Because her soul is enslaved to a goddess; Oniisama E

By all means, Oniisama E, translating as Dear Brother, is unassuming in its premise. However, pegging Oniisama E as anything other than a landmark production would be short-sighted. Ikeda Rioyko’s original manga was penned in the 1970s, and yet the series moves through triggering subjects like terminal illness, suicide, incest, homosexuality, and drug use without batting an eyelid.

Say I love you or they won’t want you; sexual capital in Sukitte Ii Na Yo

I read quite a bit of shoujo manga. As such, I was quite pleased to see that Sukitte Ii Na Yo  received an anime adaption this fall.  It’s an interesting one, because, while stubbornly about teenagers’ romantic involvements, it really isn’t. If you’re watching Sukitte Ii Na Yo, or if you’ve written it off as ‘just another shoujo show’,… Continue reading Say I love you or they won’t want you; sexual capital in Sukitte Ii Na Yo

Don't forget the side characters

In alot of ways, what keeps a longer manga engaging isn’t its main characters, but the side characters. Though our initial emotional investments as readers are in the main characters, the supporting cast and their links with those main characters are what keeps the story fresh.

Watching people destroy their happiness in NANA

One of the saddest things about NANA is that its creator Ai Yazawa (who has been fighting against an unspecified illness since 2009) hasn’t been able to finish it. NANA is a story of dreams and ambition, and the characters have struggled too hard and for too long to be left hanging. I hope Yazawa… Continue reading Watching people destroy their happiness in NANA

Seeing the forest through the trees with Sailor Moon

If you haven’t done yourself the favour of reading the original Sailor Moon manga, I suggest you drop whatever stigmas or preconceptions you have of the series and find yourself a copy. Naturally, it suffers from the cliches it helped to establish: baddies-of-the-moment, elaborately named attacks, and a penchant for all the bad parts of… Continue reading Seeing the forest through the trees with Sailor Moon

“Next time, let me see a Matsuri Special.”

Something about the transience of adolescence never fails to inspire. More often than not we wake up, 20, fully grown, and confused as to how we got there. For this reason, mangaka like Kamio Youko are a particularly rare breed. Time and time again, she manages to lushly recreate both the frame of mind and… Continue reading “Next time, let me see a Matsuri Special.”