A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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Jelly Beans vol 1
2006.08.23. (Wed) | Edit |
I really didn't know Moyoco Anno's manga when I was an ordinary manga junkie.

Of course by the time I got out of college (many years ago) I heard about Happy Mania. But I wasn't interested in reading it until a certain director T of a certain Adult Swim anime F told me that main female lead H's design was modeled after Moyoco Anno's manga style.

Well, just the eyes.
Corrected character designer S.

I never finished reading Happy Mania. I have up to vol 3, and I'm struggling with the idea of buying the rest at an used book store or not. It's cheaper to buy the manga at a used book store, but the manga author doesn't get any royalties off of those sales. Once the manga author is somewhat familiar to you, it's hard to buy used manga.

I don't know anyone who knows the manga author or Oishinbo, so I have no problems buying that used.

But I digress.

I was rummaging through retail store A's warehouse manga shelves, looking for new manga to buy. And that's when I noticed Jelly Beans.

Jelly Beans vol 1

I was interested enough to buy the first volume, and decided I'll buy the rest if I like the first.

The story is about a young girl (14) named Mame who dreams of becoming a model. She heads out to Tokyo because she was selected as a "reader model" - where magazines select cute girls who read their magazine to try on clothes. Basically an amatuer model.

Mame gets lost, ends up at the publisher's offices, meets teen model Miri-chan & Hikaru-kun. Mame is having the best day of her life... although nothing amazing happens, b/c they just send her back home on a train.

I was never into fashion as a little girl, but it's fun reading about girls who are into fashion. I don't know why it's more fun reading about fashionable teen girls at age 30+, compared to reading Gokinjo Monogatari (ご近所物語) as a teenager.

Anyway, Mame ends up giving up her dreams of being a model (she's short), but dreams of being a fashion designer. And Mame's daydream sequences are weird. Surreal & colorful... even if it's a black & white manga.

Each chapter of Jelly Beans is 8 pages long.
Which is rather short for a shoujo manga, since most of them run 30 pages (for a monthly).

It's probably because the manga series ran in a fashion magazine called Cutie. Kinda like how Paradise Kiss ran in Zipper.

Now wouldn't it be cool if Nana ran in Seventeen (I was a Seventeen reader) or YM or other teen fashion magazines I don't know the names of? If anyone could pull it off, it would be Company V. Kitai shiteru ze (I'm counting on you), Company V!

Back to Jelly Beans.
I like the tempo of this manga, although it takes a little getting used to. It's very fast paced (well, each chapter is only 8 pages), and thoughts & actions & friendships change frequently. A lot like the conversation train of thought of teen girls, I s'pose.

It also reminded me of Kisekae Yuka-chan (きせかえユカちゃん), another manga about a fashion-obsessed tween girl. Kisekae Yuka-chan is more of a gag manga, but the tempo is a lot like Jelly Beans. Kisekae Yuka-chan is one of the manga series I look forward to in Cookie.

Jelly Beans
Author: Moyoco Anno
Volumes: 1 - 4
Publisher: Kodansha

Likelihood of Company B to license: 2
I'm guessing Company T already has this picked up. And if not, I'd like to recommend Company DR to pick it up. Sugar Sugar Rune is cute, but I liked reading this more.

Click on "read more" for chapter by chapter synopsis of Jelly Bean vol 1.


2006/08/23 14:45 | Shoujo Manga | Comment (2) | Trackback (0) | Top▲