29 of 29 chapters read
Similar to Yomeiro-Choice and especially Shinshi (Gentleman) na Meets Girl, this manga is an extremely funny romantic comedy. Despite being cut too short, Ayu Mayu wraps up loose ends pretty well. There were some things that could have been done better, but the author is excused. However, the premise is exciting, and the story does not get dull, as surprises appear, and emotions develop.
The story revolves around Toyokawa Yousuke, a poor student who got separated from his little sister when he was a kid. Now that he is in high school, he decides to go look for her, and understands that she was adopted by a wealthy school headmaster, named Anjou. When he finally gets to the house (more like a mansion, actually), he is happy to be reunited with his little sister - only to find out that there are two girls who could be her. The documents for the adoption have mysteriously disappeared, the orphanage was burnt down, and Yousuke only remembers the last syllable of his imouto's name: ". . . yu." One girl's name is Mayu, and the other is Ayu. Both of them remember having an onii-chan, but, much like in Yousuke's case, they have forgotten how theirs look like or what their brothers were called, and have little clues for the answers. Their father begins to doubt Yousuke, and gives him one week to discover who is the real sister, or he must leave, as a man. To make things even more complicated, another girl appears later whose name is Nayu, and she claims to have been in the same orphanage as Toyokawa's . . .
I like the story. It is not a frequent setting (I know about Onegai Twin, but still . . .), and it continues in a funny style with supernatural abilities, though intended for humor, such as "Imouto (Little Sister) GPS," which enables the person to find his little sister, or someone he cares about just as much, instantly, though it can only be used by perverted brothers. By the way, although some chapters may feel that way, this manga is not really slice-of-life. There is either a strong development between the characters or some new ones are introduced. Occasional dramatic moments are also present, especially in the end.
There are not many main characters here, but these ones are quite sufficient. Toyokawa Yousuke is a guy who tries to do the right thing when possible (or impossible) if it comes down to his little sisters, or later Nayu. The one first mistaken to be the lost sister is Anjou Mayu, a beautiful, shy fifteen-year-old girl who warms up to Yousuke pretty quickly, calling him "onii-chan," despite not being sure whether they are related or not; she plays the violin well with her orchestra. Described by her father to be similar to a watchdog when it comes to Mayu, her few-months older adopted sister, Anjou Ayu is the outspoken one of the two, and continuously rejects Yousuke's kind gestures (though he is prone to tongue-slipping absent-mindedly sometimes), beating him up whenever she feels he did something wrong; basketball is a sport she enjoys (heh, reminds you of Shindou Kei (Ef) much?). Last but not least is Nayu, a gorgeous lady who is like a mixture of Ayu and Mayu, having the former's straightforwardness and the latter's attractiveness (she resembles Myamura Miyako (Ef) more, though (except the part about her cat)); despite the fact he hardly remembers her, she used to be in the same orphanage as Yousuke, and was often protected by him, resulting in her falling head-over-heels for him; furthermore, Nayu somehow seems to be able to talk to her black cat.
A colorful set of characters that you would just want to see how they interact with each other or what they are going to do next. I respect the protagonist, Yousuke; he is an honest man that always does his best for the sake of his imouto, willing to sacrifice anything for them, even at the cost of his own happinesss. The series starts out pretty good, but just as you are getting used to things, Nayu comes in the picture, and hilarity sky-high rise; she provides a stronger rivalry for Mayu in order to have Yousuke's affection, better than the already existing love triangle which includes Ayu. Others of lesser importance also appear, with their own quirks, such as a swimming instructor that likes the sisters as well.
Ayu Mayu (or "Ayu Mayu Nayu," as I like to call it, since Nayu is of equal importance to the other two) is an innocent, cute manga that shows the good side of perverts and what they are willing to do for the sake of their imouto. You can expect some fan-service, romance, love triangles, and, of course, comedy. Recommended to those looking for something light and short to read. You will not regret reading this one. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
"Akai Yakusoku" - episode twelve title
"I want to make new memories here." - Hasekura Kouhei
"Fortune Arterial" is actually the title of a visual novel. It was adopted into a manga of the same name, and an anime called "Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku (Red Promise)." Some people were disappointed with the anime because of a lack of action scenes, which they assumed would be there de facto as the series had vampires. In case you have not seen Twilight, I have got some news for you: vampires do not equal action anymore. You just have to live with it. This show is basically slice of life, with friendship elements thrown to it. However, there is an overall plot, and it is heavily related to vampires, which is apparent from the very first scene of the very first episode, continuing to slowly progress, with mysteries being revealed at a steady pace.
The story follows Hasekura Kouhei, a boy who frequently changes schools, feeling like a migratory bird. He is finally about to settle in Shakugan Gakuen (Academy), a six-year English-style school on Tamatsu island. The first person he meets is a pretty blonde girl that welcomes him warmly as the vice-president of the student council. However, just as they are about to shake hands, she, Sendou Erika, suddenly backs off and falls, acting strangely. When he asks her what is wrong, she says it is nothing, and promptly delegates the task of showing Kouhei the dorm to fellow student Hachimandaira Tsukasa, who had just walked by. Over there, he meets two sisters, Yuuki Hinata and Kanade, that remember Kouhei from childhood, as they used to play together on the island. Since he is a new student, Kouhei has to take pictures of various locations around school grounds. When he gets to the church, he helps a little girl find her pet rabbit, called Yuukimaru ("yuuki" means snow, referring to the rabbit being white). The girl's name is Tougi Shiro, and she is a member of the "Royal Ring," which is never actually explained as to what it is, just that it apparently has something to do with the church. He also encounters "sister" Amaike, who, as he heard from Tsukasa, hits misbehaving students with a fry pan. Kouhei spills this out to her, causing Amaike to be angry. He wisely decides to leave to look for the student council building to take pictures of it. Shiro goes with him to show Hasekura the location. However, her older brother, Tougi Seiichiro, sees them together when they arrive there. Seiichiro, with an angry expression, sends his sister away, and warns Kouhei to leave. Just then, another student interrupts. He is Sendou Iori, the cunning student council president, and it turns out that Tougi was actually warning Hasekura about Sendou. After Iori invites Kouhei in, the former causes a problem between the latter and Erika. She becomes upset with Kouhei, but later, she overhears him defending her. Then, Erika tells Kouhei to meet her under the zelkova tree, a place where people usually confess their feelings. He goes to the church first, where Kouhei sees something shocking, a boy biting a girl in the neck . . .
I like the progression of the story in general, as it focuses on Kouhei trying to do his best with the duties entrusted to him. Also, he helps Erika whenever he can, causing their feelings for each other to grow in time. Others play a role as the show goes on, but not on the same level.
You can see what I meant by slow development, but the characters are so likeable, you will want to get to know them. Hasekura Kouhei is a boy looking for something he has yet to find. A diligent girl who is the vice-president of the student council, Sendou Erika has to both keep a secret and struggle with her new, strange feelings around Kouhei; some fans wished for her to become Kouhei's girlfriend by the end, but there is no real conclusion to that aspect. Yuuki Hinata is a nice girl who is constantly by her sister's side and seems to have feelings for her childhood friend, Kouhei; I was rather disappointed that their relationship does not really develop throughout the show, and she instead befriends Erika, her rival. Becoming a good friend of Hasekura's and copying his homework, Hachimandaira Tsukasa is a nice guy that sometimes gets bullied by Kanade. A very energetic, outspoken, and childish girl, Yuuki Kanade is highly fond of her little sister, and is responsible for the dorm. In the sixth year of school, Sendou Iori is the sly, seemingly light-hearted president of the student council. A member of the student council, Tougi Seiichiro is calm, collective, serious, and very protective of his little sister; as their families have been friends for a long time, he is on good terms with Iori; it bothered me that he appears weak at a later episode, despite his usually-strong disposition. Tougi Shiro is a cute fourth-year girl who is a part of the Royal Ring; it is traditional for her family to perform a dance during a certain time of the year. Not very social, Kuze Kiriha is a calm and mysterious student at the school.
The anime certainly lives up to its visual novel counterpart, with colorful, astonishing animation and character designs. I cannot recall a single mistake in that department. There is a lot of detail given even to the background characters, making them seem like they could be main ones, and the scenery is just spectacular.
The opening and ending sequences are beautiful as well, with the former showing scenes of the main characters accompanied by an uplifting song, and the latter displaying the main females (save for the heroine, who appears in the last part, moving) wet in still pictures with calm music. The seiyuu generally fit their respective characters, with one in particular, Yuuki Hinata, a quiet and collective girl, being voiced by the same woman that did one of the heroines of Ef - a Tale Memories. (which happens to be my all-time favorite show), Miyamura Miyako, who is hyper and energetic in comparison.
To be honest, in my opinion, this is the best story depicting vampires (and I have seen Twilight and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer); it does not change actors nor drag on for too long. The show is episodic for the most part, but it does have a powerful finale, though one might want more (action- and romance-wise). Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku is an anime that is worth the watch for those intelligent people who wish to learn about life. read more
1 of 1 chapters read
The heroine here has a long-time crush on her little step-brother. She is in high school, dating a guy, but her brother, whom she always bickers with, remains on her mind. They came to live together just a few years ago, so they were not raised with each other since birth, and they are both aware of it. He used to cry and be protected by his sister, but now, he is bigger than her, and has become somewhat of a womanizer. One day, she tries kissing him in his sleep, but he suddenly wakes up . . .
So what is boring about the story is that there is no twist. It is not like they are blood-related or have been raised together since birth. In Aki-Sora, for example, they have both elements, making the manga exciting and taboo. Also, in KissxSis, two twins lust over their little step-brother. So you can see why this manga is not exactly "unique," unless it is in a plain way. I do not usually say this, but the setting is really a typical "girl-likes-boy" story.
*Sighs* The characters, uhh, I could not even care enough to remember any of their names (and I am usually pretty good at this), but then again, the story did not last long anyway. The heroine is the tsundere who acts tough around the protagonist, and denies her feelings for him to everyone. Her brother is the handsome guy that has a childish disposition, and is, of course, unaware of his sister's feelings. The heroine's boyfriend is a calm, mature man. Her friend talks about romance with her. That pretty much covers it.
If you have seen one, you have seen them all; like a typical shoujo manga, the art is crappy. The eyes are either too big or too sharp; the faces look like they are drawn by an amateur; the "bishounen" are as tall as basketball players; and the hands are larger than their heads. Shounen manga can have good-looking characters without the exaggeration in shoujo ones, and they can follow girls as well (e.g., B Gata H Kei, High School Girls, and Hatsukoi Limited.), something I have yet to see in shoujo (the same goes for "girl x girl x guy" love triangles).
Of all the one-shots I have read, this one has the least chance of me reading it again. The only good thing about it is that it taught me that drinking milk at night helps a person sleep, as the heroine does that on the night she attempts to kiss her little stepbrother. As I was reading Embrace Me Tightly on the Highest Floor (I got the name right later; none of my guesses were correct -_-' ), I had to keep reminding myself of its short length just to be able to get through it. I felt like I was on a mission. I have never reviewed anything so negatively before, but it had to be said. No wonder no one else has bothered to review it yet. There are far better one-shots out there than this one, such as Akazukin Eliza, Futagami Double, and The World God Only Knows (yes, it actually started as a one-shot, with a sexier version of Elucia de Lut Ema, and the girls remembered Katsuragi Keima after they fell in love with him; I think it is actually better than the longer version). read more
167 of 167 chapters read
When I first saw strawberries after reading Ichigo (Strawberry) 100%, I just had to laugh, remembering Manaka Junpei and his strawberry-ful problems. This is the longest and one of the first manga I have finished. First off, I have to say, the anime does not do the manga justice. The former may be more flashy, but it is ruined by bad artwork, seiyuu, soundtrack and overall portrayal. On the other hand, the latter might be less colorful, but it is fortified with good length, character designs, drama and romance. Definitely read the manga first; it has the complete story from the author, Kawashita Mizuki, who did other works, such as Hatsukoi Limited., Lilim Kiss and Ane Doki. It should also be noted that the story changes over time.
A boy called Manaka Junpei likes to go to the roof of the school for a nice view. One day, though, he is surprised to be greeted by the shoe of a fallen girl. The wind blows the girl's middle-school uniform, revealing her strawberry panties. Embarrassed, she runs away screaming. Junpei is now fascinated with the strawberry-panties girl, wanting to film what just happened, as it would make a great scene. The problem is, he has no idea who that person was, being surprised that there was such a cute girl at school. After inspecting the roof, Junpei finds a notebook belonging to a girl named Toujou Aya, whom he discovers later to be in the same class as his. When Manaka meets her, however, it becomes highly improbable for the strawberry-panties girl to be plain, glasses-wearing Toujou. His friends, Oukusa and Komiyama Rikiya, convince the protagonist that there are not many cute girls in Izumizaka middle school, hence, there is only one person he could be searching for: School idol Nishino Tsukasa. Surprisingly, Manaka has no clue whom that girl is, annoying Komiyama, who is in love with her and talks about her all the time. As the two are fighting, Tsukasa overhears a little of what they said, and, after abruptly turning down Rikiya, she tells Junpei that she wears strawberry panties. After she lectures and leaves them, a depressed Komiyama forces Manaka to confess to Nishino, who is now presumed to be the girl on the roof. However, she is known to have rejected every guy that asked her to be his girlfriend. Will Manaka simply be the next in line to get shot down like his friend hopes . . .?
The pacing is not bad, and while at first it seems like the story will be about who is the girl with the strawberry panties, with a predictable ending of the protagonist finding out in the last few chapters, the author surprises us by revealing her identity, first to the readers and then to Manaka, early on, actually, avoiding the slice-of-life expectation. A lot of twists take place fast, and important characters are introduced steadily. Also, just as you start thinking that all girls fall for him, you will see one who hates his indecisive nature, another who only wants boyfriends that buy her presents, and so on.
The characters are funny and likeable; they are not shallow (at least later). Manaka Junpei has never told anyone, but his dream is to be able to make movies one day, so he intends to apply to Izumizaka high school, which is hard for him to do, as he heard they have a film studies club. Shy and quiet, Toujou Aya secretly writes novels that she does not show to anyone, and she plans on applying to the difficult-to-get-into Oumi's all-girl high school, which should be easy for her, as she is at the top of her third-year class; her personality is different around her little brother, though, who is in love with her. Popular Nishino Tsukasa likes to cook pastries, and has recently cut her hair. Oukusa is considered a handsome boy who is good at soccer (football); he has a secret crush on Tsukasa. Komiyama Rikiya is a perverted, large, strong man who looks like a monster and has no luck with girls. A sexy girl by the name of Kitaouji ("kita" means "north") Satsuki later appears, as she applies to the same high school as Manaka; she is feisty, energetic and likes to have fun. Junpei's childhood friend (najimi) is called Minamito ("minami" means "south") Yui, a childish girl who used to protect "crybaby" Manaka when he got bullied, but they have not seen each other in years since her family moved; she likes to sleep in the nude. Also, Amachi is a tall, good-looking guy, who feels obligated to help any girl in need, even if they do not want to. On the other hand, Hiroshi likes to take pictures of girls, especially in certain positions, and has a bit of a sister complex. His little sister is Misuzu, a hard-headed girl that likes to watch movies and give her criticizing opinions straightforwardly on the directing process. Chinami is a cute girl that likes to hustle guys for gifts. Much like Aya, Kozue is a girl that does not talk much, and is especially fearful of boys, except that she has dirty fantasies regarding them. Manaka's sensei in high school is a big-breasted woman who likes to get drunk, particularly when she gets dumped; she used to act with a now-well-known director.
The art is pretty good here, though at some angles, especially their profiles, the characters look similar, even to ones of a different gender. Nevertheless, the serious moments are left alone, without inappropriate faces (or jokes), which is the way it should be. They are done brilliantly, I might add. Ichigo 100% is the artist's most successful work for a reason.
A great manga that keeps getting interesting, Strawberry 100% is one that you do not want to miss up on. There are both funny and touching moments, as the main character tries to avoid hurting the girls that like him. This takes school adventures to a new level. Look forward to the school/filming trips these guys will have in high school, and Manaka's endless girl trouble.
"The War between Kita (the North) and Minami (the South)" read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Also, a lot of love triangles are about unfold. Hatsukoi (First Love) Limited. is basically a group of short stories about middle- and high-schoolers dealing with their first love that are somehow connected. The problem is, any of those couples could have their own show, and one or two episodes about them are just not enough. Still, the anime does turn out all right, with humour, sexiness, and drama included; not to mention romance, of course. Like I said in the forum, episode 9 is far and away my favorite, as it is the most innocent, mature, and tragic.
It is hard to tell the synopsis here because, as I just mentioned, there are a lot of tales, but let us pretend that the first one is the most important. Five middle-schoolers talk about love, and one in particular, Arihara Ayumi, dreams about being confessed to by a handsome prince. As they are leaving school, they are confronted by a scary, large man that looks like a beast and pulls something out of his pocket, making the terrified girls think he is taking out a knife. It turns out to be just a letter directed towards Arihara. He, Zaitsu Misao, leaves right after handing it to her. Actually, it is a love letter, which shatters Ayumi's romantic fantasies . . .
Describing the characters in Hatsukoi Limited. is similar to drawing a relationship chart (which has already been done) since there are so many of them, but I will go ahead anyway for the sake of making the review complete. First off, there is the heroine (apparently), Arihara Ayumi, who is a feisty, strong girl that beats up her brother whenever he acts inappropriately. Her brother, Arihara Yuuji, loves his little sister a lot, but she does not feel the same way about him. His classmate, Bessho Yoshihiko, is in love with a girl in the same class, Misaki. Ayumi's classmate, Zaitsu Mamoru, also has a secret crush on Misaki, who is his neighbor. Yamamoto Misaki is Misao's childhood friend and is good at martial arts. Zaitsu Misao is Mamoru's older brother in high school that has a bad reputation and a scary face, frightening most of those that look at him; when he saw Mamoru's class picture one day, he fell for Ayumi, and realized his feelings later, after almost dying in a fight and being taken to the hospital. Bessho's little sister, Bessho Koyoi, is infatuated with her older brother, but does not realize that he likes someone else. Her friend, Chikura Nao, is in the art club and admires Renjou, a senpai whom she has never met, but has been drawn by his paintings; she has an older brother that is described as "hot" by Kei. Another classmate of theirs is my least favorite character, Dobashi, an athletic, sometimes quiet, girl who is in the tennis club and is secretly dating a boy in the same school, named Terai. Weak at sports, the glasses-wearing Terai could not keep up when playing tennis, so after getting private training from Dobashi, they started going out together. In the same class as her is Kusuda, a middle-schooler that likes dirty books; he often bickers with a girl called Kei, who says he has a kappa-(mythical creature that has a plate-like object over its head; in Nagasarete Airantou (Casted Away: Airan Island), it appears, but the protagonist, who is science-oriented, believes it to be a turtle)face. She, Enomoto Kei, is a beautiful girl that looks more mature than she really is, and thus is called an old woman by Kusuda; the two of them are supposed to pair up together, but they just do not fit each other. Zaitsu and Kusuda's circle completes with Sogabe, a quiet guy who is not in a hurry to find love. Finally, Watase Meguru, Yamamoto and Enomoto's older sister's classmate, used to be an Olympic candidate as a swimmer in middle school, but has since given it up to hide her enormous breasts, which got her teased; she used to like Takei, a senpai passionate for swimming, too.
The seiyuu generally fit their respective characters. It is notable that Roronoa Zoro's voice actor from One Piece also plays Takei in First Love Limited. There is also a nice soundtrack. The opening sequence includes scenes of the middle school girls, whereas the ending sequence shows all the females in cosplay pictures.
The artwork is at a high level. I may not like some character designs, but you can tell they were meant to look the way they are. The animators (and seiyuu) certainly did a way better job than the ones who did the author's more famous work, Ichigo (Strawberry) 100%, whose heroine, Toujou Aya is like a shy, weaker version of Yamamoto Misaki.
This is another one of those anime that I do not regret watching, and, in fact, I would be willing to watch it again some day. The stories are mostly beautiful, lighthearted, romantic, naïve and hilarious (wait until you see episode 8, "The Melancholy of the Chocolate Bomber"). The series has my stamp of approval. read more
18 of 41 chapters read
A high-school student, Sakuraga Saku, is often bullied by his childhood friend, Karin, who sometimes helps him with his homework. Lately, though, Karin has become pushy about going to Saku's place, which he finds weird and tries to avoid. As it turns out, Sakuraga's cousin, Kuran, aka Kuraran, has just moved in with him, surprising Karin at first, seeing her in just a towel (after taking a shower). All of a sudden, a little girl appears out of nowhere and claims to be Kiiro (Yellow), Saku and Karin's daughter from the future. When she proves who she is, Kiiro explains that at the current time, Sakuraga, her father, becomes a womanizer, and as such, his future is unstable. The former has begun disappearing in the future, therefore, she is here to make sure her parents end up together. The problem is, at the moment, the two have not confessed their feelings for each other or even gone out on a date. Can Karin, the mother, just move past this and be Saku's wife . . .?
If you are thinking, "so, it is basically about someone going 'back to the future'? then worry not, my friend, because the very first chapter's title, "Fuck to the Future," means the author has beaten you to that thought already. Although the manga initially seems like a nice parody, it is just that: It "seems" like a parody. There are more surprises down the road; I promise.
If you like goofy characters, then you will love these. Sakuraga Saku is someone who likes to run away whenever faced with a predicament and, thanks to his cousin, becomes lazier and lazier. His childhood friend, Karin, is constantly by his side, telling him what to do, without revealing her true feelings for Saku, or even confessing them to herself. Kuran is a quiet, clumsy girl, who also secretly likes Saku, babying him. Saku's friend, who is the class president as well (called "class shrimp" because of her size), wants her body to grow and is very conservative; unbeknownst to others and herself, she can sometimes turn to "ero (perverted) mode" when her embarrassment level reaches its peak. The little girl from the future is Kiiro, an energetic, childish person who will not stop until her parents are together. More are introduced later, making a certainly "colorful" cast.
Save for Kuran and Karin's mother's (basically all) large breasts (here), the art is pretty good. I do not like annoyingly calm characters, such as Kuraran and Hiiro (Red) (appears later), or high-schoolers that look like kids, e.g., Kozue Mebuki. I have read some of the other works of this mangaka, most of which are hentai (there is a joke on that in this manga), and she (yes, she is a girl) usually draws huge-breasted heroines that look and act like Karin. The author, "Tenkla," avoids that mistake in Yomeiro-Choice, turning it to be her most successful work.
Overall, you get yourself a funny, meaningful, beautiful story, with a love triangle. I guarantee you this is one manga that will never bore you. Ever. Definitely recommended. read more
6 of 6 episodes seen
Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (Looking Up at the Half-Moon) is an anime that unusually has a hospital setting for the most part. When I found this, I was looking for recommendations to Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (The Eternity You Wish for) (I think, or it must have been Ef - a Tale of Memories/Melodies.), hoping to find a tragic story (which is hard to do), and this seemed to fit the bill. Though I thought it was a pretty good series, I was actually disappointed by how it ended (I will leave it at that to avoid spoilers) and, to a lesser degree, the artwork in some areas (more on that later).
Ezaki Yuuichi has hepatitis (liver infection caused by a virus) and has to skip school to remain hospitalized for a while. He likes to sneak out sometimes, only to be caught and beaten up by his nurse, Tanizaki Akiko. One day, he sees a new girl in the east wing, which is reserved for serious cases. Akiko tells Yuuichi that there is nothing wrong with the girl, but he should go talk to her. He does, but accidentally lies by pretending to read the same book she, Akiba Rika, reads. When Rika finds out, she makes Yuuichi do her bidding to make up for it, and thus begins their bossy relationship. However, when Yuuichi decides to take Rika to Fortress Mountain, where the latter wishes to go, they have a fight, and he collapses on the ground while trying to say something . . .
As you would expect from six episodes, the development is quite fast, but not too much. There is time for both comedy and drama, with no fillers. In every episode, important events happen and, at least in most of them, new characters are introduced who affect the plot in one way or another. What is admirable is Yuuichi's perseverance despite being sick himself, putting Rika always ahead. This is how a man should act.
What is good about this show is the characters who you will grow to love (except for two that you will hate). The protagonist, Ezaki Yuuichi, is a kind-hearted man who wants to leave his small town for possibly Toukyou. On the other hand, the heroine, Akiba Rika, is a hard-to-please girl who has spent her entire life in hospitals, is always angry and bottles up her emotions (except in front of Ezaki). One of my other disappointments with this anime is Mizutani Miyuki, Yuuichi's childhood friend, who could have been a rival to Rika for the former's affection, but unfortunately never develops to be one; she only appears in the fourth episode and beyond, but it is never explained why she had not visited sooner, despite Yuuichi's other friends frequently showing up. Natsume Gorou has been Rika's doctor for years, and can be quite cunning; he always remembers someone when he looks at his lighter, and is known for being a very good physician, even among his older peers. The nurse, Tanizaki Akiko, is a young, tough woman that smokes and does not like to take crap from anyone; she has a good heart, though. A perverted old man, called Tada Yoshizou, roams around the hospital, and is on good terms with Ezaki; he has a large collection of pornography books. Another good friend of Yuuichi's is Sekoguchi Tsukasa, who can turn into "Zebra Man," which consists of just wearing a mask to conceal his identity in dangerous situations; Yuuichi thinks that the moment they became friends is when he saw Tsukasa searching for a home to some stray cats in a rainy day, and the former offered to help, in spite of not being able to keep them in his place, but Sekoguchi thinks they have been friends ever since they met. Lastly, Yuuichi has one more classmate that visits him sometimes, Yamanishi Tamotsu, but quintessentially has ulterior motives, bothering Ezaki.
Like I said before, the art is actually at a high level, yet there are noticeable errors. When Natsume cries (I think it happens in episode three), I could see that one of his eyebrows is missing at the lower camera angle. Even more annoying is the fact that they flashback that very same scene with the very same mistake. Also, a number of times when Ezaki looks at Akiba while they are talking, it feels like his pupils are not really focused on her and he has "Itou-Makoto-on-School-Days" slow reactions to important events. I also do not like how Sekoguchi Tsukasa and his brother's eyes are drawn similar to a straight line. Other than that, everything is fine.
Still, the seiyuu here are pretty annoying. The heroine in particular, Rika, has the same voice actor as Machi, Ayane's older sister from Nagasarete Airantou, which I have seen first, who barely speaks, mostly in a very low monotone, so that killed Rika, who is energetic and talks more frequently, for me. Moreover, One Piece fans should recognize Natsume Gorou's seiyuu, the same as Sanji's (ironically, they both smoke and have a similar personality (i.e., they are realistic; Gorou is not perverted like Sanji (then again, the former is older)), who I have seen first, too. Maybe they was supposed to, but Tsukasa's sounds weak and Akiko's sounds muscular. They still could do a lot worse, though.
However, the soundtrack is brilliant. More so with the opening sequence, but the ending sequence as well, it is one of those songs you want to listen, and watch, over and over again. They are both quiet, sad, soothing and simply beautiful. They hint a sorrowful finale.
Despite its flaws, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora is an anime I am glad I watched. There are a few (albeit important) loose ends, but the show still manages to provide a somewhat-satisfactory conclusion. I intend to read the manga (as I do with all great anime and vice versa) because I felt some things are left out here. If you are looking for a short, young drama, you will not regret watching this.
"Our Hands" read more
15 of ? chapters read
That straightforward personality."
- "People do not change that easily."
- "That is true.
. . . I have
Lost many things,
But . . .
After I met those children,
I have also found many new things."
- "The stories about the children Yuuko has met . . .
Can you tell me more?"
I have reviewed both seasons of the anime and now I am getting to my manga version. The reason why Ef - a Fairy Tale of the Two. has a special place in my heart is because it focuses on the First Tale, which is about my favorite part the "saga," if you will, the love triangle of Hirono Hiro, Miyamura Miyako and Shindou Kei (some of the main characters of the first season), whose story felt rushed in the anime, mainly due to time constrictions (the season is twelve episodes long) and the inclusion of the Latter Tale at the same time. Hence, the manga takes it more slowly and is more detailed, giving logical, believable development between the characters. I will leave the comparisons at that for now as I give light on the synopsis to the unlucky ones who have no idea what I am talking about.
Hirono Hiro is a high school student who is also a shoujo manga artist (ironic, since I hate shoujo manga) unbeknownst to anyone but his childhood friend, Shindou Kei, as he goes under the name Shindou Nagi. One fateful Christmas night, Hiro decides to visit a church in order to help him with his artwork. There, he meets a mysterious woman who calls herself Amamiya Yuuko. She tells him that mass has already ended, to which Hirono replied that he is not there for it. He then proceeds to ask her if she is affiliated with the church, but she says she is not. Yuuko explains that she is waiting for someone. As Hirono is about to depart, Amamiya wishes him a merry Christmas. Outside, a girl's purse is stolen by a man on a motorcycle. She, Miyamura Miyako, sees Hiro, after he left the church, standing and asks him where the thief headed. Once Hiro answers Miyako, she thanks him and abruptly "borrows" his bicycle. As she chases the robber, Hirono chases Miyamura on foot. She eventually crashes. Miyako wakes up safely, and promises to pay Hiro back for the bicycle later. It turns out later that they both go to the same high school, called Otowa. A friendship develops between the two, disturbing a jealous Shindou, and Amamiya sometimes suddenly appears before Hirono and Miyamura separately, giving them advice. Time is drawing near for Kei to express her true feelings for her onii-chan, as she fully intends to win the war that is inevitable to begin against Miyako for the sake of her love, Hiro, who needs to carry upon his back his commitments for education, work, and these two young maidens . . .
People may come down hard on a premise such as this one, calling it annoying names like "typical," "overdone," and "cliche," but I prefer not to do that, in general. I see the essence in each story, and if you look closely, you will notice they are not that similar; there is always a unique factor separating them, be it the heroine killing the protagonist in the end, for the heroine's rival to go to a different school while still dating the protagonist, the heroine being an empty can ("WTF?"), the protagonist living under the heroine in a girl's dorm, or having three dots on the heroine and mention that she is from a planet called Seiren. Ef - a Fairy Tale of the Two. stands out as well because of Amamiya Yuuko, and the "person" she is waiting for, but I am actually glad it does not concentrate much on that part of the story, leaving most of the room for the love triangle and the characters' emotions.
Like I was saying earlier, the manga takes a slower pace than its anime counterpart, and there are noticeable differences. For example, when Hiro and Miyako first meet, in the anime, they spend the night together (I meant they go to karaoke and a family restaurant off-screen; get your mind out of the gutter) until morning, since her key was in her snatched purse, whereas in the manga, they just exchange information and go home separately, which is understandable, considering the varying time the two characters have with each other in both versions. Also, in Ef - a Fairy Tale of the Two., the three lead characters, along with Hirono's classmate, Tsutsumi Kyousuke, go out on a picnic (which is a very funny scene), something, again, Ef - a Tale of Memories. never gets to. Moreover, Kei is respectful towards Kyousuke, unlike in the first season of the anime, where their initial meeting ends up with the former punching the latter. Most noteworthy, however, is that the manga, despite having its share of drama, is more directed towards simplicity and comedy, in contrast to the anime's more serious and philosophical attitude, especially concerning Yuuko, who has casual conversations with and touches those she speaks with in the former version, but usually shows up in what seems to be dreams and has a somber disposition in the latter.
“Two. Only, Two.”
The characters are all wonderful, making this the amazing story that it is. There is Hirono Hiro, who tries to do what he wants despite the difficulties he faces, such as leaving home and injuring his right wrist from working a lot, gathered with school attendance and endless deadlines, but he likes to go to the roof of Otowa alone, having been given the key by his onee-chan, who studies in America, not knowing of her brother's profession. Miyamura Miyako is an eccentric girl, who, like Hiro, does not attend classes much, thinking they are boring, yet, despite that, being popular among the boys because of her beauty, athletic abilities, and intelligence (in tests), all while trying not to open up to anyone. Shindou Kei is Hiro's short-tempered childhood friend, who is the best freshman in the basketball team and a bad cook (much to her onii-chan's dismay); she keeps her feelings hidden from Hirono because of an incident of the past regarding her twin sister, Shindou Chihiro (the heroine of the Latter Tale). There is also Hiro's classmate, Tsutsumi Kyousuke, who goes to the film studies club; he helps his friend sneak out of school in return for the latter treating the former, something Kyousuke really holds on to, and used to talk a lot with Miyako in the past year, although she now has no idea who he is. Hayama Mizuki idolizes Kei, calling her "senpai," despite being in the same year (and basketball team); she is harsh on anyone who hurts Kei, even if she were not sure of the person's identity (of course, Hiro, again, is the obvious target). Lastly, Amamiya Yuuko is a person who gives advice to Hiro and Miyako, appearing out of nowhere; she has a light-hearted personality (though even she gets aggravated by Miyako, showing a different face after being called "mommy" jokingly, scaring the latter) and says her job is to "take care of anyone's needs," giving Hiro some strange ideas.
Art-wise, the anime is arguably superior, being, in my opinion, the best animated television show, but to be fair, compared to manga, far more people work on anime. The artwork in Ef - a Fairy Tale of the Two. is still great, though, and every chapter has its own cover page. I just do not like how the characters are drawn sometimes when they are disgusted or angry, being nose-less and having a stain-like spot on their faces.
In conclusion, this a romantic tale at its best, dealing with impeccable characters and hard decisions, when a man has to choose one of two girls he cares deeply about. This is by far my most favorite manga. There are profound lessons to be learned here, such as how loving someone can change you and your goals.
- "Just watching other people giving their all while standing on the sidelines is unacceptable."
- ". . . . . ."
- "To be honest, people who work hard at what they do will never except those who do nothing.
At least, I would never love a person like that."
- "Eh . . .? Why . . .
Why do I feel as if I were pierced by something?" read more
2 of 10 chapters read
Having a family to protect . . .
Even if unfortunate events happen, you should be able to be happy . . .
. . . Is what I thought." - Ikeda Ikeuchi
An amazing manga that will leave you speechless, Mon Seul deals with a controversial subject in a very realistic manner. Rarely do you see a story like this, where it starts off so heartwarming and simple, but then suddenly shifts to being dark and tragic. It is always soul-shaking to see a man's principles get shattered right before his very eyes, where those he trusts most are not who they seem to be.
Ikeda Ikeuchi is a college student. His parents divorced a long time ago, leaving his father to take care of him and Ikeuchi's little sister, Minami. One day, Ikeda found a note from his guardian indicating that he had left, but it was not a big change, as his father was not around much due to work anyway. After he thought about quitting school and working instead to support himself and Minami, Ikeuchi's best friend, Kanda, who quit himself and has a job, advised against the former's intent and said he could be the bank Ikeda could rely on had the need arised. In time, Kanda seems to know so much about Minami, unlike her brother, by remembering her birthday and buying her a present she likes. Ikeda thanks Kanda for helping him out, but the latter acts strangely. The protagonist gets a job at a hotel during the break which requires him stay away for a while; he asks his friend to take care of Minami, but Kanda rudely refuses. However, after seeing Ikeda looking sad, Kanda agrees. Later, in a phone call, Ikeuchi's little sister inquires her brother of his return date. Thinking that Minami is waiting for him, Ikeda pushes himself to return earlier than expected. Since it is nighttime, he decides not to call first. As Ikeuchi opens the front door, he calls out to Minami. Behind her closed bedroom door, she asks if it is her onii-chan in a frightened voice. He answers affirmatively as he goes in her room, causing Ikeuchi's sister to yell hard, "No~!!!!" What he sees there turns his world upside-down . . .
"I really thought he was a great guy . . .
Oh, god . . .
Please kill Kanda for me." - Ikeda Ikeuchi
Not only is the story great, but the way it is told as well. The main character narrates in past tense, sometimes hinting of what will take place soon, in a cold tone, differing from his normally-nice self. Another aspect I liked is the black panels that are present between seemingly-happy moments, functioning as more indications to the inevitable outcome. Furthermore, the art may not look very appealing at first, however, it soon seems so fitting, it feels like it was meant for this manga.
The main characters are portrayed brilliantly, with personalities fitting their actions and reactions alike, despite the lack of supporting ones. Ikeda Ikeuchi is a gentle man destined to be faced with an extremely difficult situation. Minami is the little sister who is often left alone, first by her dad then her onii-chan, mainly due to work, causing her to find comfort elsewhere. Kanda is the long-time friend who is reliable, but cannot control his feelings.
In conclusion, I definitely recommend that you give this one a read. It is, without a doubt, a spectacular story. Despite the slight humour in the beginning, it will touch you down deeply, and test your principles. If you are tired from all the silly comedy a lot of manga/anime contain, you will appreciate Mon Seul. However you may feel about the issue presented, you will find a character that supports your position, also answering the question commonly left out: What is next?
Do you have a friend that you trust more than anyone else?
. . . So did Ikeda. read more
9 of 24 chapters read
Godai Daisuke has graduated from a third-rate university, but is surprised to find out that a big company has hired him. On his first day, a pretty girl, named Enomoto Saori, shows him around, and he thinks about going out with her. As he soon discovers by the personnel section manager and his partner, however, the fortune 500 company has accepted Godai by mistake. Therefore, Daisuke has been assigned to "take care of the girls" at the secretarial section. There, he meets a lot of girls: the sexy Kaneda Kyouko; the childish, but big breasted Nakazomoto Hitomi; the serious Sugisaki Runa; and, again, the kawaii (cute) Enomoto Saori. After "screwing up," Godai works hard so as to not be fired. Later, he meets a "babe," as Daisuke refers to her at first, in an elevator, who tells him to take his job seriously if he wants to remain an employee with them, making Godai think of her as a "bitch" after she gets off. A perverted, "foolish," mysterious old man also appears, claiming Daisuke is his son so that the security guard lets him go. Furthermore, there seems to be a hidden conspiracy . . .
Look forward to a nice twist ending of volume 1.
The main character is a nice guy, and the story is narrated by him. He does his best, while trying to help others when he can. Godai is obedient and does not argue when he is bossed around by his colleagues. The love interest, Saori, is a kind girl, but grows to dislike Daisuke when he fools around with her co-workers. Not much can be said about the other characters.
I like the art of Hishoka Drop, except for Hitomi's huge breasts, and her character in general, with her very short hair, is dis-likeable. Breast-squeezing and hands are also things the writer is bad at drawing, much like in Sense.
As in the aforementioned series, though to a lesser degree (as the women are older, he actually gets to "do" them), the protagonist here has sexual fantasies with the female characters from time to time. The problem with that is they hinder the story development, and it becomes confusing figuring out what is real and what is an act of imagination.
In the end, what you will get in Secretarial Section Drop is good artwork, consistent storyline, a little comedy, romance, fan-service, drama, and a corporate atmosphere (which you should appreciate if you are tired of school and/or supernatural setups). Some consider this to be hentai, but I would deem it borderline, since there is more concentration on the plot, and the sex scenes are not too many, frequent or excessive. I suggest you give it a try. read more