Monday, May 24, 2010
Over all I really enjoyed the story. It's a slice of life but it does have some serious dramatic moments in it and does raise a lot of questions about responsibility without being depressing about it. I also appreciated the fact I found the main female characters relatable in some way. I often find it hard to relate to the main characters of shoujo manga because more and more they tend to be boring doormats that have no interest in anything but in romantic relationships. I was happy to see that wasn't the case here. If you like shoujo or stories with really cute and moe characters Aishiteruze Baby is worth looking at.
Final Verdict: Yummy Lollipop
Monday, May 17, 2010
The weeks title is Otaku no Musume-san (Otaku's Daughter) by a mangaka just known as Sutahiro. Now a title with the word Otaku in it basically means it’s for Otaku. (No one who isn't is going to read something with that word in the title). There is also little doubt the Otaku is who this title is for. Besides name dropping a lot of other titles, it iss about an about an apartment complex of full of Otaku, and has some very fan service-y moments in it. Basically though it is a sitcom dramedy (how many portmanteaus can I write in one post?). With all that factored in I could still imagine this title as a live-action sitcom (minus some fan service) that most people could enjoy.
Comiket. Kouta would like make a debut as a manga artist but won't accept anything that isn't cool and non-mainstream (which may mean it never will happen). While he doesn't live the lifestyle of a true shut-in he does live in a crazy apartment complex that over time has developed into an Otaku heaven.
Then one day a young girl shows up alone with a note and stating that she is his daughter. At first he can’t believe it but things do add up once she reveals she is the daughter of his high school love (It also helps they look a lot alike too!). So, this girl Kanau comes to stay as this crazy apartment building filled with weirdos.
The daughter Kanau is a bit of a breath of fresh air when it comes to the “surprise I’m your daughter“ in these kind of titles. A lot of time the girl with be either so young that she don’t have much personality beyond “I’m a young girl” or will be very emotionally deficient. Kanau seems like a fairly normal girl who has to adapt to not only new and strange circumstances, but the fact that being an Otaku’s daughter isn’t going to win her any friends at school. Her Father isn’t quite she had be dreaming of. She has a lot of spunk and manages to adapt to this pretty well. Kanau manages to maintain being a normal girl but still understanding about and to all the strange people around her.
I started this title out of curiosity (Really another surprise parent story?! Sure, why not?). I was thinking it was going to turn into some pedo-loli Otaku wankfest but what I got was a cute semi-dramatic sitcom. Sure it talks about “how crappy it is to be an otaku” but it also makes it pretty clear that life as an Otaku is only as bad as one makes it and that having friends and interacting with others is a worthy affair. There is some loli type fan-service but nothing that bad (even with a character who is a Loli Otaku in it, it's got much less questionable content then Kodomo No Jikan). If you like slice of life stories especially ones about Otaku take a look.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This is the story of Nanako a normal young girl who comes for a fairly well to do, but down to earth, family. She and her best friend Tomoko end up going to an elite all girls high school together. This school in true classic shoujo fashion is filled with beautiful but nasty evil bitches. (Thought your high school had malicious cliques? It's just peanuts compared to these girls and their spiteful backstabbing). What these girls are obsessed with in this school is the "Sorority". Only the schools top elite are asked to enter this club. Nanako mysteriously receives and invite to Sorority and in an “offer you can't refuse” situation she joins. This starts a roller coaster ride of melodrama as Nanako is sucked into this world that she doesn't fit into and doesn't necessarily like all that much.
This is the manga that has a huge check next to the trope of the lesbian all girls school. Nanako develops a serious crush on upperclassmen Rei Asaka nicked named "Saint-Just sama" in the school. Rie is a bit butch and is often seen smoking and skipping school. Rei has some serious emotional probables which are part of the fact because of the person she is infatuated with. Nanako also has girl who is infatuated with her named Mariko. A lonely girl with some serious issues because of her strange home life that clashes with the girls at school.
I also can't get away without mentioning this series must have heavily influenced my favorite anime Revolutionary Girl Utena. Nanako is a girl pulled out of her depth into a world she can't even begin to understand. Much like Utena's experience with the student council. Her friend Tomoko is the normal girl of the story, much like Wakaba, who begins to feel left out as her friend flies into a society she can only dream of. I can even draw more comparisons with the anime, but this is a manga blog so I must digress. If you are a serious fan of Utena though, I highly suggest checking out either version of this title.
Oniisama e... is worth taking a look at for so many reasons, if you liked Riyoko Ikeda other works; if you are a fan of Revolutionary Girl Utena and want to see some of its roots; if you wanted to read on of the classics; or want to read some shoujo that has some female characters with back bone (and are not boring doormats for men). I'm sure there are many others also. As it has been fully fan translated and it is only three volumes, just o do it.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The original manga seems like it can’t make up its mind if it wants to be a full on parody or not. Honey goes to an all girls school where the teachers are creepy looking, mean, and lesbians who are hot for their students. The students don’t fare much better. Some of the girls look like they beat the ugly into the ugly stick. One even looks like a hulking man. Ideally this would be hilarious given the trope of the girl’s school with all the pretty girls who are evil conniving bitches. Here they are all ugly, delinquent, bitches. Just hilarious...oh wait no...it's not at all, not at all. Moving on…
I did like in manga she only had several forms, over the years it’s just come down to Honey can change into pretty much anything. We also meet a few of the re-occurring characters in the series like her friend Aki, sometimes love interest Seiji, and a few others. It was interesting to see that in this version Honey needs a lot of help from her friends to fight off Panther Claw. In some ways I like this but it also makes here seem so much less of a strong female character. Which is what I liked about Honey so much.
I was also disappointed with the art and panel layouts. I thought the art wasn’t the same quality as Devilman which was a year earlier (and which is saying a lot). The panels and layout are much more generic and nowhere as interesting from what I have seen in other Go Nagai titles.
I didn’t hate Cutie Honey but I think I had built it up so much over the years I was expecting great things, which I did not get. It is worth a read to see the origins of a character that has had a lot of evolution in 30 plus years. I was expecting Devilman caliber of work and what I got was interesting fluff. There are a number of different manga series for Cutie Honey that take place after this one. I would really like to check those out someday and see how they compare.