Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!

There’s a main reason why the name Usui Takumi is brewing hot in the anime world today.  A new ongoing romantic comedy anime series Kaichou Wa Maid Sama! (The Student Council President is a Maid!) currently airing today on Animax every Sunday at 8:30 am has to do with this.

The anime is classified as “shoujo” which means the anime caters to young girls and women.  This distinction can be easily grasped because of the anime’s romantic flavor brewing between two major characters: Ayuzawa Misaki and Usui Takumi.  The chemistry between them is absolutely hilarious and anime viewers find their love-hate relationship turbulently sweet and fascinating.

Ayuzawa Misaki

Ayuzawa Misaki (voiced by Ayumi Fujimura), is the first female student council president of Seika High School.  Seika is renowned for its boisterous and wild students, once an exclusive all-boys school which makes its reputation even more intimidating and terrifying to young girls.  Misaki, fueled by her determination to put the recently co-ed school into a good light, tries her best to tame wild and hardheaded Seika students.  Her own reforms are relentless and ruthless but at the end of the day they all boil down to Misaki’s best interests for the school.

However, there’s one secret that Misaki has been nursing to herself all this time.  While she poses a dominant stance toward Seika students all throughout the day, she is actually Continue reading

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About Natsuki Takaya

Natsuki Takaya

If you are a certified manga addict, then perhaps you would know her.  Natsuki Takaya is the Japanese manga artist of the famous manga Fruits Basket (you probably have seen the anime adaptation) J.  That’s her pen name – she is born as Naka Hatake, on July 7, under the star sign Cancer.

 

I love her manga really – oh, I also love the 26-episode anime adaptation.  Because of the famous Fruits Basket manga, she received the Kodansha Manga Award for shojo in 2001.

 

My favorite Fruits Basket character is Kyou, the cat – hmmm, I can’t deny he’s really appealing, and I also like the character of the wacky Shigure-san.

 

I’m currently reading her manga Boku ga Utau to Kimi wa Warau Kara, though I’m really slow in terms of reading it because the semester is going to be over soon and lots and lots and lots of things are to be done.  whew!

Paradise Kiss

If you have read Ai Yazawa’s manga Gokinjo Monogatari and you happen to love it, then probably you would also enjoy the semi-sequel of this work – Paradise Kiss.  Paradise Kiss, or ParaKiss, is an original 5-volume manga written by Yazawa, and has been adapted into a 12-episode anime produced by Aniplex and Studio Madhouse.  I’ve seen the anime in Animax, who broadcast the series and widely distributed it and it was so amazing.

The protagonist of the story is Yukari Hayazaka, also nicknamed Caroline, a highschool student who is already bored with her life driven by routines, thus, when she meets the Parakiss crew, she models for them and decides to stop her review for the university entrance examinations.  She matures little by little through her relationship with George Koizumi, a chic and handsome university student, and a fashion designer.  George designs Yukari’s outfit when she models for them, or for anybody else.  Along with the Parakiss crew are Miwako Sakarada a cute and childlike university student who fondly calls Yukari ‘Caroline’ a lot and Arashi Nagase, the punk, rock and hardcore guy who is a band member and Miwako’s girlfriend.  The mother figure of the Parakiss crew is none other than Daisuke “Isabella” Yamamoto, but she is actually a crossdresser.

But one character that I will not forget in this anime is Hiroyuki Tokumori, Yukari’s classmate – a handsome, appealing, silent and intelligent young man, who always looks out for Yukari and concern for her studies. In the first part of the anime, Hiroyuki is the object of Yukari’s affection, but her emotions shifts to George when she meets him.  I like Hiroyuki because his character reminds me of my highschool crush (and I still like that guy) – both are intelligent in the first place.  *giggles

Oh yeah, too much for digressions.

Not to forget the theme songs of the anime – Lonely in Gorgeous performed by Tommy February6 is the opening theme, and Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand is the ending theme.

If you really love fashion, you’ll fall in love with this anime. J

And What About Junpei Manaka?

Junpei Manaka

Junpei Manaka

Nah, don’t believe that a guy like Manaka can attract so many girls.

But in Miyuki Kawashita’s Ichigo 100% manga, it is almost convincing that a dim-witted guy who doesn’t know much about choosing the girl he really likes and understanding his own emotions can get so many girls.  He couldn’t just decide the best among the girls around him! But the best thing about Manaka is that he is a cute when he is in that way, and probably that’s why girls love him.

And he is also a good film maker, I suppose.

He is also determined to pursue his dream to do movies in the future, and he Continue reading

Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama!

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama!

I’m so happy that I’ll be able to keep track of the plot in the manga Kaichou Wa Maid Sama (the [student council] president is a maid!) The manga is currently updated, and downloading is quite easy this time. And it’s summer, so I don’t have to think much about school.

The story revolves around Ayuzawa Mizaki, the unbeatable student council president who works at the Cafe Maid Latte after school. She is very strong, dominant and widely known in the school as a fierce disciplinarian. Her work at the Café Maid Latte is her deepest secret that she keeps from her schoolmates. The reason why Mizaki tries all her best to stay as a very strong student council president is that she doesn’t want the number of girls in the school to decrease. The school she’s attending is best known to have the most number of guys, and most of them, quite difficult to handle and notorious. With her as the student council president, the number of girls attending increases.

Only Usui Takumi, the most popular guy among the school knows about this secret (he discovered it accidentally). In the campus, Usui is known to be the strongest and the most perfect guy. And he is also as smart as Misaki. But Misaki thinks that Usui is the Sexual Harassment King – hahaha, so cute really. And Usui possesses culinary interest, so sometimes he comes in the Café Maid Latte to volunteer and help the girls in the kitchen.

I surely hope that in time I’d see an anime adaptation of this manga. I assume that it would be really great to see Usui and Misaki come alive in the screen. Whew!


We Were There

Yano and Nana

Yano and Nana

I could still recall the time when I first saw an episode of the anime Bokura ga Ita, and I could say that I really got hooked to it. It is a shoujo manga, dealing with young teenage love and relationship, and how it develops into a much more mature love when the characters Yano and Nana reach the adult stage.

It’s a romance manga written by Yuuki Obata, and it was serialized in Betsucomi released in 2002. Then, an anime adaptation of the famous manga was released. The anime version follows the plot of the manga until Yano leaves Nana. But don’t worry, to all Bokura Ga Ita fans, the manga is still ongoing, and mind you, the plot is getting interesting I could hardly wait what would happen next.

The story starts of with Nana, a 15 year old high school girl who told herself that she would never fall in love with the campus crush Yano like two-thirds of the class. For me, she is very fragile girl because she always ends up being confused with her own feelings, but nevertheless, she is cute as much as Yano is concerned. Later, as the story progresses, she begins to get curious on Yano, to the point of knowing more about him (Yano’s past, and Yano’s ex-girlfriend, also named Nana) and eventually falling in love with him. Yano, a popular and the typical highschool heartthrob, falls in love Nana too, starts dating her, and affectionately calls her Nana-chan. Not to mention, he is the usual flirt that mostly occurs in appealing guys.

Nanami Takahashi

Nanami Takahashi

At the surface, we know Yano as extremely sociable to all kinds of people, especially to girls, but deep inside, he had a hard time dealing and trusting them because of his traumatic experience with his first girlfriend. This is the reason why that when he’s still dating Nana, he is too possessive with her. At some point, Yano is caught between either the present girlfriend Nana or the memory of his ex-girlfriend who died in a car accident. Yano’s ex-girlfriend, also called Nana, died in a car accident with her ex-boyfriend, and the thought of this, made Yano (unknowingly) emotionally bruised. This in turn affects the relationship that he has with the present Nana.

Yano Motoharu

Yano Motoharu

Yano’s close friend, Takeuchi, is the kind of guy that you can hold on to in times of trouble. He is much kinder and more emphatic than Yano, and most of the time, when Nana is having problems with her relationship with Yano, Takeuchi is there to console her. This is the reason why Takeuchi falls in love with Nana too, starting at that time when Nana is dating Yano, until the present series. But as a close friend in the background, he doesn’t messes up with the relationship of his beloved Nana and his bestfriend Yano. Instead, he warns Yano that he hurts Nana she wouldn’t have any second thoughts to sort of ‘snatch’ her away from him. True enough, that’s what happened later on the manga series.

Another character in the story is Yuri Yamamoto. She is a classmate of both Yano and Nana-chan. She is the younger sister of Nana Yamamoto, who is Yano’s ex-girlfriend. Nana Yamamoto is older than Yano when she starts dating her. Yuri, her younger sister, (and very unlike her sister) is so passive and extremely unsociable. She falls in love with Yano even before Yano is dating her older sister. A week after the tragic incident of Yano’s ex-girlfriend, it is revealed that Yuri actually slept with Yano. That event made Yuri develop an extreme hate to Yano, because she felt that she was ‘used’. She becomes a love obstacle between the relationship of Nana-chan and Yano.

Bokura Ga Ita

Bokura Ga Ita

In the manga version, the story continues until the characters enter their respective choices of university. Yano and Nana both parted ways because they attended to different universities, and both promised to keep in contact with the other. But what happen is that Yano fails to contact her almost all the time when he is staying in Tokyo. He completely cuts off all the communication with her. Nana, who is naturally emotionally unstable, feels heartbroken and confused. Unknown to Nana, Yano encounters lots of problems in the busy skirts of Tokyo: financial crisis and his mother’s death. Because of the loss of communication, Nana decides to leave her feelings out for Yano and starts moving on with her painful experience. She starts dating Takeuchi. At the present manga release, they are 21 years old. Later on, it is revealed that Yano is now actually living with Yuri Yamamoto.

Yano and Nana-chan

Yano and Nana-chan

Actually there is more to the manga than what is written here, so be sure you’d get to read it. But I couldn’t deny the fact that the anime version is the perfect rendition of the emotional gravities that one should felt in the story. This is one tragic story filled with love, unexpressed emotions, mixed confusion that leaves everyone victims of their own feelings. Totally complicated, if you ask me, but this one is worth your time.

I love the theme songs of the anime. The opening song is Kimi Dake Wo (Only You) by Mi, and the notable ending songs that I like are: Aishiteru (I Love You) by Mi, Kotoba (Words) and Suki Dakara (Because I Love You) by Izumi Katou, Koko ni Ite (I’m here) by Kaori Asou and Futari no Kisetsu Ga by Nozomi Sasaki.

Paradise Kiss – The Kidnapped Yukari Plus the Equal Opportunity Lover George

Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss

The Honey and Clover season 2 rerun on Animax just ended last week. As usual, it got me teary-eyed because of the bittersweet Takemoto’s sentimentalities, but I think that the ending was really an essential part of the whole anime package. This is probably the reason why Honey and Clover is one of my personal favorites.

Now, I’m glad that Paradise Kiss is having its rerun again in Animax to replace the Honey and Clover timeslot. Paradise Kiss is another shoujo anime, just like Honey and Clover, but it deals more of fashion, in line with love and character identity. In fact, I’ve read a lot of community forums about Parakiss and Honey and Clover fans, and this is probably because they are both shoujo manga comics about love, relationships, and young adult’s lives in general.

Well, Paradise Kiss was originally released as volume manga series (written by Ai Yazawa) distributed by Shodensha’s Zipper magazine in Japan before it was adapted into a 12-episode anime version by Aniplex (Girl from Hell, Fullmetal Alchemist, Darker than Black). It revolves around Yukari

Yukari and George

Yukari and George

Hayasaka, also known as “Caroline”, and how she comes in terms with love and relationships through her dream of being a fashion model.

Yukari (voiced by Yu Yamada in Japanese and Julie Ann Taylor in English) is a high school student who is bored and tired of going to school and having to undergo what she thinks as the routinary and meaningless academic life. For me, she’s the kind of girl that wants to experience what’s out in the real world, as teenagers usually tend to be tired with school (yep, I’ve experienced that too, haha) and wish at some point to work or to venture out in the real world. Yukari, even though it’s animated, is a beautiful woman – she has beautiful eyes, and long legs to boot – perfect for a model. This is probably the reason that when another character Arashi readily concluded that she was a perfect model for the new fashion line that he and his friends wants to release in the public. Yukari claimed that she was “kidnapped” sort of, and meets the Parakiss crew headed by the ultra hot university student George Koizumi (voiced by Kenji Hamada in Japanese; Patrick Seitz in English), the punk rocker Arashi Nagase (voiced by Shunsuke Mizutani; Derek Stephen Prince), the cute Miwako Sakurada ( voiced by Marika Matsumoto; Jolie Jackson), and the high class crossdresser Daisuke “Isabella” Yamamoto (voiced by Chiharu Suzuka; Mari Devon). Arashi and Miwako are dating, while eventually, as the anime progresses, George and Yukari hooks up.

Yukari is a simple high school girl in the earlier episodes, typical teenager who falls in love with her classmate, a character named Hiroyuki Tokumori, and dreams to marry this guy in the future. She was not really appealing (at least in the earlier context of the anime) but when she meets the ParaKiss crew she had a complete physical transformation. At first she is reluctant to be a model, and considers the idea to be really ridiculous, but due to the invisible power that George has (hahaha – something in him that’s soooo appealing!) she decides to quit school for good and model for ParaKiss full time. Quite a risk, no wonder it really made her mother angry. She begins to fall in love with George in extremes (really!) – a give-all sort of kind of love. The kind of love relationship between the two of them gave her the experience that enabled her to know more about herself.

It was thought-provoking that George was a bisexual (so he says) and asserts himself as ‘an equal opportunity lover’.

ParaKiss

ParaKiss

The anime adaptation was released on October 2005, and it was directed by Osamu Kobayashi and Nobuteru Yuuki. However, the directors still consulted the mangaka Ai Yazawa for clarifications and expectations for the anime adaptation. The anime was aired all over Japan through Fuji TV, and through Animax, it was widely broadcast in East and Southeast Asia. I haven’t read the manga – at least not just yet- to see and compare if what are the major and minor changes in the anime. I’ve seen what Gokinjo Monogatari looks like (it’s a manga comic written by Ai Yazawa, and Paradise Kiss is said to be a semi-sequel to it), and I think that it was really interesting.

And of course, not to forget, I love the theme songs of the anime. I managed to download them in the internet and I love to jive in with the melody. The opening theme song of the anime is entitles “Lonely in Gorgeous” by Tommy February6 and the ending theme is “Do You Want To” by Franz Ferdinand.

Death Note

Death Note

Death Note

When I first came across with the Death Note’s plot (as told by a friend) I thought it sounded very violent and so ‘off’. But when I finally read the whole manga series, I like it so much I find it hard to take a break in between. Now, I consider Death Note as one of the best manga and anime series that I’ve ever read and seen, along with the all time favorites, Rurouni Kenshin, Slam Dunk, Inuyasha, Naruto and many more!

The anime is classified as shounen, in general, and a suspense thriller to be specific. The manga was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata and it spanned to 108 thrilling chapters. It was serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shounen Jump. I finished downloading the complete scanlated manga series last semester, thanks to Toriyama World, Orange Tangerine, Shannaro, TOWNL (The Ones Who Never Lie), We The Fans, and Pedo Bears who took the painstaking job of scanning the raws, translating, typesetting, proofreading, editing, and doing the quality check job before they reached us fans.

I especially would like to thank the translators: masterkeaton, burner, hoihoi-nya, ssh, rikki-tikki-tavi, rei, chikubi, SSH, godly, yuurei, rain, heavy duty, happy Japanese; typesetters and cleaners: chris, nightmare_80, naiujiro;

L

L

proofreaders: ndruo, seres, blue chaos, dits, nhongaeri, sneweee, the next generation; editors: william_h, lilink, riesig, alpha0me9a, ratti, liaison, madmane, chibura, rikku, kaiser-chan, chibi yuuto, lolimaster; raw providers: vilespawn, general smoker, asakura; quality checkers and staff members: iwanin, scout, occa, chris, murmel, yumi, rut, syon, rei, bluechaos, chikubi, leona, seres, fnuckale, GX, kumo, grungy_hamster, shaza, terramare, wasabi; scanner gto0o; and additional art provider devil ozma for making the scans available to the Death Notes fans out there. You rock guys!

The 108 manga chapters was squeezed to 37 chapters of anime adaptation produced by MadHouse Studio, Nippon Television, Shueisha, D.N. Dream Partners and VAP. It was directed by Tetsurou Araki. It has been aired in Nippon Television (Japan), Bionix (Canada), Adult Swim (US), and Animax (Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other respective networks worldwide).

The story centers about Light Yagami (or Yagami Raito in some adaptations) who finds a supernatural notebook named as Death Note. At the back of the notebook are the rules on how to it, and one of them says that if you put a name of a person in the notebook, he or she will die. Light finds the notebook really stupid to start with. He begins to believe a little when he first glimpsed the death god Ryuuk, a Shinigami and who happens to be the owner of the note. Later on, he is immersed with his own idealogy to purify the world by writing the names of the evil people in the notebook and create the ideal Utopia – but to the extent of destroying himself in the end.

Of course, lots of things happen in between: like meeting Light’s opponents L, Mello, Near, Light hooking up with Misa (another Kira) and Takada (messenger of Kira) to pursue his plans, meeting other Shinigamis and many many more!

I love the Misa and Raito (Light Yagami) tandem. Somehow, it’s appealing. Hahahah. The Kira and the second Kira.

Honey and Clover Manga

I finished downloading the manga Honey and Clover, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the continuing chapters in season 2. Probably, the Shoujo Magic hasn’t finished scanlating it, well, no wonder, it is hard to translate such difficult series.

However, if you have the full copy of the season 2 (and so on) scanlated manga, please let me know! I only got three chapter- scanlated copies of the volume two, that is from chapters 10-12, but since it is still ongoing (whatever happened, please do continue Shoujo Magic!) I’m still waiting here!

I love the Honey and Clover manga. And I’ve also seen its season 1 and 2 anime version that premiered on Animax. However, I haven’t seen yet the live action series (or is it movie?).

I made a summary out of the season one Honey and Clover manga because I love it so much. If you planned to read the manga and wishes not to get spoiled here, DON’T READ BEYOND THIS because it might Continue reading

Kotoba

Katou Izumi

Ending Song Bokura Ga Ita

Romaji:

Ima kimi ga ii kaketa kotoba ga
yubi saki ni sotto orita kita Continue reading