9 of 9 chapters read
Happiness written by Usamaru Furuya is a collection of short stories that will, undoubtedly, make you think about life and the people in it.
The collection of short stories is not just a random collection. They're put together wonderfully, making the reader want to continue on, either wanting to know more of the characters, their lives, the way they think, or because somehow they connect to the stories and how the characters are portrayed. That is how it was for me, I can't promise you`ll have the same reaction, as these stories can be taken differently by the reader. In this case, I find that the most beautiful thing about the stories. Most Anime and Manga in the 'Slice of Life' genre are stories you could relate to, or based off real life. In this collection we touch on various times in various people's lives; some seem normal at first, or just quirky. However, the farther we delve into their lives and their stories the more our eyes open; almost in the same way that a newborn baby takes in the world for the first time after leaving the womb.
The stories, eight in all, are each touching in their own way. Each story is different, yet in the end they are the same. The people we see, the words they speak which we read, are each special. However, they all have a particular outlook on life, a particular way of thinking and being. Dedication, love, need, hopelessness, enjoyment, sorrow; all these things are here in these stories, each character has them. None of the characters are perfect, nowhere near it. Perhaps this is why I love the collection. Furuya has done a brilliant job in creating the characters; whether based of real people or probing dreams.
The art in the series is not outstanding, it's not breathtaking and stunning. The characters at times look awkward, the style of drawing is old, not generally seen in the newer manga appearing on shelves. It is nice to look at, however. Personally, the artwork in the stories "Song of the Devil" and "Happiness" are favorites, as they're detailed and give the reader a sense of uneasiness, of distaste, and curiosity.The details and shading give the reader a sense of being able to delve into the world, explore it, and perhaps even feel the emotions of the characters, or try to feebly grasp them. That is how I felt while reading this particular stories.
The characters, though many, do not go to waste. Each one develops into something else or something more than what they were. They come to understand one another in one or two of the stories, while in others they come to adore and love one another. I thought in the stories "Lolita #7", "Teased and Stepped on.." and perhaps even "What If?" there could have been a few more details added to the characters, their back story perhaps. However, in the way that the stories are written, and the over all affect, the sense of not knowing is just fine as having that extra fact or two about them.
Overall I enjoyed these stories. They made me re-open my eyes, made me think about myself and the people I knew, if for a brief moment. Personally, I enjoy stories like these. Though they were short; it was in this shortness that I could find pleasure, being able to just sneak into their lives for one moment, for a day, and have that one moment to try and understand them. I think any open minded being would love to read these, as there's a special something to each one that can't quite be found anywhere else. read more
9 of 9 chapters read
The artwork in this manga is fair. It's not very stunning nor breathtaking, nor anything that's very different from any other manga. In some places it looks odd or lacks details, or is just bland to look at in general. The style is nothing too amazing. It's nice to glance over, however.
The characters in this manga are actually quite a bit different than how Shakespeare originally wrote them! Which is something I enjoyed. I had put off reading this manga ( as well as watching the anime ), in spite of many people telling me of their enjoyment over both. Once I had actually read and finished, however, I was glad I did. The characters are different, and relatively unique. Not only from a majority of the manga I have read, but as well as what Shakespear wrote them as being originally. Some of the characters are a bit annoying, or perhaps too selfless. They`ve got a bit of depth and meaning to them, but they're not fantastic characters. As the manga was quite short, and followed a general track ( as it's a spin-off sort of thing ), it did an overall good job of working characters from base knowledge to having a bit of depth. I grew fond of Juliet and a few side characters from reading, which is enough for me with a work like this.
Overall, and my enjoyment of this manga, can be summed up quite simply.
It was a good and interesting read, but it was equally confusing. I found the romance portion to be just enough to be interesting, but not the entire main focus, nor so much that it suffocated someone like me - who does not enjoy romance as much as she probably should. I found the characters somewhat interesting to read about, though they did fall short compared to the story, which was by far more interesting than just them singularly ( which was interesting for me as well, considering most Romeo and Juliet stories are focused so heavily on the couple that it's hard to have your interest anywhere else ).
I think this would be a charming read for anyone, though only if they followed it up with watching the anime ( which is by far, much better, and is one of the few animes I will say -that- about ). If you're looking for masses of mushy romance, it might not be for you. If you're not looking for a more fantasy-based twist to your Shakespeare, this might not be for you either. Yet, give it a chance. The characters are interesting enough, and the plot does well enough on it's own.
I hope that, if you do read it, you find you've enjoyed it. read more
79 of 79 chapters read
The first volume or so of this series starts out with a collection of short stories. Through them, you get a gist of how hard it is for inter-sexed children to grow up in the world. There are people in the world who don't understand intersexuality, or children who are 'different', or who have special needs, etc. There are also the hardships of parents raising a child who is neither a boy nor a girl, and have to make decisions that will not only impact their lives, but the future of their children's lives, and their mentality.
This is very touching, and while some things might not be straight to the point or factual in this manga ( in spite of lots of research, from what I can tell ), the volumes of this manga does a very good job of conveying hardships for families of intersexed children, specially as they grow. Which leads me to Haru's portion of the manga, and the characters.
The rest of the manga, is the story of Haru. We see the way that Haru's parents decide to raise him, we see the affect that being intersexed has on him. The entire ordeal is very touching and very cleverly done. Romance, love, pain, suffering - all these things, and so much more, are elegantly woven together and create a near-perfect story. The character development in this series is absolutely fantastic.
The characters are what really make up this manga/series. The characters are the shining light of the manga, and are so provoking and interesting that you find yourself wanting to read on and on, because you want and need to know what happens to them in the end. Whether the IS children chose to become male, or female. What the characters surrounding those children are like. Teasing, cruel, misunderstanding - or even sweet, kind, and friendly.
The artwork is simple and clean, though shading and tone can be a bit messy or awkward, though that's not abnormal for shoujo manga. The characters are simple, but you can tell them apart, and as they change, it's a visual change, and not just something that's noted only through speech.
This is a manga I would recommend for anyone, and everyone, as long as you have an open mind and can sympathise with the fact that, people out there are very different. Not, exactly, by their own choice. This manga was very touching, and such an amazing read. read more
1 of 24 chapters read
Island, being a one-shot manga, is a very short read. But in spite of how short it is, the story gets everything it wants and needs to out there, and then wraps it up nice and neatly. The characters and story are fantastic and heartwarming, everything being developed very well and smoothly over a simple 45 pages.
The story starts with two young girls, both of whom are unique, and quite fun to read. They live on a stretch of land that is guarded from the outside world by a large, towering wall. Their dreams and goals are to one day scale the wall and leave their small village behind. One of the girls, a very scholarly type, is the only one on the island that's left who can read, being that the population is so small and that the group of people have been cut off from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.
She speaks of many things outside the large walls that protects them, and thus fires both of their dreams to new levels, as they have nothing like what's spoken of in the books inside their small circle of land.
What lays outside the walls, however, is a mystery. Once revealed, the short manga continues to go on being just as heartwarming as it had started out as being, leaving you with a sense of questioning what happens to the two girls, and the villagers within the walls. It leaves you satisfied, however, and content with how the story was told.
Two young girls, in contrast to the many older residents of the town, become amazingly motivational and enthralling. They give inspiration, and hope, to the other villagers. Everyone has a dream, everyone has a wish or goal. It's heartbreaking to have those dreams, hopes, and wishes crushed.
It was cute, and amusing to see what happens, when an idea that you can regain those hopes and dreams, comes back, sparked by young girls with a large imagination and the youngest girls desires and knowledge, that there could just be something more, there might be a chance. .
Wrapping up this review. The art was interesting and cute, it went along with the female characters quite well, and did a very good job with scenery and landscape. Though minimal in some places, this being a one-shot, and the type of story that it was, it felt fine and flowed quite smoothly, though was nothing too special.
As this is a very quick read, if you have twenty-minutes or so to spare, you should most definitely read this manga ( if you haven't already ). read more