Another Hella Long NikBabble™ Version :D
Shanaou Yoshitsune: Genpei no Kassen © Sawada Hirofumi
Kodansha [Serialized in Monthly Shonen Magazine]
Published in Indonesia as Shanaou Yoshitsune Genpei War by Gramedia/m&c!
Heike leaves the capital and commences counterattack. Yoshinaka, however, forces Houou to issue an order to subdue Yoritomo, which firms up Yoritomo's resolve. Yoshitsune's war to become the supreme shadow commander begins!
The moar I wiki Genpei War and the historical belligerents involved (mentioned in m&c!'s blurb — the Taira and Minamoto clans, Yoshinaka, Yoritomo and of course, Yoshitsune), the moar I want to start Sawada Hirofumi's Shanaou Yoshitsune Genpei War, regardless that I naw have 15 volumes and 22 prequel tankou to catch up on.
Narumi already has a girlfriend?? Momoka heartbreak! Momoka makes up her mind to treat Narumi “only as friend” so she can remain by his side. Her decision, however, brings her even more pain, prompting Narumi's best buddy Amano to embrace the tearful Momoka, saying, “If it hurts that much, become my girlfriend instead...”
Niki sez.... This is a 7.5 of 10 ♡. I am lurvin' Amano, not only as the cover of the third Namida Usagi ~Tears of First Love~ but also because despite [SPOILER!] Narumi finally admitting that he likes Momoka, he thoroughly irritates. Narumi better redeem himself in the next Namida Usagi, or... (I start shipping Momoka with Amano.)
Four series premiere: Takada Rie's not quite Bambino! josei manga Kitchen Palette, Sugiyama Miwako's Love, Romance and the World (the love-triangled heroine of which looks like a grade-schooler >,<) and My Dearest Pochi that tweep MayzMeow-san speculates might turn out as angsty as Tachibana Yutaka's other shoujo offerings. (She might've been alluding to Kana, Kamo AKA Love Me, Love Me Not as a model.) The lone soonjung manhwa n00b is Moon Fighters that I ab-so-lute-ly hated when I tried it out as Moon Boy (would've preferred that m&c! liberated the latest Chiro instead :P).
These standalones also debut — (the disappointing) Perfect Boy Falls in Love by Shiumi Saki and Love at Sakura Dormitory by Morita Yuki that actually surprised me for being so 6 of 10 yummy, its Ciao creds notwithstanding.
You also have to include the Ramadhan/Idul Fitri-apropos Real Masjid local comic among the debuts.
Kitchen Palette ~Komugi no
Ren'ai Fuumi Shuugyou Shitate~
© Takada Rie
Published in Indonesia as
Kitchen Palette ~Komugi's
Love Flavor in Training
Big Eater Komugi isn't satisfied with scarfing the entire L'aurora Italian restaurant, she wants to apprentice as a chef there, too. After much groveling, Komugi prevails on owner Tetsuri to let her work the kitchen. Chef Tetsuri's condition: that the rich brat survives on the salary he gives her, a pittance in her eyes.
Komugi's days of grumbling tummy and constant scolding — start-OH!
Nik sez.... In the initial flush after finishing the four chapters (
piatti) that comprise Kitchen Palette ~Komugi's Love Flavor in Training 1, I gave it an 8.5 of 10. (It kept me company in traffic and made the Jakarta congestion bearable desu kara.) I later revised that Too High! rating to 7.5. The downgrade, however, does not detract from Enjoyable. It remains so, but Komugi—and the sharp-tongued Tetsuri—will have to pull out the romance big guns if I am to up later Kitchen Palette grades.
Other Takada Rie manga: Takada Rie is prolly not unknown among Indonesian shoujo (and josei) fans. 3L or Tiga Lancar Comic is actually built on Takada Rie's Ex-delinquent × Naive Female Lead Heart. 3L went on to license Hadashi no Aitsu, Manatsu, Wild Act, Happy Hustle High, A Hard Trainer, Love Get You, Love Tripper, Punch!!, To Be the Lady on Top AND most recently — Doctor's Love (Oshiri Ai - Shinsatsu chuu -) and its prequel Couple Who Love Buttocks (Futari wa Oshiri Ai) that finished its Indonesian run last May.
Unless its license lapses, 3L will definitely publish the third Oshiri Ai - Shinsatsu chuu - (Japan street date: 2011.09.09). But I hope m&c! follows up Kitchen Palette soon with the ongoing Calligraphy! troped Ippitsu Nyuukon!, also a Hakusensha HLC Silky series (volume 1 published in Japan last 5 July). It remains to be seen which company snaps up supernatural fantasy Gaba Kawa (Japan release: 2006.07; VIZ Media's Shojo Beat Gaba Kawa per 2008.11) —has anyone?—and the Transfer student/Soccer Trouble Kick (JP: 2004.03). I don't know who, if any, licensed the Age Gap, Orphan Dandan Aishite first published in Japan 1993.04 (rereleased as the Flower Comics Deluxe DANDAN Aishite in 2003.05) and sequel Dandan Dakishimete (JP: 1994.05).
- Flower of Queen (Jouou no Hana) 2 of 4+ by Izumi Kaneyoshi
- [Series Premiere] Kitchen Palette (Kitchen Palette ~Komugi no Renai Fuumi Shuugyou Shitate~) 1 of 3 by Takada Rie
- Kumpulan Cerita Terbaik Miiko 4 (Miiko Selection ~Bakushouhen~) by Ono Eriko
- [Premiere] Love at Sakura Dormitory (Sakura Kanzume) by Morita Yuki
- [Series Premiere] Love, Romance and the World (Orera Kourin!) 1 of 3 by Sugiyama Miwako
- [Series Premiere] My Dearest Pochi (Uchi no Pochi no Iukoto niwa) 1 of 3+ by Tachibana Yutaka
- Namida Usagi ~Tears of First Love~ (Namida Usagi ~Seifuku no Kataomoi~) 3 of 7+ by Minase Ai
- [Premiere] Perfect Boy Falls in Love (Koi ni Ochita Kanpeki-kun) by Shiumi Saki
- Pudding in Love (Koi suru Purin!) 3 of 5 by Shinozuka Hiromu
- Seiyuu-Ka! Lovely Voice (Seiyuu-Ka!) 3 of 7+ by Minami Maki
- Shanaou Yoshitsune Genpei War (Shanaou Yoshitsune: Genpei no Kassen) 15 of 16+ by Sawada Hirofumi
- [Series Premiere] Moon Fighters (Wolyoil Sonyeon) 1 of 9 by Lee YoungYou
- Vanilla Frosting 2 of 2 by Romo [Finale]
- The Impeccable Twins Final Chapters 19 of 20:
Dalang Iblis (bagian kedelapan)by Khu Lung/Cai Jing Dong (Culture Com)
- Pedang Maha Dewa 4 Amazing Weapons - The Lost Blade 3 by Tony Wong (Jade Dynasty)
- [Premiere] Real Masjid
- Kumpulan Cerita Terbaik Miiko 1 by Ono Eriko
- Kumpulan Cerita Terbaik Miiko 2 by Ono Eriko
- Kumpulan Cerita Terbaik Miiko 3 by Ono Eriko
- Namaku Miiko! 1 of 4 by Ono Eriko
- Namaku Miiko! 2 of 4 by Ono Eriko
- Namaku Miiko! 3 of 4 by Ono Eriko
- Namaku Miiko! 4 of 4 by Ono Eriko
- Miiko Fan Book by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 1 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 2 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 3 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 4 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 5 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 6 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 7 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 8 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 9 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
- Hai, Miiko! 10 of 23+ by Ono Eriko
¹ Source: m&c! (release schedule/16 August version)
² All GN, including restocks, retail for IDR 16,500/volume, except the Miiko Fan Book (IDR 18,500). Manhwa Moon Fighters 1 carries a retail price of IDR 16,500, while Vanilla Frosting 2 is priced at IDR 23,000. Manhua The Impeccable Twins Final Chapters 19 and Pedang Maha Dewa 4 Amazing Weapons - The Lost Blade 3 retail for IDR 19,900 and 80,000 respectively. KOLONI Real Masjid goes for IDR 19,900 per volume.
³ are commercial Amazon search and/or product links (other language versions).
New m&c! titles - continued
Sakuragi Hina is the caretaker of the old (not quite rundown) Sakura Dormitory. Everyday, she expends great effort to chase down boarding house residents Kawabe and Mikki to saddle them with cleaning duty. But Hina can't persuade Room 102's boarder to help with the clean up; Hina is totally clueless about him/her. Kawabe and Mikki tell Hina it's better that she doesn't get to know the mystery resident...Why?
Nik sez... This is a 6 of 10.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Love at Sakura Dormitory, which I grabbed from ECC because it was the only standalone left after earlier borrowers plundered the 8.15 releases. (I usually avoid manga ex-Ciao, original home of Sakura Kanzume.)
I thank aspiring manga-ka Mikki for the Love at Sakura Dormitory wub; he proves that snark (and shoujo in-jokes, especially about boys' love) starts in middle school *thumbs up*. Hina and the mystery boarder also invite emotional investment and reach surprising chara development heights. (Unlike the older heroines and love interests in Watanabe Shiho's I Can't Stop Loving You that I read not long after Sakura Kanzume.)
I propose that Love at Sakura Dormitory is worth your time. If you try it out, do tell me what you think. Comment box is down there :)
Other Morita Yuki manga
Aside from Sakura Kanzume, Morita Yuki-sensei created Kimi to Issho!?, released here as Together With You (a Love is Everywhere manga), and Kare to Kanojo to Kanojo that m&c! serialized in Cherry mangazine as She, Between He and Me. She also contributed to Rabu Tomo, a Ciao anthology released 2011.02 in Japan. Her latest is the one-volume How to capture Mr. Sawatari ‘manual,’ Sawatari-san o Kouryaku suru Houhou (JP release: 2011.07).
Blaming herself for the accident that took away her family, Ria refuses to make friends and spends her days in prayer. In the time window when she actually has to go to school, Ria runs into class legends Renji, a renowned brawler, and playboy Kinzou. These two enemies promise to become Ria's champions!
Nik sez... Largely because of earlier Sugiyama Miwako standalones, I had (fairly) high expectations going into Love, Romance and the World. I shoulda examined volume 1's cover more intently. For while Renji and Kinzou are your Kyaaa~worthy bishies, Ria resembles nothing so much as a kodomo who blundered into a shoujo manga. I know, I know, I should actually read the d*mn thing before ranting, but Ria's chara design actively prevents me from doing so.
So, yes, I regret buying the first Indonesian Orera Kourin! because I suspect I won't finish it. Imma need major Guilt Tripping just to slog through the four Love, Romance and the World 1 chapters; the one-shot that closes the tank,
Lovely X Heaven, however, is a different story (no pun intended). That one (a flashback into Renji's past?) looks more like the expected Sugiyama Miwako that I can prolly be persuaded to read it.
Other Sugiyama Miwako manga
Before Love, Romance and the World, m&c! published Sugiyama Miwako's Love Survival, Anta Nante Okotowari! (retitled Find a New Love!), Koishite Nanbo! or Love Chaser, Mitsuboshi Love Days or 3 Star Love Days and Royal Green. All
jebolan ChuChu, the early teen girls' mangazine Shogakukan shut down in October 2009.
I don't know if m&c! ever licensed Ai no Kotoba (serialized in ChuChu; JP tankou release: 2007.05), but for sure we can still look forward to
Usotsuki Kusuriyubi in which
Niko trades rings...with a boy who says he'll never love anyone (Sho-Comi; bound in tankou: 2010.08).
Her current Sho-Comi serial is Hana ni Kedamono. Three
I'm sorry I fell in love with a ‘beast’ volumes have been compiled by 26 July 2011.
Sugiyama Miwako-sensei also contributed to the Cosupure Men's Picture Book, along with Minase Ai, Kumagai Kyoko (creator of Sky Blue Ageha) and Mitsuki Miko (Miracle Blue, originally Aoi Kiseki). The
Otoko moe! artbook released 2010.12 in Japan.
When the moon appears, Myong-i's and Yu-da's eyes turn red. Literally. Apparently the girl and boy are Earth rabbits on the run from shape-shifter foxes. Yu-da is captured, his memories erased. Can Myong-i save Yu-da from ending up the foxes' eternal life elixir?
I can add from Yen Press' Moon Boy synopsis that Myung-Ee actually loses track of Yu-Da and only re-encounters the boy she'd dismissed in grade school as
Too short! Too young! in high school, where he is the class secretary and hangs out with the student council/the predatory fox clan.
Nik sez... I really don't get the Moon Fighters seemingly universal appeal. Wolyoil Sonyeon was licensed in English first by Ice Kunion which released three Moon Boy volumes before folding; Yen Press absorbed IK and concluded the series. The French Le Garçon de la lune published by Editions Clair de Lune wrapped last May. And naw~ m&c! brings it to Indonesia. The manhwa is also licensed for Japan by Enterbrain, but as it has only released two Getsuyoubi Shounen volumes as at March 2010, perhaps Enterbrain agrees with me and decided to drop the series :P
For the record, my Top Hated manhwa, Kill Me, Kiss Me, was also by Lee YoungYou.
Other Lee YoungYou manhwa
Aside from nine-volume Wolyoil Sonyeon and the five volumes too many Kill me, Kiss me, Lee YoungYou is credited with In the Flower Garden (released in Korea 2003.01) and 3×three-volume series Bombom (concluded 2003.10; published by TOKYOPOP as Priceless), Shooting Star, in which
the main character joins popular all-boys singer group ‘moon’ (volume 3 per 2005.02) and Wonder Land (three volumes by 2006.04).
Her current series in Haksan's Party is Siesta (volume 3 as at 2011.06).
Uchi no Pochi no Iukoto niwa
© Tachibana Yutaka
Hakusensha [LaLa DX]
Published in Indonesia as
My Dearest Pochi
Pochi is a dog? No, Pochi is what Takatsuki heiress Kaori calls her bodyguard, Inui Haruka. Haruka is a scion of a clan that has served the Takatsuki family for generations. Why are the Inuis so faithful to the Takatsukis?
Perhaps that Japanese medieval castle the Takatsukis own has something to do with it? In any case, this is the beginning of Kaori's story with her dearest Pochi.
Nik sez... This is a 7.75 of 10.
MayzMeow-san was right in suspecting that this series promises not only complicated Tachibana Yutaka plotting, but also mountains of angst (the manga-ka confirms by describing Pochi and Kaori's story
tragic). Dark forebodings (with a distinctly cadaverous bouquet) and Pochi's restraint and control of his master (yes, not the other way around) propel the story with pedal-to-the-metal speed. How does Naive Female Lead Kaori feel about Pochi and what are her ‘guard dog’ Pochi's true feelings? Beyond
Give me back my Hime-sama!, that is? Getting past The Tease, finding out the answers constitute the appeal of Uchi no Pochi no Iukoto niwa, My Dearest Pochi's original title. And as the manga continues to serialize in LaLa DX (three volumes in Japan per February 2011), we're in for an emotional rollercoaster.
If it's any consolation, the expected harrowing ride is mitigated by Pochi/Haruka's off-the-charts bishieness. Yes, he looks moar droolicious than any other Tachibana Yutaka hero to date. (Actually, all the Inui males are bishieful, but Haruka is the fairest bishounen of them all.)
But really, the
I'm in love with the Virgin Mary Honey is so popular that Hakusesha will commence its bunko release this 15th of September (volumes 1 and 2 sked).
Tachibana Yutaka's backlist also includes the Above-the-Cut mentioned Kana, Kamo. or Love Me, Love Me Not; Gaccha Gacha (that m&c! Love Me or Not still has one more volume to go); Momoko Manual; and My Client and Me (Goshujin-sama to Atashi).
To m&c! I submit this wishlist for Tachibana Yutaka's Night Puppeteer fantasy Ningyoushi no Yoru (three bunkoban rerelease between 2007.01 and 2007.05) and Moshikashite Vampire (five bunkoban rerelease between 2003.12 and 2005.09).
Surprisingly, Tachibana Yutaka-sensei has a seinen manga — Datte Ai Damon (Jet Comics: 2001.05). The shoujo Fairy Master is vintage 1999.06; Watanabe-san Chi no Ikkagen is marked
Ongoing by Baka-Updates Manga; since volume 1 released 1998.06, prolly on hiatus? The two-volume Toki no Seijuu concluded 1994.11; Fuyu no Kiba was published in Japan 1993.08, Hot Step in 1993.02. Hajimari no Jumon, sequel to 1991.01-issued Youki ni Kaanibaru Naito, released 1992.02.
Sixteen-year-old Hanamura Azusa is caught in a compromising position by her new neighbor Himemiya Natsuki. Natsuki is a rising star, proficient in acting, skilled in sports, beautiful — IOW, perfect in every way. So what is Mr. Perfect doing dating Azusa (and exposing her to paparazzi predations)? More to the point, what happens when a hawt young idol falls in lurve?
Nik sez... This is a 6 of 10.
Because this “compromising position” that Azusa found herself in—OK, I won't spoil, but I will say that it wasn't that bad in the overall scheme of things. (It's only egregious in the shoujo-verse.) Himemiya Natsuki is as Koi ni Ochita Kanpeki-kun—hypes, but his emotions don't ring true and as such, he remains superficial. The title namer
Perfect Boy Falls in Love (three and a half chapters) and its sequel
Perfect Boy - The After only earn a collective 6 of 10 from me; the other two one-shots—
The Secret Night Boy and
Heart's Ruler—fare better, netting a 6.25 and 6.5 respectively.
All in all, read Perfect Boy Falls in Love only if you have nothing better queued up.
Other Shiumi Saki manga
Most recently, m&c! published Koigokoro Kyoumeichuu: The Resonance of Love as When Love is Blooming. Lina-chan rates the the third of Shiumi Saki's
The Blankity-Blank-Blank of Love series a 7 of 10 read and suggests it as a Borrow. Naturally, m&c! also published prequels Koigokoro Senpukuchuu: The Latency Period of Love (as When Love is Hiding; the first in the series) and Koigokoro Koushinchuu: The Evolution of Love (as When Love is Growing).
Other standalones that m&c! licensed: Let's Akumateku Kyoushitsu (retitled My Devilish Love), Kanchigai Musume to Buchigire Ouji AKA Misunderstand Girl and Angry Prince, Rival wa Koibito (My Rival is My Love), Jun'ai Junkie (Pure Love Junky), Koi wa Himitsu Kichi (Secret Love) and Elite-sama Koi Shiyou (Secret Hope).
Shiumi Saki-sensei also contributed a one-shot to the Sho-Comi Pink Label (smut) anthology, Love & Beast (2004 vintage) that most likely was not, will never be licensed here. So we're only waiting on the Pretend Lover Rival mo Raku ja nai (JP release: 2010.09).
The millennium flower... My one thought before dying...I want to present you with that legendary bloom.
Princess Aki is driven out of her home, the Akoku kingdom, after her mother dies from assassin poison. Aki returns to her mother's homeland Koukoku accompanied only by Hakusei, the slave she freed when she was a child. But when the flames of war ignite, Hakusei has to advance to the frontline to protect his princess.
Nik sez... Flower of Queen 2 ends on such an evil cliffie that I can only hope m&c! doesn't take another year to release the third volume. In m&c!'s defense, the one year, five months it required to bring us volume 2 doesn't compare with the almost two-year gap between Jouou no Hana 1 (JP release: 2008.08) and 2 (2010.07). Wait times and cliffie aside, the second Flower of Queen is made of Win and thus rates a 9 of 10 ♡. Why? Read it for yourself ^^ (Hint: Hakusei!!)
Hojo's constant irascibility makes Arim doubt whether she truly likes him. Conversely, seeing Arim's all-out effort to reach her dream makes Hojo remember his own.
Other 15 August 2011 highlights
- Pudding in Love 3 by Shinozuka Hiromu: Youkai buster Karama shows up! Rina and friends agree to free the spirits Karama seals, little realizing that the phantoms are more terrible than they imagined!
- Seiyuu-Ka! Lovely Voice 3 by Minami Maki: Hime is on her way to realizing her seiyuu dreams—or is she? For some strange reason, she can't act as princely as her role demands, so producer/trainer Yamada orders her to join a training camp with the duo Aqua. During her training, Hime is forbidden from using any voice other than the prince's. What kind of Hell Training is Hime in for now?
Still not enuf? Here are the other 15 August 2011 manga
Elex Media: Detektif Conan 63 · Arsène Lupin 3 · Kekkaishi 8 · Welcome to Host Detective Agency 4 ·l Here is Greenwood Deluxe 4 · Otoboke Section Chief 13 · RAVE - Plue's Dog Diaries 2 · BECK 26 · My First Mr. Akuno 5 · Witch Hunter 3 · Crayon Shinchan 8 · Casting 3 · A Tale of the Cat Painter 1 by Nagao Maru · Doraemon Movie: The Doraemons - Operasi Besar Serangga Bersemi by Fujiko F. Fujio · Nakayoshi Gress! 8/2011
Level Comics: GTO 4 · Bloody Monday 5 · Psychometrist Eiji 23 · Eternal Sabbath 5 · Giant Killing 6 · Half an Apple 13 · Kyoko Karasuma's Case Files 7 · Brave Story 5 · Arms 22 of 22 · Lucky Luke - Calamity Jane · Rantanplan - Si Anjing Penjara
Iamque opus exegi,
~niki DBA 30uɐlnɯɐnɥ (花木蘭03)
Mistress of Adoxography who also wishes you
Merdeka! Happy Independence Day!
Cover images and source summaries used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.