But that's not really true.
There was a sale at Book Market (used bookstore) in Santa Monica Mitsuwa a few weeks ago, and we bought bunko versions of Pineapple Army vol 1-4 and Ponytail Hakusho vol 1-3. So I did do a lot of personal manga reading. Or at least all in one day.
Anyhoo, I just got my copy of Kisekae Yuka-chan vol 10 (きせかえユカちゃん).
A bit about Kisekae Yuka-chan.
It's a shoujo manga that runs in Cookie magazine & it's about a 6th grader named Yuka. She's tall, pretty & fashionable, so she's commonly mistaken for not being an elementary school girl. But she's also not very smart & eats a lot.
Her best friend Midori-chan is a short petite girl who dreams of becoming a fashion designer & likes to dress up Yuka. Midori-chan's mom owns a vintage clothing store, so the two girls spend a lot of time there.
But the best part of the series is:
1) Sadako-sensei - her real name is Sadaoka-sensei, but was nicknamed Sadako by her students b/c her long black hair hangs over her face when she gets upset. It's a reference to the movie "The Ring," although I don't watch horror movies, so I really don't know.
2) Yuka's mom - stay at home mom, but not your typical apple-pie baking mom. She's hard to describe in few words. Enka-loving, military-play-loving, likes to write scenarios for the unfortunate people around her, type of crazy mom.
There's also shota-heart tickling Masumi, Yuka's older sister Yumi & her boyfriend (now ex) Shige, Masumi's Japanese-western food restaurant owner/cook dad, slutty boin-chan... lots of funny characters.
Hm, I didn't even talk about Kisekae Yuka-chan vol 10 yet.
Well, what really inspired me to write here is actually not the main Kisekae Yuka-chan, but the short manga that they tacked on at the end of the volume.
Kisekae Yuka-chan is pretty short for a shoujo manga, running about 20-pages per month (most monthly shoujo manga run at least 30-pages). So I'm guessing the publisher wants to release the manga regularly & doesn't want to release a volume a year... so they took 8 months worth (8 chapters) and added two one-shot manga to release the volume faster.
According to the back of the book, the one-shot manga ran in Young You magazine. So they characters are a bit older & the story leans towards romantic-ness.
The first story is called Nomarechimauze Sugar Wave (のまれちまうぜシュガウェーブ). About a OL named Mori-chan who has a crush on the electrician who comes in to her office to fix the TV wiring. There's nothing extraordinary about the story, except the TV guy's line.
Mori-chan fantasizes about becoming a monster & destroying power lines, and how the TV guy would come and calm her down with a kiss. Truely lame fantasy (she says so herself), but decides to yank out the cables from the TV in the office so they'd have to call him in to fix it. After everyone in the office tells him that Mori-chan broke the TV on purpose, he tells her that the TV's not broken & she'd have to do more extreme things to break it.
Then he says:
"But you don't have to go that far. I'd come anyway. You can just call me up, and I'll come."
My translation doesn't do it justice.
Nose-bleed desu yo.
OK, calm down... me.
The second story is called Touryanse (とうりゃんせ), about Suwa-san who works at a reptile-only pet shop. She went to see fireworks with the pet shop manager, but they got lost from each other in the crowd. The manager tells her that in the Edo period, a bridge fell down when a bunch of people went on it to watch fireworks & about 1000 people died.
Kinda gloomy talk for a romantic interest...
But Suwa sees a dream about her & the manager seeing fireworks from the bridge, and the bridge falls. The next day, the manager says he saw a dream like it. And he's been seeing the same dream for a long time.
So it's a bit of a reincarnation story. Altho they don't make it that romantical.
The second story was so-so.
Maybe I just need to read it patiently & read more into it.
The manager wears glasses, but I couldn't get moe over him.
So the book info.
Author: Akiko Higashimura
Volumes: 10 (on going)
Likelihood of Company B to license: 0
I sound like a broken record, but it's Shueisha. Company B is like booger. Or ear booger (Americans would call that wax). And it's bit of a gag manga, which doesn't exactly translate well into English. And the art is cute but messy, and takes a little getting used to. But it's a fun read.
Yuka & her class go on a field trip to a bakery factory. Yuka eats raw dough, and her classmates think they also make mochi there. Hee. Yuka also meets a man called Machine Ikeda & really thinks he's a robot.
Yuka gets a love letter from a first grader, whose father owns a sushi restaurant. Masumi's dad tells him to win her back with a fried shimp, but Masumi gives it to Yuka too early & she ends up going to the sushi restaurant. Yuka's mom never let her eat toro (fatty tuna) or uni (sea urchin) before, so she refers to chu-toro as "melts like margarine" and the sushi chef says "can't you at least say butter!?" She says uni tastes like flan with soy sauce on it (her mom apparently fed her that, calling it uni). Masumi & his dad woo Yuka back with lobster, which she calls "crayfish."
Yuka runs away from home when her mom buys fancy bento boxes for herself & Yumi, but only gets Yuka onigiri. So she goes over to Midori's house to dress up in "runaway girl" fashion. She gets taken in by the police w/ a real runaway, her mom & sister are called to take her home, Yuka feels sorry for the runaway & kidnaps her from the police station... so they have to call Sadako-sensei to apologize to the police. There's a joke about Shouten, which is a stage show with old men telling bad puns & getting "points" in cushions. Oh, Wiki it.
Chapter 63 & 64
Yuka's class picks school duties (gardening, animal maintenance, cafeteria duty, etc) & the boys cheat, so Sadako-sensei tells Midori to nominate herself as the class president. Yuka's mom helps them plan their campaign, which includes recruiting Masumi & his cute friends to get the female votes... bribe boys to vote by promising to tell them a secret beetle hunting woods.
Yuka & Midori are dropped off at a beach house to spend the summer with a distant relative granny. They think they can play in the beach the whole summer, but granny makes them work running the beach house for vacationers. Meanwhile, Yuka's mom & Sadako-sensei are invited to Poo-ko's summer house where they enjoy a rich vacation.
Yuka & Midori plan an escape from the beach house & reach Poo-ko's summer house, but her mom & Sadako-sensei don't want the kids to ruin their fun, so they shoo them away by shooting wine corks (actually Dom Perignon) on Yuka's forehead. Don't try this at home, kids.
Poo-ko asks Yuka & Midori to take her shopping at a dagashi-ya, a nickel store that only sells candy and toys. Poo-ko's butler gives them 1000yen ($9) and asks Yuka to teach Poo-ko how to shop thriftly. So Yuka & Midori tell Poo-ko to buy all the 10yen & 20yen candy, but to leave 300yen for the ultimate gamble. There's a paper lottery where you pay 100yen to get the super bouncy ball (there's even a HUGE one to win).