Recommendations – Spring update

It’s been a while since I updated my recommendations! I’m going to start aiming for at least quarterly updates, so while it may not include all the best anime from the previous season, it’ll give you a better idea of what I’ve been reading and watching lately.

In this:
Beauty is the Beast
Fruits Basket (manga update)
Dawn of the Arcana
Complex Age
In This Corner of the World
Flip Flappers
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Fushigi Yugi (yes, really!)

Beauty is the Beast

When Eimi Yamashita’s parents move abroad for work, she decides to go live in her school’s dorm. Her quirky, off-beat personality and carefree nature quickly endear her to her dormmates, as well as some of the residents of the boys’ dorm. She finds herself most drawn to Wanibuchi, a young man with a dangerous reputation.

Beauty is the Beast makes an interesting addition to the army of shoujo manga centered around a troubled bad boy. Viz’s copy makes it sound like a romantic melodrama, but it’s much closer to a slice-of-life comedy with some sprinkling of drama. Mangaka Tomo Matsumoto draws on her own experiences from living in a dorm, using them as a source for characters and plot threads, giving it a gentle, grounded atmosphere. I don’t know if Eimi is based on reality – she’s a bit too airheaded and strange to feel quite real. Wanibuchi, on the other hand, is indeed a troubled bad boy, but in a much more believable way than most of his ilk. His anger is justified, and his sense of alienation as a returnee comes across keenly. He never turns his anger against Eimi, nor does the narrative put pressure on her to “fix” him. It’s a light, pleasant read with enough darker undertones to make it compelling. Unfortunately, it ends quite abruptly – I suspect it was cancelled in its original run. It’s a shame, because I would have loved to read more.

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Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 21

This Week
Boys Over Flowers vol. 19
Dengeki Daisy vol. 12
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 11
The Earl and the Fairy vol. 3
Flower in a Storm vol. 2

Where’s the josei?

It’s time to answer yet another question absolutely nobody has asked!

As I go through the Shojo Beat catalog (which has many good titles I’m looking forward to reading), there’s been a few that I’ve skipped even though they are available. I chose not to cover series like Crown of Love and Everyone’s Getting Married, nor will I be reading Nana or Honey and Clover. These are all great series that I enjoy, but they’re josei rather than shoujo, i.e. series aimed at an adult female audience rather than a teenage audience.

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Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 20

This Week
Boys Over Flowers vol. 18
Dengeki Daisy vol. 11
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 10
The Earl and the Fairy vol. 2
Flower in a Storm vol. 1

Spring 2017 Shoujo

As I said last week, this coming season brings an unprecedented eleven shows clearly and explicitly aimed at a female audience, not counting shows that could go either way or appear to be aimed at a general audience. I’ve been eyeing the databases, looking over what shows I’m anticipating most. I don’t have the best track record for keeping up with current anime – I still have one episode each of Sakura Quest and Code: Realize to watch – but I’m still eager and excited to see female viewership being explicitly marketed to. What are these shows?

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 20”

Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers Week 19

This Week:
Boys Over Flowers vol. 17
Dengeki Daisy vol. 10
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 9
The Earl and the Fairy vol. 1

The spring anime season fast approaches and with it comes an avalanche of female-oriented new series. Looking at the spring chart, I counted no fewer than 11 series unambiguously aimed at women and girls, which is unprecedented for as long as I can remember. Not all of them appeal to me, and some of them will probably even be bad. But in a landscape where we get this much variety, it doesn’t feel like just one or two series have to represent your entire marketing demographic on their own. It’s okay for some of them to be bad, because you can easily find something else that appeals to you more.

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers Week 19”