I want to stress something here! This is not to my massive manga readers, anime watchers, and those who know about Japanese culture and society. This is geared to the noobs or those who don't bother reading up on Japanese culture and society. Considering I'm the first three. I would like to stress this to everyone. First off if you're from the Western World, your schooling system is very different from Japan's. That''s number one. The second thing is that in Japan, the age of consent is 13. For example, a 13 year old girl can have a relationship
with anyone older than her. yeah, for some people it's 'ick'. For those of you from the USA, you can't speak. If I remember correctly in Georgia you can get married at 14 with parents permission. So there's no 'ick'. to be had. I just want to put that out there. As I've seen comments like that in regards to this manga (and others) when it's older girl w/ younger guy. Rarely with older guy w/ younger girl.
As an aside, it seemed that I may have read this manga back in Nov. 2009, but I just never reviewed it. I updated the biography of this manga and tried to add characters which proved to be difficult. That being said I'll begin with this review.
Overall as I stated, this was a good set of stories. I don't think there was anything special with the characters or the relationships that I read. It just utilized common tropes like moments of alone time together, shyness, girls falling down to be caught by their love interest and so on and so forth.
This is the kind of manga you read when you're bored and have nothing on your plate to do. You read it to pass the time and move on. I mainly read this because I was getting myself pumped to reread Faster than a Kiss, which I had started to read and then got distracted, years went by and it's complete but I still haven't read it.
So this was just a past time reading. If you don't really page attention to the art, the stories are very fast to read. If you're a average reader you'll get done in 30 minutes. If you want to take your time you'll finish in 45.
All right, now the break down of the five short stories. Oh,, as a prelude to the review of each (ignoring my digressing statements in the first two paragraphs). I can say I'd really appreciate short anime stories like these. Like 10 minute anime shorts. That would be fun too.
1. Love In the Middle of a Storm
It has mainly two characters with an unimportant one. The two main are Watase and Yoshi. Just one thought, the art was pathetic.
Watase is a young female student who is naive, sensitive, and sweet. She unfortunately is transferring from her High School and came to class because she did not get the message that school was closed as a Typhoon was rolling in. She meets up with her teacher, Yoshi who was in the school. Yoshi and Watase go on a short of the school one last time. At one point in the story they end up holding hands, no confessions were made yet. As they continued their tour another teacher showed up, who was unknown to be in the school and he was planning on taking Watase home. Which of course results in a kidnapping. Yoshi takes Watase on his motorcycle (so dangerous during a typhoon--even some of the white noise said the same thing). He takes her to a bridge somewhere they declare their love for one another and he says he'll visit her even if it takes 2 hours to get to her house in his bike.
My thoughts...I think the story was vague and lackadaisical in approach and the characters were very superficial. I wasn't impressed. No real concepts into the story, unless you count the "kidnapping", that wasn't important.
2. Love's Sonnet
I just want to say right off the bat. I loved this one, I loved this. First off, if you're into Tall guys w/ Short girls. This is a winner for you. I'm into those stories. I hunt for them, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I loved this one, even if it was quick an fast, is the girl. Her name is Kanade Arai and she definitely not shy. She's cute, she's aggressive in some ways, she doesn't complain, she's a tad bit naive but it' sincere and she's a strong girl. She falls for her classmate, Honda. Honda comes across as unapproachable and you think he's being abused. I personally think he was one of the hot bishies out there.
In this story tall girl is being bullied. She thinks it's a trend, but you find out it's so much more. Most of the forms of bullying is just her back placed in really high places. Anyone, one day she was late in school and figuring out how to get her bag when she hears music. To her it's so beautiful she follows the sound and sees a mean looking guy from her playing extremely beautiful music. Her infatuation with this piano playing quickly turns into so much more as he becomes aware of the bullying. As the bullying continued Arai would always say, "Pain, Pain go away." That spoke to my heart. As a teacher this is something that kills me, bullying.
I don't find this one superficial because it involves serious topics like bullying, harassment, stalking, trust, and manipulation. My review doesn't talk about all those aspects b/c I'd like to read it. From my perspective it was endearing and those issues could have been expanded on in a longer series. Maybe it has been and I just haven't found it yet.
As for a clean up of the issues presented not all and done in a very superficial way (probably because it's not a series). The bullying was taken care of, but not the bully. The manipulation was taken care and so was the manipulator. The harassment was taken care but not the harasser. The trust factor was completed and I enjoyed that. It could have been done better, but it needed a quick ending. So I liked what I got.
3. Love x Kiss x Mark
I don't know if you get the above title. I didn't get it until the end. You'll get it then too, since I won't spoil it. Or maybe, you will get it (smarter than me) early on. Who knows.
Art, decent work. Actually up in part with Love's Sonnet. This is a Tall Teacher w/Short Student story. So my two fave elements: Tall guy w/ Short girl an Teacher/Student (I prefer the student is female). Anyway girl falls for her teacher. That leads her into making up situations to show her attraction to her teacher. Ultimately one of her antics gives her a chance to be with him almost all the time, under the same scenarios in a similar situation as Kinkyori Renai. There's a bit of the funny scenes and some serious issue scenes.
These issues are not resolved in any way important. So I'll leave it there. But you come to understand the title, if you didn't get it before, at the end of the story. Lame ass if anything.
4. When the Sky is Green, You are By My Side
It's, meh. I liked this student/student story and felt it was the second best of them (You all know Love's Concerto is my fave.) This one is Tall girl/sort of short Guy. He's not really short. So don't expect that, well they were when he was a kid; they don't focus on that much, just in images and not in dialogue. Moving on, so the main characters are Abe Takashi (male) and Abe Sachi (female). I liked the fact they had the same name. Anyway, moving on from there---I see that I tend to digress a lot; be patient with me.
So the idea is that Abe the boy was living in the district he is in now, when he was in elementary school and went to the same school as Abe the girl. In elementary school he was tiny as hell. While Abe the girl was the tallest in the class. Go figure. Because of their name they sat together, were given chores together and there was always mishap because of their height. Well now it's High School an surprise, surprise...Abe the male has now become tall...well only as tall as Abe the girl minus 3cm. ^_^ Feelings start to arrive, a sort of triangle ensues but the other guy is totally cool with it and his buds were like, give it up man. Plus he's good friends with Abe the male. So it ended well on that note.
They had some emotional situations that make this tale good. Really it touches on insecurities and in High School it is a nightmare. Like I always say, "If you survive High School, you can survive anything." I've not been proven wrong yet. So these insecurities can manifest in different ways and are released in different ways. Also everything was resolved effectively..unlike my fave which lost a chance at doing that.
5. Open Umbrellas on Sunny Days
A very laissez-faire story and this was one of the reasons I felt that these shorts should be turned into 10-15 minute mangas or even "webtoons" like the Koreans & Thai people do. Like short live action stories. I think they'd be fun and bring in some new stars of a new genre.
Well, let's introduce the characters: The girl is Saya Nakajima and the boy's name is Taichi Moriyama. The trope here is Older girl/younger guy. Boy is in "elementary" school probably 8th grade and she's a junior let's say in High School. Yeah, it's a huge age gap, but let's be real. Those who are obsessed w/ yaoi or teacher/student relationships (like I am) there are massive age gaps there and it's all good for us. So this isn't a big deal.
So the two characters meet on the train. I think a lot of people meet their mates on public transportation. Let me be honest, I have no clue how people meet on the regular. But that's how they meet. The entire relationship is developed through the trains. They never meet in other locations except maybe the platform of a subway. What ties them is a very normal utensil of life...I call it a utensil because it's something you use and it's in your hand, if you're wondering. So that's what is tying them and the girl develops feelings for the boy. You don''t know the boy's side of anything until the end, when a major misunderstanding breaks up the couple---sort of. Anyway the misunderstanding is cleared up and love arises.
But even if the summary here is as superficial as I find this story to be. That's really the idea and I was in a good mood so I lasted through this. There's no real life lessons to learn except for the super famous line, "You never anything good about you when you overhear a conversation." ---or something like that.
Again, I was free, this was quick and overall I did enjoy it. I just moved the story to a 6 after I read over my review. ~sigh