Where the lost linger.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous is one of my favorite manga. It’s hard to describe why it is–there’s complicated and raw, yet subtle emotion in this title. And it draws that out of me as well. Manga doesn’t often gracefully deal with the idea of loss. Or finding love once again in a realistic way that is just as painful and scary as it is hopeful. Your take on the manga will be colored by your own experiences–it’s a great story for adults with more than a few scars.
Hazuki is a 22 year old young man who experienced love at first sight. He occasionally visits the woman’s flower shop to buy small potted plants and steal some glimpses. When the shop posts an opening for a part-time position, Hazuki jumps at the opportunity and he now works close to the woman, Rokka. While running some work-related errands, Rokka innocently invites Hazuki to her apartment above the shop. Initially a bit miffed at her nonchalance at inviting a man upstairs (mostly wondering if he even registers as one), Hazuki gets a big surprise.
“The moment we held hands for the first time, I understood–
I’m sorry, but I don’t love you.”
There are two manga that I absolutely adore, but are inexplicably absent from my blog: Natsuyuki Rendezvous and &. What do they have in common? The strength of these manga is that the artwork itself conveys the story and emotion. In & in particular, the most important exchanges between characters involve no words. And it’s done so well that you get it and feel it. Beautiful, but perhaps hard to explain using this medium. So I’m settling for an image heavy glance at what & has to offer instead.
Otoko no Isshou
“At this age, I believed I wouldn’t fall in love again.”
While I love oyaji, this preference is not necessarily shared by many, considering the endless sea of bishies and hunky young men in anime and manga. However, one manga ignited “oyaji fever” in a large number of readers: Otoko no Isshou. It sold very well and was even nominated for the 3rd Manga Taisho Award. So what about this manga drew out the dormant karesen in everyone?
Otoko no Isshou is a romance manga that focuses on the atypical relationship that grows between a quiet, but capable office worker in her mid-30’s and a 51 year old philosophy professor.
Hatena no Hana
What would you do if you discovered your spouse had a secret stash of S&M equipment?
So, what would you do?
- Run and call a divorce lawyer.
- Confront him angrily.
- Put it back and pretend you saw nothing.
- Suit up, grab the handcuffs, and pounce on him when he gets home.
What was the reaction of the heroine of Hatena no Hana? Since it was written by the lovely Kawachi Haruka, you know it’s gold.
Chikutaku Bonbon (Tick Tock Dong Dong) follows a young woman who lives in early 1900s Tokyo. While originally appearing to have a supernatural bent, by the third chapter, the story settles in as a romantic comedy. The beginning shows good potential with unique chemistry between the two lead characters.
A short peek at two titles from my latest order of books. The dark-haired guys always get me.