distant, Yuuya desperately tries to explain that if Rika-senpai starts working at the convenience store, he would quit.

Mao assuring Yuuya that he doesn't have to go that far, that she would try to be understanding makes Yuuya want to believe that they're okay. That their relationship can weather this storm. That whatever Rika-senpai's real motives were, they had nothing to do with him and Mao. This hasn't even sunk in when Mao cries after Yuuya kisses her good-bye in front of her house and asks him why he likes her.

"I should be asking her that question." - Yuuya (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

Why do I like her? I should be asking her that question! Yuuya thinks despairingly as he pulls Mao into his embrace. All I know is if she weren't in my arms right now, if she never looks at me, I will still love her. That's all I know. And for the first time, Yuuya regards Rika-senpai as a nuisance.

Rika-senpai is waiting for him when he gets home. I think I went too far, she proffers but Yuuya rebuffs her. Whatever. I don't care. You told Mao something, didn't you? Before she can answer he continues, If she gets hurt, I don't care if it's you. I will never forgive you. Yuuya is implacable. He adds, If you have something to say, say it to me. Not Mao. What you're doing is just plain mean.

Mean? Me? Look who's talking! Rika-senpai counters. You're the one who's mean. You know how I feel about you. At first I didn't mind just being your senpai, the one you're closest to, but all YOU want is Mao. And for her sake, you're willing to end it all with just a good-bye.

Yuuya is rendered speechless but Rika-senpai is not finished. Last Saturday, she didn't tell you she saw me, did she? She's suspicious of our relationship. She doesn't believe in your feelings. In front of you, she often looks like she's forcing herself, doesn't she? Rika-senpai chips away at Yuuya's own belief in himself and Mao, already shaky. She doesn't even understand you. Is that what you call a girlfriend?

That doesn't concern you! You have no right to say that! If you weren't around, we—

Yuuya can't finish and Rika-senpai goes home. Later that night, he admits to himself that he's aware of her feelings. So him wishing Rika-senpai would disappear, after all she has done for him, was a low blow. But this doesn't compare to the anguish he feels over Rika-senpai saying that Mao is "not girlfriend enough" for him. He tries to convince himself that he doesn't care; that all he wants is to take care of and love Mao.

The following day, Rika-senpai seeks him out again and Yuuya musters up the courage to apologize. Before he can do so, she preempts him. I'm sorry. About everything, she says, offering an I was just jealous of your relationship with Mao, as her excuse. She then brings out the CD he lent her back when they were still in junior high and gives it back.

Bye-bye, Yuuya.

Her farewell jolts Yuuya and sends him into recalling what he really thinks of the older girl. «Rika-senpai is a nice person. I get along with her. I have fun when I'm with her. She makes me laugh. She's been supportive of me. That's what she is to me.»

Is it okay for me to let her leave like this?

Yuuya rushes out into the rain, umbrella in tow. Rika-senpai! She turns to face him. The rain… Yuuya starts to say but she interrupts.

I love you. I always have, she cries out to him. Can't we be together? Ever? I don't mind being second. She grabs his arms to emphasize her sincerity.

No. Yuuya gently pushes her away. Somewhere, there's someone who's going to make you his number one.

Thank you. For everything.

You know by now if you waded through Mao's story that she arrives at this juncture. And later goes to Yuuya's house to wait out the rain.

But not before we realize why Yuuya was so happy that he had to turn somersaults in the downpour.

She says you're her boyfriend. Is that great, Yuuya?

Liburan Musim Panas Berdua

Sakisaka's version

Summer vacation is nigh but the students of Higashi High exhibit far more excitement over the study tour that opens the next semester than the holiday right under their noses. All the students, that is, bar one: Sakisaka Mao. (If I haven't sed yet in earlier installments, Higashi is Mao and Fuse's school; Yuuya goes to Hana High. Furthermore, the words "study tour" have painful connotations for Mao and Yuuya, having gone to one (along with Fuse) when they were in middle school. It was a trip that resulted in more angst than could be handled by our OTP.)

Mao can't take the prospect of being away from her boyfriend for five days, which compels her to invite Yuuya on a trip, just the two of them. Her invitation is enough to make Yuuya fall out of his chair.

What about your folks? They okay with this? he asks while trying to regain composure.

Mao tells Yuuya not to worry; her friends will cover up for her, the same way she does for them. She goes on to say that this is SOP for girls who have boyfriends but Yuuya interrupts.

'Cover up for you'? This doesn't sound like you talking. Yuuya makes it clear that he thinks she's forcing herself.

Mao finally reveals the reason behind her proposal. She leaves it unsaid but thinks, Even if I'm forcing myself, it's only because I want to be with you. Now more than ever I want to be with you. If Mao had expected Yuuya to immediately agree after that, and she did, she was sadly mistaken.

Please stop talking like this. Let's not rush it, he requests. It's a school thing, right? So what can we do? points out Yuuya reasonably before excusing himself to go to the washroom. Mao is near-devastated.

Upon his return, her boyfriend suggests, Let's just meet more often this summer. It can be at the library or the park, it doesn't matter. We still have to do a lot more spending time together. Talking. Kissing. It's a reasonable substitute for the trip. Mao is dazzled by Yuuya acting so mature but his behavior only increases her inchoate loneliness.

It must be noted that Mao asserting herself here, a rediscovery of the strength she used to possess in volume 0, is even bigger than the time she told Yuuya she's ready to sleep with him. The difference being, this time, she sticks to her guns. Despite recognizing that she's acting like a brat, as well as questioning the extent of Yuuya's feelings for her (Doesn't he feel the same way? Are Yuuya's feelings different from mine?), she refuses to back down.

So Mao's near-aggressive "pestering" of Yuuya continues, going as far as to come to his house while his mother's out. Yuuya lets her in but is obviously uncomfortable. And after an uneasy, protracted spell of Mao sitting on his bed beside him, staring fixedly at him, and then backing away when he reaches out to touch her face, Yuuya suggests they go out for karaoke with his friends.

Even though he acted like he was having fun, the karaoke outing constitutes further proof that Yuuya is putting distance between them, Mao decides. Peeved at his confusing signals, Mao tells Yuuya that it's been fun but that he doesn't need to walk her home and leaves him at the bus stop. Actually, I wanted to be hugged. Kissed. I wanted us to laugh together. I wanted him to say that he's happiest when he's with me, Mao weeps miserably as she goes home.

Later that evening Mao admits, I'm scared. He's avoiding me. But I have to see him and tell him sorry that I want so much for us to be together. Resolved, she calls his cell and Yuuya offers a lame excuse of being busy at work.

Not at all fazed, Mao corners Yuuya at the convenience store and apologizes for how she's been acting. As Yuuya's boss orders him to quit standing around, Mao sees her chance to be with him and offers her services.

They try to work together. Yuuya calls Mao Sakisaka as though she were nothing more than a mere acquaintance and teaches her how to stack shelves. Mao doesn't mind his forced distance and being "bossed" around; simply wearing the same uniform, being in one place with Yuuya are enough to make her euphoric.

Yuuya sees her looking pleased and makes haste to finish up. He then invites her to go shopping. With pleasure, Mao greets his suggestion brightly.

On their shopping trip, Yuuya is a man on a mission, paying close, almost unnerving attention to the things Mao picks up (and puts down). I can't buy anything like this!! she protests and Yuuya whines, I can't help it! I don't know what kind of things you like!! Yuuya's admission delights Mao greatly.

Her attention is caught by a cute toiletry bag and the shop attendant, seeing a sale in the offing tells Mao it would be perfect for a trip, ack! The balloon that was her happiness deflates rapidly as Mao's gaze wing to Yuuya and sees him looking a little down. Though not for long. He turns to her with a wide smile and encourages Mao to buy it. I'm thinking too much, she concedes, acknowledging how much more mature her boyfriend has become compared to her.

When they reach her house, Yuuya tells her, I'll see you tomorrow. Mao is stricken. I have summer class starting tomorrow, she explains weakly.

Then I'll pick you up after, Yuuya rallies and kisses her goodnight per their usual. Unable to stop herself, Mao asks for one more—to make up for the kiss they missed after the karaoke thing. Yuuya obliges.

As he breaks off the kiss, Yuuya offers seriously, I might as well kiss you to cover the time you'll be away. How many days was it again? I forgot.

Four nights - Sakisaka (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

Five days and four nights, Mao answers (I like to think "breathlessly.")

When do you leave? he asks, looming over her.

September 11.

He backs away and lets fall to the ground the shopping bag he's been carrying. Confused, Mao asks, Yuuya… What's wrong?

In response, Yuuya grabs the shopping bag in her hand—the one containing the toiletry bag for the school trip—and flings it away.

He swears feelingly, Do whatever you want! Ce—celebrate your birthday with Fuse, see if I care!!

Mao then realizes that her leaving on the eleventh means they won't be able to see each other on the thirteenth which is her birthday. It's obviously a day Yuuya's been thinking and planning about, if his sudden squatting on the ground and hiding his face in his arms are any indication.

I didn't mean it, Yuuya mutters (I like to think "in between sniffling.") Don't let Fuse wish you happy birthday. Don't even talk to anyone.

I'm so happy! Mao lets out an uncharacteristic spate of giggles.

Why are you laughing?!? Yuuya asks, aggrieved. Because you're so you, Mao answers silently and hugs Yuuya. I'm not going on the trip, she clarifies. I'll stay with you.

No, no, you go. It's okay. It's not a problem. Not a—

OF COURSE IT'S A PROBLEM!! Yuuya bursts out furiously (and wuvably).

This story closes with Mao musing,

It's the first time I realized that Yuuya and I are alike in some ways. We're both stubborn, we're inclined to keep things to ourselves…

…and we're both not yet mature.

Hatori's version

(Again with the overlaps.)

After Mao informs him about the study tour to Hokkaido, Yuuya's first reaction is ire.

You've got to be kidding me! Five days?! How am I supposed to last five days without seeing her?!?

It's an understandable reaction as he realizes his rival Fuse will be on the same trip. He doesn't let Mao know what's going through his mind though. Instead he sez, I'm gonna go wash my face, before heading to the men's room.

Hurry… hurry… Yuuya urges himself while trying not to break out into a run. If you're late by even just one minute…

He slumps down in front of the wash basin, in tears.

It's only five days and it's a school activity, he reasons out while slowly standing up. I understand that. And anyway, we have the rest of the summer to be together, he consoles himself.

But I don't want her to go on that study tour! he cries to his reflection in the mirror. What am I supposed to do?

Yuuya returns to their table, having decided on his course of action. He tells Mao they should spend more time together during the summer holidays, going on to elaborate, Our relationship still needs work. We need to talk more. Kiss more…

Inwardly, he vows to himself, I'll do my best to treat this normally. We're going to be okay. I just have to forget about what happened during our study trip and Fuse.

Later at home Yuuya makes plans for the summer. One thing is top of mind: Mao's birthday's coming up, what do I get her? he muses. I know, during this holiday I'll make a note of the things she likes, he decides and starts to scribble, She likes strawberries…

It is not long before his scribbling trails off. As he smushes a pillow on his face, Yuuya grants, I just want to take care of Mao. But he realizes that his selfishness might get in the way of this noble wish. What makes me mad is this… childishness is just going to make things difficult for her.

He struggles with the maelstrom of his emotions before blurting out almost defiantly, I want to see her!

Fate, it seems, is not without a perverse sense of humor. Mao is at the front door, wearing a cute one-piece seemingly designed to test the limits of Yuuya's self-restraint. But we made plans to meet at the library today! he thinks in panic. Nevertheless, Yuuya lets Mao in and makes excuses about the state of his room.

He invites Mao to make herself comfortable. Sit anywhere you like… His good host act nearly crumbles when Mao takes him at his word and seats herself on his bed. Gingerly, Yuuya joins her.

I love her so much, it feels like I'm going crazy, he cries out voicelessly while being careful not to touch her.

"Can I hug you?" - Yuuya (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

He goes on to ask silently, Can I hug you? I want so much to make you mine. To kiss you. To hold you. To hold you so that no one else can see you anymore…. Seemingly of its own volition, his hand reaches up to Mao's face and in surprise, she backs away.

There's an eyelash on your cheek… Yuuya tries to explain but Mao just continues to look at him. He then decides it's safer for them to leave his house and marches them off to a karaoke.

It's a bust, something made crystal-clear to him when Mao bids him goodbye at the bus stop, refusing his offer to walk her home and by extension, their usual goodnight kiss. Anguished he thinks, I'll never get beyond this. I can never be a man who can see her off on that trip with a smile.

The next day, his boss calls him in to work because no one else is available. As he busies himself rearranging the store's merchandise, Yuuya continues to think about what to get Mao for her birthday. A strawberry cake maybe? And then Mao will sit beside me and smile at me… If that happens, I can die happy.

His reverie about less than simple things is interrupted by the arrival of Mao.

I'm sorry about yesterday. And the day before… she starts to say and he can only look at her, aghast. Why is she apologizing? She doesn't understand!

He's also totally smitten by his girlfriend. You're so beautiful… he aches to tell her. But you shouldn't be here! It's dangerous!

Oblivious to the so-called "danger," Mao stays and helps out at the store. And despite the brusqueness he tries to display, Yuuya's happiness overflows.

Let's go shopping, he suggests after seeing Mao smiling to herself. She consents and true to his word, Yuuya throws himself wholeheartedly into his research into things Mao likes, much to his girlfriend's consternation. But Yuuya is not about to be swayed.

Continuing to look around (with Yuuya dogging her footsteps), Mao espies a toiletry bag and regards it consideringly. The salesperson tells her, That's gonna useful on a trip. Yuuya observes as his girlfriend puts the bag down.

Buy it, he tells her after a beat, the moment just long enough to restore equilibrium. It's okay. As long as she smiles, as long as she's happy, it's okay.

I will act as adult as I can, even if it kills me.

This time, before parting ways, they kiss.

For yesterday, too, Mao requests when Yuuya releases her and it is beyond his fragile self-control to refuse. Why did you say that? I won't be able to stop myself…

This will be the last time I act this selfish, he rationalizes before telling her, In that case, I might as well kiss you to make up for the time you'll be away. How many nights?

Four nights - Hatori's version (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

When she answers that the school trip would be for four nights and that they will leave two days before her birthday, Yuuya's good intentions vanish.

I only get to wish her happy birthday on the phone?? Even though he tries to stop the words, he blows up.

Go celebrate your birthday with Fuse!! he shouts and then takes it back. Don't you dare! It is way beyond him now to make any attempts at being reasonable.

She smiles and tells him she won't be going to the study trip. Yuuya thinks, She really doesn't understand. If she tells me that, I'm liable to answer, "Don't meet anyone. Don't talk to anyone."

"Just be my Mao."

He's still thinking that as Mao tries to stop him from throwing punches at a couple of guys ogling Mao when they go to the swimming pool a day later.

Special Edition/Memory No. 000

I'll spare you the "novelization" so that you still have something to read unspoiled ^^

Special Edition/Memory No. 000 (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

musings (AKA "What? You're *not* finished??")
I've always liked Mao—her nerdiness and solemnity and all—because she's such a refreshing change of pace from the genki or b*tchy heroines of other manga. But I hated that on becoming Yuuya's girlfriend she became so prone to insecurity, oft unjustified. One heart-wrenching dilemma after another was pushing it. Notwithstanding the need for angst to spice up the story, I thought this was a convenient forgetting of what made her succeed as a character at the outset. Because where did her inner strength so evident in the prequel go? And her courage (she proposed to Yuuya after all)? I know that characters aren't supposed to stay the same as they were at story start but there's a difference between remaining static and character betrayal.

So it delights me to no end that in this volume, she makes up for the uncharacteristic weakness she's been displaying and goes after what she really wants. Heaven help Yuuya, but I think he wouldn't want it any other way ^^

And speaking of Yuuya, you go! I wub his vulnerability, that quality that defines him and which he never lost from the beginning of the series to this current installment. But I wub his developing sensitivity, too. I wub that he's sticking to his vow to be the understanding, I-will-never-cause-her-pain "better boyfriend," and despite Mao thinking otherwise, his maturity.

And I'm glad that he never lost sight of how strong and worthy Mao was (even though previously I thought the manga-ka did—gomen, Fujiwara-sensei!!) because he grows stronger and worthier, too.

On a scale of one to five pairs of untied shoelaces, I'm giving the and the story a six ^^.

Next up: my review of I Hate You But I Love You volume 8.

~nik who apologizes for the too totally long volume 7 post

KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ is © Fujiwara Yoshiko. First published by in 2004. I Hate You But I Love You Indonesian copyright by PT Elex Media Komputindo. No infringement intended.


Ghost Hunt DVD 1, Death Note DVD 2, and Ouran High School Host Club DVD 7 out today

YesAsia.com: Ghost Hunt DVD Vol. 1 (Japan Version)Another reminder here. (The DVD links lead to Yesasia. I thought I should make that clear.)

The street date of the Japan version DVD of Ghost Hunt File.1 and the Elex Media Indonesian release of volume 9 is today, 24 January 2007.

Other notable Kyaaa! Ryuzaki! Kyaaa! Mori-senpai! Japan DVD releases today (obviously) include: Death Note 2 and Ouran High School Host Club Vol.7

(I tweaked this entry to add the DVD covers.)

YesAsia.com: Death Note 2 (Animation) (Japan Version) DVD YesAsia.com: Ouran High School Host Club DVD Vol.7 (Japan Version)

That takes care of the series featured in this blog post title. Here are the rest of the 24 January 2007 releases.

Anime DVD

These are all Japan DVDs.

Manga releases

I also have to check on a couple of other Elex Media manga supposedly released last week: In a Distant Time () by Mizuno Tohko volume 9 (not 12 as I mistakenly reported in the consolidated January 2007 calendar and a Serial Cantik release Beautiful Boy (Boys?) from Hayakawa Tomoko of Perfect Girl Evolution AKA fame. (The title puts you in mind of Yamanade, doncha think?) I'll advise if these are also available, as well as the other releases I already reported (Trinity Blood 4, Meine Liebe 1, Secret Princess volumes 2 and 3, Ultra Maniac 3) after I hit the nearest bookstore.

The following volume 8 by Park So-Hee and Really?! volume 3 by Lee Hyeon-Sook are also available already. (I already previewed the release of 8 in a comment in the chatbox.)

~nik who plans to upload her review of I Hate You But I Love You () volume 7 (yes, it's out) by Fujiwara Yoshiko and some babble about the Taiwanese dorama Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu, inspired by a comment from pajcat in the chatbox after this post

P.S. The fourth volume of the Crazy for You () manga by Shimaki Ako is also out this month but I didn't buy it; I think I'm dropping this from my reading list. It's getting a li'l too weird for me. Unless someone wants to change my mind? In which case, please drop me a comment? Arigatou gozaimuchness ^^

P.P.S. In place of Mucha Kucha Daisuki, I'm thinking of blogging Ikeyamada Go's manga. The second volume was also released this month. Do you think I should? Any aye's or nay's? Please comment. Thank you again.

invaluable resource(s)

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I hope she genuinely gets scared out of her wits! (off-topic)

Because if ever there was a lesson to be learned from , it is to never pick up strange books.

k, lemme backtrack a li'l and explain why I'm wishing a (not really) sorry fate on some (not-so) hapless soul. (I actually gave this a day to see if I could be more philosophical about it, but it seems I can't. So please bear with the b*tchy rant.)

I lost my paperback copy of The Historian yesterday. I lost it in the first floor restroom of a downtown mall.

This is a big deal to me because I'm usually very careful of my books and I was truly, madly attached to this one for these personal reasons:

(1) My major was in history. Never mind of which country, I have actually done primary source research into a certain time window of the 19th century, so I can relate to the sifting through dusty archives bit that the characters in Kostova's The Historian do. (Though I don't call myself an historian, having given up research long before I could be damned and published.)

(2) I'd actually just finished a vampire anime (which, if you know me, is a feat) and I thought I was ready to tackle another fictional (?) excursion into the world of the undead.

(3) I bought it when it was still a new arrival in Kinokuniya, which meant a respectable twenty percent discount off the cover price and a good value Christmas 2006 present to myself.

Even though I purchased it almost a month ago, it was only in the past two days that I started reading The Historian with any sort of can't-put-it-down speed. Put this down to the fact that in spite of having finished Black Blood Brothers, this coward soul is still mine and I couldn't read the book when it wasn't daylight nor when I was alone at home.

So you can imagine just how devastated I was by its loss.

My hubby reasonably pointed out to me that it was my own fault for bringing the book around and thus paving the way to eventually losing it. (But after it took me almost a month to really get into the read, I should put it down? I don't think so.) I countered, as reasonably as I could, that my sin of forgetfulness in this case was minor, while her sin of theft (would you call it anything else?) was HUGE! I immediately went back to that restroom when I realized I didn't have the book with me, but those mere minutes were ample time for someone to abscond with my beloved copy of The Historian.

No amount of pleading for help from the cleaning service or the indifferent mall security slash Lost and Found staff would get it back for me.

Grr. Like I sed, whoever she was, I sincerely hope she gets terrified out of her skull—more than I ever was—by that book so that I'd feel better. I don't have it in me to be charitable at this point.

Is this all the Happy Even After ending I can anticipate? Well I went back to Kinokuniya (the branch in that mall was where I originally bought it) and the paperback versions were sold out; the only copy left was a hard cover one costing nearly IDR 400,000. I had to ask the staff to phone around to see which branch still had the paperbacks.

Before going home, I was able to pick up a new copy from the customer service staff of Kinokuniya Playan.

At its original cover price.

~nik who hopes to get back soon to this blog's regular and programming with a review of the seventh tankoubon
花 枂 兰

PS I will prolly regret all this b*tchiness but for now, lemme vent...

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shipment: E-Wan x Kum-Ji (Chocolat)

Recommencing my a-picture's-worth-a-thousand-words random shipment series that used to decorate the sidebar of this blog.

Spotlight ON:

E-Wan and Kum-Ji - postcard from Chocolat volume 3

Though it was slow going there at first—E-Wan x Kum-Ji from Shin JiSang & Geo's manhwa Chocolat.

Kum-Ji, if you've ever read my About page, is the wise philosopher who observed that inequality exists between fangirls. The boys who make up the romantic triangle with her both agree that Kum-Ji's (She's not pretty anywhere and she's nowhere cute. – E-Soh) lacking in the comeliness department.

But allegedly low beauty factor aside, Kum-Ji to me is one of the strongest manhwa heroines around (and that's saying A LOT) and no mere guy, boy band member or no, is going to be fit to partner her.

He needs must be as special and as compelling as Kum-Ji.

This is where E-Wan comes in.

E-Wan, not the romantic interest who dominated the first two books but who comes into his own as a more than dark horse contender in volume three has been described by his creator as:

Whatever his true motives are, the b*stard won't stop harassing her.

And a b*stard he is and harass her he does—from filching her cellphone to calling her a tease for having a boyfriend (other than him ^^').

So why ship Kum-Ji with E-Wan instead of with E-Soh (impatient stalker (?) who can't be away from her for a second) who was the undisputed male lead until E-Wan decided to make his move? Or Kum-Ji's original What does she see in such a sissy wub Jin Ryu?

Or even stick with the so-called canon pairing of E-Wan and Eun-Sung which the former himself describes as the perfect couple here?

Actually, before volume three, I wasn't really shipping Kum-Ji with anyone, least of all E-Soh who looked to be the other half of the OTP in the beginning. Not because I didn't like E-Soh; it's just… I found the chemistry between him and Kum-Ji a little lacking.

Okay, more than a little.

Kum-Ji with E-Wan, on the other hand… I find myself literally breathless when reading their interactions. Which seethe with all the delicious, dark, latent possibilities that indicate a heart-throbby pairing. He can be gruff with her or he can be sweet and cheesy with her and I would still end up gasping.

And then once breathing was restored, going Kyaaaa! like any good fangirl.

I look forward to more E-Wan x Kum-Ji shippyness.

~nik who's claiming presidency of the E-Wan x Kum-Ji fan club ^^

Chocolat is © JiSang Shin · Geo. First published in Korea in 2002 by SIGONGSA Co. Ltd. English text © 2005 ICE KUNION.

end note(s)

quotes appearing here all come from Chocolat volume three, as does the postcard of E-Wan and Kum-Ji that inspired this post.

other couples previously featured in random shipments

Athrun and Cagalli from Gundam SEED Phase-24Athrun x Cagalli from Gundam SEED

Zero and Yuki from Vampire KnightZeroYuuki from Vampire Knight

Yuki and Tohru from Fruits Basket EP12Yuki x Tohru from Fruits Basket

Yushiro and Miharu from GasarakiYushiro x Miharu from Gasaraki

Mizuki and Kazura from Platinum GardenMizuki x Kazura from Platinum Garden

Shuji and Chise from SaiKanoShuji x Chise from SaiKano

Images are © their respective copyright holders.


I love you so I don't need happiness: A review of KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ manga volume 06

And so continue to grapple with the mutual exclusivity of being happy and being in love.

That this theme persists in underpinning the sixth volume of I Hate You But I Love You AKA KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ sixty percent through this series doesn't deter me from continued investment. (I remain optimistic about a Happy Even After and have resigned myself to crying myself hoarse urging those two with a near unending stream of Ganbatte's.) It did, however, make writing this a chore, slightly more so than the previous volume.

But enough with the mini-rant. (At least, KISS doesn't make me tear my hair out like does.) Per norm, this tankoubon opens with another kawaii Yuuya fantasy before diving into the two paired stories that make up volume six:

I Hate You But I Love You volume 6 front cover
  1. Ketidakjujuran di Hari Jadian (Sakisaka | Hatori)
  2. Rahasia di Akhir Minggu (Sakisaka | Hatori)

Ketidakjujuran di Hari Jadian translates to "Dishonesty on their Anniversary," while Rahasia di Akhir Minggu is "Weekend Secret." Another omake About Ayako closes this installment.

* * S P O I L E R S    I N C O M I N G ! ! * *
(You have been warned.)

Ketidakjujuran di Hari Jadian

Sakisaka's version

It's been a year since confessed her feelings to . Despite the time that has elapsed, remains uneasy and struggles to overcome her natural reticence—to reduce, if not outright eliminate the distance that persists between her and her boyfriend.

On the face of it, that's what proposal—that they tell each other everything, especially things that bother or worry the other—was supposed to do. Which was why Mao promises, on their anniversary, to be totally honest with Yuuya.

But all roses and sparkles from here on out is still a distant dream, because this is Mao we're talking about. That promise only highlights her insecurities, especially the one about being not good enough for Yuuya.

And (talk about foreshadowing) something happens to immediately put Mao to the test: Fuse, the classmate whose feelings for Mao rival Yuuya's, is elected their class president. Fuse agrees, but only as long as he gets to appoint his vice-president. He (of course) chooses Mao and their homeroom teacher railroads her into agreeing.

Later, Mao tells Yuuya that she has been made class vice-president but leaves out the fact that she would be working closely with Fuse. She rationalizes her omission by convincing herself that it's a little thing and telling would only bring Yuuya grief. So she digresses and instead says she wishes they still attended the same school. An elated Yuuya—who views this as proof that Mao wants to spend more time with him—rewards her with a sweet kiss.

That same day, Mao stays back after school to work on a task assigned to her and Fuse. As they photocopy papers for the class, Fuse tells her to go home, saying he will finish the job by himself. Straight-A student, duty-comes-first, habits-die-hard Mao refuses. Not-so out of the blue, Fuse tells Mao that her attitude is reprehensible; that she only thinks about Yuuya and of how much her boyfriend will be hurt if he finds out that Mao has been spending time with Fuse. Her behavior, he says, makes it impossible for him to hate her. Angered, Mao retaliates, calling Fuse equally vile for knowing how much she loves Yuuya and yet, still forcing her into the situation she's in. Fuse agrees with Mao's judgment, adding that he wishes that would break up. To which Mao vehemently counters they will never do so. She then sends Yuuya a text message saying she will be late meeting him by half an hour because she has class duties.

Par for the course, they miss seeing each other: Mao is running late for her cram school lessons and thus, can't drop by to see Yuuya and Yuuya is busy with his part-time job at the convenience store near Mao's cram school. It is Fuse, who attends the same prep course, who stops by Yuuya's workplace.

When lessons are over, Mao meets up with Yuuya. She tries to tell him about the photocopying thing but Yuuya asks bluntly, Were you with Fuse? Is he your class president?

Did he tell you that? a shocked Mao asks in return. She rushes to say that it's not what he's thinking, that the fact that she's vice-president to Fuse's president means nothing because it is Yuuya whom she loves.

Yuuya continues as though Mao hadn't spoken, You telling me you want to be in the same high school as me was a lie, wasn't it? Mao tells him that's not so, explaining she didn't tell him because he would only worry. Yuuya doesn't believe her. I don't know which of your words are true anymore. He reveals that Fuse actually didn't tell him anything, before turning his back on her and leaving.

Mao tries to go after him but Yuuya has made good his escape. She runs to his house and he's not there. She phones him over and over but Yuuya's cell is on voice mail. Mao realizes that even though they have been boyfriend-girlfriend for a year, she's still not worthy of him. In the end, Mao leaves Yuuya a message asking him to forgive her for breaking her promise—a promise, she emphasizes, she was happy to make. She also admits that it is always her fault that they end up quarreling and closes by saying she loves only him.

The next day, Yuuya is still AWOL. During lunch time, Mao finds a quiet place to call and this time, Yuuya picks up. She begs for his forgiveness again and Yuuya tells her that she doesn't need to say sorry anymore. She thinks Yuuya wants to end their relationship, so she rushes her words:

Didn't I tell you that this has nothing to do with Fuse? I couldn't tell you because I want to be with you! My wanting to be in the same high school as you was no lie. I want to be in the same class as you.

But you're not there for me. And I so want to be with you. I want to be with you everyday. Why aren't you here with me? I want to see you…

There's no longer anyone on the other end of the line; Yuuya has hung up the phone.

Is this the end? Mao thinks to herself as she nears breaking point. Fuse finds her squatting on the floor, tears running down her cheeks. But before he can say anything, they both hear a round of astounded murmurs. Mao rushes to the nearest window and looks out.

It's Yuuya and he's obviously searching for her. Mao calls out to him and he turns and gifts her with a beatific grin.

Our relationship won't end just because of something as insignificant as this, he reassures her.

Yuuya also espies Fuse among the crowd and declares with unflinching resolve, You're my girlfriend. I'm not about to give you up to anyone else.

Mission accomplished, he turns and goes, but not before saying, I know, to Mao's unvoiced, «I love you,» which flummoxes but totally delights Mao.

Hatori's version

Yuuya's version of the story (which involves a lot more kissing and WAFFy Yuuya antics than Mao's version ^^) picks up earlier with Yuuya musing whether it's okay to feel as happy as he does (they've been spending quite a lot of time together), in between impassioned declarations of how much he wants her. He vows to become an even better boyfriend and the one person who totally understands Mao. He further promises to never to make her cry.

It is revealed that the reason he proposes they be more open with each other was to strengthen his claim over her, and with Mao promising to share all, Yuuya is convinced that Mao is only his.

When Mao tells him she has been chosen class vice-president, Yuuya remembers their grade school days when Mao was head of the class and prone to boss him and the other boys around. He wishes they could return to that time because then they could talk more and be with each other more often. Mao assures him that they will be able talk more frequently.

So Fuse coming to see Yuuya (and not saying a word about being class officers with Mao regardless) renders that promise of honesty (almost) moot and brings home the acrid point that Mao has not been totally frank with him. Yuuya asks himself bitterly if he's the only one who doesn't know anything about Mao. He starts to question other things she has told him—things like wanting to be schoolmates again, things that made him ecstatic.

After they quarrel, Yuuya refuses to take Mao's calls, not because he's throwing the mother of all tantrums and hugging his bitterness like it were a beloved stuffed toy but because he knows he would only end up hurting her if he talks to her there and then. We find out that Yuuya actually understands why Mao didn't tell him everything. It's not that she didn't want to; it's that she couldn't. He concedes that when all was revealed, he should've taken it in stride and told Mao it was no problem. He admits he didn't have the courage to answer his girlfriend's calls, but at the same time, refuses to switch off his cell because it represents his link to Mao.

When he finally does answer, it's as "better boyfriend" Yuuya (BBY ^^). In that incarnation, he eschews the phone and rushes over to her side, as per her heart-broken I want to see you… plea. And still as BBY, he "heard" Mao's heart-felt and silent I love you, even though a distance of two storeys physically separated them. Awww…

Rahasia di Akhir Minggu

And the secret is…

…Mao invites Yuuya over to her house, while her parents are away, to spend the weekend with her.

And yes, sleeping together is in the offing ^^

So it's a no-brainer that Yuuya, at first addled out of his wits, jumps at the chance. But not before making it clear to all and sundry that "doing it" isn't the be-all and end-all of the weekend and that what's truly important are Mao's and his feelings. And he's totally sincere, too, much to the chagrin of his raging teenage male hormones. And it is the pinnacle of guffaw-out-loud cute that he lugs two humongous bags on the day (into which condoms had been slipped by his well-meaning friends), in readiness for his more than thirty hours (it's Yuuya; of course, he's counting!) of togetherness with Mao.

Which, if you leave out the playing of video games (he brought 'em and rejoices over beating Mao), turns out to be a weekend of playing house, with Mao cooking for Yuuya, them shopping for hamburger fixin's and ice cream, and Mao drawing Yuuya's bath.

Plus the afore-mentioned sleeping together.

This pair of stories, transition for the most part with Mao and Yuuya learning to be more franks with each another, is simply too kawaii and chockful of WAFFy moments too many to go into here.

But lest I mislead you into thinking that it's all warm 'n fuzzies, before and during that weekend tryst, they meet Fuse and other woman Rika-senpai both. While they were together when they saw Fuse (he concedes defeat to Yuuya but only for the interim), each met Rika-senpai separately. And seemingly not having learnt their lesson from Ketidakjujuran di Hari Jadian, did not tell each other that they did.

It is Rika-senpai herself who brings it out in the open the morning after.

Yup. Unlike all other stories so far, this one ends in a cliffie. And no, I'm not going to spoil and say if they did it. I will only reveal that Mao wanted them to be intimate because she thought it would bring them closer to each and Yuuya at one point was hugging Mao so tightly as to constrict breathing but still nearly refused to let go.

Yes, I'm evil, too.

ratings still stand at five of five pairs of untied shoelaces, but story-wise, am dropping these down to four.

I Hate You But I Love You volume six was released in early December 2006 by Elex Media. The next tankoubon is due to come out this January 2007.

~nik who promises to be back with a review of volume seven (but will she do a Mao is the question…)

KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ is © Fujiwara Yoshiko. First published by in 2003. I Hate You But I Love You Indonesian copyright by . No infringement intended.

end note(s)

The return of the unnecessary title explication The title of this blog post comes from a translation of the lyric aishite iru kara shiawase hitsuyounai no from the Gasaraki ending theme Love Song, sung by Tane Tomoko.

Black Blood Brothers DVD 2, Bokura ga ita 8 and other 10 January 2007 manga releases

Just a quickie advisory to remind (myself, actually) that the following anime and manga (official Indonesian releases) are due out on 10 January 2007:

in stores and newsstands 10 January 2007

YesAsia.com: Black Blood Brothers Vol.2 (Japan Version) DVDAnd of course—

The Japan version of the Black Blood Brothers Vol.2 DVD. Kyaaaa! (I am such a Jirou fangirl; I talked about the first BBB DVD here ^^)

~nik who wants to post more, but with all the connection issues that have been plaguing her of late... *sigh*

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January 2007 anime and manga

Another year of and descendeth!

With a not-so loud thump ^^

After airing the Black Jack Special: Four Miracles of Life for two consecutive months in 2006, Animax finally brings us the backstory of (the remake of? Tezuka Osamu-sensei's?) Black Jack this January.

They call him Black Jack. An enigmatic doctor scorned by the medical community he rejects; a master surgeon who can work miracles in ways the world has never seen—but only for those who can afford him. To many, he's an unscrupulous mercenary who practices in the shadows. But to others, he's a humanitarian who often puts himself on the line to save his patients if he feels they are worthy.

(from the Indovision January 2007 TV Guide)

Black Jack premiered on 02 January at 6PM (Jakarta/Bangkok local time).

Also this January from Animax, we're getting Solty Rei which airs weekdays at 10:30PM (JKT/BKK).

There are quite a number of manga ending this month: From Eroica With Love From Far Away (Kanata Kara) · Hands Off! · Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne · Kare Kano · Kikaider Code 02 · Menkui! · Red River (Anatolia Story) · Vampire Knight · W Juliet

While manga and premiering January 2007 include: Calling You (Kimi ni shika Kikoenai) · Flower of Life · Free Collars Kingdom · Kitchen Princess · Mugen Spiral · Mushishi · Pearl Pink

And kyaaa! The Japan version of the Black Blood Brothers Vol.2 DVD is due out 10th January (*dies* again ^^). File 1 of Ghost Hunt (Japan version DVD) is slated for a 24th January release.

Here's my more or less complete list of

January anime and manga

note Schedules may change without prior notice. For sure it will get augmented because I prolly forgot some January titles.

  • 01.01 | Kanon Vol.1
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.01 | VOL03 of 03
  • Tanaka Suzuki | Mature (BLU)

    Kotori and Akaiwa may be getting along fine so far but what will happen when a girl from the past shows up to get in the way? Will the couple's bond remain strong or will Akaiwa's out of control fits of jealousy become too much for poor Kotori? (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL06
  • The Price of Happiness | Yabuki Kentaro (VIZ)

    After hearing that Black Cat is the "ultimate gunman," metal-mouthed menace Durham Glaster vows to claim that title for himself. Desperate to learn of his rival's whereabouts, Durham... (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL09
  • Contact | Ohba Tsugumi & Obata Takeshi (VIZ)

    Light has always been confident in his ability to outthink everyone, but L's protégés are proving to be more of a challenge than he anticipated. The more Light mentally maneuvers, the tighter the net around him becomes. And now Near and Mello are working to break the task force apart and expose Kira from within! (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL02
  • Kure Yuki (VIZ)

    Kahoko may have a magic violin that gives her some technical ability, but the violin's true magic is only unlocked when Kahoko "feels" the music, something she's having trouble doing in the midst of all the new tension in her life. She's supposed to be getting to know her fellow competitors, but the first stage of the competition is coming soon, and she barely... (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL08
  • Hatori Bisco (VIZ)

    The first-years in Class 1-A are taking part in a test of courage, where the loser will receive the dubious honor of being dubbed "Best of Cowards." Kazukiho Souga, the class president and a fraidy-cat at heart, is happy to be on a team with the levelheaded Haruhi, but... (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL02
  • Takada Rie (VIZ)

    Elle has her first date with the scrappy young street fighter named Kazuki, who has recently started training at her grandfather's renowned gym, but the date may be ruined when she burns her face while cooking! Meanwhile, Elle's fiancé has secretly been... (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL02
  • Bianchi | Amano Akira (VIZ)

    Reborn has set his sights on a new recruit for the Vongola Famiglia and prepares a rigorous initiation rite. But when deadly beauty Bianchi fixes Reborn in her romantic crosshairs and swears to kill... (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL04
  • Nakamura Yoshiki (VIZ)

    Kyoko helps the LME president's granddaughter heal from a childhood tragedy, and in return she should have earned a free ride through the LME training school. But the other students throw a fit, and now she still has to pay. In order to support the high cost of the program, Kyoko gets a job as a seat filler on a TV show. (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL17
  • Waltzing Toward Destruction | Konomi Takeshi (VIZ)

    Shusuke and Jin's match continues! Both pull out all the stops, but it's the Haku Gei, also known as the White Whale, that's the move to beat. Will it be enough? (read the rest)

  • 01.02 | VOL01
  • Hino Matsuri (VIZ)

    Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy's secret. (read the rest)

  • 01.03 | VOL11
  • Oh! great (CMX Manga)

    The battle between Soichiro and Mazata on sacred Enmi ground reaches its stunning conclusion! Though Mazata has jettisoned his mechanical arms, he still... (read the rest)

  • 01.03 | VOL04
  • Yamada Keiko (CMX Manga)

    Reiji prepares for the big concert in New York and an anticipated reunion with his sister. Bartholomew, conductor for the New York Philharmonic, has taken a liking to Reiji and wants him to... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL01
  • Setsuri Tsuzuki (TOKYOPOP)

    [A] beautifully rendered collection of stories that will haunt you long after the last page is turned... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL16
  • Nishimori Hiroyuki (VIZ)

    Genzo discovers that Yanagisawa, his nemesis from the "Ideal Woman's Cup" competition, has vanished. Yanagisawa has in fact gone to work for Miki's former fiancé Takao, who is plotting revenge for his humiliation at the hands of Megumi and her friends. Meanwhile, another acquaintance of Megumi's, the thief Reiko, has obtained a magical book identical to the one that caused Megumi to be turned into a girl. (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL01
  • Kagesaki Yuna (TOKYOPOP)

    Karin Maaka can bite a throat like a proper vampire, but where others of her kind need hot red blood, she has too much of it! Every month, she's compelled to inject blood into her victims the way a snake injects venom. And her handsome classmate Kenta Usui makes her feel like she's is going to spurt blood like a geyser. Talk about embarrassing! (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL04
  • Endoh Minari (TOKYOPOP)

    Dee kidnaps Rahzel while Baroqueheat and Alzeid are fighting his followers. But Dee plans to transfer his soul in her body to unlock the Angel...that is, until a mysterious figure comes between Dee and his sacrificial lamb, Rahzel. Will Baroqueheat and Alzeid find... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL14 of 14
  • Hikawa Kyoko (VIZ)

    The End is here! The darkness that has pursued Noriko and her tortured warrior Izark descends full force as their corrupt enemies in the government stage a last coup. With Noriko bedridden, Izark must fight alone, but help may come from an unexpected source. (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL08 of 08
  • Katsumoto Kasane (TOKYOPOP)

    The missing pieces of the puzzle brought to light by Tatsuki's kidnapping slowly fall into place. As usual, Tatsuki is trying to solve all problems by himself—but things aren't so simple this time. Now Kotarou must at last face his past, present, and future if he's to discover the secret of his power and the link it holds to Tatsuki. But at what cost? (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL21 of 21
  • Tsuda Masami (TOKYOPOP)

    The final volume of Kare Kano is here! (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL01
  • Kusana Mizuho (TOKYOPOP)

    Yayoi—the 78th Head of Household of the Suzuka Clan—is a mystic with a tremendous power over the spirits. Of course, along with great power comes those with the desire to steal it! Enter Ura, who wants to become the King of the Demons. He comes to the human world to challenge Yayoi, but ends up stripped of his powers—and is sealed away as a black cat instead! (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL01
  • Tanaka Meca (TOKYOPOP)

    When the sweet, bubbly Tamoko meets the ever-so-serious Kanji, romantic sparks begin to fly. But Kanji's father runs a model agency, and Tamoko is the daughter of their top-selling diva Shinju, so things become a bit complicated, to say the least. Tamako must hide the fact she is Shinju's daughter to save public face, but at the same time, she is determined to be an ideal partner for her man... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL20
  • Hiwatari Saki (VIZ)

    Rin is finally face to face with Alice again, and he is determined to get the computer password she used in her past life on the KK moon base. But even in the face of his vicious threats, Alice steadfastly refuses—unless he'll tell her why he needs it. (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL02
  • The Clock Strikes | Kurata Hideyuki & Ayanaga Ran (VIZ)

    While her big sisters are out of town, Anita has the detective agency all to herself—and it doesn't take her long to get into trouble. Soon she's embroiled in a plan to retrieve a unique journal, the Clock Diary, from the criminal underworld. But the beautiful, devious book thief Lily the Reader Extraordinaire will stop at nothing to steal the diary for herself. Can the youngest Paper Sister... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL16 of 16
  • Shinohara Chie (VIZ)

    Kail's trusted commander Rusafa, under the influence of Nakia's black water, has made off with Yuri and turned her over to Nakia's henchman Urhi. Kail is not fooled—his suspicions land squarely on Nakia, and he has her placed under house arrest. Kail then prepares to perform a public prayer, promising the Queen Dowager that she... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL08

    After Yasha and Shara share a moment over the death of Rasetsu, she tries to help Yasha in escaping from Koumokuten's army. But will she have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to assure his safety? (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL03
  • Peach Pit (TOKYOPOP)

    Jun finds himself stuck with Suiseiseki, who is trying to find her twin. She shows her powers to Jun, which makes a little tree grow in his dream. And when Jun sees the dolls undressing, he becomes self-conscious—he realizes that he feels something special for Shinku... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL02
  • Sakaki Ichiro & Go Yabuki & Asami Yukinobu (TOKYOPOP)

    Shannon and his siblings are squabbling as they continue on their travels. They reach a frontier town, they don't realize that an assassin has followed them in—and as a result, the inn is reduced to rubble! They have to pay the money to fix it... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL03
  • Ugawa Hiroki (TOKYOPOP)

    As the Culture Festival approaches, the Priestess Committee find itself hard-pressed to think of a suitable contribution. But this may be the least of Yuzu’s headaches, as she suffers relentless torment from both the evil Ayatachi and her class nemesis, Kusugi. And as the attacks grow more frequent and viscous, Tadahiro feels... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL05
  • Kagesaki Yuna (TOKYOPOP)

    When Ami takes out Tamon on his birthday to the amusement park, the brilliant lights and thrilling rides put her in the mood to finally confesses her feeling toward him! As they become a couple, Ami feels that she can't be happier... Later, Ami meets Sana, a new girl at school, who seems to... (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL14 of 14

    It's finally graduation time! Having fulfilled all of his father's conditions, Makoto no longer has to disguise himself as a woman. Unfortunately, all the trouble hasn't ended for he and Ito. Her family is having a hard time accepting her as an adult who can make her own decisions...and will they accept Makoto as a man?! (read the rest)

  • 01.09 | VOL03
  • Hashiguchi Takashi (VIZ)

    After a brief sojourn in Izu, Kazuma returns with the special ingredient he dreams will win him the Pantasia Rookie Tournament. The challenge this time is a dubious one indeed: to bake a loaf of bread that won't mold for three entire weeks. (read the rest)

    YesAsia.com: Black Blood Brothers Vol.2 (Japan Version) DVD
  • 01.10 | Black Blood Brothers Vol.2
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.10 | Bokura ga Ita 4
  • DVD | Normal Edition (Japan Version)

  • 01.10 | VOL 08 of 08
  • Yasuko Aoike (CMX Manga)

    The Major is delivering a secret document to NATO when his flight is hijacked. The plane also carries a famous painting that Eroica desires. Not even a hijacking can deter the world's most flamboyant art thief, but there's more to these terrorists than meets the eye.... (read the rest)

  • 01.11 | VOL02
  • Nakano Hitori & Watanabe Wataru (CMX Manga)

    The big day has come! "Train" is out on his date with "Hermess"! But now what? What does he say? What does he do? He's on his own and doesn't have his online support group to guide him through the event. Then "Train" has even more reason to fret when "Hermess" wants him to... (read the rest)

  • 01.12 | Saiunkoku Monogatari Vol.5
  • DVD Normal Edition | (Japan Version)

  • 01.13 |
  • Tenzen Momoko (DMP) | 16+

    Nana has no memory of his childhood earlier than age 12 when a store owner took him in and named him Nana, meaning no-name in Japanese. Mitsuha is on a quest to find a missing childhood friend. (read the rest)

  • 01.16 | VOL15
  • The Frozen Teacher | Aoyama Gosho (VIZ)

    During a school field trip, Conan and Rachel end up in a mountain cabin with several members of the teaching staff. Conan gets quite a surprise when he answers the doorbell and a frozen teacher's corpse falls into the house! (read the rest)

  • 01.16 | VOL11
  • Arakawa Hiromu (VIZ)

    Ed returns to Resemboul and meets his father Hohenheim for the first time in many years. Although his father is happy to see him, Ed harbors intense feelings of resentment for being all but abandoned many years ago. However, anger gives way to intrigue as Ed and Al discover an important fact about the human transmutation ritual they attempted years before. What they thought was a partial resurrection of their mother was... (read the rest)

  • 01.16 | VOL11
  • Anzai Nobuyuki (VIZ)

    The epic saga of the War Games continues! In the final match of the fifth battle, Nanashi for Team Mär is up against Galian of the Chess Pieces. There's quite a history between these two—Nanashi is the current leader of Luberia, and Galian just happens to be its former chief. (read the rest)

  • 01.17 | VOL01
  • Yoshinaga Fumi (DMP)

    Forced to enroll in school one month late after recovering from a serious illness, Harutaro is doing his best to remain optimistic about the entire situation. The other students are working hard to make Haru feel welcome — especially his chubby, loveable pal, Shota. However, Kai Majima, President of the Manga Club and all-around hard case, seems to be... (read the rest)

  • 01.17 | VOL06 of 06
  • Ishinomori Shotaro & MEIMU (CMX Manga) | Mature

    In this gripping final volume Saburo returns to battle Jiro! Mitsuko returns to her old family home where she is attacked by the conjoined SHADOW robots named Zadam. Zadam controls a huge weapon called the "Armageddon God," whose purpose is to destroy all human life. But the machine is... (read the rest)

  • 01.17 | VOL03
  • Kusakawa Nari (CMX Manga)

    Sahara stands alone and faces her brother — who is possessed by Gertrude's creator! An injured Gertrude can't help, so he recruits an old nemesis to come to his friend's aid. Is the patchwork demon willing to pay the price of this bargain? (read the rest)

  • 01.18 | VOL05
  • Koujima Naduki (DMP) | 16+

  • 01.24 | Bimbou Shimai Monogatari Vol.5
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.24 | Death Note 2 (Animation)
  • DVD (Japan Version)

    YesAsia.com: Ghost Hunt DVD Vol. 1 (Japan Version)
  • 01.24 | Ghost Hunt File.1
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.24 | VOL07 of 07
  • Tanemura Arina (CMX Manga)

    It all comes down to this — the final volume! In the breathtaking finale, Maron goes to Heaven and meets God. She learns of the Devil, the Fall and finally has the fate of the world placed on her shoulders. Can our beloved Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne handle this immense responsibility? (read the rest)

  • 01.24 | NANA Vol.7
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.24 | Ouran High School Host Club Vol.7
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.24 | VOL02
  • Tsukuba Sakura (CMX Manga)

    Ryo's making his big debut on stage — in the lead role! Yukari is doing her best to support him, but she's been pretty busy trying to pull off her own performance as a guy. Her "role" might not be as convincing as she had hoped... (read the rest)

  • 01.24 | VOL02
  • Kannagi Satoru & Honami Yukine (DMP) | 16+

    Now that the inter-school tournament is over, Sou and the rest of the 3rd years have retired. Kouichi and Katsura have been nominated as captain and assistant captain of the archery team and their first order of business is... (read the rest)

  • 01.24 | Tokimeki Memorial Only Love Vol. 1
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.24 | Utawarerumono Vol.6
  • DVD (Japan Version)

  • 01.30 | VOL03
  • Oh!Great (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL01
  • Fujima Takuya (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL07
  • Ikezawa Satomi (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL01
  • Ando Natsumi & Kobayashi Miyuki (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL01
  • Urushibara Yuki (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL08
  • Ninomiya Tomoko (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL04
  • Hanamori Pink & Yokote Michiko (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL05
  • Anno Moyoco (Del Rey Manga)

  • 01.30 | VOL12
  • CLAMP (Del Rey Manga)

Gramedia releases (Indonesia)

Elex Media
  • I Hate You But I Love You Volume 07
  • Banana Fish Volume 13
  • Crazy for You (Mucha Kucha Daisuki) Volume 04
  • Ghost Hunt Volume 09
  • In a Distant Time (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de) Volume 12
  • The Law of Ueki Volume 10
  • Trinity Blood Volume 04
  • Full House Volume 10
  • Prince of Tea Volume 16
  • Prince of Tennis Volume 19
  • Goong [Palace Story] Volume 08
  • Meine Liebe Volume 01
  • Really?! Volume 03
  • Secret Princess Volume 03 (I think this may be delayed; still haven't seen volume 02)
  • Ultra Maniac Volume 03

~nik who still needs to check ICE Kunion

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