1. Youth Survival (Seishun Love Letter)
Summer camping trips are supposed to be filled with joy and laughter, but why is Kiriko so unlucky? At first, it was that weakling four eyes, Kazuo and cutesy Hana-chan destroying the pork soup, but when they never returned after a trip to pick wild herbs, Kiriko and Satoru are sent to search for them in the mountains. Little did they know that they would get lost too! (Source: Ochibichan) -- published in Betsucomi
2. Liar Love Letters (Usotsuki Love Letter)
When Ritsu's boyfriend asks to break up, she readily complies, but finds out later that he's upset she didn't beg him to reconsider. To make her pay for dumping him so easily, he puts on a bet among his friends. Trick Ritsu into falling in love, and win 30,000 yen. When she overhears this, Ritsu is determined to shoot down all the boys out to trick her. But what happens when she comes across someone whose lies actually just might capture her heart? (Source: Ochibichan) -- published in Betsucomi
3. Sword and Heart Dangerous Relationship (Yaiba to Heart no Kiken na Kankei)
17 year-old Ohgami Shizuru is a normal high school student...except for the fact that she comes from a family of ninjas! Most of the time, she only has use for her skills when she is late for school and needs to (sneakily) enter her classroom, but Yamada Kousaku from the Ninja Association informs her that he's been sent by her father to help protect an important scroll in her house that holds the secret to becoming the most powerful ninja ever. Who are the enemies targeting her and what do they have to do with her first love Kotarou? -- published in Betsucomi DX
4. Never Dying Crow…! (Otokomae! Beads Club - Fushichou no You ni...!)
A side story of the series "Otokomae! Beads Club" by the same author. Oikawa, Takumi, and the familiar crazy characters of the high school beads club are at it again. This time, they are out to save a girl named Kurahashi-san, who has become a recent target of bullying b/c a popular teacher, Yamaoka-sensei, has been paying attention to her more as of late. -- published in Betsucomi DX
I love the feeling of when you have finished a story and loved it and then realise you have read other series by the author and loved them as well. In this case mangaka. Beast Master and the currently publishing Dengeki Daisy are two other popular titles by Kyousuke Motomi.
I'm not sure the percentage of men who create shoujo manga but I'm sure its not many, nothing jumps out and says this was written by a man. Just originality and flair.
What drew me to read this was the picture on the cover of Kiriko Maejima who is featured in the first story Youth Survival. A shoujo manga with a picture of a girl in army camouflage, little interest lights go off.
All four chapters tell very different stories and are beautiful told, in fact I would go as far as to say they are amazing. Unlike other one shot volumes where each chapter blends into another, where you forget what happened in the first story half way through the second chapter; all of them leave you thinking if they were a series you would read them. Each story is original and heartfelt, not cliché, annoying or the haven't I read this before feeling.
Although the main characters look the same in all four stories they are well drawn. It can also be forgiven as they are attractive and drawn nicely, with a soft style.
The characters all have personality. In the last chapter Never Dying Crow, is a group of "weridos" who are fantastic, in the sense of interesting people, who don't conform to the norm.
Comedy, Romance, Shoujo, what more could ask for? This is a great little gem volume of one shots. Did I also mention Kyousuke Motomi, great mangaka. I was pleased to see that he has more titles and that the last chapter Never Dying Crow is a side story to Otokomae! Beads Club.
Seishun Survival is a collection of 4 short stories about school romances. Usually short story collections (especially school romance ones), tend to not be as engaging as longer running series because the stories are rather simple, but Seishun Survival took some really interesting ideas and gave them a fun spin, making this collection really stand out. Liar Love Letters was probably my favourite out of the group because it took a shoujo trope and ran with it, producing an interesting way to watch a relationship between the girl and the guy unfold. Title story Seishun Survival was rather typical, but I liked how it made all the characters add something to the group's survival. The third story had a pretty funny twist (ninjas~) and had some really funny moments that make it quite enjoyable. And finally the last story was also quite typical, but the characters really stood out.
Clean, pretty art. Suffers from a bit of saminess (i.e. characters look the same), but I liked it nonetheless. It's a bit lacking in distinctness, but makes up for that by giving us nice looking art.
The characters don't have much backstory. Some get none, like the ones from the first, second, and last story. Some get a bit, like the ones from the third story, but even then the characters aren't really multidimensional. However, the author makes up for this by giving us some really distinct personalities or cutting through stereotypes. Like for example, the pretty airhead in the first story is actually quite dependable when under pressure. The heroine of the second story, for example, acts in a rather realistic way and her emotions are depicted quite well, which makes up for her lack of characterization. And all the characters from the Beads Club, in the final story, are distinct and I wish I could have gotten to see more of them.
Seishun Survival is quite the charming collection. Each story has a different strong point and charm making the collection stand out from other similar collections. The first story has a few nice twists in terms of characterization and the romance is cute. The second story develops the romance through the medium of letters, which gives it an unique feel, but also develops the main character's feelings in a realistic way. The third story is all around funny and cute. And the final story introduces us to some interesting characters. I sort of wish the last story was longer because the group of friends seems quite fun. Overall, the characters are likeable and the romances are fun to watch. In fact, I wasn't expecting this collection to be as good as it was. Recommended!read more