Welcome to BRB, everyone! Not only am I an avid reader, manga fan and a collector of books, art and dragons, I also enjoy watching anime and movies, especially science fiction and fantasy. But there’s something else most people probably don’t know; I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. There I said it! LOL
Anyway, since I’ve been on a manga kick as of late and I’ve felt a need to feed the romantic half of my soul, I’ve immersed myself in a number of romance mangas and watched the accompanying animes. I know, brace yourself, these are straight romance stories written for a female audience, shoujo. Some of you might think they’re cheesy, but hey, I thought they were pretty good stories. Did I mention I was losing my mind? Ha ha! Eventually, I will post about the adult romance I read, including from time to time, gay romance.
1. Sensei wa Ore no Mono or Sensei ha Orenomono (Teacher Belongs to Me?), story by Mie and art by Chika, is an on going manga series about a third-year high school student, Tachibana Kyou, who falls crazy in love with the new nurse Hirota Natsu at his exclusively male school. I’ve read numerous manga, yaoi included, where a teacher falls for their student or vice versa. As we all know, it’s an overused trope. But, I’ve got to say this is one of the very few manga where the student is a male and the story is actually good. Tachibana is young and learns as he goes along, and Hirota, the shy and petite teacher, also comes into her own as their relationship grows. I love it! From what I researched it hasn’t been made into an anime, and it should be. Seriously, it’s touching, romantic, complicated and it needs some damned airtime!
2. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Oiji or Wolf Girl and Black Prince is another quite popular shoujo manga/anime by mangaka Hatta Ayuko that took me a while to appreciate. As the story goes, high school student Erika lies to her friends about having a boyfriend. She shows them a picture a guy she doesn’t know who turns out to be a schoolmate that her friends recognize later. The guy, Sata Kyouya, overhears their conversation, and realizes Erika is lying. Erika begs him to help her by pretending he’s her boyfriend. But Sata, for all his good looks and charms, turns out to be a jerk and blackmails her instead. Okay, like I said, in the beginning I was kind of turned off, basically because of Sata. He’s the type of guy you want to drop kick in the head. But then Erika kind of pissed me off too; she’s a smart girl but allows the asshole to lead her around by the nose. At one point, I thought, okay, you two dimwits deserve one another then Sata started to exhibit some humanlike qualities, and Erika stopped acting so wishy-washy. This is an emotional roller coaster of a read. One minute I was up and the next I was like WTF! This manga isn’t at the A level of my list, however it’s still a keeper.
3. Say, I Love You is the hugely popular manga/anime/live action creation by Hazuki Kanae. The plot is simple: high schooler Yamato is the popular boy and Mei is a 16-year-old introvert with no friends and has never dated, who lives alone with her mother. One day Mei happens to accidentally knock Yamato on his ass because of a mistunderstanding, and he ends up taking a liking to her. What I love about this manga is the two lead characters. Mei isn’t a typical airhead, one of those silly shoujo girls that falls for a bully when in reality she should find someone else. She’s intelligent and forthright, and Yamato really is a good guy. You can’t help but cheer them both on. This is another slow burn romance with some very sad moments. So be prepared with the tissues.
4. My Love Story, story by Kazune Kawahara and art by Aruko, is a manga/anime/live action movie that is, again, very popular. I find it heartwarming and very funny. Takeo Goda isn’t particularly attractive. He’s a giant of a guy with a big heart. Unfortunately, the girls don’t take any interest in him. They’d rather have his aloof and good looking best friend, Sunakawa. Until one day he saves a pretty girl Yamato on the train from a lecherous creep. There are moments in this anime that are priceless and I nearly cried I laughed so hard. Takeo’s is so over the top with everything he does, you can’t help but giggle. My Love Story kind of reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, but pumped on steroids!
5. Another fun and quirky shoujo manga love story about high school students is Robico’s My Little Monster. BCB: Mizutani is a self-absorbed overachiever, concerned only with maintaining the highest grades in school. Haru is an impulsive short-tempered brute, who scares everyone with his explosive bursts of violence. Haru gets suspended on the first day of school when he encounters some bullies harassing a student and dispatches the bullies with great bloody violence. Mizutani is tasked with delivering school materials to Haru who interprets this as an act of friendship and latches on to Mizutani, much to her dismay. And so begins a strange and potentially combustible relationship!
With vivid colours, a catchy intro song and some great one-liners, the anime is a treat to watch. Haru, the short-fused eccentric, does some wild shit, and I think he makes the entire series; he’s the perfect counterpart to the overly serious self-absorbed Mizutani.
6. Last but certainly not least of my shoujo manga list is Gekkan Shojo Nozaki Kun by Izumi Tsubaki, which has attractive upbeat characters, especially the male lead Nozaki and love interest of sixteen-year-old Sakura. This guy writes fluffy love stories for girls and he can’t even see what’s right under his nose. Sakura confesses to him one day and he mistakes her as another fan, invites her to his house, she’s all pumped, and then asks her to help him work on his mangas. He’s totally oblivious and drives Sakura up the wall, but that’s what makes him so endearing. As for the forever-cheerful redhead Sakura, you’ve got to give her kudos as she tries every angle to win Nozaki’s heart. The manga is just as good as the anime!