The story is about a 17-year old boy named Rei who's a shougi (Japanese chess) pro. He lives by himself and is befriended by three sisters Akari (19-ish), Hinata (13-ish) & Momo (5-ish). Rei carries a lot of baggage--his parents and younger sister died in a car accident when he was in elementary school; his adoptive(?) father had two kids who were also training to be shougi pro's, only to have Rei beat them both--so it's kinda like taking Hagu's character and concentrating on the dark side of a life of a genius.
Unlike Hika-Go, 3-gatu no Lion doesn't teach you the basics of shougi. But it does toss out enough terminology that any adult otaku might want to pick up a Shougi for Dummies book to find out what they mean. Well, I guess that's the difference of running a manga in Shounen Jump and Young Animal. In seinen manga, you can rely on the reader to go outside the manga to learn the background stuff. I'm currently fighting all urges to go look up shougi information on Wiki.
As for the characters, Rei (kanji for "zero") is a introvert, shy and gloomy boy. Wears glasses, really thin, moppy hair. Nothing moe about him, and he looks like a younger version of Mayama with black hair. Well, my co-worker C did complain that all of her male characters look the same.
Akari is your typical older sister type, like Kasumi from Ranma 1/2. Nice & caring, long hair, great cook, big boobs. Hina is a cute younger sister type with twin tails. And Momo is an energetic baby sister, like Mei from Totoro.
I think we're all supposed to like Rei's self-proclaimed rival Nikaidou, a chubby & self-absorbed shougi pro. Akari and Momo are especially fond of him, which I can relate to.
3-gatsu no Lion
Author: Chika Umino
Volumes: 1 (on going)
Despite Hikaru no Go and Honey and Clover being licensed, this one is a hard title for publishers to pick up. Plus with all the little side text all over the pages, it's a tough one to do text insertion!
Nnn. I wonder if I'd have time to do a synopsis? I really should work on my taxes this weekend.
I liked some of the previous Moyoco Anno manga. Well, only Happy Mania. But I noticed Hataraki Man was a Morning comic, so I thought it should be interesting. I've liked a lot of the seinen manga that shoujo manga artists worked on, so it was a hunch.
I liked it.
The story is about Hiroko, a writer/editor for a weekly magazine "Jidai." Hiroko switches to her "male mode" whenever she gets into work. In her late 20s, she's in a phase where she has more responsibilities at work & it's getting fun... meanwhile her social life is taking a bit of a toll.
It didn't matter that I started on vol 4. The stories are individual mini stories, so you can just start reading at any chapter.
One of company B staffers recognized the book (long story), so he lent me vol 1 and vol 2. I read through them during work hours (bad employee). Not to worry, I shared them with my boss.
Staffer J who lent me the books was explaining the story to the other staff... and staffer G said she thought he was describing me. But my boss said, "She doesn't have a guy though."
Yes, I work in publishing. And I'm a workaholic. And I don't have a social life. And I don't have a boyfriend (Hiroko does... at least in the first two volumes).
But I'm always looking for kirameki.
That's why I read manga.
Especially shoujo manga.
Author: Moyoco Anno
Volumes: 4 (on going)
I heard it was animated before. And there's going to be a drama series (starring Miho Kanno... who doesn't sound like she would fit the role). So maybe company D would pick it up. Although there really isn't a market for this type of manga just yet.
It's a fun read if you're a single late 20-early 30 workaholic in the publishing world.
I've been adding up miles with all these conventions & business trips. It's been a long time since I had a day off on a weekend, so now it's time to blog the backlog of manga I've been reading between work-manga.
I was interested in Pluto for a while. I think it was the logo that interested me. And the fact that it's a Naoki Urasawa manga.
I ended up picking up a volume at Narita airport, when I was looking for a book to read on the plane home from Tokyo Anime Fair. I was already tired of reading a TON of manga during my trip, getting ready to talk to publishers & the like, so I was looking forward to reading a manga for pleasure.
Of course it's like a dream job to be able to read manga for work, but a whole week of manga reading & analysis had me all pooped out.
Not that Urasawa books are ideal for a pooped out manga brain. His books take lots of time to read and understand, and re-read to get deeper into it. So I bought Atachi'n chi vol 12 at the same time, but that's another post at another time.
So back to Pluto.
For those who aren't familiar w/ Pluto, it's a re-telling of an Astro Boy story "The World's Strongest Robot." I've read Astro Boy in bits, but I don't think I ever read "World's Strongest..." before. So I'm itching to read the original, but let's leave that aside for now.
The story is about a super-robot detective named Gesicht who gets involved in a mysterious crime where one of the seven greatest robots Mont Blanc gets killed. Around the same time, a robot rights activist (human) gets killed, and Gesicht believes the two murders are connected.
So what does this have anything to do with Astro Boy? Well, Urasawa was told by Osamu Tezuka's son to create a whole new manga instead of just making a re-make. So that's why the main character is a 40-year old robot (who looks very human, tho) instead of Atom.
Of course Atom, being one of the seven great robots (as well as Gesicht), makes an appearance in the manga too. But he looks nothing like the original Astro Boy. Well, for one thing, he wears clothes. *laugh* And he doesn't have horn-like hair. Cute, smart & well behaved. Moe indeed.
Since it's a Urasawa work, don't expect bishounen. I guess Epsilon is a biseinen, but it takes time for him to appear. All others in the story are middle-aged men. Kinda worn-out type. Imagine Nicholas Cage. Or Jim Belushi. Oh my, not a pretty picture.
But don't let worn out old men turn you away from Urasawa's manga. Cuz they're so good. Pluto is a bit lighter to read than Monster, but it's still a hefty read. Take your time. And if you don't like it now, come back to it a year or two later. I think that's how I started Urasawa's manga... cuz I read Yawara as a kid (junior high, maybe), and I thought it was boring at the time.
Another proof that you need to grow as a manga reader to read some of the stuff out there.
But Naoki Urasawa has great art, so it's definitely easier for women to get into, even if you just grew up on shoujo manga.
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Volumes: 4 (on going)
Oh shoot, I hardly talked about the manga. Not that it's easy to explain. Unfortunately the Wikipedia entry (in English) doesn't have enough information, altho the Japanese version does. Someone, translate the Japanese Wiki entry for the US fans!!