3 Shoujo Manga with Depth (what?!)

Shoujo manga are notorious for not having depth and being filled with fluff and cliches.  But if you search hard enough, you’ll find a few gems within this genre that have more depth than your average shoujo manga.

Six Half

sixhalfAuthor: Iketani Rikako

Genres: drama, psychological, romance, school life, shoujo

Volumes: 11

Status: Complete

Summary: Kikukawa Shiori wakes up from a traffic accident to discover she has amnesia.  She has no memory of her past.  She has trouble assimilating to life with her supposed boyfriend, her worry-wart of a brother, and a sister who hates her.  She soon hears rumors of who she used to be, and she wonders if she really was as awful as everyone made her out to be.  Will she ever get her memories back?

Warning: there are some mature topics/scenes in this manga.

Thoughts: This manga is outstanding.  It is a little more mature, as it walks on the line between shoujo and josei.  Six half is a great story about a girl rediscovering herself and growing from her experiences.

What I like the most about this manga is the main character.  All the other manga have sweet and meek main characters who all just fit the same character trope.  Shiori is a true stand out in her character.  As you read the manga, you learn more and more about her motives and who she really is.  To be honest, this is something I’ve been looking for a while – a main character who is disliked by most.

sixhalf2

Orange

orangeAuthor: Takano Ichigo

Genres: drama, mystery, romance, school life, shoujo, slice of life, supernatural, tragedy

Volumes: 5

Status: Complete

Summary: One day, Takamiya Naho receives a strange letter, supposedly from herself 10 years in the future.  The letter proceeds to write about events that happen throughout her day, particularly about the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse.  The letter from her 27 year old self reveals her biggest regret is Kakeru, as he, for some reason is no longer with them in 10 years and begs the 16 year old Naho to watch over him.

Thoughts: I love Orange so so much, Takano Ichigo is one of my favorite manga artists.  Her characters are just absolutely lovable.  I love her art style (especially those watercolors!)  Orange is a bittersweet story about a group of friends, and hits pretty close to home.  Despite it’s tragedy label, it still has those moments of fun.

(okay, I’ll be honest, this one’s a little fluffy, but definitely a favorite)

orange2

Cat Street

CATSTREETAuthor: Kamio Yoko

Genres: drama, psychological, romance, school life, shoujo

Chapters/Volumes: 8

Status: Complete

Summary: Keito Aoyama was a child prodigy in the acting industry.  However, due to a traumatic experience, she withdraws herself from society.  Now, 16, she runs into a man who takes her to El Liston, a free school for students who don’t have a place where they belong.  She meets Rei, Mojimi, and Kouichi, and there she finally begins to find a direction in her life.

Thoughts: I really loved this series.  This coming of age manga explores human behaviors in how people perceive themselves, each other, and their goals.  It digs into how society, people and the show-biz works and reflects the dark side of the world, yet it’s a heartwarming story about a girl trying to find who she is.

CATSTREET2

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Stop with the long exposition scenes

Here’s a trend in anime – the useless exposition scenes.  Yeah we all know these scenes all too well.  Whether it be a senpai explaining the whole caste system to their underclassmen, or the enemy suddenly stopping in the middle of a heated battle to explain each and every one of their motives–including their childhood sob story about how they were abandoned on the streets.

But are these really necessary?

kekkaisensenAs I was watching Kekkai Sensen, there was one reason why people dropped this show.  Here it is: the show doesn’t explain anything, I don’t know what’s going on, it’s too fast paced.  Kekkai Sensen doesn’t stop to explain every little detail of the world.  Sure there are fragments of explanation, those screens of flashing green text that “explain” things.  But, really, do you need to know every little detail about the world to get interested in the show?  No.  Kekkai Sensen utilizes interesting characters and their interactions to get you interested in the show.  Not an overly complex world system.  People are complaining about how complicated Kekkai Sensen’s world is.  It isn’t.

Within watching a couple of shows from this season, I was absolutely bored by the amount of explaining and exposition done in the first episode.  This isn’t what the first episode is.  I don’t need AP-class level knowledge on your world.  I want to be interested by the show.  I want to wonder whats going on.  Instead, I’m slammed in the face with an essay long explanation on how their world works.  It takes all the mystery out.

angelbeats2

One of the reasons Angel Beats was engaging is that it doesn’t tell you everything at the beginning.  Throughout the show, you follow the characters and discover new things about the world at the same time they do.  Same with Shingeki no Kyojin.  You watch the show, with the same curiosity that they do.  It’s another way to tie you to the characters, story, and world.

Besides, I don’t need 24 minutes of a character blabbing on about how you must obey the rules that they’ve set out only for the main character to be like – I’M  BOSS AND I’VE ALREADY REACHED THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF WHATEVER POWER LEVELS THEY ARE within the first 2 episodes.

In the end, we loose the curiosity of wanting to know how the world works, but not quite knowing at the same time.  I’m bored instantly by the first episode, and let’s face it, even after you’ve explained it on I still have no idea what’s going on.

even after you spent 24 minutes explaining what was going on I still dunno

even after you spent 24 minutes explaining the world, I still don’t know anything

That was me…ranting about my probably unpopular opinion.

5 Anime that Pleasantly Surprised Me

Here are 5 anime that really exceeded my expectations and turned out to be something completely different from what I thought they were going to be…in no particular order.

gekkanshoujoGekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

I think this one really surprised everyone…and became pretty much everyone’s favorite shoujo anime.  We were all expecting a sappy shoujo with cliche characters and cliche plot but psych, this anime is all about making fun of those cliches and creating interesting and fun characters!  This anime is probably one of the funniest shows ever, especially if you’ve watched other shoujos and have a general understanding of the tropes.

This is going to be saying a lot, but I think it stands up there with other classics like Kaichou wa Maid-Sama and Ouran.

Free!

I know why you’re wondering why this anime is on this list.  I started watching this anime expecting a lot of fan service.  And what did I get?  Fan service.  But this anime is much more than the majestic stripping scenes (okay that sounds a little wrong).  Free really is a fun and sweet anime about friendship and teamwork.

Akame Ga Kill

I started this anime expecting a typical shounen-adventure anime.  But within the first episode Akame Ga Kill really showed what it really is and turned out to be so much more than a standard adventure.  It was a lot darker than anyone could’ve imagined and really brought up some dark themes and didn’t not hold back about the truth of war.

Kekkai Sensen

kekkaisensen3

Again I thought this anime was just going to be a typical sci-fi, maybe something with the vibe of Aldnoah.Zero, but I got a completely different vibe.  It was jazzy, fun, and quirky all while holding on to your attention.  It was an extremely entertaining watch that gets you really invested in the stories and characters.  It shows that anime doesn’t need lengthy exposition scenes to understand and be involved.  It is probably one of my favorite shows ever.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

sakurasou2This anime started off as a funny comedic anime with some rather ecchi scenes that some of us don’t like talking about, but Sakurasou, slowly started surprising us with scenes of true and pure emotion.  Eventually by the second half, it shows the emotional struggles of people and relationships.  Sakurasou deals with the struggle of artists and what talent really is and what it means to the artist and the people around them.

Even with those serious themes, it’s hidden in the wraps of a extremely fun romantic comedy.  Sakurasou is a pretty great show.

That is my list!  Sorry for the really bad writing…Do you agree with this list?  What shows surprised you?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂

I don’t cry watching anime anymore

Call me cold and heartless, whatever you wish, but I didn’t cry while watching Shigatsu Wa Kimi no Uso.  Nor did I cry during Angel Beats.  Or Plastic Memories…

angelbeatsI used to cry while watching anime…at least I think so.  All these anime that people deem that “stab your feels” (whatever that is supposed to mean.  Why do people say this?  It doesn’t make much sense…but that’s another case), I just didn’t cry in.

What makes you cry in an anime?  I think it’s your attachment to characters.  As I’m watching anime, my attachment towards characters are growing smaller and smaller.  In all these anime, I have reasons for not crying while watching them.  I won’t disclose those reasons here as they will definitely spoil them.  But in any case, in all of these I just didn’t feel attached to these characters, or feel that two characters were connected well.  I’m just not emotionally invested in anime anymore.

Or it might be related to my growing disliking towards anime.  As I’m watching anime, I’m dropping shows faster…well I’m not picking up most of them to begin with.  They aren’t interesting to me anymore.  It sometimes feels like a chore to watch them.  So, I’m just not picking them up anymore.  And as this is happening, I’m separating anime and the things that occur in them further from reality.

sakurasou

If you know me, I’m someone who cries pretty easily.  Not something I’m proud of, but it’s who I am.  I can’t say I’ve never cried during an anime before.  Isshuukan Friends, Sakurasou.  But those I watched a while ago, when I was more attached to watching anime than I am now.

I no longer get the “feels trip” that everyone claims they didn’t “pack their bags for.”  (guys, yes, this episode was emotional, but that joke is old and overused).  I still love and get attached to characters, I just don’t cry when sad things happen.

Yeah, I guess this is also me admitting that I really don’t like anime as much as I used to and it’s not as fun anymore.  Perhaps it is because of the popular genres of today (which include moe girls and idol groups which bore me to death), or the over used story-telling styles that aren’t interesting to me anymore.

sakurasou

Author’s Note: Sorry for the overload of Sakurasou pictures…they’re so pretty 🙂  Thank you so much for reading, sorry if this post is kind of bad…I’m not that great at writing.

Fall 2015 – Season Overview

To me, this season doesn’t have much of interest…for some reason, new animes are getting less and less interesting.  The art on to promote themselves aren’t very interesting either.  Most of them look the same to me.  An overload of colorful cute girls or nearly identical bishounens.

Let’s start off with one I’m sure to watch – Noragami Aragoto, the sequel to Noragami.  This season will cover the Bishamoten arc from the manga.  Which I find kind of frustrating because they set up for the Bishamoten arc within the first season, but never got to it as they only had 3 episodes left after the whole Yukine ordeal.

sorry Ebisu

sorry Ebisu

I’m also slightly interested by Heavy Object, which it’s original novel was written by the author who wrote the whole To Aru series (and used one of To Aru’s special announcements to promote Heavy Object T^T.  When is season 3?!).  Not sure how I’ll feel about this one, but we’ll see.

subeteSubete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider sounds rather interesting and a little more unique compared to the others.

I’m hoping to see what Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen has to offer, as it will be produced by White Fox, which have produced some pretty good anime in the past before.  The synopsis is rather vague and doesn’t give us much.

Shingeki no Kyojin is spending yet another season probably summarizing the whole anime again, as we are being plopped into a school setting this time around!  Yay…

We’re also getting a movie adaption of High Speed from Free!  I’m a little excited about this.  Free! was fun to watch and hopefully this movie will be as well.  It’s based off of the novel High Speed which I believe tell the story of the boys in middle school, which will fill in the gap.  Hopefully It’ll turn out well!

So far those are the only anime this season that peaks my interest.  I’m probably not going to watch most of them and watching something else random…as I do with most seasons.  In reality what I’m most excited about for this upcoming season is the finale for Kekkai Sensen, which I can’t stop talking about.

Sorry this post was so boring…what anime do you think I should watch this season?