I hope everyone had a great Easter (if you celebrate). It’s a little late, but I wanted to do an Easter themed post and what better way than a top 5/10 list~ These seem to be the to do thing for me for celebrations, so let’s not break the tradition! It’s not cause I’m lazy, I swear! Since there aren’t all that many bunny characters (that I’ve come across), I’ve narrowed this list to a top five encompassing both manga/anime and video games. Here goes:

yarne
5. Yarne ~ Fire Emblem: Awakening (game) (more…)

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It’s part 2 of round 5 of SSS. In part 1, we saw that Black Bird and Sadist stuck with what they started in chapter 4. Tonari goes the same route and fails for the third time, which means it’s time for it to get kicked off this feature. Meanwhile, Hot Gimmick toys around with the idea of a more assertive Hatsumi, but ultimately doesn’t commit to giving her any character growth. Nonetheless, it results in a much more toned down chapter. From part 1,  Sadist also was quite tame (but incredibly boring) and only got a C+. Black Bird did manage a B- though; thanks to the super creepy behaviour from the rival love interest!

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Tonari really seems to want to push this taming animal thing on the volume covers, huh.

Tonari really seems to want to push this taming animal thing on the volume covers, huh.

 

  • Chapter 5 is the start of volume 2 of Tonari, and in keeping with the trend started in volume 1, volume 2’s cover features Haru on a leash. Whip him into shape good, Shizuku! (more…)

boys over flower 16 Boys Over Flowers is now out of print, so I had to pick up a used copy (an old library book) and I’m rather sad at how beat up it is, but I guess a beat up copy is better than nothing, right? This volume’s cover is also one of my favourites. It’s nice to see all 3 main characters together and smiling. It was also neat to discover that a promo photo of the voice actors for Tsukasa, Tuskushi, and Rui was the basis of this volume’s picture. Those extra little notes from the author are rather neat~

Summary


Now that Tsukasa has declared that Tsukushi is precious to him in front of his mother, Kaede is determined to do everything possible to remove Tsukushi from Tsukasa’s life. At first she targets Tsukushi’s weakness and brings 50 million yen to Tsukushi and her parents. She wants them to take the money in return for Tsukushi cutting ties with Tsukasa. Beyond offering the money, she is very rude to Tsukushi; openly stating that Tsukushi is merely a fun diversion for Tsukasa and nothing more and to be mindful that purity is her greatest asset in the future. To everyone’s surprise, Tsukushi’s mother pours salt on top of Kaede and refuses her money stating they have pride too. Unfortunately, it seems rather than defending her daughter, Tsukushi’s mom is thinking of the big picture. Instead of 50 million yen, she wants the entire Domyoji fortune via Tsukushi marrying Tsukasa, much to Tsukushi’s annoyance. (more…)

It’s been awhile since my last Substandard Shoujo Spectacle, but I do wish to try and continue this column, even if some of the manga are getting downright painful to read *looks at Suki Shite Sadist* The theme for chapter 5 of both Black Bird and Sadist seems to be more of the same. Black Bird is continuing down the “Nice Guy” justification it started up in chapter 4; and Sadist is continuing to pile up on cliches and shallow mellow drama.

Black Bird

  • This manga sure likes reminding us of Misao’s predicament. The little blurb about her fate has been repeated in almost every chapter so far. Oh, Black Bird‘s author, have a little faith, I’m sure most of us are smart enough to remember this obviously crucial information without you repeating it at the start of every chapter.
  • Um, do the students not find it strange that the new transfer student (our dear third wheel) is whispering stuff to the teacher? If I had seen a fellow classmate whispering with a teacher during class, I’d find that really odd.
  • Rival tries to kiss Misao “as a joke.” Hahaha, right?
  • By the way, when Misao kisses a monster, it gives him energy. I wonder if this works on female monsters too? Not that we’d see any yuri in a manga so intensely heterosexual in its smut. But it does make one curious.
So damn hot.

See, Kyo’s such a catch because he hasn’t raped Misao yet.

  • Just to let us know once more what a darling Kyo really is, the author makes the rival pin Misao to a wall and threaten her by saying he won’t wait for her feelings. Once Kyo is gone, he will make her his bride. Also darn it, I love how “bride” is being used here as a code word for sex slave. Black Bird sure loves these little code words. Demons want to “marry” Misao and make her their “bride”. My if I didn’t know better, I would think these words are being used so that the reader won’t be utterly turned off by the idea of being a magical demon sex slave.
  • Guys more reasons why Kyo, even though he’s a possessive jerk that can’t keep his hands off Misao, is so much better than rival: The rival attacks Misao to make Kyo take the blow! See, he’s a coward and cowards are so not hot.
  • “No matter how much you hate me…Misao, I’ll protect you. I won’t hand you to anyone else!” – Kyo. SWOON MY LADY HEART! SWOON! He is possessive because he cares! Nothing like that cowardly rival!
  • Guys see! That stunt he pulled back in chapter 3 is ok because he cares so deeply for Misao that he risked his life and doesn’t want her using her magic blood to heal him. He doesn’t want to see her hurt physically, but I guess emotional scars are a-okay? Cause he basically scared her half to death in chapter 3.
  • “If I don’t have you, then there’s no meaning in living” -Kyo *cue major Twilight flashbacks* Also am I the only one that finds this creepy? I’m always a bit put off whenever a character, male or female, is depicted in a way that suggest their lover is the be all and end all of their existence. Yes, love is important, but it’s not the *only* thing of importance to a person’s life.
  • Monsters are a-coming, so Misao you better become mine. Romantic~

(more…)

Ian & Rin

Rin and Ian

It’s no secret that I like Fairy Cube. The manga isn’t perfect, but what I really appreciated about it is how well balanced the two main leads were. Often times, it’s so easy for a writer to write one character as strong and the other as weak, or write weakness in a way that denies agency. It feels as if some writers think showing any real weakness would somehow undermine how “cool” or “powerful” or just strong that particular character is. But that’s not really what makes someone strong and furthermore having a character that only knows how to look cool is often the quickest way to make a boring character. Likewise, having characters that embody only weakness and helplessness often causes readers (well at least me) to get frustrated with the character. Weakness is only interesting when it’s paired with some sort of character growth or balanced in some way by adding aspects of strength. Do we really want to see Character A wallowing in self pity over and over? That’s as equally boring as having a flawless character! (more…)

First volume of Limited Lovers: Nothing to suggest it has anything to do with a young girl in a wheelchair.

First volume of Limited Lovers: Nothing to suggest it has anything to do with a young girl in a wheelchair.

Limited Lovers was brought to my attention when someone told me about how Karin, the heroine, strives for her dream even through she lost the use of her legs and is now reliant on a wheelchair. With a premise like that alone, I was pretty intrigued about this 3 volume manga. You don’t see much diversity in manga. It’s definitely there, but the majority of stories don’t deal with people who have specific health issues, a different sexuality, or gender identity. Retrospectively, the title should have been somewhat of a warning sign. Limited Lovers doesn’t conjure the best implications and images (even if it was probably unintentional going by the ending), but having been told Karin would be striving for a dream against prejudice about her being in a wheelchair, I didn’t pay this much heed. (more…)

“Mini Mendacious Moments” is a feature about small moments (a page, an opening sequence, a character design, or something a character said) in manga, anime, or games that simply makes me pause and just wonder why something so silly, bad, demeaning, or pertaining to a double standard was even mentioned or briefly touched upon. Being such a small and blatant moment, in-dept analysis will not be given, rather, this is more for snarky me to share my snarky commentary.

Ah, feminism, the ever misunderstood and misrepresented movement. I don’t know if the translator was trying to be funny here or if this is the word used in the original Japanese, but in Chapter 181 of Flame of Recca, Tokiya, during his fight with the two-faced Mikoto, who admonishes Tokiya for hitting her (a woman), and to which Tokiya replies that he is not a feminist so he has no qualms about hitting women.

FoR chap.181 pg.18 Feminist

Feminism = Treating woman like they are frail glass

(more…)

I think now is a good time to publish all the stats on bad story elements I’ve been collecting while doing the Substandard Shoujo Spectacle feature. The story elements have, once again, been organized from most prevalent to least prevalent for easy ranking/comparing (and for elements with the same number of instances, it is alphabetical). Any new element is also in italics. There is also now a total next to how many instances have occurred since the last update (back when the feature started), so you can compared how many times something has occurred in total and just these last 3 chapters. I hope everyone finds this as interesting as I have.

Story Elements Breakdown:

Verbal Abuse/Name Calling {Any instance where the heroine is called stupid, ugly, bitch, etc. by her potential love interest}

– 16 instances; 6 manga // Total-to-Date: 18 instances in 6/7 manga
– Found in: Black Bird [chap.3], Suki Shite Sadist [chap.2, chap.3, chap.4], Hot Gimmick [chap.3 (x2), chap.4], Hadashi de Bara wo Fume [chap.3 (x2), chap.4], The Beautiful Skies of Houou High [chap.2], & The Devil Within [chap.2 (x2), chap.3, chap.4 (x2)]

Heroine must be Saved {Heroine is rescued from whatever distressed situation she is in by a man}

– 5 instances; 3 manga // Total-to-Date: 11 instances in 5/7 manga
– Found in: Black Bird [chap.2, chap.3, chap.4], Hadashi de Bara wo Fume [chap.3], & The Devil Within [chap.2] (more…)