Shun Mizorogi is an acclaimed novelist who seems to have passed his prime. He hasn’t written a thing in years yet at his publisher’s party, he becomes infatuated with a young girl who calls herself Aki Fujino.
After the debut his new work, the police calls him in to identify a body of a girl who jumped a building. At the morgue, he sees Fujino’s body and another girl who looks exactly like her.
This is a story of a novelist. This is Utsubora.
Tudors England is quite tricky — especially when you have a king who’s been hacking off his wives’ heads. One can only imagine the level of distrust in a royal court filled with intrigue and political turmoil. Ooku no K0, Child of the Kingdom, by Bikke rides on this atmosphere as Henry faces his last few days. Many were counting the days until his death while others were already plotting on who they should support next.
Mindful of of this political game is a young William Cecil who crosses a young actor on stage. He drags the young man to court and shows him to a young Elizabeth. He suggests that this young man be Elizabeth’s political decoy, a body double. And while Elizabeth finds it hard to believe, the young man proves to be as regal as her.
When I heard that Shueisha’s Jump would start a josei magazine, I was skeptical. Jump may have a following that spans a large age range and influences both sexes but I never felt they had the “josei” touch. Jump rode on a formula and given that their josei magazine bears Shueisha’s most famous franchise, I doubted if they had what it takes to catch up with the new wave of poignant josei stories with their magazine Jump X (pronounced as Kai and not X).
Ninomiya Tomoko was Jump X‘s darling poster child, the banner girl that they will be doing things “right” with Jump X. At that time Ninomiya just finished the first run of Nodame Cantabile. Other authors were sound among Josei fans (I believe Est Em joined them later on) but none were particularly worthy of public attention apart from Ninomiya.
So when they finally announced the title, 87clockers, I was hoping for something spectacular. Instead, and not disappointingly, I met the same Ninomiya that has the same quirkiness, intelligence, obsession and humor as I did in Nodame. Which was all right… I think.
Sukitte Ii na yo (Say “I Love you”) by Kanae Hazuki
Serialized in Dessert
Published by Kodansha
We’ve read this story before. The girl who can’t trust anyone and the guy who tries to bring her faith back in humanity. Kanae Hazuki’s Sukitte Ii Na Yo‘s heroine, Mei Tachibana, is a girl who has been betrayed by many leaving her without friends or boyfriends for the past 16 years. And while she tries to get by with things on her own, our hero, Yamato Kurosawa, tries to convince her that there are people she can rely on and the most real of kisses can taste like karaage (fried chicken).
Beck by Harold Sakuishi
Serialized in Monthly Shounen Magazine
Published by Kodansha and Tokyopop
If there’s a manga can transmit sound, then Beck‘s that title. You don’t even need to hear the music itself. The panels alone can cause a riot. For a good long while, a lot of its readers were mute to the music but many of them know the sound Beck/Mongolian Chop Squad plays. That music that shatters your bone. That voice that saves your soul.
Beck is the loudest manga I’ve read.
So why haven’t we read the next manga that’ll rock our world?