Monday, 17 November 2014

Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji

Author & Artist: Hatta Ayuko

Hatta Ayuko strikes the funny cord spot on, yet again! I have loved all her short works so far, every one of them packed a hilarious punch. So I was naturally excited at the prospect of reading this long series. And she exceeded my expectations by dishing out a very unique male lead who totally breaks the norm of the usual shoujo manga heroes. The lead guy, Kyouya, might come across as cold & mean initially, but it takes quite a few chapters for his character to grow on you and realise that rather than being a jerk, he's just an extremely straight-forward & brutally honest guy who appreciates frank communication about expectations rather than playing guessing games. And I love his sarcastic streak because I'm the same; he'd be my ideal verbal-sparring partner. Personal fantasies apart, this manga makes for a very light and funny read about a lead pair which is poles apart in character; as the title suggests- a dashing tsundere with a penchant for cute puppies bumps into a clumsy girl prone to canine histrionics and horns lock, sparks fly and we get a hilarious psychological play of S-&-M out of the mix.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Ai wo Chodai

Author & Artist: Ooya Kazumi
Rating: 9/10
Tags: Showbiz, conservative megane male lead, strong female lead
A light, funny read with no drama. Moreover, it was refreshing to see a hot, conservative, megane male lead as a stand-up comedian onscreen and a hot-tempered, straight-forward guy offscreen. To top that, he keeps away from women, because he was raped by a desperate girl in middle school. lol

Aniki wa Tsunayoshi

Author & Artist: Hayashida Chihiro
Rating: 7.5/10
Tags: Step-siblings, sensei-student, live-in
A good read with fairly balanced drama. Reminded me of Eden no Hana & Sugar family. The course of the story is pretty predictable yet addictive.

Bitter Virgin

Author & Artist: Kusunoki Kei
Rating: 10/10
Tags: Parental abuse
A mind-blowing, unputdownable read! Stuff worth spending a sleepless night over! Well, it's not like I decided to sacrifice my slumber; it's just that I lost my bearings in this sheer awesomeness. A very realistic story, revolving around genuine characters. I gathered from the forums that many were unhappy about the ending, but I beg to differ. I felt that the ending couldn't have been more fitting because it stays consistent with the genuineness of the story. The couple is young and it's their way of 'beginning' things with a reality check, as in, facing all the future hurdles, while wishing that things work out the best for the other and hoping to be the one who makes it the best.

Cinderella Fella

Author & Artist: Kim Hee Kyoung
Rating: 9/10
Tags: genius beautiful female lead, student council president and heir
He is the heir to a leading business enterprise, but having led most of his life in poverty, he just can't shake off the urge to wipe & clean any speck of dirt in sight or avoid wasteful expenditure.
She is a genius with high IQ level, ostracized by her peers because of her eccentric ways of pursuing knowledge & books and unaware of the gorgeous looks hidden beneath her neglected self and spectacles. All in all, awesome protagonists and a good story. Don't miss it!

Coelacanth

Author & Artist: Shimotsuki Kayoko
Rating: 9/10
Tags: Murder mystery, cool female lead, mysterious male lead
A very well-crafted & gripping mystery. A current murder case and a suicide that took place 10 years- what could two seemingly unconnected incidents reveal if one delves deeper into the matter? It gets more engaging with every chapter as the mystery gradually unfolds and I just enjoyed the process of assembling this jigsaw puzzle of a mystery!

Cynical Orange

Author & Artist: Yoon Ji Un
Rating: 10/10
Tags: Gorgeous female lead, bullying, playboy
Mind-blowing stuff! A great plot involving characters with amazing level of depth and brilliant sarcastic humour. The story gets more and more intricate with every chapter and each character leaves his/her mark on your mind. Seriously, cynicism at it's best!

Eden no Hana

Author & Artist: Suetsugu Yuki
Rating: 8/10
Tags: Siblings, living together, strong intelligent female lead, abuse, bullying
From the mangaka of Chihayafuru, this is one of the best and most addictive dramas I've read. I loved how the female lead grows stronger as the story progresses. A love-triangle, where the other guy is as awesome as the male lead. I mean, in every manga, the lead guy is shown to be either way better or even a notch above, however good the other guy is. This is the second one (other one being Yumemiru Taiyou) where I couldn't pick between the two guys.

Heaven's Door

Author & Artist: Hongou Ranko
Rating: 7/10
Tags: Inevitable death, patients, hospital
A tragedy with a comic twist. Two strangers, who are about to die soon, bump into each other. Sick of the monotonous hospital ward life, they decide to enjoy their remaining moments to the hilt. Reminded me of the flick, the bucket list.

Honey Mustard

Author & Artist: Yeo Hyo-Kyoung
Rating: 7/10
Tags: Beautiful girl, average guy, forced marriage
Why?! Why did they drop such a good manhwa?! Anyway, it's so good that I still recommend it. Some unforeseen circumstances force Ara and Young Woo into a wed-lock. How will they sail through it all?

Hoshi o Tsumu Donna

Author & Artist: Saitou Chiho
Rating: 5/10
Tags: Ballet dancing

This manga had tremendous potential but I wonder why it's closure was rushed. The story starts on a promising note but lacks in terms of character development. Moreover, the ending is abrupt and totally different from my expectation. Anyway, the art is captivating and vividly portrays the world of ballet dancing.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kisshou Tennyo

Author & Artist: Yoshida Akimi
Rating: 9/10
Tags: Brilliant mentally & physically strong female lead, playboy, mystery
What an excellent, intriguing plot, no wonder it's a Shogakukan award winner. The best female lead I've come across so far- she's better than the ones in private prince, last game, stroke material, anatolia story & normal city. In fact you could say that she's all of them combined together. She's strong, brilliant, unfazed, perceptive, cold, calculating & shrewd; one of a kind indeed!

Mo Hitori no Marionette

Author & Artist: Saitou Chiho
Rating: 6.5/10
Tags: Psychological, broadway, ballet, strong female lead
The manga is addictive yet lacking and shallow in terms of character development. One situation arises after another at at a breakneck speed and before you come to terms with one situation, another one crops up, without providing a proper closure to the previous scenario. Moreover, I was expecting character growth from this kind of manga but there is none whatsoever. Although the female lead is portrayed to be brilliant and mentally strong, she keeps messing up till the end, without pulling off an actual performance flawlessly. But the psychological factor made the story very engaging all along.

Nakanmon

Author & Artist: Tsukishima Haru
Rating: 8/10
Tags: Love triangle, crybaby yet a strong female lead, conservative male lead
One of my favourite love triangles, where the girl, despite being a crybaby grows stronger as the story progresses. After a playboy leads her on and ruthlessly rejects her, I thought that this manga would head the usual shoujo way where she goes through an unrequited love and finally ends up with the bad guy. But voila, this girl stomps her foot and says that she will make him absolutely regret his behaviour and he sure does suffer absolute hell. While she interacts and argues daily with her conservative, straightforward & out-spoken friend, their bond keeps deepening.

Perfect couple

Author & Artist: Yeo Ho-Kyoung
Rating: 8/10
Tags: Intelligent female writer, corporate guy, love-hate relationship
Highly recommended. What happens when two brilliant yet hot-headed people clash? Enjoy the bouts of mud-slinging between a corporate guy and a female writer.

Rich girl 120%

Author & Artist: Fujisaki Mao
Rating: 6.5/10
Tags: Strong female lead, male bodyguard
After her parents die in a car crash, Hinata is dragged into the politics of the elite Hyuga family and the quest for the inheritance her grandfather left for her. Having led a simple life with her eloped parents for 16 years, who can she trust in this world of treacherous relatives? And what were her grandfather's motives behind leaving a will with strange clauses? I loved the strong willed female lead.

Seiten Taisei

Author & Artist: Aihara Miki
Tags: Sensei-student, conservative male lead, strong female lead, basketball
Rating: 6/10
The story began on a very promising note and I was looking forward to see if the female manager really drives the guys' basketball team towards betterment. After a few chapters, the plot totally delved into a love triangle and personal lives. Don't let the 'sports' tag fool you, because the story hardly revolves around basketball. Although it didn't live up to my expectations from a sports manga, I enjoyed the drama and romance and it was very engaging.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Suki

Author: Clamp, Ohkawa Ageha
Artist: Nekoi Tsubaki
Rating: 7/10
Tags: Sensei-student, neighbours, mystery, intelligent female lead, conservative male lead
A slow-paced yet an intriguing, engaging and mysterious story. Overall, a nice read with a female lead exhibiting a rare combination of intelligence, cheerfulness and simplicity.

Suki ni natte mo Ii no

Author & Artist: Oota Saki
Rating: 5/10
Tags: Neighbours, widower, unrequited love, moustached male lead, secret writer
This story started on such an intriguing & funny note, with an unusual moustached male lead. Despite being an addictive read all along, it suddenly went downhill after a couple of chapters and left me with popped veins. I've run out of tables that I could flip over.

Switch (Mochizuki Karin)

Author & Artist: Mochizuki Karin
Rating: 9/10
Tags: Sensei-student, conservative male lead, intelligent shy female lead, no drama, no misunderstandings, no ex-gf/bf popping up.
An awesome, thought-provoking story with the most rational male and female protagonists I've ever seen. The character build-up, gradual plot development, and a relationship dealt with brains rather than hearts- they make this one of the most realistic mangas I've read so far.

Veins

Author & Artist: Shimotsuki Kayoko
Rating: 6/10
Tags: Sensei-student, music, violin
 A girl starts taking violin lessons from a creepy, non-chalant teacher with a photographic memory. He claims that he has a disease of "not forgetting" whatever his senses pick. No matter how much he tries to forget, his razor-sharp memory keeps building up against his will. The story turned out to be below my expectations but I still rate it 6/10 because of the concept.