Earl and Fairy

I thought that I have swore off all shoujo-ish animes but for some reason I still watch them.

La Corda D’oro was kinda “interesting” if I may say so myself although it does not make it to my must-watch list. The bishounens in it are after all wouldn’t be called bishounens if they don’t have the looks.

Currently I’m following Special A manga series. When I first heard that there’s gonna be Special A anime, I was overjoyed and sceptic at first. Will it be as good as it should be? Will I like it? Heck, I see it through the end and my verdict? I’d be lying if I say I did not enjoy a single bit of the anime.

All that aside, what do you think of Earl and Fairy (Hakushaku to Yousei)? It has all the shoujo elements in it- bishounens, romance, you name it. Being a sceptic when it comes to shoujo stuffs, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna follow up to this anime.

hakushaku-to-yousei

Anyways, here’s how the story goes: The earl in question is in fact, a guy named Edgar. He’s blonde, loaded, and he’s pretty much every girl’s dream guy. I’m not quite sure what exactly his goal is in the story but correct me if I’m wrong, Edgar’s supposed to be the heir of Earl of the Blue Knights (not quite sure what it’s called) or something like that and he sought out a certain fairy doctor named Lydia for her service to obtain a certain Sword of Merrow. And as expected from a shoujo anime, he fall for her although Lydia doesn’t appear to be buying that “I’m in love with you” kind of thing from a lady’s man but I can tell that by the end of the series, she’ll end up with Edgar…most definitely.

The ending credit is practically a feast for fangirls – it’s full of half-naked bishounens. Lol. Heck, throughout the whole series, hunks appear one after another. There’s Raven, Edgar’s servant who vows to serve him, Paul the painter, and Kelpie, a fairy who seems to be in love with Lydia as well.

So, to watch or not to watch? Obviously I’ll continue watching it till the end…call me shallow but I really am a sucker for animes/mangas (or just about anything) with bishounens in it.

Note: Hakushaku to Yousei is actually based on a light novel and there’s also a manga coming out in conjunction with the anime.

Advertisements

NANA so far

NANA tells the story of two girls with different dreams, goal but with a same name, Nana. They met on the train heading to Tokyo and what connects them in the first place is their similar name. And from then on, I wonder do they realise what lies ahead in their futures?

Fast forward several years…

Nana O has break off from Black Stones and is now launching a solo career on her own, Nana K or affectionally known as Hachi is married to Takumi (the gorgeous long-haired member of Trapnest) and a mother-to-be who will eventually have a son and a daughter in a near future. When the time comes, it look as though as Takumi is at the other end of the world (London, if I’m not mistaken) with their son while Hachi is at Japan with their daughter whom they eventually named as Satsuki. At this point, I was wondering if the couple are separated what with the both of them are living at two separate parts of the world and a child between them.

Reira or Layla the lead vocalist of Trapnest seems to be in love with Takumi but somehow it would seem that Takumi chooses to stay with Hachi but then again, I have the impression that the “love” that Hachi has for Takumi is a one-sided one. Did Takumi ever love Hachi at all? Or did he married her just because she was pregnant with his child back then?

The biggest shocker of all is of course, Ren’s demise. Ren and Nana were engaged prior to the car crash which killed him in the end. Hmm… the author has hinted that Ren’s gonna die young but I have always thought that he’ll die of drug overdose (just like Sid Vicious of his favourite band, The Sex Pistol) since he was hooked on dopes.¬† With Ren gone, Nana must be devastated. She did after all, loved him. And again, fast forward to the future, Nana seems to have disappeared into the thin air.

So, what’s next for NANA? With Ren’s demise, is there any more shocker in store in the future chapters of NANA? Or does Ren’s demise signifies that the series will end soon? Will we get to see Hachi and Takumi’s offsprings grow up? Lol…I can already imagine Satsuki being Hachi’s double. Either way, I’m gonna see NANA off till the end.

My other favourite Ai Yazawa works:
Kagen no Tsuki (this one has “ghostly” element in it)
Paradise Kiss (fashion galore!)

Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

rebornI should have watched Reborn! when it first came out. Am currently following series and I can say that I’m now hooked! I was literally rolling on the floor laughing my hearts out by the second episode…the antics that Tsuna and co. pulled are simply hilarious.

Reborn! a story of Tsuna’s journey to become the next Vongola Family Mafia boss under the tutelage of Reborn an infant-hitman sent from Italy to train Tsuna. From day one, Reborn had been training Tsuna in the most unconventional method – Reborn will shoot him with the “dying will” bullet when the need arises and when that happen, Tsuna’s dying will is awaken and he’ll do whatever it takes to perform that dying will and in doing so, he stripped to his underpants and start firing up. The first time he was shot with that bullet was hilarious – he didn’t realize that the only clothing he wore was an underpant and when he did realize it, it’s too late and he winded up as the laughing stock.

Along the way, Reborn also tries to recruit potential subordinates for Tsuna and among the potential recruits is Miyamoto Yamamoto who happens to be his good pal as well as classmate. And then there’s Haru, the girl who has intense crush on him, Kyouya Gokudera who respects Tsuna tremendously to the point of proclaiming himself as Tsuna’s right hand man and calling Tsuna “tenth” (that is, the tenth boss of the Vongola Family). Kyoko, a girl whom Tsuna has a crush on somehow got herself entangled in Tsuna’s mafiaso affairs (sort of), thanks but no thanks to Reborn. Other interesting characters that I’ve seen so far (up to 18th episode, yes, I’m slow) – Hibari (he’s definitely a looker) and Dino, Reborn’s former pupil (these two are constant targets of Doujinshis. They do make an interesting pair, if you get what I mean). Oh yeah, I almost left out Kyoko’s big bro who’s motto is “Extreme”. He’s so extreme that he have this dying will with him all the time without needing any “dying will” bullet.

Am currently on the 18th episode…must catch up whenever I’m free…

Of Shounen-ai, Yaoi and Junjou Romantica

Junjou Romantica has got to be one of the best yaoi series, at least for me.

ring1Reading shounen-ai mangas first sparked my interest in reading yaoi. If I remember correctly, the first shounen-ai manga I read was Only the Ring Finger Knows. I was sceptical at first; I was thinking, what if it sucks? Then, I thought, why not just give it a shot. There’s nothing explicit in shounen-ai mangas after all and then, I fell in love with the story. Lol. It’s not even a boy-girl romantic story but my heart actually skipped a beat as I was reading it. The artwork’s not too bad at all. On the contrary, Odagiri Hotaru‘s boys are darn good looking.

As for yaoi series, I always thought that it’s like an uncharted territory, you know. Yaoi’s an explicit version of shounen-ai and it’s almost like I’m reading porn. Furthermore, yaoi tends to have less plot (or none at all) and the characters always jump straight to bed if you get what I mean. As much as I regretted, the first yaoi that I read happens to be Haruka Minami‘s. Its’ true that her boys are good looking but they all tend to look alike to the point that sometimes I couldn’t tell them apart. As for plot, well, it’s sad to say that most of her works are plotless and it’s never short of explicit scenes. If you’re in for the explicit stuffs, Haruka Minami’s works should suit you. But if you’re looking for the ones with meaningful storylines, you should go for Minase Masara. As for my preference, I like reading mangas (regardless of their genres) that contains comedic elements. So when it comes to my preference in yaoi, I think Junjou Romantica by Nakamura Shungiku fits the bill. It has its funny moments, romance and the artwork’s decent.

Junjou Romantica refers to Usami Akihiko and Misaki pair.

In the beginning of the story, Usami was clearly in love with Misaki’s elder brother and it’s a one-sided love as the other party doesn’t even realise or know that Usami’s in love with him. Usami wouldn’t reveal his true feelings, afraid that their friendship may never be the same again.

Usami and Misaki first met when Misaki’s bro asked Usami to tutor Misaki for his college entrance exam…and then, hillarity ensues. Misaki managed to get into the university of his choice (albeit him being on the alternate list) and somehow, he ended up as a freeloader at Usami’s place and from that point onwards, love is in the air for the “lovebirds” (although Misaki doesn’t quite realise that yet). Usami’s madly in love with Misaki, Misaki seems to find that annoying but subconsciously he’s in love with Usami as well.

Hohoho…it seems that there’s a storm coming, in the form of Usami Haruhiko, Usami’s brother. It’s funny to see that Akihiko kept sending strawberries to Misaki while Usami’s burning with jealousy. Lol. Two Usami brothers fighting over Misaki? That, I have got to see.

Junjou Egoist refers to Nowaki and Hiroki pair, yet another couple in the series.

I supposed the word “Egoist” up there refers to Hiroki who is a proud college professor. He’s too proud to admit that he’s in love with Nowaki which causes quite a misunderstanding in the beginning of their relationship and he’s just as conscious of their age gap as Nowaki did although their reasons are altogether different. ¬†Hiroki’s ego was deflated when he, the older guy is the uke while Nowaki, a guy younger than him by four years is the seme. As for Nowaki, he always feel that whatever he accomplish is never up to Hiroki’s standards; he feels that he’s the one who always does the chasing.

Prior to his relationship with Nowaki, Hiroki was in love with Usami. The story of how they met is available in Junjou Romantica Volume 4 under Junjou Minimum chapter.

Junjou Terrorist refers to yet another couple, Miyagi and Shinobu.

Shinobu’s Miyagi’s former brother in law as he was once married to Shinobu’s elder sister. They met on the way to Miyagi’s marriage meeting; Miyagi saved him from a bunch of thugs (if I remember correctly) and ever since then Shinobu’s in love with him even going as far as claiming that it’s love at first sight and that their meeting is a fate or some sort. His hopes were crushed when he found out that Miyagi was his future brother-in-law as well as his sis’ fiance. And when the marriage doesn’t work out (Miyagi can’t forget his first love, his literature sensei back in high school who died from sickness), Shinobu flew back from Australia where he was studying and claimed that it’s fate now that Miyagi and his wife are now divorced.

Miyagi is clearly taken in by Shinobu but he refused to acknowledge his feelings due to their vast age difference (Miyagi’s a college professor, while Shinobu’s just a third year high schooler) but when Shinobu decided to return to Australia, he realised that he is indeed in love with Shinobu and eventually, he stopped Shinobu from leaving.

And by Terrorist, I supposed it refers to Shinobu.

According to wikipedia, there’s another new couple, Junjou Mystique. This time around, it’s Isaka and Asahina pair. FYI, Isaka’s Usami’s editor as well as Usami’s brother’s childhood friend. Asahina’s Isaka’s assistant.

The couples in Junjou Romantica series are interconnected with each other which I think smoothens the flow of the series.

junjoromantica2

When I heard that there’s gonna be an anime adaptation of Junjou Romantica series I can’t help but wonder if they are gonna include those explicit scenes. Well, there aren’t any explicit scenes at all; only PG-13 kissings which I think makes my life somewhat easier. I don’t have to be too wary whenever I watch the anime thinking that my parents might see me watching something like this although I’m of legal age. Heck, they would flip if they ever find out that I read stuffs like this.

junjoromantica1

If you like Nakamura Shungiku’s Junjou Romantica, you might be interested in her earlier shounen-ai work, Hybrid Child.

Edit:

It’s actually Junjou Mistake, not Mystique.

The Bride of the Water God (Habaek)

At first I couldn’t get what’s the fuss’ all about. The Bride of the Water God is famous for its beautiful art, bishounens and most of all, it’s beautiful art. The storyline isn’t interesting, or so I thought; that’s probably why it took me a while before I gave it a go.

Everytime there’s a draught, a girl from the village is to be send off or “sacrificed” to the Water God (Habaek) as a bride and this time around, the girl’s Soah. She was dressed to the nines and then she’s off.

All the while I was thinking, man, the Water God has got to be an old looking guy but lo and behold, he’s a little boy! Then again, things aren’t always what they seem. You see, during the day the almighty Water God is a boy and by nightfall, he turns into this handsome man (bishounen alert!!). Soah has seen both forms but she has no idea that these two are the same and one and only Habaek. And it seems to me that she’s in love with the older version of Habaek…

Habeak’s not the only suitor for Soah. It is clear that one of Habeak’s people, Commander Hoo-Ye too is interested in her. Whenever she’s down, he’s there to comfort her but in the end, she turned him down as she’s in love with Habaek.

At one point, I thought that those two might have just overcome the hurdles and that Soah and her Habaek are gonna live happily every after but than like most shoujo manhwas out there, the road to happiness isn’t gonna come easily.

A storm comes in the form of Nakbin who is supposedly dead. Nakbin was Habaek’s bride before Soah came. I’m not quite sure how she died but the point is, she’s dead and the question would be, who is that Nakbin-look-a-like? Is she the real Nakbin or just some imposter? One thing certain is that she’s definitely up to no good. To think that she would go as far as giving Habaek some sort of potion that will make him fall madly in love with the first person he sees when he wakes up just irks me.

So here’s what I think. I think that The Bride of the Water God is overrated for its beautiful art but the story isn’t half bad either. But if this manhwa’s plot is capable of making me feel for the characters then perhaps, this manhwa’s a gem after all. Anyhow, I’m still gonna continue reading this regardless of my hatred for Nakbin’s imposter (probably).

habeak

Mana by Vin Lee (Manhwa)

I did had some reservations at first when deciding on whether to give Mana a go. It’s probably because Vin Lee’s other works (One, Crazy Love Story) doesn’t seem to impress me and I gave up on them without finishing the whole series.

One – Interesting plot but somehow I got bored in the middle of it.

Crazy Love Story – It’s just plain crazy and should I say, twisted. And I don’t have the will to finish it off. Am not too fond of the artwork either.

Mana’s different…totally different from One and Crazy Love Story. It has this supernatural element in it which is what intrigues me at the very beginning, the artwork is much more refined and has improved (that’s what I think), the clothes that the characters wore are stylish and of course, the characters are drawn beautifully (hotties alert!).

Shi-on (or Zion?) is just like any other normal high school student in the beginning of the series, that is, until she met two con artists who fed her with nonsensicals (moral doctrines? that sounds like a suspicious occult to me) and she bought it. She was cheated off some cash along the way and she met this long-haired ghost dressed in an outfit that made him looked like a rocker (well, he was a rocker when he was alive and breathing) and ever since then her life is never the same again.

Few years later, we see Shi-on all dressed in gothic styled clothings that made her looked like a someone who’s up to no good. Her guardian spirit, ghost, Mi-Ro (that’s his stage name apparently) is living with her and she’s now a self-professed shaman but she’s not without talent in that area.

And then there’s Prof. Joo who seemed to have cross paths with her more than often, and there’s a reason for this (fate?).

Throughout the whole series, various Korean folklore and superstitions are mentioned. In fact, I should say that this manhwa uses Korean folklore as the backdrop of the story. As for romance, well, towards the end of the story she did ended up with someone just as I had expected but what I never expect is how the author ended the story. From the reviews I have read, some dislikes the way the series end saying that it’s too abrupt etc. In my point of view, I have to agree that the series ended rather abruptly and that there should be more to it, not that I dislike the ending. It’s just that I’m hoping that there’s more to it and it doesn’t end just there!

So, what’s the ending of this series? Hints: love triangle, reincarnation.

To sum it all up, these are what I like about the manhwa (in my opinion, of course):

  • nice artwork
  • supernatural elements
  • good looking characters (the prof’s good looking…)
  • stylish clothings (especially the ones that Shi-on wore)
  • not too much drama – in fact, there’s hardly any drama in it.
  • comedic moments

What I dislike about this manhwa: it’s too short (4 Volumes). Wish there’s more.

P.S – Thanks to Entropy for scanlating Mana