torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading what is honestly one of the best HP fics I've ever read. I'm going to go ahead and rec this here even though I'm not finished yet.

Secrets (155290 words) by Elizabeth Culmer
Chapters: 16/16
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Tom Riddle & Ginny Weasley
Characters: Ginny Weasley, Tom Riddle, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Colin Creevey, Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Apple Rumluck (OFC), Daphne Rumluck (OFC), Susan Ward (OFC), Xanthe Delaflor (OFC), Sir Vladislav von Pitula (OMC), Pomona Sprout, Severus Snape, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Percy Weasley, Rubeus Hagrid, Electra Summers (OFC), Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore
Additional Tags: Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chamber of Secrets, Women Being Awesome, Retelling, Possession, Angst with a Happy Ending, POV Female Character, Betrayal, Worldbuilding, Ethical Dilemmas, Mind Control Aftermath & Recovery, Denial, Depression, Emotional/Psychological Abuse, Friendship, Female Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Family, Weasley Family, Bigotry & Prejudice
Summary: CoS according to Ginny. Nobody noticed anything wrong for an entire year -- how did she slip so far from her family and friends? Angst and betrayal, but also mysteries, jokes, an enchanted suit of armor, and a guaranteed happy ending.

How did I never know I needed this fic in my life!? Basically it does what it says on the tin. It's Chamber of Secrets from Ginny's POV, and it's really, really good.

What did you recently finish reading?
The only other thing I've read since last week's post is volume one of Chitose Etc. by Yoshizumi Wataru. Which apparently is not her current series, as it's actually ended (seven volumes total) and she's now working on a sequel to Marmalade Boy! I guess I'm going to have to reread Marmalade Boy, then? (Unfortunately I can't seem to find scans anywhere online (I found links for both the original and bunko rerelease, but both were dead) and of course I've long since sold my own copies. Maybe I'll take a look next time I'm at Book Off and hope they have copies there.)

Anyway, Chitose Etc! It's really cute. The story is of an Okinawan girl who spends a day with a boy who's down there on vacation. She falls for him and they make plans to meet the next day, but she gets the flu and can't go. She's really upset about it and when her brother comes home to visit, she tells him and he suggests she move in with him in Tokyo and she can transfer to this boy's school (which they are able to figure out because of things he said about his school; otherwise she has no contact info for him). But on the first day of school, she finds out that this boy barely remembers her and actually already has a girlfriend.

It sounds like a silly plot, but I love Yoshizumi Wataru and am enjoying it a lot so far.

What do you think you'll read next?
If I download some more volumes of Chitose Etc. then probably that (I wasn't able to find scans, so I've got to get them off iTunes and hadn't bought more than the first volume yet).

Also Secrets has really made me want to read more HP fic, so maybe that? idk.
torachan: (Default)
Title: Cappuccino
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 5/5

Ari and Sousuke have been dating for almost four years when they decide to move in together. It seems like the perfect solution to the way their work schedules keep them from seeing each other very often, but soon things start falling apart.

I really, really liked this. I am not sure I've ever read a manga that was about a relationship falling apart that didn't set up another relationship for the protagonist to end up in for a happy ending. Here the happy ending was that she got over Sousuke and moved on with her own life, was enjoying her job, etc. (she did accept a dinner invite from a colleague at the very end, but it was an offscreen thing and played as more of a "she's starting to date other people now, because she's over the other guy" rather than a "this will be her true love" kind of thing). It was a refreshing change.

There's no official English release, but it has been scanlated.

Title: Spicy Pink
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
Number of Volumes: 2
My Rating: 3/5

Sakura is a busy mangaka who hasn't had a boyfriend in years. At her friend's urging, she goes to a goukon (group date) and meets a rather obnoxious doctor, whom she later ends up dating because her friend convinces her that as a shoujo mangaka, she should have more romantic experience.

What was this? This is not my beautiful Yoshizumi Wataru. I know the obnoxious guy with a tragic past and secret heart of gold is a staple in shoujo and josei manga (especially the stuff released in the US, for some reason), but that is not at all typical of Yoshizumi's stuff. Not only was the main guy obnoxious, but so was Sakura's ex-boyfriend as well as another guy who shows up for a while. The only non-obnoxious guy is the friend's boyfriend.

I liked the female characters a lot, and really liked Sakura's friendship with a fellow mangaka, but the obnoxious guys just ruined it for me.

This hasn't been released officially in English, either, but scanlations can be found here.

I checked Baka Updates and apparently I've now read all of Yoshizumi's manga except for her current series (which seems to be back to shoujo; I've really enjoyed her josei stuff, so I hope she returns to that again).
torachan: (Default)
Title: Datte Suki Nan Da Mon
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
Number of Volumes: 2
My Rating: 3/5

When Moka sees Yoshii, it's love at first sight, but soon she finds out that he only dates girls who already have boyfriends. Of course this turns out to be due to his ~trauma~ at the fact that his brother is dating the girl he had a crush on forever, and so he doesn't really want to get too close to anyone.

The plot was kind of silly in that shoujo manga way, but overall it was enjoyable. Even with cliched plots, I always enjoy Yoshizumi's stuff.

There's no official English release for this, but it looks like it has been fully scanlated.

Title: Ultra Maniac
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
Number of Volumes: 5
My Rating: 4/5

When Ayu does a favor for Nina, Nina decides to repay her by telling her her secret: she's really a witch from another world called Magic Kingdom. She wants to help Ayu out by doing some spells for her, but unfortunately the reason she's at Ayu's school is because she was flunking out of her magic school, so nothing she does quite goes as planned.

I wasn't that thrilled with the plot of this because I'm not that big a fan of magical stories, but the magic is really in the background here. Mostly this is the story of Ayu and Nina's friendship and their respective romances, and by the end I found I was enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.

I was surprised to find this was actually released in English, so the Amazon link goes to the English version.
torachan: (Default)
I've been going through all my one-shots and reading those before deciding what series I want to tackle next. Here is one by Mizusawa Megumi and two by Yoshizumi Wataru, two of my favorite shoujo writers.

Title: Orange Kakumei
Author: Mizusawa Megumi
My Rating: 3.5/5

I've always liked Mizusawa Megumi's stuff. This wasn't one of the best I've ever read, but it was cute. The first three stories are about a girl named Natsu who's classmate always teases her and jokes around and says he likes her. She doesn't take him seriously at first, but eventually grows to like him, too. The fourth story is about her sister, Aoi, whose best friend is really pretty and outgoing and Aoi is always jealous of her. I liked that the pretty best friend was a genuinely nice person, and that when a bunch of other girls accused her of using Aoi to make herself look better, that wasn't the case. (There was a romance in this one, too, but the friendship was equally important.)

Title: Cherish
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
My Rating: 5/5

I love Yoshizumi's shoujo stuff, but I've never read any of her ladies manga before (in fact, I didn't know she wrote ladies at all until I saw this). I don't know if she's written any more, but if she has, I hope I can get my hands on it, because this was awesome.

There are two stories. The first is about a girl whose mom dies when she's three and she's then raised by her mom's best friend and his partner. Flashforward to when she's in college, where she's reunited with a boy she broke up with in jr. high because he couldn't accept her gay dads. If I had known that's what the story was about, I would have read it a lot sooner! Gay supporting characters aren't too rare in shoujo, but I've never seen one where the parents were gay (outside of BL). It's great to see casual positive portrayals like this in manga.

The second story was about a guy who falls for a woman who has an eight-year-old son and tries to convince her that he's not put off by her being a single mom. This was a cute story, too.

Title: Quartet Game
Author: Yoshizumi Wataru
My Rating: 4/5

This is a collection of some really early manga of hers. It's not the best of her stuff I've ever read, but all the stories were enjoyable.

The first story was a mystery. Four kids at a music school are assigned to play as a quartet. One day as they're practicing, they stumble onto a clue that may have something to do with a missing teacher. I was totally not expecting the mystery in this, so that was a nice surprise.

The second story was a fairly ordinary school romance. A boy has a crush on his classmate, but thinks she's going out with their teacher.

The third story was the best. It was about a girl who gains the ability to "time slip" after being hit by a truck. She can't control it, but she usually only slips back a few hours or at most a day or two. Then one day she slips back five years and meets two boys who try to help her get back to her own time.


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