Tag: shojo

Today’s Tub Manga: Princess Jellyfish (volume 5)

The first half of volume five (what would be volume nine of the Japanese edition) is all about Tsukimi’s budding love life…or it’s supposed to be. But for me, Hanamori stole the show. Maybe because the waffling of the Amars and the perpetual threat of eviction gets a bit overdone and exhausting that Hanamori is comic relief. Or maybe he’s just too strong a character and steals whatever scene he’s in.

I never really cared for the romance between Shu and Tsukimi because I felt that Kuranosuke actually knows her, whereas she can barely even talk to Shu. But I’ve rewatched the anime recently and while I still am not Team Shu, I can’t help but hear Junichi Suwabe’s voice when I read his lines. And he does do some adorably dorky and awkward things that I *almost* root for him in spite of myself.

But it always bothers me when someone is “in love” with a person they barely know. Perhaps I’m projecting but it’s a plot point that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

We’re getting into the stretch of Princess Jellyfish that has a lot more to do with the actual working side of fashion. Which is something I have zero interest in. I loved the initial dorkiness and comedy but once we get into hardcore fashion talk and try to sell dresses for real, I kind of zone out.

Aside from Hanamori being Hanamori, the upside of this volume is with Kuranosuke’s own self-examination. He could theoretically be in a lot more denial but I like that he’s willing to acknowledge he’s irritated with the romance between Tsukimi and his brother. I do like that despite everything kind of crashing down around him, he insists on pushing forward.

Today’s Tub Manga: Aoharu x Machinegun (volume 5)

I think I have a soft spot for manga/anime about survival games because they remind me a little of my paintball days. However, like my paintball days, I tend to lose interest. I love the premise of Aoharu x Machinegun and really enjoyed the anime but did lapse in reading the manga…

However, volume five went by in a flash. We’re about to enter the Haru-Haruki arc which is a bit convoluted but for now, Hotaru is being her relatively simple-minded self and plugging along. The whole “oh no, I’m a girl!” issue is kind of brushed aside early-to-mid volume and I realized at some point that, perhaps because I’ve read so much BL, I don’t really register Hotaru as a girl. It’s no longer an important plot point.

It is the original plot point, though, so it gets resurrected in the final pages of this volume.

Today’s Tub Manga: Oresama Teacher (volume 22)

I can’t believe we’re already to volume 22! Just when I was wondering if twenty-two was too many volumes, this one came along and just kicked ass. I hope this series gets an anime someday because some of the characters do look a bit similar and are easily confused and I think being animated would remedy that.

This is my favorite volume in a while because it felt like progress was made and a lot of things got cleared up (finally). At the same time, Izumi Tsubaki’s humorous style shone throughout.

It’s been a very goofy and somewhat meandering series but I still really like it and volume 22 reminded me of so many of the reasons why I kept with it for this many volumes. Also, this book has the subtitle: The Story of Miyabi Hanabusa…so enjoy!

Today’s Tub Manga: The Water Dragon’s Bride (volume 2)

I was already getting a bit tired of this series a couple pages into volume two. It suffers from the same issues as the author’s Dawn of the Arcana series–weird, randomly contrived things happen way too often. There also seems to be a lot of yelling and crying considering the main character can’t speak; I keep trying to remind myself that she’s a small child and that’s why she…acts like a small child. But it still gets tiring.

However, volume two did have some high points. When the Water Dragon God goes on his rampage, his monologue made me go, “Yes! This makes sense! This is what I want to read!” Though violent and angry, at least it sounded more reasoned-out and intellectual than how he’s usually idiotically portrayed. His thought process made sense, whereas usually he’s written to not have much thought process at all.

The other gods are spicing up the story as well. To me, they’re really the highlights and the saviors of a pretty dreary, yelling-and-crying-filled story. The author seems to like them so I’m hoping we see more of them in the next volume.

Because yes, after the final pages of volume two (I don’t want to spoil it for you!) I’m hoping volume three blows it wide open and this series finally takes off. *crosses fingers*

Today’s Tub Manga: The Ancient Magus’ Bride (volume 7)

I really loved “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” when I first started the series. However, I opened up volume seven and had absolutely no recollection of where the previous volume left off or what the hell was going on.

I caught up quickly enough but I no longer find myself getting as immersed in the story as I once did. For a couple volumes now it’s had a feeling of…meandering. Initially I didn’t mind that kind of lazy, relaxed feeling but now I feel more like, “Where are we going with this? How many misunderstandings and reconciliations do we need?”

That said, we did get some intrigue and major drama later in this volume that gave it kind of a different, more urgent vibe. More characters were smattered in so it’s not just Elias and Chise misunderstanding and forgiving each other in circles. There were even a few spots for some cute humor, which I appreciated and miss from earlier volumes. I’m hoping the cliffhanger at the end of volume seven leads to some more interesting developments.

Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 1)

For the first two-thirds of this book, I kept asking myself, “Why did I buy this?” (The answer, as always: it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

In the author’s introduction about mid-book she says, “After finishing my last series, I decided to write a classic shojo manga this time.” This line was interesting to me because while a few panels had the parody “shojo face” going on, and that was understandable, much of the art also had that “classic” (read: old) feel to it. The wolfboy on the cover has a way more modern look than his in-story equivalent. I’m going to get hate for saying this but flipping through once again, I’m kind of reminded of “Sailor Moon” artistically.

The plot was a bit more boring and contrived than I expected and so far the characters come off as very tropey. If I had read this at fourteen or somewhat shojo-age instead of [ahem] the age I am now, I probably would have liked it well enough.

I will say that Dario appeared at the perfect time for me; just when I was thinking the story might be irredeemable, we were saved by a queen. And I actually really liked the final scene and it gave me at least some hope for the likability of our protagonist. Those last couple pages made me think this series might have at least a little potential to be something different.

I probably won’t buy the second volume. The premise is okay, the art is okay, the characters are barely okay…but nothing is “great” about this. Then again, I am kind of a manga masochist so keep your eyes peeled for Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 2)

Today’s Tub Manga: Kiss Him, Not Me! (volume 11)

It’s volume 11 and the harem is trying to prevent Kae from being married off to her childhood friend.

I’ll admit, this level of ridiculousness (I guess I can’t be picky about ridiculousness this late in the game) kind of wore me out. The upside is, we’re heading to actual development (I think) from what I’ve read ahead via crunchyroll manga.

While the main plot is a bit taxing and seemingly mostly pointless until the last few pages, volume 11 is redeemed by the special short at the end of this book. I know it may seem hypocritical for me to 100% endorse a completely nonsensical body-switching short when I was complaining about ridiculousness, but this is the type of humor and insanity that originally hooked me on “Kiss Him, Not Me.”