Morimoto, a young professional woman in Japan, is tired of fending off her parents’ questions about her being single. They want her to marry a man and settle down, and they’ll insist on nitpicking her choice of groom to death. In an unexpected move, another woman in the office—who has a crush on her—offers to be her wife in a sham marriage, which might make her parents back off. But this “fake” marriage could unearth something very real!
Mami is 36 and unmarried, and the entire world seems to be telling her she must be miserable. But is she? Does she really need a ring on her finger to be happy when she has a job she loves and friends who support her? A collection of interconnected stories that explores the hazards and joys of unmarried life through the eyes of three single ladies.
Will I Be Single Forever? is a josei manga by Mari Okazaki based on an essay by Mami Amamiya.
I could rant endlessly about things like Okazaki’s expressive art and the beautiful and evocative visual metaphors. However, I want to focus on what impacted the most: the central message and how the story chooses to convey it. Continue reading “Review: Will I Be Single Forever?”
Nakamura has fallen in love-at-first-sight with one of his classmates, Hirose — but there’s a problem: they haven’t actually met yet…and Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin!
In many ways, Go for it, Nakamura! is what I’ve always wanted. The story introduces Nakamura as a gay, introverted, octopus-loving boy with complete naturality. Those are just established facts, and when the story wants conflict, it chooses to explore the octopus-loving angle. Continue reading “Review: Go for it, Nakamura!”
The classic LGBT+ story by the creative master of Rose of Versailles!
Born as “Claudine” in a female-assigned body that doesn’t reflect the man inside, this heart-wrenching story follows Claudine through life, pain, and the love of several women. Master shoujo mangaka Riyoko Ikeda explores gender and sexuality in early twentieth century France in this powerful tale about identity, culture, and self-acceptance.
Lately, Seven Seas has been licensing a bunch of either classics or LGBT+ manga; Claudine happens to be both. Originally published in Margaret in 1978, this is is one of the works of the legendary mangaka Riyoko Ikeda–most well known for her shojo masterpieces The Rose Of Versailles and Dear Brother. Continue reading “Review: Claudine”
Moyoco Anno’s Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen tells a story about people who wish to escape from their lives – or perhaps, from themselves – and the different ways they choose to face or fight their realities. There can a be a sharp contrast between some ugly cruelties and the almost glamorous art style. The story might not be a particularly engaging one, but it sure was hard to put away once I started reading. Continue reading “Review: Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen [Yatta-Tachi]”
Seiji Tajima is a single, forty-something shop owner who’s close friends with police officer Shin Nakamoto. Shin, who’s just been assigned a patrol in Seiji’s neighborhood, has known the older man since he was in high school – back when Seiji himself worked in the police force. Shin’s harbored a crush on Seiji for years, but has convinced himself that their relationship is as good as it gets – until one day out of the blue, Seiji casually mentions the possibility of trying his luck with men… His simmering feelings suddenly brought to the boil, Shin shoves Seiji up against the wall, and… From the author of the hit comic “An Innocent Puppy Meets a Two-Faced Cat” comes a new spin-off! Can Shin, who’s held a 10-year-long torch for the (too) laid-back Seiji, win in this game of love?
After some traumatic experiences, Komugi Kusunoki transferred from the city to start a new life in rural Hokkaido. But on her first day of school, the school heartthrob Yū Ōgami blurts out, “You smell good!” Despite the hijinks, Komugi tries to adjust to her new school, but it’s not long before she stumbles across Yū dozing off under a tree. When she attempts to wake him up, he transformed…into a wolf?! It turns out that Yū is one of many other eccentric boys in her class year–and she’s the only one who knows their secret…!
Shojo protagonists who are aware that they are in a shojo manga are some of my favorite. Komugi happens to be at least a little aware, and that alone makes her an interesting lead. She’s a grounded, kind girl, with understandable insecurities and the courage to voice her thoughts in spite of them.
When the pantyhose goes on, all bets are off between these best guy friends!
Practical Keisuke’s incredibly handsome best friend Masayuki has always rubbed him just a little bit the wrong way. Maybe it’s because Masayuki is rich, carefree, and so stunningly handsome that he can, and does, have any girl he wants? But one day, when Keisuke accidentally wears his older sister’s pantyhose to gym class, it’s suddenly his hot friend who’s doing the rubbing…on Keisuke’s panty hose-clad legs! Has he unwittingly unleashed a secret fetish that will change their relationship forever?