Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scanlation Get: Gokinjo Monogatari

So Paradise Kiss is one of my favorite manga of all time. I love the characters, the drama, and most of all the collaborative sense of creating something. What I didn’t know my first time reading it though, was the fact that Paradise Kiss is a spin-off of another manga called Gokinjo Monogatari (a.k.a. Neighborhood Story). Gokinjo Monogatari was one of Ai Yazawa’s earlier works, which features a much different art style then she uses today, but still has a lot of that same sense of fun, teen drama, and creation that permeate many of her other works.

The story is about Mikako (Miwako’s older sister in Paradise Kiss) a girl in high school who hopes to become a fashion designer one day. She and her neighbor Tsutomu have been friends since they were small children, until one day she realizes she might like him a bit more then she originaly thought. The problem being is he is already going out very popular girl at school, Mariko. It puts a strain on their friendship for a while until things get worked about between Mikako and Tsutomu and that where the story starts to pick up. We meet their group of friends, and see some of the normal shoujo devices, love triangles, family problems, drama, and high school. We also see a group of friends having a lot of good times along with the drama, and see a group of friends driven to be creative and work for what they want in life.

The art is very different then in Paradise Kiss but in no way is it of less quality. It has that distinct 90’s anime style to it, but it also has Yazawa’s stamp all over it. There are a lot of strong thick lines used giving it a more cartoonish style, but it is very well drawn. The outfits while not as perennial as the ones seen in Paradise Kiss are cute and adorable. While I may say the clothes are all not as timeless, much of it I could imagine teens today wearing. Which I think helps keep this manga fresh, as a lot of the time clothes can very much date a title.

This has a great cast of character and a great story, with a much more grounded look at the world then a lot of other shoujo manga has. It’s almost slice of life, but still has strong plot elements; it seems to be drifting along but with a goal in mind. If you have read Paradise Kiss or just like teen drama shoujo manga I highly recommend it. If you have read Paradise Kiss I highly suggest reading it again after Gokinjo Monogatari, as I noticed tons of new things that hint back to this story that were very amusing and cute.


EricMontreal22 said...

Not sure if you even read comments here six years later, but I came across your blog and have been having a blast exploring it.

While Ai Yazawa's I'm Not an Angel was a big hit for Ribon and, I gather, made Yazawa a popular name (it even got a cute, albeit short and sweet, OVA), a friend of mine from Japan who was probably ten when Gokinjo started told me (after she moved here, we met, and she found out how into I was with ParaKiss) that Gokinjo was a phenomenon--at least with her friends. It seems odd to me that, unlike other huge Ribon titles from that era like Marmalade Boy, and I believe the anime of it actually followed Marmalade Boy (at least when I used to watch Marmalade Boy via taped off Japanese tv rental tapes from a Japanese supermarket here--it would always have commercials for the show which at the time I just thought of as the show with people with monkey ears).

It surprised me that Tokyo Pop never picked this up (I don't think even any fansubbers--and Marmalade Boy was a huge fansub hit--bothered).

I still think, although maybe now it's just too 90s, it would be a viable pick up for a company. I assume, from the re-issues, ParaKiss has done well enough and so has Nana and, while this was aimed at a younger audience obviously (those two titles I'd classify as firmly at the shoujo/josei gap) it seems still viable. (I know a lot of it--all of it?--has been scanlated, but I still find it hard going to read a long title through scans and only manage to do it with manga-ka I worship like Moto Hagio or AkimiYoshida--Yazawa is *almost* in that league, but not quite).

Unknown said...

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"Xem clip này, tôi đã khóc. Tôi khóc vì cô ấy là một ngôi sao lớn nhưng lại cực kỳ nhỏ bé, giản dị đứng trước mọi người. Tôi khóc vì Mỹ Tâm ko khoe khoang tôi là 1 ca sĩ, ngôi sao. Chỉ thuần tuý chị đó giới thiệu về tên mình và cổ vũ các người khuyết tật và kêu gọi sự trợ giúp và tài trợ giàn phơi thông minh. bao nhiêu đấy thôi cũng đủ làm cho chúng ta ấm lòng giữa đêm đông”.

cara menggugurkan kandungan said...

cool, please guidance so that I can create a blog like yours