A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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Hetare Spiral vol 1
2007.08.20. (Mon) | Edit |
My boss at Company B brought back a book called "Kono Manga ga Sugoi" (この漫画がすごい) a while back. It's an annual book where they list the top 10 manga selected by polls and by industry professionals. There are two different volumes - one for men's manga & one for women's manga.

I finally had time to read through the book last month. There were several manga that sounded interesting, so I ordered a bunch of them.

Hetare Spiral (へたれスパイラル) was one of the recommended manga.

It's about a 28 year old woman named Ranko who works for a movie publicity company. She's good looking, but hasn't had a boyfriend in 10 years & is still a virgin. In order to meet men, her friend enrolls her in an online dating service. The guy she ends up meeting is a 28 year old virgin named Tanaka.

Both Ranko and Tanaka aren't used to dating, so they react negatively (awkwardly?) to each other's actions. They're both timid that the other doesn't like them that much... and timid about how they should approach the other... what they should say.

Hetare means loser. Or a coward.
In this manga, hetare is more of a loser than a coward.

Tanaka is a hetare because he's a nice guy with a good job, but he's a fishing otaku. And a bit of a push over. And a bit awkward.

There are lots of sweet moments in the manga, and it's a really cute story.

Although it got me wondering if I like hetare's too.

I quickly ordered Hetare Spiral vol 2.
Come come quickly.

Hetare Spiral
Author: Mitsuru Fujii
Volumes: 2
Publisher: Kodansha

Will something like this come out in the US? Maybe not for a while.

The target audience for Hetare Spiral is women 25 - 30 range. Those who are already working & not married. Or with friends who aren't married. Or recently got married.

There aren't enough manga readers in that target group in the US yet. I know plenty in the target age range, but my friends are the early adopters (also called old school) of manga, so they're not the average manga readers of today. Basically we're old. But we still love shoujo manga!

2007/08/20 18:02 | Shoujo Manga | Comment (0) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
Handsome Girl (bunko)
2007.08.03. (Fri) | Edit |
Long time no write.
I seem to start with that line every post.

It's not that I've stopped reading manga.
In fact, I can't get through the busy convention season without a good manga or two to curl up with.

Now that the busy con season is over, I had time to go to the dentist. And I stopped by BookOff on the way home, and my sister picked up the bunko release of Handsome Girl (ハンサムな彼女).

How nostalgic!
I remember liking the series because the main character Mio wasn't a weak girly girl.

Yes, I read Handsome Girl real-time.
As it was running in Ribbon.

Handsome Girl is by the same manga artist as Marmalade Boy. It ran right before Marmalade Boy, so the art style is older & not as cute. But I liked the story more... it seemed more adult (less childish?) at the time. Although when I look at them, they're still for young girls.

Handsome Girl is about a girl named Mio (starts off as a junior high student, but most of the story takes place when she's in high school) who is a teen actress. She started working in the entertainment industry after being scouted by her childhood friend Teru-chan's agent.

So in the typical shoujo manga sequence, Mio starts off with a crush on her childhood friend & popular teen actor Teru-chan. Then she meets an aspiring director boy Kazuya, who plays a cool-cat and only seems interested in Mio as an actress. Of course Mio starts to like Kazuya, but then there's Kazuya's cute best friend Osamu. And toss in Mio's best friend & super idol Aya that XXX likes, but she likes XXX who she used to date in junior high...

If you put it into words, it's a very standard shoujo manga.

It's okay.
I was reading it as a tween anyway.

But I must not have read Handsome Girl completely when I was young. Because I had forgotten the second part of the story, where they have American characters show up.

My sister didn't buy those 2 volumes of Handsome Girl bunko books, so I don't know how that part goes at all.

Maybe I'll pick them up next time I go to the dentist.

Handsome Girl
Author: Wataru Yoshizumi
Volumes: 5 (bunko)
Publisher: Shueisha

This isn't picked up yet?
I guess the art style is too old to appeal to girls reading Ultra Maniac? Maybe there's problems with the manga talking about James Bond/007 too (licensing issues).

It's easy enough to read in Japanese, so if it doesn't get released by company V, just pick up the Japanese version.

2007/08/03 16:57 | Shoujo Manga | Comment (1) | Trackback (0) | Top▲