torachan: takatsuki & nitorin from hourou musuko (trans kids)
Usually I save my reading posts for the end of the day on Wednesday, but this week I not only have read a lot, but I've actually read stuff I want to talk about, so I'm posting right after midnight! XD

What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading vol. 7 of Crimson Hero. I read the first six volumes of this early last year, I think, and then just set it aside for a while because I got distracted by other stuff. But I'm trying to get through the backlog of manga I already have loaded onto my phone and there were several more volumes of this on there, so!

Anyway, I'm still enjoying it! It's a shoujo manga about a girls' volleyball team. The frustrating thing is that I could only find scans up through vol. 16 and there are 20 total. It's not available as an ebook and at this point is not available at the bookstore near me, either (they have really limited space, so pretty much only carry currently running series). It's possible that if I went down to Book Off they'd have the last four volumes, but idk. So I may have to order them from Japan to finish the series. >_< (Or maybe I'll just read the last four volumes in English, as it appears to have been fully scanlated. I hate when scanlators don't release their raws.)

What did you recently finish reading?
I have managed to read one volume of manga a day so far this year! Obviously this isn't something I can keep up the whole year unless I don't plan to read anything but manga (and there are books and fic I'd like to read!), but I really would like to try and read more manga than I have lately, so this is a good start!

The first two things I read were Aoi Futari and Ashita wa Dotchi Da, a couple of one-shot collections by Shiina Karuho, author of Kimi ni Todoke. Honestly, both were mostly forgettable. Cute enough stories that I didn't feel like I was wasting my time, but nothing on the level of Kimi ni Todoke. And one story was so obnoxious that it completely colored my view of the whole volume of Aoi Futari.

I expected better of Shiina Karuho because Kimi ni Todoke is so awesome (and I have enjoyed the other stuff of hers I've read), but this one-shot was terrible! I knew going in it was going to be meh because the main guy is a huge jerk and yet of course you know she's going to get with him. But it ends with her realising that while she had twice said she hated him (once as a kid and once in high school), he'd never said he hated her, and so she thinks like "how can I even begin to apologise?" But the reason she'd said she hated him was because he was a jerk to her! From the very first time they met, he was awful, and he was consistently awful in every interaction she's had with him over her lifetime. But in the end she is the bad one because she reacted to that by saying she hated him. UGH. I really expected better. The other two stories in this collection were cute (though not great), but this was the final one so it just ended on an awful note and colored my whole view of the collection.

So I would anti-rec that volume, even if you were wanting to read all of Shiina Karuho's old stuff! Or just read the first two stories in it and skip the last one. (Though it looks like only the title story has been scanlated anyway.)

Next I read volume 5 of Centaur no Nayami, which continues to be a delight. I just would never have guessed that something which looks like nothing but pure fanservice fluff would have such solid and detailed world-building. But it's clear the author has a worldbuilding kink as well as a kink for cute girls with various animal parts. XD I especially liked the random historical flashback chapter about Napoleon freeing the centaur slaves.

I also read the third and final volume of Mizusawa Megumi's Tera Girl. It was a cute series and I'm sorry to see it end for that reason, but I'm satisfied with the ending and it felt like it ended in a good place.

And last, but not least, I finally read the last two volumes of Hourou Musuko (though I had actually read about half of volume 14 in magazine scans). I had downloaded them quite some time ago but put off reading them because I was spoiled for the ending and so it was something I really had to work up to reading.

In the end, though, I'm not sorry I read it and I don't think it's a bad story. I just wish that I had not discovered it until it was already over and so I would have known certain things going into it. So many years of following along as it came out made me really invested, as well as, obviously, the fact that as a story about gender identity, it's very personal to me.

General feelings about the series as a whole as well as the ending )

So, yeah. I have a lot of feelings, but in the end I'm glad I read it and I do think it's a good story. And now I want ALL the fic about Nitorin and Anna being cute girlfriends.

What do you think you'll read next?
Probably at least a few volumes of Crimson Hero, but then who knows? There is a lot of stuff on my phone to choose from.
torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Yowamushi Pedal by Watanabe Wataru. It's so good! I'm almost finished with volume two and I'm so excited that there are nearly thirty volumes total so far! I imagine I'll be reading this for a while. :D

It's about cycling and is absolutely adorable.

What did you recently finish reading?
I read up through vol. 4 of Centaur no Nayami and then found that I didn't have volume five. Apparently when I had downloaded these, the site I got them from didn't have 5 yet. I went back yesterday, though, and they had it. Yay! But I'd already gotten hooked on Yowamushi Pedal, so I'll be setting it aside for a while. XD Still very highly recommended, though, for anyone looking for cute slice-of-life stories about female friendship.

What do you think you'll read next?
More Yowamushi Pedal.
torachan: a cartoon bear eating a large sausage (magical talking bear prostitute)
The thing with having these reading posts be on Wednesdays is that I work until 8.30 (as opposed to 6.30 other days), so it's easy to lose track of time and then oops, better get to bed! I had no such excuse yesterday; it just slipped my mind entirely. ^_^;;

What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm on volume four (of five out so far) of Centaur no Nayami (Centaur's Worries) by Murayama Kei. Guys, it's so cute! I've seen scans of it on tumblr for some time and was never able to find raws for it, but then a few months ago I found a new good raw site and this time when a scan popped up on tumblr I thought to look there and sure enough they had all of it!

Anyway, as the title suggests, it's about a centaur. The main character is Kimihara Himeno, a 10th grade centaur girl, and her best friends, Nozomi and Kyouko (a dragon girl and horned girl, respectively). The world of Centaur no Nayami is populated entirely by human/animal hybrids such as centaurs, dragon people (they look like devils, with bat wings and tails and ears), winged people (who have angel wings and hair that grows in a halo), large-eared people (who have large animal ears as well as tails; the type of animal ears/tails varies), and horned people (who have various types of animal horns and ears). There are also Antarcticans, who are snake people, and amphibians, who are frog people, though neither are native to Japan. Oh, and merpeople. There are no "normal" humans. But otherwise everything is the same as present-day Japan.

It's a slice-of-life manga that mostly focuses on the three best friends. It runs in a seinen manga, so there's definitely a moe element, but it's firmly in the "look at these cute girls be themselves and hang out and do stuff" genre. There are a very few panty shots and close-ups of boobs, but that sort of fanservice is not the focus.

It's also got canon lesbians and surprisingly detailed world-building (there are essays scattered throughout the volumes that are supposed to be like history book excerpts and stuff, and there's also just a ton of random world-building details dropped in naturally through dialogue). I really did not expect this level of detail for a series like this, but was pleasantly surprised.

If you like slice-of-life about female characters, I definitely recommend it. There's scanlations out, and it's apparently been picked up for official release in the US as well under the title A Centaur's Life (though nothing's been published yet).

(I would say, the first chapter is a bit off-putting, or at least I found it so. A boy tells Hime he likes her and she gets upset, eventually revealing to her friends that she's afraid her vagina might be gross to non-centaur boys, which prompts the three girls to compare genitals (no actual genitals pictured). Having that as the first chapter made me think the manga was going to be a lot skeevier and obviously fanservicey than it ended up being.)

What did you recently finish reading?
Aside from the first few volumes of Centaur no Nayami, I read two chapters of Silver Spoon, and finally finished the last of Shingeki no Kyojin (I was putting it off because once I read that I'd have to wait for the new chapter next month!). I might have read some Jump stuff, too, idk. (A look at my Viz app tells me yes, though I can't remember anything that happened in any of the series I follow, and I guess I haven't read this week's issue. :p)

What do you think you'll read next?
More of Centaur no Nayami! After that, I don't know, but I did download another one that I've been hearing a lot about on tumblr, Yowamushi Pedal. It's a bike manga! It's also really long, and still ongoing. Do I need another ongoing series? I really don't, but oh well. Oh, I also bought the new Kindaichi, so I will actually probably read that first.

Apparently it's back to all manga all the time for me... ^_^;; (Not a bad thing, really, since there are sooooooooo many series I want to read!)


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