I don’t read much shojo anymore (well, compared to what I used to) so I’m not really sure what inspired me to buy something titled Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight but…
I’m glad I did.
I was really pleasantly surprised with this title. Sure, a lot of it was fairly predictable in that typical shojo-manga way, but it was really cuter and funnier than I expected. Or maybe the love interest’s ridiculous butt fetish won me over immediately and that’s all it took.
Volume 6 may have been the end of the actual story but Volume 7 brings us to the true finale of Handa-kun. This volume is comprised mostly of extra-arc short stories–one of which shows us a Handa Army reunion several years after high school graduation. There’s also a mini gallery, some four-panel comics, and a cool “end of series” note from the author (I’m a sucker for those things).
All-in-all, this was a cute and tidy way to wrap up a great series.
What time is it? It’s Golden Kamuy time! Woo!
Approximately four pages into this volume, I wanted to scream to the world, “OMG I LOVE THIS MANGA!” It is really just that freakin’ good.
Saichi has great scars. Asirpa kicks ass and makes poop jokes. The bad guys are skin-crawly. The violence is intense, the live animals perfectly detailed, and the dead animals…even more perfectly detailed. The entire time I’m reading, I think, “Everything in this manga is perfect.” Even the comedy is totally on point. I can’t get enough.
Barakamon volume 14
I absolutely love, love, LOVE this manga. Every volume is superb and I just want it to go on forever. I can’t rant enough about how adorable and entertaining this series is. With every book I find myself laughing out loud and filled with warm fuzzy happiness by the time I finish.
Except then I get a little sad that I have to wait for more, but that’s typical.
In this volume, Naru and Sensei return from their Tokyo visit, bearing souvenirs. Kind of. Kousuke is crashed at Sensei’s house, vowing to quit calligraphy at the same time Sensei announces he’s quitting calligraphy to teach instead. As expected, mayhem ensues. We do get some resolution to the Great Higashino Daikon Competition…but surprisingly my favorite part was the very realistic liquor store dilemma. Maybe because I live in a small town or maybe because ours is a family business…or both. But for that scene, this slice-of-life was very “life” to me.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this series. Watch the anime, read the manga–this series deserves your attention!
Volume 13 is the final volume…and in my opinion, it’s perfect. Everything is wrapped up nicely, nothing drags on too long, and we can see everyone off with a smile, loving them even more than when we started. I feel like this is a refreshing departure from the “how the heck do I end this..?” syndrome I’ve seen too often lately. Sure, the ending of My Love Story!! isn’t anything too radical or revolutionary, but it is a well-thought-out ending and I appreciate that.
On a final note, while I’ve loved Suna from the beginning, his role in this final volume really just made everything perfect for me. My Love Story!! doesn’t just encompass the romance between Yamato and Takeo, but the friendship between Takeo and Suna as well.
Read this series and embrace your humanity.
I absolutely fell in love with this, all the while thinking, “There’s no way this should be as good as it is.” But hey, that’s what love is, right? Utter irrationality?
At the risk of a laughably nonsensical comparison, reading Kigurumi Guardians reminded me of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I couldn’t help but think that like Araki, Hoshino’s style is incredibly enjoyably bizarre yet if anyone else were to produce a story like this, I’d think, “This is some crazy garbage! What a hot mess!” Instead, I read Araki or Hoshino and think, “This is fucking genius! Gah, amazing!”
So yes: this series may not be for everyone. It doesn’t really make sense. It feels like a parody of about five different genres. It’s erratic and silly and yet gives us these super serious and dark undertones. Our cast seems scattered from Sailor Moon, Utena, Ouran High School, and ACCA.
But in true Hoshino-style, the insanity is what makes it great.