Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Shortcake Cake volume 6 starts the romance (Manga Review)

Two teen boys on the cover, looking sexy and likable
Shortcake Cake vol. 6 - 7/10

It would be hard to discuss Shortcake Cake vol. 6 (Shojo Beat/Viz) without spoilers. So this is your warning. The next few paragraphs of this review are all spoilers. Skip to the last 3 paragraphs if you don't want spoilers. You've been warned!

SPOILERS ahead (okay, you've been warned again!)

In volume 6, Ten, who lives in a boarding house with a few other students while attending high school, has fully realized that she likes Riku. But at the end of vol. 5, Chiaki finally confessed to her clearly. We start off with Ten making her feelings for Riku known to Chiaki and turning him down.

Ten then spends time with Riku, cementing her clarity of feelings, turning Chiaki down again so he knows for sure, and then finally confessing her feelings to Riku. But Riku just doesn't seem totally sure that she means what he is hearing and the volume leaves on the cliffhanger of Chiaki asking her if she really likes him the way he hopes.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Missed it Monday - Love at Fourteen Volume 3 (Manga Review)

A male and female student in the classroom, buy the window, laughing as they talk to each other
Missed it Monday is the column where I review manga and anime that I didn't read/watch when they first came out.

Love at Fourteen vol. 3 - 8/10

In Love at Fourteen vol. 3 (Yen Press), we catch up with Kanata and Kazuki, our young love-birds, and the "most mature" two people in their school, whom everyone looks up to. With the dance, festival, and choral competition coming up, their classmates are showing frayed nerves. Things come to a head when there is a fight between a guy and girl in the classroom.

Kanata and Kazuki have been working hard to keep tension down, but their attempt to end this particular fight ends badly when they end up in a shouting match with each other in front of all their classmates. Worried that they've hurt their fledgling relationship, but unsure how to apologize, they keep missing opportunities to set things right.

Sensing the time is right, Shiki makes her move on Kanata, trying to steal her away from Kazuki. Needless to say, it doesn't work, and Kanata and Kazuki end up patching things up. The couple panels where they do are so cutely written and drawn, I almost couldn't take it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

O Maidens in Your Savage Season volume 4 loses some of its edge (Manga Review)

A high-school girl, eyes closed, finger tips on her lips, surrounded by lilies.
O Maidens in Your Savage Season vol. 4 - 7.5/10

The first couple volumes of O Maidens in Your Savage Season were an unexpected mix of rawness and compassion for the adolescent condition.

O Maidens in Your Savage Season vol. 4 (Kodansha Comics) doesn't quite rise up to that level of writing or narrative prowess, but is still a good continuation of the five characters' stories. The question for the series as a whole, is will it keep giving us complex insight or will it lapse into typicality? It's too soon to say, but Volume 4 doesn't quite have the edge or depth of the prior volumes.

The overall story centers on the five female members of the literature club. They read the classics looking to discuss the complexities of the human condition, with a strong emphasis on exploring love, lust, and intimacy through writing. At the same time, they are five teens going through puberty, and the early parts of the series took an unflinching look at the mind-f#ck that adolescence encompasses.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Updates and where I've been

Sorry for no updates since last Monday. My laptop broke in several ways and I didn't want to type everything on my phone. Thankfully, my laptop is now repaired and I'm back at work. I added Chapter 7 of the original yuri I've been posting (see the Original Yuri tab above). I'll also be posting some reviews this week. Missed you all!

- Jaime

All comments are moderated by a real person who only checks them once a day. Therefore, comments may take a while before they show up. Thanks for understanding. It's how we keep this a community of lovingkindness.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Missed it Monday - Waiting for Spring volume 3 (Manga Review)

A older high-school boy in uniform, raises his glasses, peers out sexily, and holds a basketball
Missed it Monday is the ongoing column where I review anime/manga that I didn't get a change to watch/read when they first came out.

Waiting for Spring vol. 3 - 6/10

Just like the prior volumes in the series, Waiting for Spring Vol. 3 (Kodansha Comics) is a pretty by-the-numbers shoujo romance. It's predictable and bland, but that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes you just want what you already know, but truthfully, I'm pretty bored with it. However, that's not why we're here today, there's a little something unexpected in this volume I want to focus on.

I won't bother talking much about the plot of this series: it's basically girl likes guy, guy likes girl, some other guy tries to get between them, no one really says what they feel out loud or otherwise the story would have ended quickly. But I do want to talk about a small moment where this series rose well above its cliche, trope-heavy predictability, and did something extraordinary.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Breath of Flowers volume 2 tries to tackle a big LGBTQ fear but falls flat in the execution (Manga-inspired Comic Review)

Two high-school girls sit on a couch smiling at each other
Breath of Flowers vol. 2 - 4/10

After a promising first volume, Breath of Flowers vol. 2 (Tokyopop) goes off the rails. It tries to tackle a really important fear within some members of the LGBTQ community (two fears in fact) but does so in a clunky, in-delicate way. But even before that, this volume was already weaker than the first. Sad because I sort of liked the first one, but I really can't recommend volume 2, which is the conclusion to the series.

In volume 1 we meet Azami who has a crush on Gwyn, the star player on her school's boy's basketball team. Quickly though, Azami finds out that Gwyn is actually a girl. What's great about that volume is that Azami says that Gwyn's gender has nothing to do with her feelings, and it turns out Gwyn's been crushing on Azami. They get together, and we have the makings of a cute lesbian romance.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Missed it Monday - Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty Volume 2 (Manga Review)

A high school boy and girl back to back surrounded by flowers
Missed it Monday is the ongoing series where I review manga or anime that I didn't read/watch when they first came out.

Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty  vol. 2 - 6.5/10

Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty (Kodansha Comics) is a series about an only child, Shizu, who is inhabited by the spirits of several deceased people, including her grandfather. Several good spirits ensure that no malevolent spirits take over her consciousness. But at the same time, Shizu shares her waking time with these good spirits. As she so eloquently says at one point in volume 2, "I don't really know what myself is."

But the story really centers around Tetsu, the high-schooler working part time as a housekeeper in her rich parent's house. At the end of volume 1 he is asked to spend time with her since she is more or less locked away from the world. In volume 1, he is shocked when a malevolent spirit shows itself in her body. In volume 2, this concept is explored further, while Shizu takes some important steps forward thanks to Tetsu's commitment to her.