Currently Reading from Japan – March 2015

This month I take a look at three more series that are currently running in Japanese manga magazines.

  • Kedamono Kareshi, which translates to Beast Boyfriend, is a slice of life shoujo by Saki Aikawa currently running in Margaret magazine.
  • Watashitachi ni wa Kabe ga Aru which translates to There Are Walls Between Us, is another slice of life shoujo by Haru Tsukishima currently running in Dessert magazine.
  • Finally Marmalade Boy Little by Wataru Yoshizumi is currently running in Cocohana josei manga magazine and is the sequel to Marmalade Boy.

Newest Shoujo

Copy of Volume 1

Watashitachi ni wa Kabe ga Aru Volume 1

Watashitachi ni wa Kabe ga Aru – Haru Tsukishima

Makoto and Reita have been next door neighbors and childhood friends since forever. Now in high school, Makoto is suddenly confessed to by Reita. Not just any confession either. He stands in the street and publicly says “If you want a boyfriend that badly, I don’t mind going out with you”. Makoto takes it as Reita being full of himself and dismisses his confession, since Makoto has never considered Reita to be a man, especially a man of interest. But Reita insists on convincing Makoto to go out with him. Will his efforts eventually pay off, or will Reita be friend-zoned forever?

This series is the one that has all the “kabe don” references, so of course I had to check it out. It surprised me how much I liked it even with all the corny kabe don. Because despite all the posturing, the story is really about redefining that relationship that means a lot to you, and the insecurities of changing that line between friends and more than friends. I’m now hooked on this one and will be following it as it continues.

Here Reita is trying to point out that Makoto should go out with him because he's popular and she hasn't had a boyfriend all of high school. She blatantly tells him it's impossible because she's never seen him as a relationship partner.

Here Reita is trying to point out that Makoto should go out with him because he’s popular and she hasn’t had a boyfriend all of high school. She blatantly tells him it’s impossible because she’s never seen him as a real guy.

Kedamono Kareshi Volume 1

Kedamono Kareshi Volume 1

Kedamono Kareshi – Saki Aikawa

Himari’s mom gets remarried and she returns back to her hometown to live with her new step family. At school she reunites with two boys from her elementary days, Oogami-kun and Saeki-kun. Saeki-kun was always a crush for Himari, and Oogami-kun was the boy who always picked on her. Her memories of that time return, as the boys start to treat her the same way. When she gets home and begins unpacking, she finds out that her new step-brother is….Oogami-kun! Oogami-kun has always picked on Himari because he likes her. Living in the same house puts the two in some interesting situations.

This series reminds me of Marmalade Boy because it’s almost the same situation. Parents want them to be brother and sister, and the guy already likes the girl. I really love Aikawa’s art style, so reading this is all about the steamy situations and the hot guys.

That fateful moment when Himari and Oogami-kun discover they're step-siblings and living in the same house!

That fateful moment when Himari and Oogami-kun discover they’re step-siblings and living in the same house!

Newest Josei

Speaking of Marmalade Boy, the josei I wanted to read next is the sequel to that classic shoujo series.

Marmalade Boy Little vol. 1

Marmalade Boy Little vol. 1

Marmalade Boy Little – Wataru Yoshizumi

This story centers around Miki and Yuu’s younger siblings. It’s thirteen years after the original, and now Miki and Yuu have jobs and are working, living together but not married yet. Their younger siblings RiKka and Saku are first year middle school students, and the story follows their relationships. It’s set up a lot like the first story. Two kids are living together but not related, boy likes girl, girl is clueless. Because why change the formula when the first worked so well, right?

What I enjoy most about this series is the way Yoshizumi writes the story to include the younger kids, but also weaves in the adult stories. So we get to see where all of the characters from the first series are and what they’ve been up to. I’m really enjoying this sequel and I’m kind of disappointed that we probably won’t ever get it in English. If you haven’t read Marmalade Boy, I highly recommend it, and you can find it in English from Tokyopop.

Hilarious scene in which Saku declares at school that he plans on marrying Rikka, and Rikka's priceless reaction.

Hilarious scene in which Saku declares at school that he plans on marrying Rikka, and Rikka’s priceless reaction.

I’m really finding a lot of things I enjoy reading and I hope you find them interesting too. You can click on the cover photos to find links to the books if you want to purchase them. Tell me if there’s a series you’re interested in as well, and I’ll see if it’s something I’d want to read. It might show up here in one of these posts in the future!

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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  • *Gasps* Marmalade Boy was soooooo good! I saw the anime first and loved it despite how at times the heroine kind of annoyed me. But it was and always will be a classic shoujo 😀

    Are you reading these in Japanese? I’m struggling to get past a lot of the slang and grammar in manga and I’ve been studying for almost 6 months now.

    • I just read Marmalade Boy this past summer, long since it’s been out of print. I had to find the books on ebay. But I really loved it, despite any of its flaws. I was so excited to see that the mangaka was writing a sequel. Makes sense it would run in a josei mag, since that’s the target audience most of those readers would be now.

      Yes. I’m making do with the Japanese. I can decode really well now, but I still have a pretty limited vocabulary so am always having to look things up. Most of the time I can figure out the gist of what’s being said, but not always translating word for word – cause it doesn’t work that way. 🙂

      • Haha yep! That’s how I got Marmalade Boy too! I also saw the anime….I really wish we got more 50 + episode shoujo anime like how it was back then. We had such great titles like Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew, Ashita no Nadja, The Twelve Kingdoms (not really sure if it’s shoujo though).

        Really? I need to try that then. I’ve been using my textbook to help but when I try and work out what is going on in a story, I can understand the common phrases you usually hear in anime but I never get the gist.

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