I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to upload anything yesterday, but I’ll fix that by posting two issues today! The first one, which you’re reading right now, will be critical recommendations and the second one will be about a literary matter! I hope you’ll enjoy your read.
Well now, I don’t know if you remember it, but last Marpril (stands for March-April combined), I posted a list of reading recommendations! It was all about mangas and manwhas. This month, I decided to share with you my favorites of October! Why mangas? Because I actually read them a lot, and thus have loads of recs for you. It’s actually quite hard to choose only a few but I’m going to focus on those who marked my mind (usually I read so many in a short amount of time I don’t always remember all of them nor their title, thus the ones I’m going to talk about are sometimes longer ones or mangas that touched me pretty much). I decided to opt for THREE only this time, as the issue was getting quite long, and I made it that it would be three recs of different genres for you to find something you like depending on what type of stories you like to read!
Without further ado, introducing :
~ October Reading Favorites ~
First of all, I’m going to re-explain the basics on manga for those who might not be familiar with it. I’m a bit lazy so I’m pretty much going to copy what I wrote last time!
A manga is a Japanese comic book. They are usually black inked and go by chapter of around 25 to 50 pages. It’s quite a large gap but it really depends on how the manga is received by the audience, and same goes with the length of the manga. If it’s liked, it’s usually serialised and get published in volume of usually 4 to 6 chapters. I’m making generality here I’m not a professional nor an editor, this is only based on my own readings. If you’re interested in the process, an enlightening manga would be Bakuman where we follow the adventure of two mangakas. You get to know all about the creation, publication, serialization, etc. It’s quite intense.
On the other side, a manwha is a Korean comic book and are more likely coloured. Those I read usually have above 30 chapters but each of them has around two pages – the latter are however longer. It’s as if you had 3 pages following each others. I really don’t think I’m clear – if that’s the case, feel free to check out the links posted with the manwhas I’m sharing with you as it’ll explain it more practically than me.
Know that this is sorted, we shall get into the different genres you’ll come across to in my favorites of October.
A shojo is an artwork whose audience is likely teen girls. A shonen is in contrary more aimed at teen boys. A shojo-ai would therefore be for older girls (including more mature romance, for example) when a shonen-ai is for older boys (and with thus including more violent battles, blood scenes and such).
As in literature, romance is an important part of themes used in mangas. This romance can be het, but can also be yuri – which means girls love – or yaoi – here boys love. I don’t believe I have any stated as ecchi or mature below, but in case I use that later, it’s mostly artwork that are stated not suitable for those below 16 (or even 18). To make it short : it’s erotic stuff. Mostly NSFW. But, anyway, I don’t have any in this list, I think, don’t worry. (If you’re interested in some, feel free to contact me!)
Well now that it’s all explained, on to the actual recs! Once again, I’m only posting a brief summary and opinion on the mangas, stating why I liked it and why you should read it. It would take me ages to go into in depth reactions, but I’m all into talking about them with you if you give them a read 😉
This is the story of a girl who was forced to become a piano prodigy with the pressure starting from the moment she was born. Her family has had distinguished musicians in their past. She is constantly forced by her father to practice (up to 12 hours a day, 10 if he’s being nice), wear gloves whenever she’s not playing, no friends, makeup, etc. She’s going to meet a man who”ll change her whole perception of music, creation, and life.
I don’t have a particular order as I’m proposing those recs, but I must admit that this manwha is one of my all time favorites. I searched a bit to find a message in which I was exposing my state after reading. I had literally just finished my read and was still crying from it, and I send a friend this message:
I just finished reading a manwha, and I’m almost ashamed at how much I’m sobbing in front of my computer. It’s really beautiful, it’s about piano, living your life, surviving in this world, etc. – but it’s also on illness, and you need to know that as we’re not all keen to read things on that matter. I don’t really have the words to talk about it right, I only feel like crawling in my bed and cry, but it’s really really beautiful thus I need to share it with you.
I still feel exactly the same, and only by thinking back on what I’ve read an felt while reading it, I feel like tearing up a bit more. It has fantastic drawings, the author even proposed musical backgrounds to go with you’re reading as it is full of musical references that will get you in an atmosphere, and I find that amazing. You’re surrounded by music as you read their story, as you get to know them, hate them sometimes, even kind of don’t understand them, but you keep on reading because you need to know if everything will be alright. What I found interesting was also the fact that we’re dealing with grown-ups, thus it’s not a romantic story about two teens struggling with their school life and their exes, which is a common plot in shojo – here we have something more deep, with an adult bond, with interesting reflexion on life and on how music can be of help in surviving. It’s not all love and fluffy, far from that – as I’ve already said, there is a big plot around illness, and it is going to be heart-wrenching.
I sobbed big time and was blown up by that manwha, thus I can only recommend it to you guys!
Girls of the Wild’s,
by Hun & Zena
Wilds high, it has a history of 42 years as a fighting specialist all girls private highschool meant solely for the elite. The place Wilds-League is held, the most popular event in the country, the only place in the world where teenage girls have brutal fights with their lives. This year has been changed into a mixed gender school. The only male student- Song Jae Gu, has been granted a full 3-year scholarship regardless of grades. Being someone who had to spend every moment working or taking care of his two younger brothers, he accepted. However, the scholarship was granted with the sole condition he does not leave. But after meeting Queen, the bloody champion of Wild’s-League, drenching her in coffee, calling her a “Monster” and getting caught while she was taking a shower… that could prove fatal.
I must admit I hesitated quite a lot before reading this manwha. I was not much into fighting theme, I didn’t know what to expect from the plot – but let me be honest here, I was completely mind-blown. The story is not finished yet, it’s 208 chapters long (of various length), and I need to say I read it in one-go.
Far more than only a story about fighting, it’s also a story about respecting sport, respecting the others, becoming friends and, yes, of course, there’s a bit of love into all of this. Song Jae Gu, the guy who’s been granted a scholarship, is in the beginning very weak and he’s even bullied by people for his last school – you then have a reflexion on how someone can fight against his bullies, how he can gain strength and confidence in himself, and I thought it was quite a nice angle. I’m not a pro-violence at all, but what makes it great here is that the main gang is AGAINST using violence or real boxing-techniques out of the ring. Thus, they prefer being beat up or using small kicks anyone can use as self-defence than use their whole strength and dishonour the sport and their position. This respect towards sport and its laws is definitely confronted to some people who are much more less honest than them, and it develops into interesting plots!
The characters are also pretty much interesting and you quickly get a liking in them. Mainly consisted of girls, who are real badasses, we still have mens in the lot, and of course you get a bit of romance, and a lot of friendship theme thrown in the middle of the story. It is not overwhelming though, as it is always mixed with another plot where there will be interactions, fighting, gangs, and so on.
Once again, it’s not the type I usually read and I was honestly surprised by how much I liked it. Thus if you decide to read it, I suggest you don’t stop at the first chapters, who might be a bit cliché and hard to appreciate fully, but you’ll most definitely get to love it more as it is developing. And if you don’t, which is totally alright, at least you’ll have enjoyed some damn beautiful drawings. I stopped multiple times on some drawings as I was really mind-blowned and needed a moment to fully appreciate it.
by Komi Naoshi
Ichijou Raku is an honor student with outstanding grades and an admirable conduct. He has a female childhood friend named Kirisaki Chitoge who has slightly better grades than him, or so he says. They haven’t been getting along since the day of Christmas after they gave each other gifts, and they also have opposite taste of things. Their families are currently on a war because of business rivalry, the boy’s family are Yakuzas while the girl’s family are gangsters. The leaders of both groups would like to get along, because if the war will not be stopped, there will surely be many casualties, and the problem is that their underlings wouldn’t listen to them, so they decided on something that will make them cooperate, they want Ichijou and Kirisaki to become lovers so that their families will come to an understanding with each other. But the problem doesn’t end there, both families already know that the two of them don’t get along with each other, so to make sure they are really lovey-dovey with each other, the followers of each party followed them on their date, from watching movies, to singing in the karaoke bar, shopping and in the amusement park. Will the two of them become official lovers and make their families get along? Or will their families continue to fight and create many troubles along with it?
This manga is on a whole different level. I didn’t read it for the art – which is good, don’t get me wrong here, but it’s not the main matter at all -, nor for how deep it is – because it is not really – but because I DO like some nice fluffy and funny romance manga once in a while (okay, let’s be a bit more honest here, very much once in a while. Like, twice a week once in a while. Or even twice a day once in a while. But shush, it’s my little secret alright?)
I must admit that the summary made me laugh and I wanted to know how the two would manage to pretend dating and convince their family (which are gangsters and Yazukas, so you kind of understand that it won’t be this easy to lie to them). Of course to that is added the fact that they hate one another, so you know you’re in for a full loads of laughable moments. I was right, I really did enjoy my reading and, as it is not complete yet, I am still waiting for my update every week and enjoying it quite much.
Though, I think the plot developed in a way that it is much more than a simple “trying to cover that we’re not dating” plot! We have some other characters thrown in the middle, such as a girl the guy is in love with and thus have to deal with dating another girl he will slowly get attached too and thinking he is still in love with the other girl, for example. That leads to fun situations, too. Even the reader, to be honest, will be lost at some point, not knowing who they want to ship him with – I mean, it would be cute with both and we don’t know which one we want to see happening.
However, added to that love story is also a mystery which they are trying to solve. In fact, it seems that something is linking them all and they’re trying to decipher all of that, even though their childhood memories are very blurry. There’s always something new in the plot, you discover the characters’ past, you live with them, laugh with them, get pissed when they do something stupid – it is very well rhythm and you get attached to them quite quickly, which makes your reading very much enjoyable.
Of course, it’s not the manga of the year nor the most deep subject ever, but let’s be honest, it’s nice to have a non-existential, fun read once in a while, right? Well then, that manga is the perfect match for that! (and it’s not TOO fluffy it gets impossible to breathe, too).
Well then, that’s all for this time! Remember you can always ask me for some more recommendations as I can definitely find something for you that will suit your tastes! (I think I read at least five complete pages of Shojo recs on each scanlations site, sorry not sorry)
I’ll be back with a little other post later in the day, lil’pies,
Loads of lil’kisses from a