Nov 15, 2007

"Zig-Zag" and "Venus in Love", vol 1

"Zig-Zag" and "Venus in Love" are two mediocre manga series written by Yuki Nakaji. "Zig-Zag", which is still currently running in LaLa magazine, is about 3 male high school students whose lives seem to revolve around flowers. One of the guys Takaaki looks like a little girl and has a crush on his older cousin Marika. Takaaki's roommate, the mysterious Sonoh, ran away from home. He's the first son of a family that is famous for arranging flowers. And lastly, Tatsuki, who is obsessed with the small and meek Mei. This first volume lays down no story and seems to serve only the function of character introduction.

"Venus in Love" gets more to the point. This manga is about Suzuna, a naive college freshman, who is living on her own for the first time. Her new neighbor, Eichi, a boy is also in love with the same guy Suzuna has developed a crush on -- Fukumi. Sigh ... Sigh ... Get over Fukumi and move on ...

Both stories, so far, are so innocuous that they are basically inert. I don't feel the need to actually buy anymore "Venus in Love" because it's not funny or daring enough and "Zig-Zag" I can read from the Lala mags I already get. I imagine the story hasn't progress very much in the past 3-years.

Nov 13, 2007

Commentary: Your and My Secret or My Barbaric Girlfriend

Only the first volume of this manga series was released in the US. I found volume 2, 3, and a bit of 4 while Lurking. This series is pretty good and I don't really understand why it didn't catch on in the US. The manga is the story of Akira and Momoi and their adventures while swapped in each other's bodies. Akira is a very quiet and neat boy and Momoi is a racous tomboy. When they switch, their personalities seem more line with the bodies they now possess. Momoi decides that she likes being a guy and does not want to switch. Akira's family rejoices that Akira has finally become a man causing the real Akira to feel pressure to remain a girl. Except there's a big problem ... Akira's best male friend, Senbongi, is activity pursuing him as Momoi. All this is well and good until sometime in volume 3 *spoiler alert* Senbongi finds out that Akira's personality is in Momoi's body and instead of being repulsed, Senbongi rejoices that the boy he has always had a crush on is now a girl so it's now okay for him to actively pursue Akira. I had a good laugh over this, especially when I think back to how lamely this situation was handled in "Kashimi: Girl Meets Girl." Anyhow, Ai Morinaga is very good with comedy and with understanding the inner workings of weird people and normal people thrown into very weird situations. So far this series is quite enjoyable.

It looks like Morinaga has three manga series currently going and hasn't written more of this series for about a year. Well, I hope that there's another volume within Morinaga that wraps this story up.