This blog is a storage space for various thoughts, observations and musings centering on shōjo manga (少女漫画, Japanese comics for girls), josei-oriented manga (Japanese comics for women) and manga created by women (in the widest sense). Topics from other fields of relevance, such as music, art, literature and film may be discussed here as well.

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Viewing all posts with tag: magazine: bessatsu margaret/betsuma

Melancholy And The Infinite Sadness – Aikawa Natsu quitting

I got a manga order yesterday which included the 3rd and last volume of Happy End, a wonderful series by Aikawa Natsu whose manga are usually very melancholic but beautiful. The first part of the series ran in Bessatsu Margaret (Betsuma) but later it was moved to The Margaret (also published by Shueisha, a sister mag of Betsuma). I was quite sad about this because I really liked the manga as it wasn’t just average, shallow romance stuff. I thought it was really interesting to read about the life of an aspiring mangaka because it’s that side of manga you rarely get to read about – the life of the creators. It’s a truly moving story about adolescence, realising one’s dreams and finding one’s place in the world.

I sort of expected that the majority of the readers of the magazine would find it too quiet and melancholic and I was probably right. On the last few pages of the book, Aikawa writes about how she struggled to create that title she’d always dreamed of but how she encountered a lot of problems during the serialization.
She knew Happy End was a bit different than her previous titles (which are all short stories) and I feel the same about it: It is so much more like real life, it’s incredibly moving and touching and beautiful and serious without ever being cheesy at all. It’s so mature. And that’s probably what the majority of the Betsuma readers couldn’t get used to.

I’m a bit disappointed in both the magazine editors and the readers. It’s the readers who decide which manga keep running in the mag because there are enquete cards in every issue of it. I have the impression that shoujo manga that’s poetic and meaningful and disturbingly shocking or cheesy is just not as popular as the romance stuff that’s mainly running in Betsuma. But hey, let’s face it, to most people manga is just entertainment, and I can’t blame them for that…

The worst part of it all is, though, that Aikawa Natsu writes in the last paragraph of the last page that she is not drawing/writing any manga at the moment and that she never will do so again in the future. It was such a shock to read that. I really love all of her works and that makes me a very very sad Aikawa fan ;_; I hope she finds the right way for herself to express her creativity and to live a very happy, satisfied life. She really deserves it. ♥

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Categories: Manga, Various.
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Posted on Feb 18, 2005 (Fri, 12:37 am). .

Yuki Kaori’s new manga Fairy Cube

Yuki Kaori’s new manga, Yousei Hyouhon – Fairy Cube –, starts in the next issue of Hana to yume (#6; out Feb 19, see Hakusensha‘s website for a preview on the HanaYume page)! I’m so tempted to buy it…

Hana to yume was the first manga magazine I bought regularly. I started reading it because of Yuki Kaori’s Tenshikinryouku/Angel Sanctuary but quickly fell in love with some of the other series that ran in it at that time (circa 1999). I stopped buying it after TenKin ended and I didn’t like the other titles enough to keep buying the magazine. I was also running into space problems because HanaYume comes out twice a month and I always have a hard time throwing away my beloved manga mags.

I’ve lived quite happily without HanaYume for the past few years (except for a few issues I bought because of the cute furoku). Now, I am going to buy #6 for Fairy Cube. Also, I want to have a look at Nakajou Hisaya’s new manga, Sugar Princess, that started in the current issue. (It’s about figure skating. And if that doesn’t scream ‘instant shoujo classic,’ I don’t know what is.) I just hope I’ll be able to resist the urge to buy it after that one issue ^^; Maybe I’m lucky and Yuki-sensei’s new series isn’t even that great. At least I didn’t like the Count Cain series that much, so…

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Posted on Feb 12, 2005 (Sat, 4:57 pm). .

Kamio Youko’s Cat Street Pt. 2

A few days ago (Friday?) I went to the post office to pick up my copy of Betsuma 9. Couldn’t wait to get home because I was so looking forward to the 4th and last part of Aruko’s omnibus yomikiri series Sayonara Taiyou and the 2nd installment of Kamio Youko’s new series after finishing Hana yori dango, Cat Street. I have a feeling this is going to be a long series again because this chapter takes a lot of time of introducing the main characters even further. There aren’t many new things revealed about Keito’s life but the small episodes of her childhood in this chapter are very touching again. And we’re also introduced to a completely new character, Harasawa Taiyou, whom Keito went to elementary school with and who dreams of becoming a Seria A football player. We also get to know a bit more about the light-haired boy, Rei, the guy Keito slapped in the first chapter ^^;

But as far as a bigger story development goes, well there’s not much new stuff in this chapter. Keito still hasn’t decided whether to attend this free school and at one part of this chapter she even says that offer was kind of pointless because she’s too old to start school anyway – but of course we know she’s gonna end up there sooner or later ^_~

I’m very satisfied with the story so far (in fact, it’s one of my favourite series in Betsuma at the moment). Cat Street is told in a very mature, sometimes nostalgic and sad kind of way which makes this exactly my kind of story. I like the well-balanced plot pacing, it’s not too rushed and everyone gets a good deal of character introduction/development. Keito is a so-not-perfect heroine which makes her very likeable and you know she’s going to have to learn so much from a social point of view, it’s going to be interesting to watch her grow as a person as the series progresses.

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Posted on Aug 30, 2004 (Mon, 12:37 pm). .

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