Castle Mango

When I read the description about this manga, I must say I had some prejudices and I really didn’t expect it to be the way it is. When I read love hotel, shooting AV’s and pants suddenly removed, I kinda thought that we will have a “typical bully”, who “can’t help it and can’t control himself” and a “poor, little and confused” lamb, who knows nothing about anything and just accepts thing and let’s being pushed around. Yet, there’s more there and I’m glad I gave it a shot.

There are two main characters, Yorozu and Togame. Yorozu is a very responsible and serious high school boy. A boy that, because of his family circumstances, doesn’t know how to relax and be just a boy or depend on adults.

Because of the lack of his experience, which growing up and dealing with different things brings, he will misunderstand a situation between Togame and his younger brother Satoru, which will lead to other things and actions he will do, which just show that he’s still a kid.

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What I liked about his is that he really supports his family, how capable he is and that he doesn’t hide the fact that he lives in a “love hotel”, even though many people would think it’s so shameful. There’s a good reason for it and it’s enough that he knows it. On the other hand, it helped him decide what he wants to do in the future.

Togame, on the other hand, is a director of pretty popular AV’s. He does that for living but he doesn’t stop there and he also has his dreams. I like it how he treats Satoru and how, later on, he will try to help Yorozu because he understands that kids shouldn’t go through hardships like that. The more I knew about him, the more I liked him and the way he reacts and deals with things. He sure has his flaws too, yet it made him feel more “real” and human.

I liked the relationship that will develop between him and Yorozu and how it develops slowly and steady and without rushing anything. His coworkers are pretty interesting and nice too, and it was nice to see how they care for him and support him.

This manga was written by Konohara Narise and art was drawn by Ogura Muku. It is the right manga for you if you look for a deeper story, yet if you are more interested in love scenes, then you’d be a bit disappointed.

 

Lonely to Organdy

It’s a story about Haruto, who left his parental home because he didn’t want to continue family business but try to be a singer and songwriter. After a failed attempt of singing on the street, he stopped playing music and just passed his days working, eating, sleeping and watching dramas on TV.

One day, he got involved in an accident, when his life flashed in front of his eyes and when he thought of the fact that he will die and wont do the things he planned on doing, when he came there. Yet, he survived and from that moment on he was able to see Akira, the ghost that was haunting him.

That was a start of a really nice friendship. They would pass days and nights together, enjoying each others company. Haruto will learn things about Akira, where is he from, how and because he died, what he felt then and while being a ghost. Akira brought light in Haruto’s lonely life, but Haruto helped him feel less lonely too. He will support him to start over with his music and go towards the goal he had.Β 

This short manga, written by Ogeretsu Tanaka, was unexpectedly warm, sad and easy to read. It shows that we don’t need much to be happy, if we are lucky enough to encounter with special people in the time of our greatest need (many times especial for us only).Β 

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior)

This is a story about Kazunari Usa, calm and nice boy who will start living alone because his parents are working in a different area. He was excited about starting to live in a Kawai complex boarding house, since he thought he will finally lead a calm and “boring” life, completely different from the life while he was having with his parents. Yet, what he didn’t expect was to find a house full of eccentric tenants πŸ™‚

The people that live in Kawai complex are really different from Usa. Shirosaki (Usa’s roommate), is a blond guy with pony tail, a huge masochist and a bit of a pervert. Nikishino Mayumi is an office lady with huge boobs, almost an alcoholic and the oldest of them all. She seems to dislike seeing other people happy and tries to mess with other people’s happiness.

Watanabe Sayaka is a college student who’s cute and looks innocent yet she’s not like that at all (this is how she looks like when she doesn’t like what’s going on πŸ™‚ )

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And last, Kawai Ritsu is a really cute and shy bookworm, Usa’s senpai and the main reason he stayed there. She reads all the time, even when she’s walking towards school or home.

There’s also Kawai Sumiko, a manager of Kawai complex, a nice and cheerful old lady that can be really scary when she thinks that someone isn’t behaving well and according to the rules.

I really enjoyed watching this anime. I enjoyed watching Usa, who’s desperately trying to get closer to Ritsu, who’s such a nice person, who cares and helps everyone and has an amazing ability to get along with all types of people. He’s funny and his reactions are funny, especially when he get teased by Mayumi and Sayaka. He is easily pleased and gets happy with the smallest nice things that happen to him.

Ritsu is such a cute girl, a bit misunderstood, especially when people think that she’s boring and likes to be alone. She really enjoys reading and it’s amazing to see how she gets into what interests her and everything else doesn’t seem to exist. Usa will try hard to get close to her and, even though sometimes it seems to him that the distance between them is getting bigger instead of smaller, in the end I think he really got to know her and understand her well.

Shirosaki is considered a pervert and a masochist, yet he shows such a nice and a bit unexpected side of him when she tries to please a kid called Chinatsu that came to visit their complex when she felt alone because she was in a fight with her friends. He can build such great things and has good skills in dealing with children.

The quarrels between Mayumi and Sayaka never get old. It’s so funny to see how they insult/tease each other and the rest of the tenants. Sayaka also seduces men like it’s some kind of sport for her and Mayumi loves to “ruin” other people’s happiness although I don’t think she’s a mean or a bad person. Her sarcasm and the way of teasing are hilarious.

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I think it’s an interesting and funny anime to watch. It reminded me, in a way, of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, although it wasn’t as funny. Still, it’s a nice watch.

 

NHK ni Youkoso! (Welcome to the NHK)

When I started watching this anime, I didn’t have any specific expectations. It has a good score on MAL, but still I don’t pay attention to the score so much, because it’s not like I will like that anime just because it has a high score, or the opposite. I was interested in the story itself, I wanted to see what they will tell about a 22 year old college dropout Tatsuhiro Satou, who has isolated himself for 4 years and who became a hikikomori (reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement). This is an ongoing problem, not only in Japan but in other countries too (although maybe not as much as in Japan). I wanted to see if Tatsuhiro will manage to escape from “claws” of hikikomori and return to “normal” life.

What I didn’t expect is that he will believe in such a weird conspiracy theories, many of which don’t make any sense (his senpai isn’t any better, he probably got all those ideas from her). The beginning of the anime is quiet weird, in my opinion. But, Satou sure has a very vivid imagination πŸ˜€ He’s funny, he’s crazy, he’s really special, in his own way πŸ™‚

Besides him, there is Yamazaki Kaoru, the boy who he “helped” while he was in high school, an unusual person who seems to have a lot of talent for making games, but still a bit of a shut-in who has problems with his family. He seems to provoke people to bully him. I find him as funny and interesting as Satou.

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Then, we have Misaki Nakahara, a girl that is thinking that she can help Tatsuhiro to overcome his state of hikikomori. She was very patient while she was trying to persuade Satou to let her help him and sign a contract and she seemed like she knows what she’s doing. After the first session with Satou, she seemed quiet inexperienced and kinda funny while trying to use Froid’s analysis on him and thinking that Satou doesn’t even know who Froid is πŸ™‚ But after you get to see just how clever of the girl she is and how she deals with Satou πŸ˜€ How time passes by, you’ll get to understand the real reason why she was helping Satou and that she needed him as much as he needed her. This is how he saw her, after the initial meeting…

It’s so funny to see the fantastic lies Satou comes up just to “prove” that he isn’t a hikikomori. He started by lying to Yamazaki, Misaki, then he even lied his mother in a such spectacular way (for her not to drag him back home)… But, in time, he will accept the state he’s in. The more I watched, the more I liked Satou. You get to know him better, understand his situation and how he got where he got. You’ll see that he has a really great mother, you’ll see how he will become good friends with Yamazaki and you will laugh at many funny moments they encounter.

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On the other hand, you’ll see how they will deal with some very serious occurrences, how Satou will be kinda dragged into some very serious situation, just because he was misunderstood. And how he isn’t powerful enough to fight it and get himself out of it. This anime really makes you think, it’s way more than ranting of some lunatic about conspiracies in this world. It’s something that can happen to anyone, at any time, especially if you are a bit of aΒ  “mentally weak” state and prone to suggestions.

If you give it a try, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy this anime. The opening song is just great and, after hearing the other song that Yamazaki likes a lot (“Puru puru pururin” song), it will for sure stick in your head πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Film girl

It’s a story about Nakamura Mei, a girl that was a model as a child. She had a trauma where she heard that she doesn’t have any talent so she quit and from then on she tried to be as plain and invisible as she can (I don’t know why she would go to that extreme but ok).

One day Shirou sees her. He’s been her fan ever since he was 12 years old and saw her in a magazine. From that time on, he tried his best to become a model and meet her someday. He shows a lot of funny faces in this manga, I found him pretty entertaining πŸ™‚

 

There are a lot of cliches in this manga, one of them being that Mei wants to do her best and shines for Shirou, and not for herself. I do understand that lack of confidence and a trauma are a big problem, and that his help was something that she really needed, but then doing everything to make someone else happy and proud, is a bit too much.

Still, I like how the relationship between them will grow and be more mutual than in the beginning. I like how they look like on photo shoot together.

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Also, I didn’t think it will end how it ended, but for me it was a good ending, where it showed that they grew and they know better what the want to do with their life and career. There are some really funny situations to, so it’s a fast and quiet enjoyable read. It was written by Takagi Shigeyoshi.

Hybrid child

A hybrid child is a toy for middle aged, rich men. Depending on how much affection and attention they get from their owner, they grow and develop. Hazuki was found by Kotarou, when he was a boy. Kotarou is an heir of Izumi family, a very old family. He was the third person who took Hazuki in. The others at the house tried to get rid of him a couple of times but Kotarou didn’t let it.

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But, after a few years passed, one day Hazuki just collapsed. Kotarou took him to Kuroda, the creator of hybrid children. Kuroda was surprised to see that Hazuki is a part of first models that were released. He told Kotarou that there is no way of fixing Hazuki and that he is rotting from inside out. After Kotarou complaining a lot, Kuroda told him that he needs to find and bring him the moon droplet. It was touching to read how Kotarou was trying to find it and how desperate he was to try and save his friend. Hazuki, on the other hand, was full of love for Kotarou and he was more worried about Kotarou and how he will continue with his life, since he is pretty useless, than about his own dying.

Second story is about Ichi Seya and his doll Yuzu. Ichi is a beautiful man, that often sits in the garden with a painful look on his face. And Yuzu wants to grow taller and mature faster, because he wants to help and support Ichi-sama. A lot will happen and Yuzu will find out why is Ichi-sama like that, after an attack on him occurs and Ichi-sama becomes blind. Even when Ichi-sama decided to send him back to Kuroda, so he can find him a better owner, Yuzu declined and said that he wants to stay with him and support him.

There is one more story. The last one was really touching and painful to read. This manga was written by Nakamura Shungiku, the mangaka who also did Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi.

What I liked about them is that these hybrid children weren’t used for their “original” purpose, to satisfy some perverted desires of their owners but they are a real companion for their owners, someone to listen to them and support them in good as well in bad times. They are more than just a mere dolls. The only strange thing was the time when the stories took place. Warriors in a time of Shogunate and dolls that can grow up and learn to speak kinda don’t go one with another.

Boku to Kanojo no XXX (My barbaric girlfriend)

This manga is a story about Akira Uehara, cute and extremely shy boy, who is in love with Nanako Momoi. They are a complete opposite. He is very gentle and nice, has good grades and cares about people.

And she is very cute but the moment she opens her mouth, the illusion ends. She is violent, rude and quiet obnoxious. But, after the accident in Nanako’s house, which involved him and Nanako, her crazy mad scientist of a grandfather switched their bodies.

That’s when the nightmare for Uehara starts. Seeing how the girl he loves treats his own body and family, and how she threatens him that she will do this and that if he does something with her body (although she does the same with his) is kinda annoying.

Her grandfather is a weirdo, who will exploit the fact that Uehara is nice and tidy and likes to cook. He will watch how Nanako falls in love with her best friend and starts dating her, despite the fact that she’s a girl in a boy’s body.

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To make the things even worse, his best friend (Senbongi Shinnosuke) will fall in love with him, even though he realized that it’s Akira in Nanako’s body. I felt bad for Uehara, he is so exploited and used just because he is such a gentle soul.

There is no rule that guys should be “manly”, where being manly is considered being rude, violent, dirty and you should pick your nose all the time. Nanako is pretty obnoxious, both in her girl and boy form. It’s just that somehow that type of behavior is acceptable if you’re a boy, and it isn’t if you’re a girl.

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Anyway, it was entertaining to read it, although not all the time. I didn’t like the end, it didn’t make sense and I personally don’t agree with the development it took.

Bitou Lollipop

This was really an unexpectedly interesting manga, full of feelings and drama, yet not too exaggerated. What you can read in a description about it, doesn’t tell much. Only that it’s a story about Gotou Madoka, whose parents like to gamble and who finished only a high school and belonged to a gang, won a lottery ticket. She will be very unhappy about it, since it will change her life from the core.

Suddenly, her parents will decide to pursue their dream of becoming a doctor and she will be left alone, to live with an unknown family, where they didn’t care much about her, especially the lady of the house, who looked down on her because she had poor upbringing and lack of education. She will even go to that extent to never invite her in her house and to forbid her to socialize with her son Asagi Tomoyo.

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Meeting Tomoyo, even though it didn’t go so smoothly in the beginning, was something that saved her. She didn’t get used to be alone and she liked his company. He, on the other hand, really disliked girls because of his over possessive and over protective mother. Yet Madoka was like a fresh air to him, someone who showed him that girls can be different, that you can smile with them and relax near them and have a great time. But, also they can make you cry.

 

Once you accept that Madoka is loud, speaks her mind freely, shows her emotions and is like a hurricane that came into your life, it’s very easy to start loving her, like a very dear friend or as a lover. She deals with her problems head on, but sometimes she can realize some things pretty slow (although she realizes other things pretty fast). You can confide in her and rely on her at any time.

Her relationship with Ono (a classmate) will have an usual start, she will attract him to speak to her because she wasn’t really interested in him, but when she got, she noticed many things about him that others just didn’t. Like Tomoyo, he will realize that he can relax and be himself around her. That’s a treat that isn’t easily found in someone.

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Many things will happen, many nice moments, sad ones too. You will see a lot of tears, missed opportunities or just bad timings, yet you will enjoy reading it and for sure you will choose someone to cheer for.

The creator of this manga is Iketani Rikako.

Megami no Libra

Before I started reading this manga, written by Sakou Watari, I was pretty excited. The art really looked good, and after reading the synopsis, I got interested in it. What you can read in it is that this is a story about Yuuki Tsumire and her life after her mother passed because of an illness. Her mother taught her to fight all the troubles, that life brings, with a smile on her face. She will do exactly that, after moving into the house of her relatives, who are rich and cold and who disowned her kindhearted mother when she became pregnant.

Now, I was never a fan of naive, weak and maybe a bit stupid heroine that you can find in so many manga. This one is no exception. Tsumire is just that but, when you think a bit more profound about her situation, you cannot not feel a bit bad for her. No one should ever stay without any parents/siblings and be alone. Her small world, that was consistent of her and her mother, and a few friends, suddenly crumbled by her mother’s death.

But that wasn’t the only thing that happens. She will get to know her mother’s family and the reason why she never knew about them. Suddenly, she will be a part of a rich family, where they accepted her but yet none of them like her. She’s alone in a huge house, she has to change a school and, without even knowing, she will become a means for various people to achieve they goals and their dreams, where Tsumire’s life and wish make no part.

The worst is, she will instantly fall in love with the first person who shows her a little bit of kindness (like a 16 years old orphan doesn’t deserve any), where she will, in order to “save” that person, no matter what, even accept a miai. She will throw away all of her future, and enter the arranged marriage they prepared for her, only because she wants to be next that person and because she thinks it’s the right way and the only thing she can do (and what about thinking of yourself and your whole life that comes and that will be changed by that foolish decision?) She’s just a lost lamb between the wolves, which has no experience to fight back, no means either, with a real need of a guardian who has only her interest in his/her mind.

Still, I do find her annoying, with her curiosity and wish to meddle in so many situations where she shouldn’t. She is bothersome and makes you think didn’t she learn from her mother to act properly/normal (although normal is different for different people). Not to mention, she will do something that her mother never would. I didn’t like the development of Tsumire’s character, which went from “I am naive and all I can do is blush because of my crush” through “now I have so many “wise” thinks to say” to “I can do everything, I’m a business woman at age of 20”.

The guy she likes…he’s supposed to be an adult and do his job. He saw how she felt but did nothing about it. He even played her little game. Then suddenly, he is having some second thoughts but even then, it isn’t something clear and defined but something half baked that puts her in even worse position.

I was pleasantly surprised by the attitude of her miai partner. He was an egoist and only thinking of himself, because of some personal reasons, but he really changed into a very reasonable person, who will really support Tsumire.

A part from very nice art, this manga didn’t make me enjoy it much. It’s really predictable and full of clichΓ©s.

Sorenari ni Shinken Nan desu. (Only Serious About You)

This isn’t the first time that I was reading a manga where a gay couple takes care of a child together, still it was a nice story. This is a story about Oosawa Naoki, one really hard working man who, while trying to make money for his family, kinda “forgot” that he should spend some time with them too. As a result, his wife left him and their daughter, after saying that she is tired of being at home alone and taking care of their daughter Chizu. Now Naoki is trying to mingle between taking care of Chizu and working all day long as a chef in one restaurant.

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From the restaurant, he got to know a pretty handsome man called Yoshioka Seiichi. Yoshioka is a person who changes his partners often, falls in and out of love and is open about the fact that he is gay. He constantly makes advances on Oosawa, even though he knows Naoki is straight. But it’s almost like some type of “ritual” Yoshioka does.

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Their relationship will slowly start to change, after the time when Oosawa will really be in need because of Chizu and when Yoshioka will help him out, even though Naoki never expected something like that from him.

Now, there are a lot of events that are nothing new you didn’t read before in one yaoi manga, but what I liked about this particular one is mentioning some things from real life. What I mean is, how you can have prejudice about someone, just because the way they act, but they can surprise you in a positive way and change your way of seeing them. How, even when you are a grown up and you think you know yourself well, you learn new things and you try to change, although it isn’t easy. How you learn that being someone’s partner is way more than just being married to them. Also, families can be “unusual” but they can be nice and warming and contained of happy people.

I am sure you will enjoy this manga, written by Asou Kai.

P.s. After reading this manga, I was excited to read also Yachin Hanbun no Ibasho desu. (A Place for Half a Rent), which is a parent story. But, it wasn’t as enjoyable as the first one.