Love Isn’t Fun Without Three

Love triangles are a common romance plot device in almost all shojo mangas or animes. Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of one series that doesn’t have a love triangle worked in there somewhere. You either have two guys vying for the affections of one girl or two girls vying for the attention of one guy.

Why have love triangles in shojo? The answer is simple, it adds drama and it caters to every girl’s or guy’s fantasy of being that one person everybody wants.

Marmalade Boy's Yuu, Miki, & Ginta

Having just one guy wooing a girl isn’t as interesting or exhilarating as adding a third person into the equation. The girl who thought no guy would want suddenly captures the attention of the popular guy in school or the guy who secretly admires her from afar but doesn’t have the guts to admit it until that same popular guy goes after her affections. Then you have a story where both guys need to bring up their A game if they want to be the winner of the main character’s heart by the end of the series.

I should be tired of the usual plot devices like this one. Most of the time a series becomes pretty predictable after reading one or two volumes of a series. You can already tell who will end up with who, and who will get their heart broken. Yet, I still find myself wanting to read further even if I already have an idea of where the romance is going. Personally, I love imagining myself in the main character’s situation. Who doesn’t want to have to fend off gorgeous men who declare their absolute love for you? Real life just isn’t as exciting as the life of a shojo heroine.

Going back to the drama part of love triangles, your heart skips a beat when either guy is trying to show the girl with actions as well as words why he may be the best candidate for her love. Sometimes it can be with a small gesture such as buying a stuffed animal the girl has been eyeing at the store but didn’t have the money to buy. Or it can be a grand gesture such as the guy grabbing the girl and kissing her on the lips in the heat of the moment. I can think of lots of examples from shojo manga and anime that does the surprise kiss move.

Alice 19th's Alice, Kyou, and Mayura: May the best girl win

Sometimes you may find more than one love triangle is going on at once in a series. Yuu Watase’s Alice 19th is a good example of this. The main heroine Alice finds herself part of or at the center of a love triangle. She is part of a love triangle involving her sister Mayura and a boy they both love named Kyou. Then you have another love triangle that forms where Alice is at the center and Kyou and another character named Frey are battling for her love.

Or make that let the best man win: Frey (left), Alice (center) & Kyou (right)

Love triangles do add something to a story. It adds conflict as well as flirts with the idea of being someone’s heart’s desire. We can’t help but get sucked into these overused plot devices because it works! Love triangles will always have one character a reader or viewer will believe the hero/heroine should end up with. It doesn’t matter if the canon couple is already set. What matters is we get to place our bets on who is most deserving of the main character’s heart. For better or for worse, love triangles let our imaginations run wild and we can pretend we are the character on the receiving end of all the attention. The high emotions, confusion, and the eventual revelations are my favorite parts about a love triangle. I’m not sure if I ever want to experience a love triangle in real life, but it makes good fiction for the readers and viewers.

A boy becomes a man: Kippei Katakura of Aishiteruze Baby

Aishiteruze Baby by Yoko Maki has been one of the many series I’ve gotten into a while ago. I’m actually one volume away from completing the entire series so I won’t do a traditional review of the series just yet. Once I buy and read the final volume, I’ll revisit the series again and review the story as a whole. I want to write about what attracted me to this particular shojo title.

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The Look of Love: A Cardcaptor Sakura Moment

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write a Valentine’s Day themed post. I may not have a Valentine of my own to share the day with, but I can indulge in the warm and fuzzy feelings of love through my favorite mangas. As you can see from the title, I have chosen to feature one moment from Cardcaptor Sakura. My favorite moment from the series has got to be the bear exchange between Sakura and Syaoran.

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Evil Possession: A glimpse into Mikage of Ceres: Celestial Legend, Volume 9

Right now I’m in the process of collecting and reading the last few volumes of Ayashi no Ceres or Ceres: Celestial Legend. I finished reading Volume 9 of the manga entitled Progenitor. If you aren’t familiar with Ceres, read the Wikipedia page here to find out more. As you get further into the series, it gets difficult to stomach a lot of the stuff that goes on in this manga series. Fushigi Yugi also had its own uncomfortable scenes to read too, but I feel that FY hasn’t made me squirm half as much as Ceres has.

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Manga Review: Wanted

I was originally thinking about doing a video game post today, but I decided to do a manga review. I haven’t done those since my review on Sailor Moon, Tokyopop vs. Kodansha. I went back to some of the numerous shojo manga I own and reread Wanted, a one volume short story by Matsuri Hino of Vampire Knight and MeruPuri fame.

Wanted is a pirate manga as Matsuri Hino describes the one volume story in her own author’s notes inside the book. She also mentions how she drew this short story manga at the same time as MeruPuri. This post contains some spoilers so I advise you to read at your own discretion.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Vol. 1, Kodansha vs. Tokyopop

As promised, I am writing my review on Sailor Moon Vol. 1. I meant to get this out last Friday, but the review went longer than I expected. This review is more of a comparison of the English translated manga done as a re-release by Kodansha Comics and the first English translated release done by Tokyopop.

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Revisiting the Sailor Moon manga

When I first saw on Amazon that the Sailor Moon manga was going to be re-released under Kodansha Comics in the USA, I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to go through the trouble of buying the whole series again. I did read somewhere on the web that Kodansha will be revamping the translations and keeping the Japanese names of all the characters and the Japanese cultural references, instead of Americanizing it for the U.S. market like the now defunct Tokyopop did.

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