Flowers and Bees, also known as Hana to Mitsubachi by Anno Moyoco is a 7 volume slice of life, comedy-romance manga and one of my favorite manga series of all time! I was originally introduced to this manga by a friend of mine back in high school. She lent me all of the volumes that she had (at the time the first five), it took me less than a week to read through them all. So I quickly ran back to get the remaining two volumes only to discover that she didn’t have them! I quickly turned to the internet for scans, but there aren’t any! After a brief moment of despair, I convinced my mother to order the remaining volumes from Barnes and Noble. The series is out of print…so it was a while before she could even track down the remaining volumes, hell it took me forever to get the first five volumes for myself!
Released in 2000, Flowers and Bees, follows ordinary high school student Komatsu, a hapless underdog in the most basic and literal sense. Komatsu is the guy that girls ignore or laugh at, especially the school it-girl, Sakura, who goes out of her way to make his life a living hell. Our poor hero is the guy that just can’t catch a break no matter what he does. So, tired of living a life of ambiguity, Komatsu vows to change his luck around and become a heartthrob girls like Sakura will be tripping over themselves to get with… He seeks the advice of the Devil Sisters Kyoko and Harumi, who submit him to their own special
torture training so that he too can become a Beautiful Man. He puts himself to all manner of treatments and make overs just so he can pick up girls and experience the sweet life. Follow Komatsu as he learns about a world of desperate housewives, sadistic women, love hotels, as he stumbles and fumbles his way towards love and self acceptance.
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TGIF! Here we are again with another Fangirl Friday, where I write about my absolute favorite anime, manga, dramas, webcomics, books….whatever! This week I’m taking it back a little to one of the first manga to make me actually cry, Hotarubi no Mori e (lit. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light).
Hotarubi no Mori e is a 2002 manga oneshot (also apart of a 2003 tankobon of the same name) written by Yuki Midorikawa, the author behind Natsume’s Book of Friends. The story follows a young girl, Hotaru, and her friendship with a mysterious masked man, Gin, who lives in the woods outside of her grandfather’s home. She meets Gin at the age of six and quickly learns that Gin is not a normal man, but a supernatural being. He warns her that she must never touch him or else he will disappear forever. She promises not to touch him and they strike up a summer friendship that spans years. But, as the years pass and Hotaru matures, her feelings grow into love, and both struggle with the limitations of not being able to touch.
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Kanata Kara, also known as From Far Away by Kyoko Hikawa is a 14 volume shojo fantasy and one of my favorite manga series of all time! I can not tell you how many times I have reread this manga and I never get tired of it. Released between 1993 and 2003, From Far Away, follows ordinary high school student Noriko as she is propelled from her home in modern Japan to a strange magical world. Little does she know, her presence is the manifestation of an ancient prophecy that has the power to tip the balance in this new world. It has been foretold that the Awakening will arrive and awaken a monster known as the Sky Demon and bring destruction to the world. With mercenaries from every kingdom closing in, Noriko must rely on the handsome warrior Izark, for protection. But, there is a dark secret Izark is hiding, that no one not even Noriko can know about. What will happen to the two unlikely companions? And could Noriko be the Awakening?
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