Mangas For Girls – Recommendations

Manga: Nishiki-kun no Nasugamama
Author: Shiraishi Yuki
Chapters: 5
“Classic” shojo: cute & short. Loved the characters, the story is as simple as it gets. Worth the while.

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MangaMy Girl
Author: Sahara Mizu (aka Yumeka Sumomo)
Chapters: 10

My Girl is a story about happiness, sadness, loss; about being a parent, being a child, being old… In ten short chapters we follow a bitter-sweet story about a young man who finds out he has a five year old daughter. My Girl will make you sad, it’ll make you think life is unfair, and it’ll make you realize that life is beautiful if you know where to look and if you don’t give up.

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MangaYuru Koi
Author: Yoshino Aki
Chapters: 5

Yuru Koi covers three simple love stories. They’re not unrealistic, and there’s a reason for that double negative – you can imagine something like that happening, but still… The art is very good, smooth and clear,, however it lacks in the “disambiguation” department, a frequent ailment which comes to the fore when a manga has multiple stories about different characters – which end up looking the same and are hard to tell apart. There were some actual “tokidoki” and “awwwwwmoments in this one – which is why you really have to read it.

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Manga: Ike Ike! Sakura
Author: Nagae Tomomi
Chapters: 4

During this quest to find good and great mangas for girls, I’ve discovered a new mangaka to follow, Nagae Tomomi. Be sure to check her out. Ike Ike Sakura! is a story about a silly girl determined to get busy with Shuji, a guy she met on a train. Sakura is very good at saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing and getting herself in a world of confusion and trouble. Ike Ike Sakura! is surprisingly relatable, particularly for girls who know how difficult it is to say the right thing and be cool. Also, this is not shojo, it’s smutty josei.

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Manga: Happy Rush
Author: Nagae Tomomi
Chapters: 5

Happy Rush is a story about Natsumi, a girl  working as a real estate agent. This manga is a bit different, because even though Natsumi is crazy about Toujou, her superior, it’s not really about love but about her becoming good at what she does. It’s really funny and cute, as are most Nagae Tomomi’s mangas. Really loved it.

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Manga: Sora Log
Author: Mitsuki Kako
Chapters: 15

Here, we follow Hikaru, a weird girl who has a thing for sky, stars and Minato Asou. Hikaru is clumsy, but opinionated and ballsy – alltogether extremely likeable. Minato is not a bully, but he’s tall (mostly not dark) and mysterious, with a bad rep (a must!). As is the case in most Mitsuki Kako’s mangas, there is a bit of drama and misunderstanding in Sora Log, however these are not dragged out, unconvincing conflicts based on the idiocy of protagonists. The main conflict is a bit far-fetched, but it’s over in a jiffy so you end up willingly suspending your disbelief. All in all, I loved Sora Log as I have loved each and every manga spawned from Mitsuki Kako’s pen. It is beautiful and dynamic, cute and it induces involuntary grins.

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A pudding can go on a vacation, yet why can’t I?

Earlier I wrote about Josei Hell, and said I regretted nothing. Shuukatsu – Kimi ni Naitei is one of the reasons I think my trip into hell paid off.

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I hate to admit just how much I enjoyed this manga because it makes me feel immature and too girly to suit the self-image I have built over the years. Honestly, I adore this manga. It’s a perfect little love story about two university students. With real depth and emotion, it also comes with a decent story about growing up.

It’s sweet as hell, yet not so much as to give you cavities. It has all those clichés I hate to love, but with a twist that reminds me why I love them.

Shuukatsu – Kimi ni Naitei is a perfect tool to sweeten up your day and make you feel good, not to mention it poses some important questions. Read it for free.
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A/N: Please click the following link to find out how you can help thousands of people who lost their homes in the Balkan floods (May, 2014). Thank you!

Manhua in a Nutshell: The Other Side of the Mirror

The Other Side of the MirrorThe Other Side of the Mirror v01 c02 - 054 is a story about two people who got lost. Through unfortunate events their lives become connected and somehow they manage to find a way to keep going, with a chance of actually reaching happiness.

I decided to mention this manhua in a separate post because I found the art beautiful and slick (albeit somewhat western) and because the story was not happy-go-lucky and carefree, but rather dark and foreboding.

What The Other Side of the Mirror lacks is attention. Tackling shattered dreams, betrayal and salvation in another needs a bit more consideration in order to avoid looking botched. Additionally, eight chapters are cut up with unrelated stories which for me were not “extra” but a violent and unnecessary intrusion into the flow of the main story.

Not a bad read. Could be better.

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A/N: Please click the following link to find out how you can help thousands of people who lost their homes in the Balkan floods (May, 2014). Thank you!

Welcome to Josei Hell

Two weeks ago I have embarked upon a journey to ascertain the real difference between Shoujo and Josei manga. Shoujo is supposedly targeted at younger female audiences while Josei is intended for +18 female readers. I’ve read enough Shoujo mangas, and all I needed was several Josei titles. Looking through completed titles sorted by user ratings seemed a sure thing.  Having no problems in differentiating Seinen and Shounen, I thought that with a large enough sample it would take only a bit of time.
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Well, for starters, finding a readable Josei manga proved nearly impossible. Due to sheer idiocy of “plot”, stupid premise and lack of good art that might incite me to overlook said idiocy I’ve tried and failed at Hapi Mari, Gold, Aisuru Hito, Kimi no Sei (the list goes on but these are the titles I haven’t summarily executed). This lead me to a conclusion that Josei as a genre has some serious issues which in turn made me draw some conclusions I will not share here. I know a far-fetched idea once I start entertaining it (usually).

As I am stubborn and quite adamant at finishing what I’ve started, I have actually come to several other conclusions (full of those, yes) based on partially reading previously mentioned titles and seven titles I’ve actually read.

CONCLUSION: There are three main differences between Shoujo and Josei.

1. Josei often includes sex, as in sex plays a more important role in the story than love and friendship. This being said, it does not mean it’s more mature and serious. It often adds to the general silliness of the plot.
ExampleHapi Mari
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2. Characters are as old as the targeted demographic, meaning they are mostly working women in their late twenties or university students.
Example: Midnight Secretary
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3. Quality Josei is often about the maturation of the female character, something like a bilgundsroman. Whether it’s grappling with the transition into adulthood or simply handling changed life circumstances, one of the biggest differences between good Josei and good Shoujo manga.
Example: Delicious Relationship
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Of course, dipping into a large enough pool does leave you with a few pearls which make it worth the while (one of which is the above mentioned Delicious Relationship). I will nutshell (150 words or less) a couple later on this week.

The important thing is…

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