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Dec 18, 2023
Preliminary (11/12 eps)
These days, shows/manga/light novels about people getting transported into the otome game they're playing after a dime a dozen. They all have to have some unique spin on the idea, and this time it's that the protagonist has zero interest in the game's canonical male love interests. Instead, she's obsessed with the villainess character. I started watching because I found the basic premise amusing, and I appreciate that this one, unlike many of the others, does not dance and tease around possible lesbian couples without ever actually going there, this one actually makes that final leap. However, as if often the ...
Feb 21, 2022
Preliminary (20/? chp)
"Yubisaki to Renren" or "Sign of Affection" is a romance manga where the female protagonist is deaf. It's fairly rare to find manga dealing with disability, and when they do, it's often not done well. One of the problems is that it feels more like educational material about the disability than an actual story. I think "Yubisaki to Renren" has a bit of that, but mostly it does a really good job of just being a very cute, low-drama romance. The points I particularly like about it:

-The author clearly has done their research about what life is like for someone who is deaf, as the ...
Feb 5, 2022
Preliminary (3/12 eps)
The basic premise is that the protagonist, Kuroitsu-san, is a regular employee at a super villain organization on their monster development team. It's obviously a parody of sentai shows such as Power Rangers and Ultraman. I've never really watched those types of shows, but they're ingrained enough into even American pop culture and have enough similarities to American superheroes that you'll probably get it anyways. Or at least I do. What I wasn't expecting is that it's also a spot on parody of office work and product development. The funniest part to me is that despite being a super villain organization, they have a really ...
Sep 14, 2021
Skip Beat! (Manga) add
Preliminary (200/? chp)
I'm personally of two minds about Skip Beat. On one hand, I adore the protagonist, Kyoko, who's very vibrant, entertaining, and pretty unique. I love the initial set up of her becoming a rage beast and seeking (a mostly harmless) revenge on her sort-of-ex, Sho, for his having used her to be a maid that also provides free room and board. Revenge manga can easily be screwed up by making the protagonist too much of a bad person, but the author generally strikes just the right balance of providing good reason for Kyoko's righteous rage without it being too awful, and making sure Kyoko ...
May 13, 2021
31☆Idream (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (31/? chp)
I found 31 Ai Dream to be rather disappointing. I've seen these types of middle aged person re-living their youth fantasies before, and often I find them awkward because they don't hold up from the standpoint of an older person, often because they feature a romance between the secretly older protagonist and an unwitting teen. Because let's face it, as the author herself admitted, to a 31-year-old a 15-year-old seems like a child. At first I came away with the impression that this one wasn't going to be like that, as despite what any of the other characters might feel, she didn't seem romantically interested ...
May 3, 2021
Preliminary (20/42 chp)
You've probably already pieced together that Takane no Ran-San is yet another sweet, sugary shoujo romance set in high school. I think this one is better than the average, primarily on merit of its characters, which are fleshed out and unique enough that they don't completely disappear into the crowd of the hundreds of manga that come before it. Though there's really isn't any story beyond the romance, and the other characters aren't very well developed, as is generally par for the course, but Saeki and Ran's interactions were sweet and interesting enough to keep me engaged.

There's a trend now in shoujo that instead of ...
Mar 30, 2021
Night of the Beasts is about a spunky girl named Aria who meets a guy named Sakura who is possessed a demon. Aria gets caught up in his plight, and is eventually forced to fight the demon in order to save him. Though this is shoujo, this is very much in the action genre, with a dark fantasy/supernatural type of plot and quite a lot of blood and violence. If you're familiar, this manga feels to me like it's trying to be in the style of X/1999 by CLAMP.

I found the story interesting enough, though for the type of story it was trying ...
Mar 21, 2021
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (50/91 chp)
Only read Akuma to Love Song if you like over-the-top melodrama.

On the positive side, it starts off pretty strong by daring to be different. Rather than the typical nice but insecure protagonist, Maria Kawai is so blunt and abrasive she's described as having an "acid tongue." Rather than the usual romance, the first half mostly focuses on Maria's interactions with her class. Of course she ends up making a lot of people mad at her, but eventually she manages to make them understand her in her own way. It gets pretty melodramatic at times, especially with its depiction of their teacher who's beyond ...
Mar 6, 2021
Preliminary (6/18 chp)
It has nice art, but the writing is very unoriginal and tropey. The set up is yet another shoujo protagonist is made homeless due to a sudden emergency, so she ends up living secretly in some place where she comes in frequent contact with hot boys she wouldn't normally interact with.

The hot boys in question are frequently used character types too. One is the "sadist" in the Japanese sense of the word -- that is he likes being a little mean and ordering the protagonist around just to see her squirm. The other is the mothering type -- the protagonist is so incapable that he ...
Mar 5, 2021
Preliminary (12/58 chp)
I love stories about going back in time to fix your past mistakes, and I love shoujo, so I was thrilled to discover Katayoku no Labyrinth (also transliterated as "Henyoku no Labyrinth" as the Kanji out can be read either way.) But honestly I found this one a little disappointing.
Admittedly, it could be because I'm comparing it to other media of this type that I found really great such as Steins;Gate, Again!!!, and Orange. But I also feel like it's a legitimate criticism that with Katayoku no Labyrinth, the writing just lacks that something that could make it truly great.

It's hard to ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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