The end of junior high and into the start of high school began my love for anime and manga. It was around the time the Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z anime have crossed over into North America and found an audience of young kids discovering, perhaps for the very first time, an entirely different style of animation that came from Japan. Anime and even manga were still pretty new to Americans at the time. The amount of series that arrived over here were few and far between, but the ones that did were the kind that felt as if you had discovered buried treasure. They were just that good. As more anime and manga titles started getting imported for young American kids to find, the more I gradually added to my own personal collection.
I’ve been an avid manga collector ever since they became accessible at bookstores and comic shops. I devoured every shojo manga I could find and always looked for anything that had a good story and memorable characters that stuck with me. But the older I got, the more my collecting tendencies dwindled. The reason mostly stemmed from not having enough money to buy all the books to complete the set. Now that money has sort of become less of an issue, where does a manga collector go from here?
The best thing about celebrating Christmas (for those of you who celebrate) are the traditions. Some family traditions involve decorating the Christmas tree with family. Other traditions may involve having a particular dish that’s exclusively made for the holidays. What’s Christmas without grandma’s famous egg nog? There’s also traditions people either love or dread around this time of the year. Depending on what your views are, people may like to bring out the seemingly harmless sprig of green with a cluster of white berries known as mistletoe.
Wherever this tradition of kissing under the mistletoe came from, it has been a source of delight and dread for most people. Maybe you need an excuse to kiss that office cutie you had your eye on for months because, you know, tradition dictates you must kiss under the mistletoe when you find yourselves under it. Or you’ll do anything to avoid being caught under it with that guy at the coffee shop who means well but is a bit of a creeper every time you get your morning java fix. To celebrate this Christmas week, I thought it’d be fun to list some of the fictional characters I wouldn’t mind being caught under the mistletoe with in no real order of favorites.
Often when we think about Valentine’s Day we immediately associate it with hearts and cupids. It’s the one time of the year where flower, card, and candy companies are eager to make a ton of money off of those who have a special someone in their lives to spoil on a day devoted to love. It can be the best day for couples to reminisce how they met and fell in love with each other or it can be the most alienating day of the year for those who don’t have someone to share it with. We tend to focus so much on the love between couples that we often forget there is another type of love out there––love between friends.
Bisco Hatori’s manga series Ouran High School Host Club is a different type of shojo title in how it appeals to not just a female audience, but to a male audience as well. Most series under the shojo genre tends to put a great emphasis on the romance or love triangle between the main heroine/hero and their chosen love interest(s). As Ouran’s focus isn’t on just the obvious canon couple of Haruhi Fujioka and Tamaki Suoh, the series tends to pay more attention to the friendships between Haruhi and the Host Club, as well as the crazy, slapstick humor this series has an abundance of. It’s the kind of series that has a little bit of everything for everyone. What’s particularly great about reading this series is how the usual gender definitions doesn’t apply.
A good number of the shojo I watch or read tends to feature clueless main characters who don’t realize they in fact like or are in love with the main hero/heroine. I don’t know if there is a trope for this, but it’s a common and very predictable plot device. It becomes really obvious when a character may have more feelings of like/love than they like to believe. I’m going to break down the following characters who fall into this category.
Summertime makes you think of beaches, sun, vacations, and spending more time with friends and family. When I read manga with images of beaches, sun kissed green grass, and summer dresses, I can’t help but let them get me in the summer mood. With that in mind, I’m going to give you some of my favorite manga summer moments.
Recently a friend of mine showed me the live action Japanese Drama or Jdrama for short of Ouran High School Host Club based after Bisco Hatori’s manga series. I saw the first three episodes of the Jdrama and my general impression of the Ouran live action is––unusual and not quite to my liking.
Here’s my random/geeky musing of the day––ever wish your life were an anime? This question is obviously more for my anime/manga fans out there.
I always imagine different scenarios or situations in my every day life becoming this really cute and comedic anime episode. I would think about an anime version of myself doing wacky or cute things that you would see other anime characters do.
I’m a very affectionate person by nature and love to hug my friends and family whenever I can. I like to be playful and I enjoy laughing at things. I would embody the anime character who skips happily onto a scene with hearts or flowers following wherever I went, a la Hunny-sempai from Ouran High School Host Club.
But then I also embody the silent, mysterious type who sits in the corner of the library and reads by herself. I make people wonder about who I am if they don’t know me too well. You could say I’m a combination of playful/happy/calm/silent all wrapped into one. I wonder if there is such an anime character out there.
My cousin once said I’m almost like Chiyo-chan of Azumanga Daioh. He said whatever I do or say ends up coming out cute. It’s so cute that he wants to hug or pinch me sometimes. It’s kind of like how Chiyo-chan’s classmates view her if anyone is at all familiar with the anime. Luckily, I don’t wear pigtails and I’m not as short as her. And I’m not 10, but my guy friends like to tease me about looking like a 12 year-old than an adult in her 20s.
Living a technianime life sounds more interesting and fun. It would certainly make real life less mundane. Has anyone ever thought about this? Is there an anime character you are most like?