February 2013


The rankings so far from best to worst: Hot Gimmick with an A, Suki Shite Sadist with an A-, Black Bird with a B+, and finally Tonari no Kaibutsu with an F.

Hadashi de Bara wo Fume

  • As per shoujo tradition, we must now have Sumi sulk about how Soichirou called her a poor girl and disgusting. To add an extra oomph though, Hadashi has Sumi say he’s scary. Just sulking isn’t enough, she got to find him scary too!
  • Thinking about the oh so inspirational words of her knight (aka Nozumu), “You must not cry again. Because a smile will always bring happiness to you, okay?” Riiiiight. Not like, oh I don’t know, striving for something or having loved ones brings you happiness. Nope all you need to do is smile. You know, maybe I’m crazy here, but don’t you smile when you are happy and not the reverse?
  • When Soichirou enters her room, Sumi is all bewildered about why he is in there. Yes, more of this awesome historical accuracy again.
  • She wants to sleep on the floor? Well she can’t cause Soichirou is running this show and he forcefully picks her up and places her on the bed. Oh and we have to have this one tense moment where Sumi thinks Soichirou is going to force himself on her, but really all he’s doing is checking whether she has her night gown on backwards. See, I knew Hadashi wouldn’t miss putting in some rape-y undertones somehow!
  • More threats from Soichirou about throwing her into the sea. Granted these are written in a way that is lighthearted, but it sure doesn’t look like Sumi thinks they are empty threats, and that’s what counts, I feel.
Hadashi - female skills

The only important thing for a wife is cooking. Good wife, good cook/servant.

  • Hahahaha, oh god. OF COURSE! Of course this manga must have silly naive little Sumi go down to the kitchen in the morning to strut her WOMINZ SKILLS. And of course her food is absolutely A-MAZING. But cold Soichirou orders to throw it out cause proper ladies don’t cook. They have other ladies do that for them. (more…)

Well this is the final volume of Hana Yori Dango I had sitting on my manga backlog. This is also another really cute cover. I mean Tsukasa with a dog is just adorable! And funny given what Tsukushi compares him to this volume! xD Also looking at this cover reminds me of how much better Ms.Kamio’s art has gotten. It’s very lovely now. :) Also like with the last two volumes, the picture here is one I took myself. Fortunately, the lighting here is better than the last two times. ^__^;;;

Summary


Sakurako’s suspicions of Junpei turn out to be right when Tsukushi gets kidnapped by his accomplices not long after he saves her. She is tied up in an old gym warehouse and some of her hair is cut and sent to Tsukasa. Junpei finally reveals that he did all this (including planting the red slip) to get revenge against Tsukasa for beating up an old friend of his in middle school. Tsukushi doesn’t believe Tsukasa will show up after she told him to leave her alone, but he does and he takes the beating from Junpei’s accomplices to protect Tsukushi. Eventually, Tsukushi cannot take anymore and jumps in front of a chair Junpei means to attack Tsukasa with and pleads that they have done enough. Junpei then leaves and both she and Tsukasa fall unconscious. (more…)

ichiruki

Debating what sort of post I should do for Valentine’s Day this year, I decided now would be a good time to do a post about my favourite IchiRuki moments in Bleach. Like I mentioned before, I do consider these two to be pretty much canon given how many important moments they share, so doing a full analytic shipping post isn’t really worth it in this case, but I still like to fan girl about these two from time to time. So as a compromise, I decided to do a shipping post highlighting my 5 favourite moments for this pretty much canon ship on the Day of Love. So without further ado, here are my 5 favourite moments for them: (more…)

FE Awakening logo

It is no secret that I’m a huge Fire Emblem fangirl. I’ve enjoyed each entry I’ve played so far (some more than others of course). So I already knew I would be picking this game up (and in fact I still waiting for my copy to arrive). But curious what sort of demo Nintendo gave the newest game and wanting to have a taste before the real deal arrives, I decided to play the demo anyway. Sufficient to say, I cannot wait to get my hands on the game now. (more…)

Major spoilers for the manga Basara by Yumi Tamura ahead. Also like the title suggests, I will be discussing rape in the manga pretty extensively.

I was avoiding talking about Basara on Shoujo Spotlight since I feel like all I do is rave about this manga, but considering how many anime and manga I’ve come across with questionable rape themes or scenarios, well, I just could not leave this topic alone much longer. I’ve already written about how the framing of rape has been problematic before, but I’ve never really written about good use of rape in a story. And since Basara is currently the only shoujo I have read that I feel does the topic justice, it was unavoidable that I must once again sing the praises of this manga. Strikingly, Basara actually has three rape victims that play pretty integral roles in its plot while not being centre focus, and what’s more, one is male and two are female. However, I think the biggest indicator of why Basara doesn’t trivialize rape is because it doesn’t use it like other shoujo manga do.

sarasa_&_tatara

Gender plays a key role in Basara, but rape is never played as a means to enforce Sarasa’s vulnerability as a woman.

As I pointed out in my impression of Fushig Yugi 10, rape plays an almost dramatic role in the series. It is there to raise the tension: Miaka can only summon Suzaku if she is a virgin, so her enemies try to prevent her from doing that by attempting to rape her, twice. Furthermore, it adds another moment of drama for our heroine since it causes her to feel unworthy of being with her true love when she believes she really has been raped. Likewise in Black Bird, rape is also being used for tension: Misao, our heroine, has to constantly watch her back because demons want to either rape or kill her. It’s also being used to paint the sole demon not willing to do that to Misao as romantic and to use that constant threat of rape as a mean to bring them together. Even Boys Over Flowers, as much as I like it, plays into this when Tsukasa sends some guys to rape (well ok just scare her by threatening to do so) Tsukushi in the very first volume. So yes, rape as tension/drama is a pretty regular occurrence in shoujo manga. However, I think this is a pretty basic and tasteless way to include such a touchy subject in a story. Most women are more than aware that rape is this ever present threat. We’ve been brought up in a culture that makes it pretty clear to us, so I feel like these instances don’t really add anything and just reinforce the “rape = bad” idea. Yes rape is awful, but so what? If that’s all you want to express, I feel it’s pretty pointless and in fact tasteless, because it uses a common problem for women to add some oomph to the story. Rape shouldn’t just be some vehicle to spice up your story precisely because it is such a problem. It shows a lack of empathy if all you think rape is worth is some drama. (more…)

Like with volume 13, I couldn’t find a decent picture of the cover, so I took the picture myself. The lighting is weird, once again, because the glare the regular lighting was causing forced me to use just a desk lamp when taking this picture. ^__^;;; With that out of the way, I actually think this is a pretty cute cover. I like the telephone theme and you can definitely get an idea of each boy’s personality from how they are talking on the phone.

Summary


After Tsukasa’s jealous outburst last volume, Tsukushi is determined to cut ties with him and flat out refuses to talk to him anymore. She also visits Oribe and meets his younger brother Junpei, who also goes to Eitoku. The two later meet at Eitoku, where Junpei wears glasses and at first Tsukushi doesn’t recognize him. They hit it off and become friends. (more…)