Hope! Happiness! Headaches! Ore Monogatari!!

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Look at this guy, groovin’ around on the cover of his manga story. Look at his lips, his physique, his eyebrows. He is the most likable shoujo lead I’ve ever come across. Though it’d be hard to find yourself hating what is essentially the perfect character.

I’m not trying to be condescending; Takeo, the glamorous man you see above, is by all accounts a perfect character, or perhaps more suitably, a perfect person. His gentleness exceeds that of the typical shoujo female lead, his earnestness is almost puppy-like, and he places others above himself on a level that rivals Goku from Dragon Ball Z. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and everyone—and I mean everyone—loves him for being so transparent. No other word describes him better than “Goofball,” with as tender a stigma as the word possesses when spoken from someone who genuinely and wholeheartedly cares. Takeo carries the entire story on his gargantuan shoulders, and he is what keeps the readers coming back.

He is the beacon, too, for the flaws that make this an ultimately unfulfilling and eventually irritating read. (more…)

Komi-san Is an Absolute Delight

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It feels really nice to have a currently-reading manga where the moment it updates, a sizzling-hot feeling of anticipation erupts within the body like an explosion. For me, on this day, that title belongs to Komi-san Wa Komyushou Desu.

Komi is a girl who cannot speak; she is not mute, but has a certain disorder about herself where she cannot communicate with others well. Her goal is to conquer her disorder and make a vast amount of friends, so that she can establish a fulfilling and memorable high school experience. Alone, she struggles with this, until a completely normal classmate by the name of Tadano figures out her disorder and agrees to help her dream of achieving “100 friends.” (more…)

Entries from the Dead: Jitsu wa Watashi wa

jitsu wa watashi wa

[Dropped after 25 chapters.]

A manga as the subject this time around! Just look at how innovative I’m becoming in my absence.

With this long-running manga finally ending its run of Engish scanlation, I thought it would be appropriate to share my own story of trying to read, and eventually dropping, a story full of clichés and its almost parody-like execution of such. Initially intrigued by the distinct art style, a friend was also belly-deep into it and seemed to find it a decent read. That was all I needed, despite how lousy the anime adaptation was in terms of average score; after all, anime adaptations don’t necessarily correlate to its source’s success.

In this case, it kind of does. (more…)

Updated Thoughts on Miman Renai

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I did this in my last post for this manga, too, but I’ll reiterate just to be safe:

I do not condone the relationship between adults and young teenagers. This work is purely fictional and about 50% unrealistic and 50% overpure.

In my first trial with Miman Renai, I thought the series was a cute, albeit unrealistic and uninspiring story of forbidden love between an overly sweet 29-year-old and overly sweet 13-year-old. The fact that both are so overbearingly pure may make this series a turn-off based on how scared the male lead, knowing his position, is of confessing his feelings for what is essentially a child to him. Many others, I’m sure, would be turned off by the taboo themes presented right within the synopsis, but reading through this twice, neither are jumping at the chance to sleep with one another, much less hold hands (The covers are a lie). So, it’s taboo in potential only.

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Upon my second reading, much of my feelings of the story and characters are the same way. Kurose, the 29-year-old, has a behavior around Tomoe, the 13-year-old, that would appear as incredibly creepy if the story were from her perspective. While the reader has the benefit of knowing he has no ill intentions because they follow his mindset and character, from Tomoe’s viewpoint, looking up her school, taking oranges to her, and infiltrating her school on what is essentially a Parent-Teacher Conference are all very vivid red flags. Kurose working at an adult gaming company also doesn’t help. Of course, she doesn’t question any of this due to her incredible naivety. The realism of this manga, only from the perspective of Tomoe, immediately becomes shot because no one would be this trusting of Kurose’s behavior. The fact that she is trusting, and blindly devoted to him at almost every turn, makes for an incredibly eerie representation of what leads kids into being kidnapped, or worse.

Taboo/icky possibilities aside, the struggles of this forbidden romance are fairly standard, as well. People tell Kurose (and vice-versa with Tomoe) that they shouldn’t be seeing one another, while the two leads themselves struggle to find a balance between being friends and remaining faithful (Though the latter is more just from Kurose’s mindset). A lot of the drama could’ve been further improved by letting it fester within the minds of the leads (God knows Tomoe could’ve used some depth), as instead the manga decides to bring it up as a means of driving the two apart only to get back together some two or three chapters later. Not to mention, there’s a lot of underlying side conflict, including Kurose’s traumatic past of being bullied and his relationship with his game company’s busty president, that are barely explored whatsoever. This one-track mindset keeps the focus primarily on the leads’ relationship and nothing more, which is disappointing with how wishy-washy a lot of it is, mostly through misunderstandings.

With how I describe it, one would think that this series was rather unimpactful. On the contrary, after reading this for the second time, the score shot up tremendously and catapulted to among my favorite manga. So what makes this series so wonderful?




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Look at this wonderful burst of energy, enthusiasm, a love for character exuberance and a passion for drawing and artistic expression! This type of illustrating style that allows the characters to pop, to become more than just drawings on paper! This intoxicating display of pure, unadulterated vigor is so wonderfully executed that I cannot help but love it! It reminds me a lot of Studio Trigger at their finest, the sequences of series such as Kill la Kill or Little Witch Academia that stray from the realm of reality and take on a level of artistry that becomes so enveloping from passion alone.

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Of course, this level of pure fun isn’t present at all times, but the mangaka does what she can to make both the small, inconsequential moments and serious periods of self-reflection all the more alluring with her vividness. Some examples (like the picture above) can be criticized for being too simplistic in an effort to ease up on the workload. For me, this doesn’t matter if I’m laughing at how amusing all of these character transformations look and how it impacts the rampant enjoyment I’m getting out of reading it. Miman Renai is one of those rare examples where a manga, in an objective sense isn’t worth more than a five out of ten, is launched into much higher territory from a gargantuan amount of subjective love.

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Despite the taboo themes, the standard story, the unsatisfied potential of side plots, the brilliance of Tomoe’s naivety, and the tiring, self-inflicted, off-and-on romantic endeavor, Miman Renai is a manga that gets by with its emotional gusto and artistic flavor. It is among my favorite manga because it managed to completely override my mechanical circuitry and allow my heart to dance in the way most “normies'” would upon seeing a new trailer for the latest Star Wars film. While not mentally moved by my passion for deep, multi-layered stories of love and loss, Miman Renai has that once-in-a-lifetime quality that speaks to me on an absurd personal level, an intangible quality that is hard to really articulate into words. All I can do is spam more pictures from the story because I love them.

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I reread this manga on a whim, fueled only by a slight desire to revisit the wacky faces of the characters. What I unearthed was an undiscovered, but always present adoration for a story that really probably doesn’t deserve it. It’s a simple tale that only sticks out based on the huge age gap between its characters and the innocent manner it portrays it with. Despite everything else, Miman Renai executes itself through means of giddy expression, one that had gone relatively unnoticed by me for nearly a year and a half. I stick by it, too; the only reason I have to recommend this manga is due to the mangaka’s lovely expressiveness and nothing more. Perhaps it’ll give you, the reader, the same appreciation for art it did for me.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Thoughts on Sekine-kun no Koi (Spoilers)

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Sekine, according to most synopses for this manga, is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. This is not even close to the truth. He is an ace-of-all-trades. Every opportunity to embellish the fact that Sekine is an incredibly talented, yet flawed human being is taken all the way to the bank. He’s amazing at ping pong, amazing at knitting, amazing at his job, amazing at unintentionally luring women to his side, and amazing in his own density. What the synopsis may imply is that Sekine cannot find love due to his mid-tier ability at everything, while in reality, his ability to do everything without much practice is what allows the story to further develop his empty inner shell.

What may be obvious from other stories that have received a lot of praise from me, Sekine-kun does a good job of creating an atmosphere of self-conflict and relating to what drives that inner turmoil. It’d be easy to make this series just another romcom about a good-looking guy who’s perfect at everything meet a girl who’s resistant to his charms. Instead, Sekine-kun takes a somewhat rare approach to the perfect male lead. While in, say, a harem fantasy, a male lead who is essentially perfect uses that for the sake of being all and pure and loving towards everyone, Sekine is a much different case. Without sounding entirely biased, his character is fairly relatable on an emotional level, one who dislikes uncomfortable atmospheres and does the bidding of others on the basis of simply avoiding that tension. This “eagerness” to allow people to do what they want with him has given him a history of intertwining events that make up how little he feels for anything in general.

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If this seems a little too extravagant, look at it this way: Sekine has been sucked dry of any passion. His constant willingness to suit the mood has left his own self unwilling. Almost like Pavlov’s dog in the sense that he’s learned to lie down and wait for things to be over with whenever someone pushes him.

Sekine is the sole reason this manga differs from most others and he is essentially the only thing that makes this story interesting. His behavior and inability to break through his shallow self-loathing makes for a refreshing lead character, one who actually feels like a human being as opposed to a walking harem machine. Unfortunately, he is not a perfect lead by any stretch of the imagination.

While introspective, depressing, and justifiably lost, his inability to function like a normal person when confronting pressure is quite amazing. Many times throughout the manga, a lot of the common tropes that come with the struggling budding of a romantic relationship is taken advantage of by his stuttering mindset. His character is perfect for emotional filibusters. As time grew on and later chapters began becoming shorter and shorter, one can feel the effects of a slowly-staling character quirk come to pass. There’s only so much one can do to with such an oddball introvert, who secludes himself from the public and can count his friends on one hand, when it comes to pursuing romance. Criticize himself for past mistakes, bury himself in the only hobby he has, dream and fantasize about the woman he adores; none of this becomes as interesting when he’s spent the last twelve chapters or so doing it. And without any true supporting characters to take the weight off of his spotlight, his once-intriguing persona becomes as monotonous as this story’s ending.

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Note I said “true” supporting characters. Supporting characters definitely exist, and a lot of them receive some attention throughout. The only issue with this is that they’re all pieces of a much larger puzzle. Sekine is obviously a developed character. The female lead? Not quite on his level, but well enough to remain consistently likable. Anyone else is what makes the manga somewhat harder to defend upon further reflection. Sekine has a friend from work and his wife, whom he never even realized he had feelings for (Okay…). There’s another character who’s introduced to serve as a sort of rival lover for Sekine, but is only a scapegoat as his intentions were only vaguely pointed in that direction. Even he doesn’t seem to serve any real point in the end, despite some segments dedicated to his fascination with a kinda-sorta-but-not-really family member. Then there’s the female lead’s grandfather, who acts as the catalyst for Sekine’s eventual pursuit of his granddaughter and in confronting his own feelings of contempt. One would think that would mean he would play a role in unlocking Sekine’s future happiness… but disappears off-and-on for a good portion of the story and serves little real impact.

What may be the biggest punch to the gut is the aspect of romance. Almost on the level of my thoughts on the main couple of Yuri!!! On Ice, Sekine and Sara, the female lead, don’t really feel like a couple. Sekine obviously loves her, as his devotion to her is borderline stalker-levels. It’s Sara that becomes so perplexing as the chapters roll by. She never really has a reason to develop feelings for Sekine, aside from obvious comments about how good-looking and gentlemanly he is. I always pictured her looking at Sekine like a pet project, and as heartless as that sounds, he’s proven how broken he really is. Perhaps it was due to that desire to help him that she began to feel closer to him in the long run, as it’s even stated in dialogue from others that Sekine triggers women’s “maternal instincts.” Still, I can’t help but question whether Sara truly had a reason to look at him as a life partner or if the story bribed her with some teddy bears to go along with it.

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While I have no stake in the matter as a heterosexual, what exactly makes Sekine so attractive? His appearance isn’t too bishie-fied and while he’s tall, slender, and has sharp eyes, he simply looks plain to me. The art style of Sekine-kun did little to showcase what exactly made him so physically attractive. What is noteworthy is how Shoujo-ish Sara looks, along with most other female characters. Big, perfectly-symmetrical eyes and chubby cheeks. It makes me wonder if the mangaka is accustomed to writing Shoujo (or even BL) manga. I liked the random little symbolic showing of inner feelings and the like, but there were far too few! A constant showing of threads and unwinding is the only thing that always sticks out, and by the time it actually makes sense, it feels overdone. A dream sequence could’ve been really neat. No overall complaints, though I wish the mangaka incorporated more elaborate psychological imagery.

I blazed through this manga due to Sekine and his gloomy nature. By series’s end, it almost seemed like a facade, due in part by how standard the resolution to it all ensued. Sekine-kun is both cliché and non-cliché, it only depends on what aspect of the manga one holds with more importance. Characters feel real and interesting (notably the leads), though the story could’ve been handled with a little more creative finesse (and provided more of an impactful ending). In the first ten chapters, I was ready to give the series a gold star and recommend it to everyone. Now, it feels almost wasted in its own darkened drivel.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Thoughts on Subete ni Iya Girl


Obviously, when someone sees a synopsis for a story about a middle school girl with an arrow through her head, they’re required by law to give it a shot. Though, I’m American, so I’m not sure this law spans across any other country. Despite the silly premise, there’s an air of realism that surrounds the opening chapters. A clear introduction is presented and the major characters, the girl with the arrow and the boy interested enough to pursue the girl further, exchange a relatable tension between normalcy and absurdity. Clear intentions are made to establish the introduction of an intriguing backstory of a girl just within the boundary of lunacy. Unorthodox, sure, but it works for what’s presented. And once the chapters begin to find a rhythm, the writing shows how spoiled it really is.


There are times when manga can be silly. Notable examples come from the parody genre, with titles like Onidere or Fujimura-kun Mates. I think they’re parodies, anyway. These two titles and others have a tendency to completely subvert the expectations of the viewer by making random or wacky situations seem normal. Things like melons coming to life to sprinkle salt upon the noses of newborn children (I made that up, but I wouldn’t say it’d never happen in manga), only to have the major characters stop them. Subete ni Iya Girl, or The Hating Girl, is another one of these stories, though one wouldn’t be able to see it at first. Indeed, the opening chapters of Hating Girl are rather normal, outside of the obvious arrow-themed jokes, with a pragmatic approach to humor and character interaction. It isn’t until twenty to thirty chapters in do the situations become more than “daily school things.” It is also at this point where the manga becomes nearly intolerable.


Humor is very subjective, understandably, but Hating Girl tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator, complete with a buffet of sex jokes and random obscenity. A majority of the aforementioned “spoiled” writing takes place within the humor. Things that would never, ever happen in real life are taken advantage of within the lax universe of Hating Girl, providing an unfunny plethora of filler chapters that don’t mean anything. Really, does a chapter dedicated to two random characters enticed with the idea of feeling the female lead’s breasts mean anything? There’s too much of an emphasis on the unrealistic possibilities presented for humor to have the reader care about the occasional bouts of character development. Yes, there’s an effort to make these characters relatable and multi-dimensional, in-between chapters dedicated to the female lead accidentally giving the male lead a handjob. That statement is only slightly exaggerated.


If the humor were better and served more of a purpose to each chapter, Hating Girl would definitely be more enjoyable. With the imbalance of humor type and the characters being nearly literal walking misunderstandings, it makes it hard to see it as an impactful story. It feels more like a draft, a sort of sandbox style of writing that it may serve better without an overarching narrative. If not for the dramatic moments dealing with the female lead’s past, that may as well be what it is. The manga is unsure of its strengths and weaknesses, with its rapid-fire changing of moods and scenarios, doing whatever it can to mix things up… without actually mixing up the sexually-tinged humor. There’s even a chapter dedicated to making the female lead into a live-action girl!

The art isn’t anything to write home about, either. A lot of the characters have weird looking heads, ranging from bowling pin-like to completely round (something that’s joked about). The style of facial features reminds me a tad of a poor man’s Akira Toriyama, with slanted eyes and similar pupil styles. And noses exist. It, like many other manga, improves its style over time, but never to the point where anything outside of exaggerated faces are anything to the point of attractive. One will likely have no trouble getting used to it, but at no point was I really amazed by what I was seeing. It’s rather ordinary, if not a little off.


This ended up being short than I anticipated. There isn’t really much to say about Hating Girl, it has its negatives and negatives. Very little positives. There’s some effort into making the story feel alive and relatable, especially when delving into the history of the female lead’s arrow, but it’s too swamped by unnecessary cockteasing and incredibly awkward sexual humor. With one last note worth mentioning, the characters are more oblivious than the standard harem male lead—to the point where they’ll immediately assume one thing and do nothing to try and collect more information despite it happening on multiple occasions. If that isn’t enough to scare one away, The Hating Girl won’t likely be The Hated Girl.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Quick Thoughts on Natsu no Zenjitsu


Unfortunately, I’ve been putting off writing about this manga ever since I finished it about two weeks ago. If I don’t write something about it soon, I’ll end up just not writing about it at all. So, let’s make this post short and sweet; much like this story.

First off, this manga is a wonderful experience. So much passion and pure, unperturbed emotion and insight into the human psyche is explored within the confounds of the narrative. It’s a wonderful example of the exact type of romantic development I look for in stories. Well, perhaps not exactly, but it hits the mark for more accurately than most.

The characters have a penchant to follow their own paths within the story, never really yielding to the idea that they need (or even desire) one another’s affection or acceptance to push forward. It revolves around the friction of sexual desire more than the aspect of finding one to complete the two-person whole that romanticists strive for. Mincing words isn’t Zenjitsu’s forte, instead going for the jugular and providing all the lust and carnal desire human beings of a young-adult age typically carry with them. And through this, end up developing a bond that could conceivably be seen as love.

There is more at stake, however, as aside from romance, the other most important aspect of Natsu no Zenjitsu is self-discovery. Finding one’s place in this world and the value of one’s own abilities. It’s so hammered into the story that one might actually be turned off by the main character’s impression of his worthlessness. Having the means to accept one’s own faults and shortcomings is something very rarely established in other forms (especially Anime, where every male lead is a self-insert). If not for the fantastic focus on emotional cognition and adult-oriented romance, Natsu no Zenjitsu is a breath of fresh air from the same old, same old.

It’s very possible that this manga simply caught me off-guard and I overrated it, but the amount of enjoyment gained from this was stupendous. Inconceivable. Stupid. I cannot recommend this manga enough, though I understand there are a few instances that make me question why I loved it so much in the first place. If one has the chance to read it, read it. If one has to think about it first, don’t think. Thinking is forbidden. Just read. Read, and enjoy.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.