Bokura ga Ita (We Were There) Vol. 1

we-were-there-2

Summary: You know, that guy…He doesn’t seem to need anybody else. I don’t know how to put it but… No matter hw much we talk or what we do….It doesn’t reach him.

Review: Bokura ga Ita, has slowly become one of my favourite series of all time. I have watched the anime before, laugh at the cute moments that Yano and Nana-chan has, and cried when their relationship starts to fall. I had no doubt that I would pick up the manga once it got liscensed by Viz. I have to admit, that the anime has captured the mellowness of the original manga. I have always been a fan of drama, in fact I kind of prefer drama over completely random, plotless, comedic shoujos.

In this volume, we find Nana-chan desperately wanting to see Yano during her class’s rehearsal for a play they are putting on during the school’s festival. Even though Yano plays the main character in the play, he never showed up to any of the rehearsals. One day, her friends invited her to a night festival, and hinted that Yano and his friends might be coming along. Nana being excited, decided to wear a yukata for him. But disappointment fell upon her when she realizes that Yano didn’t come. During the festival, she did meet Takeuchi, who being the smart guy he is, took a picture of her in her yukata.  Takeuchi also told her that last summer, Yano who lost his girlfriend died and that was probably why he was mopping around. Near the end of their summer vacation, Nana gets her courage up and visits Yano and ask him if he was okay. Yano replies that this time of the year is a tough year for him. Nana, then told him that he’s not alone, and that she will always be there for him.

Yano finally shows up to rehearsal, thanks to Nana. He comments that Nana looks very cute in a Yukata, and told her Takeuchi sent him a picture of her. He later on thank her for what she told him, at his house earlier, and that it made him very happy. Yano later on, told Nana that he liked her during the school festival.

At the end of the volume, Yano made her promise that she would never leave him, and that she wouldn’t cheat on him.

Conclusion: I feel bad for Yano, who is haunted by his past. I’m also worried that maybe Nana-chan might end up number two compared to Nana-san. Who knows? Yano is nice now, but sooner or later he’s probably going to crack…

Overall Grade: B+

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The Name of the Flower Vol. 1

thenameofflower1Summary: Devastated by the lost of both parents in a tragic accident. 18-year-old Chouko Mizushima loses her will to live. After living at the homes of several different relatives, she settles in with a handsome young writer named Kei Mizushima. Kei’s  a solitary, private person who is uncomfortable around most people and doesn’t quite know how to deal with this emotional young woman. At first, Chouko can’t seem to do anything right. But her dedication to tending the flowers in his garden leads kei to eventually accept her presence. Will their growing mutual affection lead to something more?

Review: I was pleasantly surprised by this manga. At first when I read the back cover of this volume, I wasn’t sure if I would be interested in it. But reading some of the reviews online, I was told that this manga is a good read. I agree with what everyone thinks about this manga.

The story is really mellow in terms of the story line. Chouko, who lost her parents, refused to talk. Kei, who’s normally a reclusive, orders Chouko to cook and clean the house, if she wants to live in it. She was also told to tend the garden in her free time. As time goes on, and her garden grows, Chouko starts to speak again. She later realize that the reason she was able to move on was because of Kei’s influences on her. She also realizes that she is in love Kei.

Kei also loves her, but he feels he doesn’t deserve her. A flashback happens and we find out that at first Kei did not want to take her in. But when he saw her emotionless face, he took her in. As Chouko continues to live with him, he slowly changes into another person. At first, he would normally write dark fiction. But when Chouko lived with him, he wrote a book called “Hana” which is based on their relationship.

Conclusion: I will definitely be picking up the next volume. It’s not often that you find gems such as this.

Overall Grade: A

Basara Vol. 6

basara6Summary: After Sarasa and Shuri are separted in the flood, a shocking battle takes place and important secrets are revealed. In Seiran, Sarasa helps the rebels with the flood recovery effort and is reminded that no matter how hard she pretends otherwise she is still an ordinary girl. Asagi stages his own mock execution and Sarasa saves him, He is taken back to the ship where Nagi nurses his wounds, but Sarasa begins to suspect foul play.

Review: After reading this volume of Basara, I have to admit that this is probably one of the best shoujo manga out there. Every character is well developed, and the main herione is braver than most shoujo heroines.

Shuri (The Red King) learns that his real brother is Asagi (The Blue King) and decides to start back at square one. Asagi stages his own execution in order for Sarasa to save him. He is later brought to the ship, where Nagi treats his wounds. We later learn that Asagi wishes to use Sarasa as a tool to kill his own brothers, and eventually rule japan. A long the way Asagi learns that Tatara is actually Sarasa. He also learns that Sarasa and Shuri are madly in love and that they probably don’t know each other’s real identity. Asagi sends his servants (The Four Virtues) to spy on his brothers. One of his servant (Plum) tipped Asho that Kazan is holding Sarasa’s mother hostage in his home. Shuri laters questioned Kazan about it and he denies the accusation of holding Sarasa’s mother in his house. He is then ordered to go to Kumano to attend the fake Blue King’s funeral. Fearing that Sarasa’s mother would be captured, he takes her to Kumano as well. Sarasa and the gang follows Kazan to Kumano in order to save her mother.

Conclusion: I wished Ageha warns Sarasa about what Asagi is planning to do. I also wished that there were more Shuri x Sarasa’s scenes, just because they are so cute together. All in all, this was another excellent volume towards the series. I can’t wait to pick up the next volume. ^^

Overall Grade: A+

Your & My Secret Vol. 2

 

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Summary:  When Akira Uehara, overlooked because he doesn’t open his mouth, and Nanako Momoi, looked over until she opens her mouth, switch bodies, they find their new selves surprisingly comfortable. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones. Akira and Nanako’s pre-swap best friends are now drawn to them post-op. And they want to spend the night! Akira and Nanako will have to do more than just tango in this volume of You & My Secret!

Review: This was probably one the funniest and most random manga I have ever read in my life. Ai Morinaga is a talented mangaka, so I’m dying to see what her other series are like. I’ve realized that lately I have been enjoying quite a few gender-bender stories, such as Coffee Prince (Korean drama), Hana-Kimi (Japanese Drama, that I’ve just completed.) and now You’re & My Secret.

During a trip to Okinawa (that Senbongi has won), funny antics occurred. There was a scene where Momoi (who’s in Akira’s body) catches a glimpse at Senbongi’s private parts, and begs him to let her see it again. Momoi also warns Akira (who’s in Momoi’s body) to not do any funny business with Shiina, who happens to be Momoi’s girlfriend. She warns Akira, that if something happens with Shiina, she will do bad things to Senbongi, and that he will regret it. Stuff accidentally happened with Shiina, and Momoi happens to see it. Momoi (who’s in a guy’s body) ran towards Senbongi and started to force herself on him. It was noted that Senbongi’s virginity is still intact….lol.

Another major event is that Senbongi overhears Akira and Momoi’s conversation, and learns that they have switch bodies.

During this volume, it has become clear that Momoi prefers being a guy. But as time passes on, Akira feels like he needs to become a boy one again because he felt that he is suddenly having girly intuitions…which is kind of true, since he does make a better girl than Momoi will ever be. Lol

 

Conclusion: This volume, has made my morning. This is one of the few manga that I laugh out loud at. The scene where Momoi forces herself on Senbongi, cracked me up. The plot didn’t move, and Grandpa never showed up, but it was still one great volume. The Illustration of Grandpa at the end, was one of the funniest I ever saw.

Overall Grade: A

Just Around the Corner (Yaoi)

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Summary: Kiriya, reeling over a break-up, wonders if life is worth living, Yuuya wallows in his own self-pity after receiving news that his career as a pianist is over. In the middle of a busy intersection, Yuuya witnesses a despondent stranger walk into oncoming traffic, and pulls Kiriya to safety. Is this life-saving meeting fate or mere coincidence? As Kiriya and Yuuya bond through their shared unhappiness, a physical relation develops. Can the two heal each other’s wounds? Or will desire grown from raw emotion only end up hurting them more?

Review: The reason why I decided to buy this manga was because of the fact that I saw the word pianist in the summary. I’m not going to lie, any manga or books that I see that has to do with piano or music, I tend to pick up. The reason for this is because I also play the piano. But boy was I duped! There were barely any piano scenes at all in this manga! Nevertheless, It was definitely a good read.

One night, as Yuuya was walking on a sidewalk, his shoulder accidentally brushes Kiriya, who was crying because of his recent break up. As Kiriya was about to walk into oncoming traffic, Yuuya pulls him to safety. Afterwards they spent a hot “night” together. After this event, every weekend Yuuya and Kiriya would spend time together doing what they do….best. Lol. One day Kiriya confesses that his friend hooked him up with a temporary job and because of that he will be seeing less of Yuuya.

The next morning, Yuuya wakes up and goes to high school to realize that Kiriya’s new temporary job was his math teacher! Kiriya being furious at the fact that Yuuya lied to him about his age, started to ignore him. He also believe that their huge age difference wouldn’t work for their relationship. But after constantly begging to get back together, Yuuya and Kiriya then embark on a second chance. But their happiness was short lived because, later on a teacher catches them in an intimate hug, and fires Kiriya. Two months after being locked in a bird’s cage, Yuuya finally meets Kiriya again. Kiriya then told him that the only way that they can get back together, is that Yuuya has to become a man. One year later, Yuuya got into a University where Kiriya is teaching at. Yuuya, who fulfilled Kiriya’s condition, finally got back together with Kiriya and lived happily ever after.

 

Conclusion: At first, I wasn’t expecting a teacher + student relationship, I mean they never even mention anything in the summary! So I was surprised by that bit. The sex was tasteful, and no human organs could be seen (which I was relieved). All in all, this was an excellent read!

Overall Grade: B+

Please Save My Earth Vol. 7

please save my earth vol. 7

Summary: The others are remembering their passwords and growing suspicious of “Shion.” Rin’s cancellation of his engagement to Alice has caused her to consider that she might be Mokuren. Everything’s going according to Rin’s plan….or so he thinks! Tamura’s connections are beginning to come into play. His friend’s psychic brother, Mikuro, has paid a visit to Haruhiko, leaving him a mysterious warning about the physical strain of teleporting. What harm might come from his benign advice?

Review: In my honest opinion, I believe that Please Save My Earth is one of the most underrated shoujo manga out there. Honestly, there’s not enough love for such a fantastic sci-fi/shoujo manga. If you haven’t picked it up yet, you should soon! Some of the volumes are slowly coming out of print.

The first thing we learn in this volume is that Shion (aka Rin’s passed life) homeland was turned into a burned field. Accidently,Mokuren touched Shion, which allowed her to see into Shion’s past.  Shion being the a**hole that he is, told Mokuren that is it her job as a Kiche Sarjalian to violate his memories? Mokuren than apologizes, and runs off.

In the present life, Haru is shocked to recieve a letter from a person named “M” (aka Mikuro) and starts to believe that he might be linked to S (Rin). When Rin decided to check up on Haru, he stupidly asked Rin who the heck M was, and why he was sending other psychics after him. Rin then replies that there was no need for a second psychic to work with him, and that Haru was stupid enough to let Rin know about this information. Haru then rushes home to call Tamura to warn him to take Takashi and M and run away. Later on, Takashi recieves what he believes as a love note from a girl (which was really written by Rin to lure out Tamura). Tamura being the hero that he thinks he is, went and met Rin alone. Rin then threatens him and tells him he has two choices in the way he dies: getting crushed by a huge rock, or drowning in a force field full of water. But before any harm could be done to Tamura, Mikuro comes out and declares that he will fight his first psychic fight with Rin. But being inexprienced with psychic fighting, Mikuro and Tamura was about to die, when someone (who suspiciously looks like Haru) comes and blocks the attack.

On a side note, Alice decides to join the weekly meetings that all the others have been attending regarding their past life, after Jipachi convinced Alice that she was afterall Mokuren.

Conclusion: Another excellent volume of PSME. Is it me or Rin is kind of freaky? I mean how many 7 years old could life rocks and threaten to kill people? One thing for sure is that he’s definitely moving the plot….plus, finally some action!

Overall Grade: A