End of April Manga Arrival

The newest books are here–mostly continuations, but a few new stories.  The last volume of Natsuyuki’s main story is here, but I haven’t read it yet.  That will happen later this week when I can really focus and savor.

I’ve already poked around Koi to Gunkan 2, Hirunaka no Ryuusei 2, Yajirobee 2, and Liar x Liar 3.  The last is getting interesting as her little fake identity game is under threat of exposure to her brother.  However, we don’t get volume 4 until next February.  That’s a long wait. Other than that, here’s a few random pics of frames that caught my eye.

This rack was practically its own side character in Koi to Gunkan 2, ha.

Their relationship is one of my favorites in manga currently. Nishi Keiko ♥

I love all the beautiful expressions in Yajirobee. Volume 2 visited some background story. Here's Seiji, divorce form in hand.

Shishio normally looks so young in Hirunaka no Ryuusei, but we got an older version in the form of a doodle. LOVE IT *fans self*

I’m slowly getting more free time to enjoy these.  Two weeks from now, I will have finished writing and grading finals as well as submitted my final grades.  I’ll be teaching a summer course, but that’s extra money for much less time commitment.  More time to be a normal person and also to reeeead!

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25 responses to “End of April Manga Arrival

  1. Is that second picture from Koi to Gunkan, too? But…it’s a shoujo manga, right? And those are two guys? (Confused)

    • Yes, it is Koi to Gunkan. And yes, it’s two guys together in a shoujo manga. That was a beautiful and rare moment with some physical intimacy. Nishi Keiko has a history with BL as well. Their relationship is quite natural without being *OMGTWOGUYSHAAAAAAWT*.. I’m enjoying it. A number of my favorite gay relationships in manga aren’t even in BL manga at all.

      • So far the only “guy x guy” moments I’ve seen in a shoujo have been between a guy and a gender-bender girl (excluding Ichiraci / Ichisuki series, which are basically what I call ‘shoujo BL’), so I was rather taken aback by this one.

        I’ve read quite a few josei and seinen GL, but I’ve rarely seen any BL-ish relationships in non-BL manga (the reasons for which are obvious, of course). But what’re your favourite gay couples from non-BL series?

        • They are rare, but can be such hidden treasures. There’s a couple that I really, really enjoy. You have the healthy and normal relationships like Kouichi/Sasha from Koi to Gunkan (shoujo) or Kakei/Yabuki from Kinou Nani Tabeta? (seinen) Or the not so healthy Ian/Jeremy from Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru (josei) that threatens to rip your heart out. The destructive, dangerous, toxic Garai/Yuki from MW (seinen) is intriguing. Or you have the star-crossed ones that will never meet/be consummated like Seishirou/Subaru from Tokyo Babylon (shoujo) and all the other manga they chase each other around. Then there’s the so slashable that it hurts to the point canon has them pledging their lives to each other on a few occasions Chigusa/Rakan from Silver Diamond (shoujo). Ichiraci is very shoujo these days aside from G Defend.. not like the Racish BL days or the muddy transition in between. And even though they aren’t official, I think Dorian’s decades long pursuit of Klaus in Eroica (shoujo) gets an honorable mention. They bicker like an old married couple.

          • Oh, I’ve read all of those…I’m surprised I forgot about ‘em, since I enjoy/ed all of them. And what about Seishun Sobbat? MU has it tagged as BL, but…a real BL in Ikki? Sounds a bit far-fetched. I mean, neither KnT nor MW are BL in a strict sense, and it’s hard to imagine actual BL in a seinen magazine. I buy mostly seinen, but I don’t want to waste money on Seishun unless I know what it’s like. Do you buy it?
            And then there’s Golondrina; is it GL or het? Someone mentioned that the lead female is a lesbian (or bi, I suppose) but her love interest is a guy…

            I’m frankly a much bigger fan of slash that actual yaoi, but I do feel just a little bit annoyed when the mangaka is like “Haha, you thought this was slashy? Well, here’s a pretty lady to shatter all your dreams!” LOL
            I’m happy for the girl, of course, but it’s like…couldn’t she just have been there from the beginning? (07 Ghost comes to mind)
            Oh, and Loveless is nice. I thought Earthian was very lacking in the plot department, hopefully its successor won’t suffer the same fate. But it looks like Kouga Yun’s favouring Satou-kun to Tanaka-san these days.

            I dunno why, but CLAMP can write the sappiest romances on the planet and still not annoy me one bit. Subaru x Seishiro is deliciously angsty, and I’ve always thought Yukito x Touya was rather nice. Can’t see where people are coming from when they pair Kamui and his friend/enemy from X/1999, though…

            I wonder whether Sugiura Shiho’s next manga will be het (I hear Silver Diamond is due to end soon?) But that might be nice to see; I bet her girls will be really pretty! If they’re anything like Rapunzel from Koori, I am so there :)

            Eroica _<)

            • Huh…Wordpress ate half my post. Anyway:

              Eroica _<)

            • I can’t believe I put off reading it for so long! Thank heavens for scanlations; if I had to buy it, I’d never have given it a go.

              I feel sorry for the girl in Koi to Gunkan :( Poor kid — doesn’t she have a boy her age she could end up with? (Haven’t gotten around to reading it ’cause I’m broke and haven’t bought any manga in months >_<)

        • I’ve heard of Seishun Sobbat and have it on a medium priority to buy at some point. I think Ikki is open to gay relationships—they did just reprint est em’s Orokamono manga that has sex and are pimping it alongside Golondrina. I haven’t read that yet so I don’t know what kind of romance it has—I haven’t even had it for a week and since it’s a new series, the reading priority is below some of my easy continuations.

          I’ll likely pick up Seishun Sobbat at some point, but Papa ga mo Ichido Koi wo Shita is another gay relationship in a non-BL manga that has higher priority. I’ve been meaning to buy that for over a year now.. blah. It just keeps getting passed up for other purchases. KnT, MW, etc.. I don’t consider any of those manga BL in any sense—all BL manga have gay/bisexual characters but having gay characters doesn’t mean it’s a BL manga kind of stance. Being a manga mod on MAL makes me draw lines..

          I hate cop-out slash.. it’s rarely done organically. It often feels like “uh oh, this is getting too gay so I better add a girl” and then she’s thrown in the mix. It’s kinda insulting for all characters involved and makes her just an excuse versus a person with a personality who can contribute to the plot. She’s just an object to aim affection at instead.

          Loveless.. I can’t get over the change in art style. So round, childish, simplistic.. I tried, but as soon as hot Seimei regularly entered the picture, he was no longer hot. I can’t forgive that loss of eyecandy. I need to pick up the newest volume at some point.. sadly I had all the limited editions up until now.

          I do like CLAMP’s male romances. They were an early hook for me and I eat it up. Seishirou/Subaru are my OTP in like all of manga.. I reread Tokyo Babylon every 2 years or so. I also can’t forgive how CLAMP shafted their storyline in TRC.. that was my last straw with CLAMP. I (sorta not really) forgave them never finishing X or Clover, but for not giving me my Sei-chan/Subaru time… ah hell no.

          Silver Diamond is finishing up.. you can tell in the storyline. It still has a few volumes left in it. Originally it was said it would have only 20-something volumes and we’re at 26, so…. yeah. I love Sugiura’s boys and am hoping for another male cast. She makes the best male partners for life~

          I don’t feel bad for Kana in Koi to Gunkan.. at least not yet. I think Akira (her friend who refuses to call herself a friend) will likely help her to understand when that time comes.. Akira is both a teaser and somewhat supportive of the two guys now that she knows what is going on. There is another boy Kana’s age, but in terms of pairing up with her, it’s not working out too smoothly for him so far, ha.

          • Yeah, the drop in Soubi’s looks from “pretty good” to “baby-faced” was not nice. But there’s the whole “Ritsuka x Soubi vs. Ritsuka x Yuiko vs. Ritsuka x Seimei” war going on among the fandom that I personally find kinda fun; I don’t particularly support any of those pairings, so watching the bickering from a neutral standpoint is pretty amusing XD

            I wonder why CLAMP dropped X/1999. I mean, wasn’t it quite popular? (Not as much as CCS, I suppose, but…) And then there was that disgustingly rushed ending for xxxHolic <__< And a skinny glasses-kid with black hair and an utterly precocious disposition is just too adorable; total dream-come-true for me whether it's a guy or a girl. The pity is, people like that are more often sidekicks than protagonists…I guess I'm one of the few people who're into that type :( Do you know any series which has a character like that in a main role?

            She makes the best male partners for life
            Totally! Wild x Rapunzel is my favourite pairing anywhere, ever. So darn sweet, so adorable and gentle without being the least bit mushy!

            • Why the heck do my comments always get messed up? This doesn’t happen to me anywhere except on WordPress! So sorry for cluttering up your posts!

              Yeah, the drop in Soubi’s looks from “pretty good” to “baby-faced” was not nice. But there’s the whole “Ritsuka x Soubi vs. Ritsuka x Yuiko vs. Ritsuka x Seimei” war going on among the fandom that I personally find kinda fun; I don’t particularly support any of those pairings, so watching the bickering from a neutral standpoint is pretty amusing XD

              I wonder why CLAMP dropped X/1999. I mean, wasn’t it quite popular? (Not as much as CCS, I suppose, but…) And then there was that disgustingly rushed ending for xxxHolic. I gave up on Gate 7, ’cause I find the lead male’s resemblance to Kimihiro a bit off-putting. Really, I think their earlier stuff was by far the best. Nowadays their manga are a bit…I don’t know how to put it. Even Drug & Drop (Legal Drug) isn’t really all that. But at least they don’t do fake-out BL — which is pretty astounding coming from shoujo mangaka.

              I knew about the existence of pseudo-slash since a while back, but I recently discovered another new trend; there are manga with a ton of guys on the cover, but all save for one of them (the male lead or the female lead’s love interest) barely even put up an appearance in the story itself! It’s such an obvious ploy to draw in BL fangirls, but apparently there are quite a few people who actually fall for that LOL

              You know, I totally love characters like Akira from Koi to Gunkan! I dunno why, but I’ve had a glasses-fetish since I was like 3 years old >_< And a skinny glasses-kid with long black hair and an utterly precocious disposition is just too adorable; total dream-come-true for me whether it's a guy or a girl. The pity is, people like that are more often sidekicks than protagonists…I guess I'm one of the few people who're into that type :( Do you know any series which has a character like that in a main role?

              She makes the best male partners for life
              Totally! Wild x Rapunzel is my favourite pairing anywhere, ever. So darn sweet, so adorable and gentle without being the least bit mushy!

            • NP, no clue why wordpress flips out sometimes. It gives me a template to work with at least.. I wouldn’t do this otherwise if I had to spend any time thinking of design or writing any code.

              Fandom pairing wank is always a good source of amusement/facepalming in general.

              For X/1999, the common opinion/story is that CLAMP was pressured to tone down the natural disasters/violence/general doom stuff in X/1999 due to the situation/political climate at the time. The more recent equivalent I guess would be that scene from Madoka not being aired the week of the tsunami. But in this case, it wasn’t a short delay–CLAMP said no and the magazine said not acceptable and it was suspended.

              I’m so love-hate/tsundere for CLAMP. I adore their old stuff—CCS, Tokyo Babylon, X/1999, Rayearth… but things like TRC/xxxHolic have too many flaws, rushed/axed aspects, too many circle-jerking CLAMP references (while NOT finishing my Sei-cha/Subaru one!). I haven’t read more than a chapter or two of Gate 7 yet because of my CLAMP tsundere-ness. I recently picked up the English editions because they were cheap on amazon, but they haven’t even arrived yet since I preordered with something else. I also haven’t read Drug & Drop yet… I still remember the sting of the original being cut-off. I sometimes feel like I’m in an abusive relationship with CLAMP.

              lol at the misleading covers with the harem of hot dudes. That would probably piss me off, ha.

              I like Akira from Koi to Gunkan. The manga wouldn’t work nearly as well without her. In terms of another character, I haven’t even finished reading it myself so maybe I’m completely off, but black-haired/glasses/precocious sounds like the main from Warau Kanoko-sama if you haven’t read that one. The observational part makes me connect the two as well.

            • Tsundere for CLAMP ~ XDDD

              Okay, I’ll take a look at Warau Kanoko-sama then. Not my usual type of manga, but I’d brave anything for a protagonist with that kind of looks and personality! *Is an obsessed weirdo*

            • –On X/1999, you should check out the new rerelease by VIZ. Normally I don’t buy American manga because of the crappy yellowing paper, but this rerelease used quality, thick, white paper and upscaled the images from the original Japanese version. It’s probably the first release that I preferred over the Japanese version.

            • Thanks, I didn’t even consider that. They didn’t release a nice edition in Japanese (unlike CCS). I’d like a sturdy copy of X/1999, so I think I’ll pick these up. My originals are yellowing of course.

  2. What are your favorite gay relationships in a non-bl manga?

    I actually have one of Nishi Keiko’s bl works, but I only looked briefly through it. The main story seems to be actually an older work while the second one seems more recent. Her art has certainly gotten prettier. Although is it just me, or does the color picture from Tenshi ni Naranakya looks like something of Takaguchi Satosumi?

    I passed on Liar x Liar on my last order, but now I’m so curious to know what’s happening. Why do people stop scanlating the good ones?

    • Copy and paste list from above: There’s a couple that I really, really enjoy. You have the healthy and normal relationships like Kouichi/Sasha from Koi to Gunkan (shoujo) or Kakei/Yabuki from Kinou Nani Tabeta? (seinen) Or the not so healthy Ian/Jeremy from Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru (josei) that threatens to rip your heart out. The destructive, dangerous, toxic Garai/Yuki from MW (seinen) is intriguing. Or you have the star-crossed ones that will never meet/be consummated like Seishirou/Subaru from Tokyo Babylon (shoujo) and all the other manga they chase each other around. Then there’s the so slashable that it hurts to the point canon has them pledging their lives to each other on a few occasions Chigusa/Rakan from Silver Diamond (shoujo). Ichiraci is very shoujo these days aside from G Defend.. not like the Racish BL days or the muddy transition in between. And even though they aren’t official, I think Dorian’s decades long pursuit of Klaus in Eroica (shoujo) gets an honorable mention. They bicker like an old married couple.

      There’s a couple of nice BL stories from old Nishi Keiko. I like Barahime I think it was called.. it’s about a boy who would fall asleep suddenly and has precarious health. But that color page does resemble Takaguchi Satosumi’s older style.

      Liar x Liar has remained pretty interesting.. but I’m dying to know what’s in Vol 4. It seems like a long time off.

  3. Hello!
    I just stumbled upon your blog today and I’ve read a few of your latest posts. I’m personally not that much into BL, but I really appreciate your reviews/snapshots/analysis on the titles, BL/Shojo/Josei/etc. It’s also great to discover hidden gems on your blog, as I’ve noticed you’ve pointed out many titles I’ve never seen in English. I am gradually learning Japanese now, so it’s a slow process, but it’s fun to learn by finding manga that’s actually something more than the rote shonen/shojo/boringggggggg. :)
    I will be reading avidly! Thanks for your hard work,
    aixyutin

    • Hi :) Thanks for the compliment. When I started this blog, I worried if there was even an audience this stuff. Especially the non-BL manga–my BL and bara posts are by far the most popular, so it’s good to hear people like the shoujo/josei stuff too. Manga is a great motivator for practicing the language–it certainly helped me along and is the only reason I retain the knowledge. I hope you find more good manga to read!

  4. Wha? Volume 4 of Liar x Liar isn’t out until February of next year? o_O I personally hope she gets found out soon, I sorta dislike the whole charade. I’d rather they both honestly face the truth of their relationship and how they feel about one another.

    I see Heroine Shikkaku too, do you still want to strangle Rita? ;)

    • That’s what it said in the book.. I was a bit crushed. The chapters are a bit shorter than other magazines, so it will take longer to gather a tank /sigh

      In terms of her getting found out, I don’t mind it so much because I like her current approach. In Vol 3, she’s working at repairing her relationship with her brother as Minato, not just Mina. That part makes me happy. I think we have a ways to go before it is revealed, judging from the title: Liar x Liar. That is suggesting two liars. I think the brother needs to connect the two girls a little more (the process has begun a bit) before he has to lie to himself more and eventually Minato if he can no longer deny it.

      I want to smack then strangle Rita. I haven’t finished Vol 6, but it’s no better. He’s all WOE IS ME I’M A HEARTBROKEN VICTIM SO I’M GONNA BE A MARTYR. While you have me screaming “YOU DID THIS. YOU BROUGHT THIS ON YOURSELF. YOOOOU. YOOOOOOOU” /pant

  5. **joins you in the crushed fangirl department too** After you said it came out on February, I realized that there seemed to be quite a bit of chapters crammed into each volume, so I kind of put two and two together and realized it must be due to nature of the series. She also seems to be working on another series too, so I guess she’s dividing time between the two. **selfishly hates it when manga-kas have to do this**

    lol, I guess it’s not very pragmatic for her to drop her current guise if the premise of the manga is based on her being a liar, huh? I browsed through the raws for the third volume and noticed that she was trying to spend more time with her brother as “herself.” She even did the whole, I’m wearing just your shirt routine, but no dice! Booooooo. Is it weird that I’m rooting for her when she’s just Mina and against her alter ego, when they’re both in fact the same person?!? And thank you sooo much for that tidbit about the title! I never understood the title to mean that it was about two liars. I always read it as Liar, Liar (as in calling her a liar, liar pants on fire type of thing). That puts a much more interesting spin/perspective on the manga now that I know this, thank you!

    Haha, emo Rita, suffer Rita, suuuuuuuuuffeeeeeeer…You know, I think this would be an interesting series for a publishing company to pick up. It’s not really your prototypical shoujo (although it has some of the cliches), but I’d buy it if an English publisher ever decided to license it. Too bad the industry is really in the dumps.

  6. girl, you got some NICEEEE titles in there. art in Yajirobee is gorgeous *___*
    nice to see est em (THAT COVER T^T.) and yamashita!!!
    lol @ your caption regarding the rack.
    from 5 to 9 looks interesting…
    oh my. isn’t that hikari litchi club (i think i typed the title wrong)? vol. cover looks….brighter and more innocent than the american released one….
    is that a natsume ono work i see all the way to the left bottom? what’s the title?

    • Thanks :) Her boobs were all over the place–they were trying to be a home-wrecker, but found their power held no sway over the boys there!

      From 5 to 9 is interesting but a bit of an Aihara Miki train-wreck as well. I need to read more of it though.

      That’s the sequel (prequel according to timeline) to Litchi Hikari Club, Bokura no Hikari Club. The second volume just came out too.

      And that is an Ono Natsume BL manga–Naka-san no Nagare. I still need to read this one!

  7. idk why but i find home wrecker such a funny word.
    AHAHAHA i love it when boys are immune to that boobs and curves. makes me lol

    awwww :(

    LSDJFKLSDJF….i did not know there was a sequel. wow. i shall await it’s translation and/or release. what’d you think of the prequel? furuya is just a very strange man. his art is gorgeous too.

    thanks for title! it looks cute!…well all her works do hahaha

    • Furuya is strange and brilliant. I’ve liked everything of his that I’ve read so far. From the surreal Genkaku Picasso to the shocking Litchi Hikari Club. I’ll have to reserve my final judgement on the prequel until I read the second and final volume. It will be hard to surpass the original and I don’t think it will.. but it will be a good expansion to the story.

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