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Currently Reading From Japan – November 2015

Josei

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Sumika Sumire – Mitsuba Takanashi

The Gist: Kisaragi Sumi continuously took care of her grandmother, father and mother until she turned 60 years old without ever falling in love. One day after finishing her mother’s funeral service, a cat calling himself Rei appears and grants her wish to “experience her youth again”. What happens when Sumi gets a second chance as a 17-year-old high-schooler once more?!

Mitsuba Takanasi is the same mangaka that drew Crimson High, the volleyball manga that ran in Shojo Beat magazine back in the day. We also got her series The Devil Does Exist from CMX.

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See that old lady in the right panel, yeah, that’s our young girl before the transformation.

I like this series, and I wish we could get it in English. It’s probably close in concept to Tanemura’s new series we’re getting – an older person gets a chance to be young again. I love Takanashi’s art, and seeing her work again makes me nostalgic. 🙂

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Kiss & Never Cry – Yayoi Ogawa

The Gist: Michiru is a happy child who loves to skate. During her childhood, she meets Leon, a cute innocent boy. They begin to ice dance together. But when she has a conflict with her mom, she plans to run away with Leon. Leon, considering the danger, declines Michiru. Hurt by this, Michiru runs away by herself. Finding out that Michiru has run away, Leon and others search for her, finding her in the skating rink. But the Michiru they find standing in the rink no longer has the smile that the old Michiru had!? Years later Michiru is still trying to work through what happened to her, and Leon along with her ice dancing partner must brace themselves in order to uncover the horrifying truth.

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Michiru skates until she hurts herself at times. She is numb to physical pain.

Ice skating and tragic backstory – this one drew me in right away. It’s not Ogawa’s most recent series, but I think it’s on par with the others I’ve read so far. The drama in it is fantastic. The ice skating in the series is gorgeous as well. I like how Ogawa made Leon a ballet dancer, and he performs in Takeshi Gouda’s dance troup from Kimi wa Pet. I know I’ll be getting more of this one to finish reading the whole story.

Yayoi Ogawa is the same mangaka that drew Tramps Like Us that was published in North America by Tokyopop. I’ve also read and reported on her more recent series Ginban Kishi, which is also about ice skating. I’d love it if Kodansha would give one of Ogawa’s skating series a shot over here.

Shoujo

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Sora to Kimi to- Yukimo Hoshimori

The Gist: Ten and Rio are long time childhood friends. They will become high school students in the spring. Ten still remembers fondly her love for Rio from middle school that seemed very selfish to her. Will the two have an opportunity to love again now that they are older?

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Rio accidentally calls Ten by her first name, Sora, which he hasn’t done since they were younger.

This story is like a lot of other high school dramas, but I like the element of loving again. It reminds me of Ao Haru Ride in that sense – falling in love young and reviving that love when older. I’m in love with the art by Hoshimori as well. So many pretty emotional moments!!

 

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Laura

Author/Editor
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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4 Comments

  • Sumika Sumire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read this a while ago and somehow forgot it but thank you! Haha this was so cute

    • Did you see in the news announcements that they are making Sumika Sumire into a live-action drama?

  • I’m so glad to have stumbled on your blog. I’m gonna start following you. 🙂
    I love mangas and although my favorite mangas tend to be shounen, I’m a sucker for shoujo/josei mangas that I always look for new recommendations . I’ve checked your other posts too and they seem to be the kind of posts I love to read. Please don’t be surprised if you see a lot of comments from me. 🙂

    • Welcome! We’re always glad to have new readers! I look forward to hearing more from you and we hope you enjoy all the articles we have fun writing!

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