A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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Ren-ai Catalog vol 31
2006.08.18. (Fri) | Edit |
I was trying to remember how I got into reading Ren-ai Catalog (恋愛カタログ).

I must have picked up Betsu-Ma (Betsusatsu Margaret) after it took me a long time to grow out of reading Ribbon. It's a monthly magazine, so it was probably easier to subscribe to than bi-weekly Margaret.

I've stopped reading Betsu-Ma, but Ren-ai Catalog is one of the manga series I still continue to buy.

Actually, it's hard to stop once you've already collected 30 volumes.

The story starts off with a somewhat shy high school girl named Mika who goes to a gou-kon with her best friend. She is intrigued by a guy named Takada-kun & she doesn't want to regret not talking to him ever again so she asks him out. Takada-kun says yes, and they get together.

Or I that's how I remember how it started. I think there was something more touching & shoujo manga-like (he helped her out when someone teased her; said some comment that made her feel more relaxed... something like that), but I can't remember off hand.

I should go back and re-read the first volume, but I think I got the gist of it.

So Mika & Takada-kun go through the new couple thing of getting to know each other. Then the what-should-couples-do when-they-should-be-studying-for-college-exams thing. Then Takada-kun got into College K, but Mika is on the wait-list thing. Then it's-hard-to-spend-time-together-when-we're-in-different-majors thing.

Of course there's obstacles that pop up here & there, like Takada-kun's ex-girlfriend who is rumored to be super cute. Or Mika & Takada-kun volunteer for children's summer camp & another male volunteer starts to like Mika.

Ren-ai Catalog has the older generation shoujo manga feel, where there's a lot of doki-doki before they kiss (although it doesn't take them the entire series to kiss). But I think they don't have sex until the 20th volume or so.

Rather unusual for shoujo manga of these times. But I guess Tsukushi & Doumyoji never had sex too.

Ren-ai Catalog is for otaku girls who grew up falling in love with male characters from shoujo manga (like Makabe-kun from Tokimeki Tonight, Irie-kun from Itazura na Kiss, Shin-chan from Oh My Darling).

There are tear-jerking moments where you cry because Takada-kun says the sweetest things to Mika. And you giggle at the awkwardness of boys and girls.

Vol 31 is mostly about Mika's younger sister Tane, who is dating Takada-kun's younger brother Ryuji. Tane-chan is in her 2nd year in high school, so she's s'posed to be thinking about college exams. But she's a carefree character who doesn't like to study & she's considering not going to college.

Tane-chan takes her New Year's money and decides to go to Hokkaido for a trip. Dragging along Ryuji, of course. Tane-chan's main purpose was to eat good food, and they end up at a dairy farm where the family makes fresh ice cream.

Hmmm. Makes me want to go to Hokkaido.

I'm surprised Ren-ai Catalog lasted so long, but by shifting some of the storyline to Tane & Ryuji, I guess the younger readers of Betsu-Ma can relate to the two in high school. While the older readers (although I'm long out of college) can read about Mika & Takada-kun.

Ren-ai Catalog
Author: Masami Nagata
Volumes: currently up to 31
Publisher: Shueisha

Likelihood of Company B to license: 1
(on a scale of 1 to 10)
Too long = it would take 8 years releasing the books quarterly. And it's Shueisha, although Company V probably won't release it in the US.

2006/08/18 23:23 | Shoujo Manga | Comment (1) | Trackback (0) | Top▲