This is what happens when I set goals I can't keep.
And blame the convention season.
New York was cold, dammit!
Anyhoo, when I returned from New York, there was a shipment notice from Tohan (book distributor in Japan). Aside from the "merchandise" (books sold thru store A and for wholesale customers of company B), most of the books were special orders for boss K and production books.
But one special order for me.
Shanimuni Go vol 25.
Oh, I've been waiting!
The teaser at the end of Shanimuni Go vol 24 mentioned that the next volume was going to be about Louis' mom & dad. So instead of dying in agony, I opted not to pick up Shanimuni Go vol 24 lest I read the teaser again & die in agony.
So when Shanimuni Go vol 25 finally arrived... well, I put it aside and read something else (production work D2). I was too nervous to read it. I needed to get my mind ready.
But I couldn't wait much longer, so I stopped reading production work D2 and started reading Shanimuni Go vol 25.
I'm a slow manga reader who likes to take in each emotion of each page. I want to feel what the characters are feeling. And I double-read the good pages. Flip forward, flip back. Flip flip.
For manga I like, I spend about an hour per tankobon. So it's not worth it for me to go to manga cafe, since I end up paying about the same as I would buying the manga.
So double-read number one of Shanimuni Go vol 25: relationship w/ Ikeyan-sensei & Sango-chan. It's easy for me to get tickled by their relationship since they're much closer to my age than the HS tennis players. And Sango-chan lives out my fantasy of dating a former student (!). It's a woman's ロマン. Very moe.
And Ragawa Mario teases and teases and teases until she gets to the main Louis papa & mama flashback. I won't spoil anything here.
It's just good.
And Louis as a baby is very cute.
And Louis papa was cute but awkward and oh!
And Marie (Louis mama) was so cute when she talked Japanese to Louis papa's mother (Louis' grandma).
Shanimuni Go vol 26 is gonna be released around June. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
Author: Marimo Ragawa
Volumes: 25 (on going)
I've already rated this before (-2).
Hasn't changed, won't change. Unless something drastic happens like company B gets bought out by some big company that has influence over Japanese publishers and also doesn't mind spending money publishing a book that Shizpoo thinks is awesome but will not sell like hotcakes. Oh, if I had all the money in the world & had influential power! Curses!
Unfortunately this blog site doesn't allow for multiple categories for one post, so I had to choose. But maybe somewhere along the line I might change my mind & change it to shoujo manga.
Anyway, Shanimuni Go is a tennis manga by Marimo Ragawa, the manga artist for Baby and Me. She also did New York, New York.
Marimo Ragawa likes to write stories with guys as main characters. Takuya was the lead for Baby and Me. Mel and Cain were leads for NYNY. And Shanimuni also has two male leads - Nobuhisa & Louis.
Nobuhisa is a star Jr HS track athelete who meets a girl named Hinako who's hitting tennis balls against the wall. He decides he wants to learn to play tennis (love at first sight for Hinako & tennis), and studies to get into the same school as her (Hinako is a year older).
Louis Takita is a star juniors tennis player who's going through a slump of sorts. His dad tells him to quit playing tennis b/c it's going nowhere.
So they end up at the same school. End up joining the tennis team. And creates the legendary HS tennis team... well, they're not there yet.
Hinako, in the meantime... got into a car accident, hurt her leg, got it infected, and now her left leg doesn't move. She had to stay back a year b/c she missed a good part of her first year in HS. She's angry about her situation, but remembers how much she loves tennis & joins the tennis team as a manager.
So what's with Louis' name? Fufufu... he's my favorite type of human being, a happa boy. Although that's a spoiler since it doesn't get revealed until 10 or so volumes into the story.
Shanimuni Go vol 24 is right in the middle of the preliminary tournaments for the main HS event, IH aka Inter-High aka Inter-High School Championships or what we call in the US, Nationals. Hinako is working hard at attemping wheelchair tennis... Nobucchi gets his ankle injured & has to stay out of Kantou Championships... Louis is still struggling with his inner demons. Ikeyan sensei decides to keep Nobucchi and Louis out of the Kantou Champs... and they only have IH left in the story!! (Louis came in 1st at State Champs, Nobucchi was 2nd, so they both get to go to IH)
Is Louis ever going to beat Shun? Is Nobucchi ever going to beat Louis? There isn't enough tournaments left! Unless Louis beats Shun in Team Tourney S1 (singles 1)... and Nobucchi beats Louis in the male singles? Or maybe Nobucchi will never beat Louis... or Louis will never beat Shun... Hmmmm.
Shanimuni Go vol 25 doesn't come out until March 2007. Gaah! Someone, scan Hana Yume issues!! From the previews in vol 24... vol 25 is that it's about Louis' parents. So exciting!!
Author: Marimo Ragawa
Likelihood of Company B to license: -2
Sports manga... Hakusensha... too many obstacles.
(vol 24 synopsis... maybe coming soon)
My sister found the last volume in the $1 section at Book Off, so we immediately bought it. Along with few more volumes of Oishinbo.
Happy! by Monsters author Naoki Urasawa is a tennis manga.
My sister plays tennis, so she likes to pick up any tennis manga. Although we recently haven't read Prince of Tennis. But we do like to read it every so often for laughs.
Anyway, Happy! is about a young female tennis player named Miyuki. Her father taught her tennis & sent her to an expensive private school that had a good tennis program. But her father passed away & she has to take care of her younger siblings... until her older brother gets in trouble with loan sharks & Miyuki is responsible for paying all the money. Or the yakuza loan-sharks will sell her brother's organs, then put life insurance on him and kill him.
Miyuki's only hope of paying back the large sum of debt is to win tennis tournaments & get the prize money.
One thing about Happy! is that it starts out pretty sad & gloomy. And the sadness & gloominess continues throughout the series. It's one of those "oh, she's finally found happiness... oh, but someone gets in the way & she's a little deeper in the hole again" type of story.
And Miyuki is a nice, sweet girl so you want to cheer her on. But the girl's got lots of bad luck. She should have gone to an oharaishi to have all her bad luck washed away first.
And there's an evil girl named Chouko (蝶子) who tries to take down Miyuki in every way possible. I wonder if her name was supposed to be a play on O-chou Fujin (お蝶夫人）from Ace wo Nerae, which is a classic tennis manga. I haven't read Ace wo Nerae, but O-chou Fujin appears in lots of pop culture references.
But in the end, I'm happy with how Happy! ended.
I did read everything out of order, so I should re-read from the beginning. But we're still missing some volumes. We still need to dig through the $1 shelves at Book Off to get the rest of them.
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Likelihood of Company B to license: 0
Even though there are no cultural barriers for sports, sports manga just doesn't do well in the US. Is it because otaku are indoor people? Sports manga always has kandou (感動), the touching moment, where you can cry your eyes out... aah, mottainai. Let's sweat together & cry together with sports manga!