Koi to Gunkan
An unconventional love triangle–How much is real? How much is imagined?
I like Nishi Keiko. That much is obvious enough around here. But I wasn’t sure how much I liked her. Is she top tier? Second? Occasional indulgence? Should I automatically buy any and all of her works? After reading Koi to Gunkan (Love and a Warship), I’m starting to think–yes, yes I should. She has a very distinct style, both in drawing and in the interactions between characters and I like them very much~
I briefly covered Koi to Gunkan before, but it’s good enough to warrant a more detailed look. Koi to Gunkan is currently serialized in the shoujo magazine, Nakayoshi. There’s a common theme to the internet chatter–shock that this story is “allowed” in Nakayoshi, which often carries fairly light (shallow sounds a bit harsh, but true?) shoujo manga that focus on school life and budding romance of young girls. Honestly, Koi to Gunkan really isn’t that different. It’s just different because the romantic interest might already have an established relationship–with another man.
Taking a look around here shows that I read some of Nishi Keiko’s manga, so I was naturally interested in her newest release, Koi to Gunkan (Love and a Warship). What interested me the most (aside from that title) was a common cry from readers: “Wow, this was published in Nakayoshi?!”, implying it was a bit uncharacteristic/mature for the shoujo magazine. I love things that exist outside the boundaries they’re “supposed” to remain within, so I ordered this one. It’s pretty popular–there was even a lag in the supply, with amazon temporarily out of stock (otherwise I’d be reading it now–I’m not bitter or anything) and bk1 just recently got another batch after low availability. So what is this manga all about?
Endou Kana is a middle school girl secretly in love with a man 28 years her senior, the town’s handsome mayor. However, he has a suspicious relationship with an older, scruffy, and smoking ero-mangaka. The two men wear the same cologne, have matching bathrobes, and they even regularly stay overnight together…?! So which is the purest, most acceptable form of love? The love of a middle school girl or adult love? And is it really okay to let Nishi Keiko run rampant in Nakayoshi like this?
Look at that scruffy oyaji, oh yeah! Oh, I guess the girl is cute too. Got distracted..
Apparently, it is more than okay. Actually, you know what? I AM bitter. I wish I was reading this right now and not a month from now. I’m kinda pissed that it didn’t make it into my first order. :-p Koi to Gunkan is published by Kodansha, so there’s the usual 3-ish page preview available. In case you’re not familiar, at least you get to see Nishi Keiko’s cute line art. :3
I consider myself an advocate of the delicious oyaji. At least advocate sounds better than raving fangirl madly attempting to brainwash others. *ahem* As a follow-up to my oyaji BL manga primer, here’s a selection of great romance manga featuring older men. Romance for adults. Not necessarily the naughty kind, but the grown-up kind.
You’ll notice this list is much smaller, especially since I went ahead and independently covered a number of the titles. Unfortunately, romancing older men isn’t a terribly common theme, at least not as the main focus of a manga. I don’t use the label “romance” lightly. A genuine, powerful draw between two characters must be the main focus to make this list. So here’s a selection of my favorite titles featuring an oyaji in a romantic story within some selected shoujo, josei, seinen, and BL manga.
Dowth may be like 1000 years old, but he’s still got it.
Posted in Manga
Tagged BL, Hidaka Shoko, Hiura Satoru, Igarashi Ran, josei, Kawakami Hiromi, manga, Mori Hinoto, Nishi Keiko, Okazaki Mari, seinen, shoujo, Taniguchi Jiro, Tatada Yoshio, Yamashita Tomoko, Yoshinaga Fumi
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.
Iwatani Yori is a 39 year old woman who leads a quiet life while working at the library. She thinks things like love and marriage are too troublesome. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a romance manga if there wasn’t someone introduced to disturb her pattern.
A handsome, but suspicious man appears before her, claiming to be an old childhood friend. Maki has cared for Yori since he was a boy, but now he’s a married man–married to a woman who looks exactly like Yori. This apparently doesn’t stop him from chasing down Yori who desperately tries to push him away. What kind of future could this love (?) have?
I’m not sure about the whole married man angle, but I liked the banter in Otoko no Isshou, so I’m willing to give Nishi Keiko’s newest work, Ane no Kekkon, a go!
Monthly manga recommendation list time! For supposedly being the answer to my limited time problem, this sure takes a lot of time to make! Going over and revisiting titles can be time-consuming, but fun. I guess 10 was an aggressive number to do every month, so for now this will be March/April. At least summer is around the corner and I’ll have less work obligations. I have another theme post or two that I want to do and would rather focus on that, but I need to wait for my next manga order to really get started on it.
Posted in Manga, Recommendations
Tagged Abe Miyuki, basso, Eiki Eiki, Kawachi Haruka, Kinuta Murako, Kitoh Mohiro, manga, Nishi Keiko, Nishioka Kyoudai, Ono Natsume, Otsuka Eiji, Takatsuki Noboru, Yamazaki Housui