Tag Archives: bishonen

Happy Cafe: Light hearted story about yet another dense lead

Happy Cafe
Story and Art by Kou Matsuzuki
Published by Tokyopop. 192 pages. 2009. $10.99

Easily one of the things I notice about this series is the covers for each of the volumes, and then when you look at the page under the cover, you’ll probably laugh as I did. Because for every serious pose there is on the cover. There’s always a funny NG or parody of the main cover image on the insert page. I noticed the same exact treatment within the pages of Wild Ones. Another similar point  to make about the cover page is the fact that there is always three characters.

Happy Cafe is another shoujo title that I have been reading. It looks to be finished at 15 volumes, so English once again has some catch up to do. I have only read up to volume six so far. Now Uru is a high school student who gets mistaken to be a child a lot, because of her short statue. She is also very very strong, and very determined to not be in the way of her mother’s happiness. She gets hired to work at the Cafe Bonheur, where at the first volume, she meets two guys Shindo who is the unsmiling patisserie chef, and Ichiro, her co-worker who falls asleep when he’s hungry.

Despite her appearance and personality, she attracts nearly every single guy around her. I am pretty interested in seeing who Uru ends up with. Somehow the main pairing seems to be Shindo and Uru, since they won’t talk about their feelings for one another, but somehow into the mix gets thrown in Ichiro and a lot of other shoujo type-supporting characters.

If you want to read any other similar titles, for the dense and unassuming female lead check out Haruhana by by Yuana Kazumi. For the bakery setting read Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga. Working as an anime series, should be the most similar pair for this type of book title.

La Corda d’Oro – lots of pretty guys, and classical music.

La Corda d’Oro
Written and Drawn by Yuki Kure.
Published by Viz Media. 184 pages. 2006. $8.99

Just when I believe that there wasn’t going to be another show just like Nodame Cantabile, came to my awareness about this series several years ago as an anime. Then I picked up the manga to read. The basic premises of the story focus on Hino Kahoko, who got picked to play in a school music competition even though she doesn’t even know how to play any instruments herself. She meets a lot of people, and finds potential in maturing with a genuine passion for music.

Originally this series was  inspired by a role playing video game. La Corda d’Oro eventually had two anime seasons, and various compact disc releases. This book series is probably a good read for any reader who enjoys reading about classical music, and of individual determination to adapt to a situation.

This series also has a reverse harem, so it is clearly targeted toward the female audience. Harems have a particular following within manga/anime culture. A main character, and then a group of the opposite gender. Of course nearly everyone in the group falls for the main character or is significantly affected by their presence and relationship. You see it in Tenchi Muyo, Ranma 1/2, Vandread or Love Hina. Those series appeal to the male audience though. Of course with reverse harem, there the girl with a lot of really cute guys. Fushigi Yuugi, Fruits Basket, Ooku, and Ouran High School Host Club fit the bill for this one.

Of course with the harem element, there is a variety of character types, and so an individual can have a favoring or leaning toward as the one true pairing. There are a lot of men in this series, and I can mention with a straight face that I find my preference in the pairing of Kahoko and Kazuki, even though it appears that Kahoko potentially likes Len the best.

At the moment there is 12 volumes in English, and volume 13 will be released in March. This is still an on going manga series in which, the English has successfully been adapted right alongside the Japanese, so there is no worry about playing catch up with this series.

For potential read alike, of course there’s going to be a long list of potential shoujo choices. La Corda D’Oro already has an interesting perspective that is really not as covered by a lot of other manga at the moment out there. For classical music similarities, there is Nodame Cantabile. For reverse harem there’s Ouran High School Host Club since more than one male falls for Haruhi, not as much as for Kahoko though. Lastly for the inclusion of fairies or other worldly guardians, Shugo Chara, or Full Moon wo Sagashite fit the bill for this.

This really is a female targeted title, so I potentially won’t see guys enjoying this title as much. Any different opinions? Of course I am in the crowd that definitely found similarity with shonen manga, once a reader got over the so many shoujo cliche moments. The main character finds strength and determination to succeed in an area, there are conflicts for the main character. There is friendship, although there is the every popular shoujo idea of an ideal match.

Poignent words, and definitely a scene of change/growth.

Man, he must think he’s hot…But I wonder if the #$%# on yaoi doujinshi would bother him?

From ANN

DMP Employee Volunteered for Yaoi-Con Bishōnen Auction

Digital Manga Publishing has announced that one of its male employees volunteered… the annual Bishōnen Auction during the Yaoi-Con 2007 convention near San Francisco, California on October 27…bidders win the (consensual) company of bishōnen for the evening…

Ray’s take: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! Somebody’s going to be in for the “buck futting (no, that’s not a place in Denmark)” of his life…In a doujinshi, that is! Consensual? In yaoi? Yeah right. And it’s going to be in San Francisco, too. Oh dear. I sincerely fear for this poor man’s life…

“Yes, yes, that’s how they do it in…Prison! What’s the matter with you!” Ross scolding Joey for not knowing the tailor was sexually harassing him.

Shugo Chara Episode 1 – ugh, too young and too sweet for my teeth.

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I wish I could give a full length review of this, but my teeth have rotted as soon as I saw the first little genie/fairy/whatever strange little character hatched from the egg.

I mean, at least the protagonist isn’t your typical ditzy shojo anime heroine from the ’90s. She’s got a spunky attitude. But guess what? She’s pretends to be that way, and her clothing style, which the girls in the school hail as cool, is really because her mother buys strange clothing for her and her sister – what, she can’t decide for her own clothing style?

Then I realized that she’s only in elementary school, and I wonder why I bothered to watch this.

Oh, I didn’t know what the f^$# this was, because I saw its Chinese name and I was hoping for something closer to a parody.

Oh fuck, how goddamnned stupid could I get?

Just when I thought the concept couldn’t get any worse, the “Shin Morality Squad” from Kyoshiro appears.

They have ugly capes (at least the main girl realizes that), and they’re all bishojo and bishonen or rather, shouta and biyojo (for the latter reference see Gokujo Seitokai). Yeah right, I didn’t remember seeing anyone like that back in elementary school.

Then I remembered this is a show for kids.

Hashihime gave it a positive review, and you have to remember I’m critical and cynical (the worse combination for reviewing anything).

I’ll tell you what, though. I was bored and trying to change the channel every 30 seconds. But I was watching it on the PC.

No recommendation from me. Not even gonna follow it.