I love Manga’s and have been reading them for a long time but let’s be honest, as a hobby it’s an expensive one. So I’ve decided to split the series between those I think are worth saving up for & those I’d personally wouldn’t recommend.
So the final review slot for 2016 and I’ve decided to include a couple of series I haven’t finished yet, because these are all really long running stories.
worthwhile investing in
Title: The Wallflower
Author: Tomoko Hayakawa
Publisher: Kodansha (Del Rey)
Volumes: 36 (I’ve read to 30)
Series Rating: Overall (mostly) 4 Stars – so far, I’ve still got a few to go…
Like most long running series there are some duff chapters/volumes
It’s a gorgeous, spacious mansion, and four handsome, fifteen-year-old friends are allowed to live in it for free! There’s only one condition–that within three years the guys must transform the owner’s wallflower niece into a lady befitting the palace in which they all live! How hard can it be?
Enter Sunako Nakahara, the agoraphobic, horror-movie-loving, frizzy-haired, fashion-illiterate recluse who tends to break into explosive nosebleeds whenever she sees anyone attractive. This project is going to take more than our four heroes ever expected: it needs a miracle!
Sunako is my spirit animal. Only she’s not an animal of course… we’d be ideal friends if both of us came out of our caves long enough to interact.
I re-started The Wallflower series this year and it while I do think it’s too long (36 book total) and doesn’t actually develop much past its initial plot. I also like it for this reason. In a way The Wallflower is comfy for being familiar.
Sunako adores horror, hates the light and struggles with people (especially the ‘beautiful creatures’) and has a chocolate addiction. Society rejected her and she decided life was better in the darkness. Only her aunt wants her to re-join so the tenants (the most popular boys in school) are tasked to give her makeover.
The things that I love about The Wallflower are that Sunako is just as much a hypocrite as the so-called society that rejected her. She constantly judges people by appearance. The boys, while playing to their looks, love Sunako for who she is and defend her. I feel like I should have more issues with the ‘transformation’ part of the story but every time Sunako gets “made up”, she returns to her original self by the next chapter. So much of this story is about being ok with who you are.
Yes a lot about this series seems to fall in predictable tropes and it is repetitive but somehow it still works. And just FYI, the art is stunning.
Title: Kamisama Kiss
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Supernatural / Fantasy
Volumes: 26 (I’ve read to 20)
Series Rating: 4 Stars at the beginning. Personally I think the series drops after the first 10 or so volumes but it wasn’t until 17+ that I started to lose interest. I do want to finish it but given the financial output it’s not high on my list of priorities right now.
Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!
Nanami has all kinds of new responsabilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?
So all the good things; Kamisama Kiss is a series that’s full of fun and unique characters. If you’re on the lookout for a feel-good read then this is definitely a series I’d recommend. The story has such a good opening.
I liked out determined Nanami is. She works really had at making the best out of situations that look impossible. So, despite not being welcome at the shrine she’s just been gifted (read the manga!) she will make it work. Her relationship with Tomoe is also brilliant.
Kamisama Kiss has a lot of humour, nice art and great characters. I came across this series by accident and what a happy happenstance that was. Also I believe the anime has good reviews so I might check that that at some point.
not worth it…
Title: A Devil and Her Love Song
Author: Miyoshi Toumori
Publisher: Viz Media
Volumes: 13 (I got to volume 11 before I gave up)
Series Rating: It started on 3 Stars… 😦
Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace…
Maria’s frank nature gains her more enemies at her new school, but her angelic singing voice inadvertently catches the attention of Yusuke Kanda and Shin Meguro. Can these boys mend her hardened heart, or will they just end up getting scorched?
A Devil and Her Love Song is slow-building manga, so much so that by the time I reached book 11 I decided I’m not interested enough to continue investing in Maria’s story. (And I only had 2 volumes to go!)
What I liked about this series was that Maria was her own person. She was excluded and bullied because of this but she is true to who she is as a person. Yet she does try to fit in with her new classmates but she isn’t being someone else to do it.
Plus I think the art is beautiful.
Where A Devil and Her Love Song ends up falling flat for me is that it really feels too long. I don’t mind character development (but truthfully nobody actually changes all that much from the first book) or an author building up a backstory but with Maria’s history everything seems to be take double the amount of time it needs to.
After the 5/6 volumes my interest was starting to go and it never really picked up – eventually even my stubbornness just couldn’t make me finish this series.