[Manga Monday] Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #5 ★★★★☆

karekano5 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #5
Author: Masami Tsuda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Words: 6.1K

 

Synopsis:

Chapter 17: Miyazawa has a girls afternoon out with everyone and we get how some of the other girls met and what drew them together. They also start talking about their futures and Miyazawa realizes she has no plans for the future besides being the best at school. The chapter ends with Tsubasa revealing that her dad wants to re-marry and that she is running away to change his mind.

Chapte 18: Tsubasa tries to wheedle a way into staying at Miyazawa’s place, but one of her other friends takes control and tells her to grow up and that her dad will be coming to deal with the situation after work. He shows up and begins relating what has led up to this moment. Tsubasa ends up staying at Miyazawa’s house until things get better between Tsubasa and her dad. We are introduced to Kazuma, the son of the woman Tsubasa’s dad wants to marry. He’s the same age as Tsubasa and has his own reservations about the marriage.

Chapter 19: Tsubasa realizes she’s been acting like a spoiled brat and goes home. She tells her dad she’s ok with the re-marriage. They all get together to meet the son, for the first time. Things seem to be going well until Kazuma makes a comment about Tsubasa being in elementary school when she is actually older than him. She goes off the rails. The next day Tsubasa is being hit on by an old pervert and Kazuma comes to her rescue. They end up going to his house and have a real good bonding time. Tsubasa realizes that Kazuma comes home to an empty house every day just like her and that he understands her circumstances. She begins to realize how good having a family could be.

Chapter 20: Asaba comes to visit Miyazawa and her family while Arima is away. We get some of his backstory. Miyazawa is also starting to realize just how much she doesn’t know about Arima and it makes her feel very insecure.

Chapter 21: Miyazawa and her family go to visit her grandfather. Her father remembers her mother at that age and says Miyazawa is growing up to look just like her. Miyazawa’s father and maternal grandfather don’t get along. We get the backstory for Miyazawa’s father as he grew up without any parents and how he met Miyazawa’s mom.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a good volume. I enjoyed the various storylines about all the different families. I suspect most of my enjoyment was because the teen romance angle was almost non-existent and this was more about family relationships.

That being said, I am done with the series. Just like I can no longer eat a family sized bag of 4 Cheese Doritos (I was so sad when they stopped making that kind) like I could in my 20’s, I simply can’t read about the emotional roller coaster that is the teen life. Just like the stick in the mud that I take my life’s inspiration from, I am comfortably settled and don’t want anything unsettling me 🙂

I am thinking my next comic/manga/graphic novel read will probably either be some Asterix books or the Lodoss: Grey Witch trilogy manga.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

[Manga Monday] Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #4 ★★★☆☆

karekano4 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #4
Author: Masami Tsuda
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Words: 6.1K

 

Synopsis:

Chapter 13: We are introduced to a new character, Tsubasa. She’s been in the hospital but has had her eye on Arima for quite some time. She now vows, in true typical highschoolgirl drama fashion, to break up Miyazawa and Arima. She’s not subtle about it and Arima catches her in the act. Miyazawa realizes she is doing it because she is jealous while Arima is left wondering why his middleschool friend is acting so weird. Miyazawa is dealing with this while still being ostracized in her own classroom.

Chapter 14: Arima finally realizes something is going on between Miyazawa and all the other girls. Miyazawa makes him promise to stay out of it and let her handle the situation. Tsubasa continues her campaign to fight against Miyazawa, but all of Tsubasa’s friends start liking Miyazawa for how she handles the situation and they end up all going out for juice. Tsukino, the girl who has been uniting the class against Miyazawa, is forced to confront Miyazawa and shows her true colors. She also runs into Tsubasa who lays claim to the title of “Miyazawa’s Arch Enemy”.

Chapter 15: Several story threads about Miyazawa making both Tsubasa and Tsukino, while not exactly her friends, at least not her enemies.

Chapter 16: Arima reveals that he’s going to be super busy for the summer and won’t be able to hang out with Miyazawa for a month. Everyone gets angsty.

Extra Chapter: A story about aliens and humans and everyone accepting everyone else, blah blah blah.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh man, what do I say about this without sounding like a negative nancy?

This is a highschool romance drama written by a woman. As such, it isn’t in my usual area of enjoyment. It is meant for a person who is emotionally unsettled, or wants to re-experience that unsettled feeling again (why any adult would want to do that is beyond me). A teen or young adult will eat this up, as it will validate everything they’re experiencing. Man, I remember those days and you know what, I’m glad they are behind me. I don’t think there is anything wrong with manga like these, they just aren’t for me anymore.

I thought I could continue to read these, but I am having a much harder time than I expected. I’m going to try one more volume, but my hopes aren’t very high. I’ve outgrown these and there is no going back (thank goodness!)

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

[Manga Monday] Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #3 ★★★☆½

karekano3 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #3
Author: Masami Tsuda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Words: 6.1K

 

Synopsis:

Miyazawa takes her two younger sisters over to Arima’s house and they go nuts planting sunflowers in the big yard. Asaba walks out of the house in just a bathrobe and starts needling Miyazawa. Once he sees what her little sisters are doing though, he starts helping them out. Miyazawa and Arima discuss the recent final exams and feel like their relationship has taken a toll on their grades. The next day at school the results are posted and both have dropped in the rankings. They are called to the main office and several of the teachers tell them to stop dating and concentrate on their schoolwork.

Miyazawa breaks out into her “home mode” attitude and tells the teachers they are wrong. When they begin to remonstrate, Arima steps in and says that they’re grades will improve so there is no need to worry. Miyazawa realizes that her goals have shifted from wanting to be Number One to wanting to be a real genuine person and that Arima wants the same and is supportive of that goal. The chapter ends with Yukino’s parents (Miyazawa) being called to a parent/teacher conference at her school.

Yukino relates how her parents reacted, which was for her dad to go all gung-ho in her defense, as he and Yukino’s mom were married young. Both of her parents promise to bring weapons to the conference and “fight” for their daughter! At the conference both sets of guardians and the 2 students are there. The teacher outlines his worries and asks the guardians to step in and prevent the relationship from interfering with the students’ academic life. Yukino’s dad pretty much tells the teacher to stuff it (very politely) as their policy is to let their children choose their own path. Arima’s Aunt and Uncle also say that Arima acting like a normal teenager is actually a comfort to them and they will not interfere. Yukino and Arima apologize to the teacher for their reactions to his statement and he admits he didn’t handle things in the best way, so peace is achieved and both of the kids realize they do need to concentrate on their studies.

It is Make-Up day at school, so both Yukino and Arima have the day off. Yukino heads over to Arima’s house and gets all flustered and girly when Arima tells her that his guardians won’t be there. So when she arrives she’s prepared for some sort of seduction. Only to find Asaba in the kitched cooking and acting like Arima’s house maid. Asaba failed most of his classes but didn’t realize today was Make-Up day, so they hustle him off to school, like parents of a not-particularly bright child. They end up in Arima’s room….reading. Yukino pesters Arima until he pays attention to her and they share another kiss. Yukino feels very grown up and Arima lets her know how much self-control he exerts when around her.

The girls of Yukino’s class are discussing her and Arima and another girl starts talking about how fake Yukino is and casting doubt into the minds of the other girls about whether Yukino is actually so good. She says that Yukino has captured Arima’s heart through false pretenses and causes the girls to turn against Yukino. Tsukino (the new character) begins a campaign of smear tactics and little by little turns the class against Yukino. Tsukino was head of her class in middle grade and resents that Yukino has eclipsed her. Yukino admits to herself that it bothers her but vows to keep on going and let the chips fall where they may.

 

My Thoughts:

Reading this, I was struck by how much I actually agreed with the teacher about the relationship between Yukino and Arima. Now, I completely disagreed about how he handled things, ie, calling them into the office and forbidding them from seeing each other, but I wonder/suspect if that is more a cultural thing. Tell an American he can’t do something and chances are he’ll just tell you to go to Tartarus as he’s an Independent Entity. With the Japanese being much more Group Oriented, the behavior of the teacher makes more sense. I would have talked to the parents alone and gotten their input first and foremost. But yep, I agreed with him that putting a highschool relationship before your grades is a big no-no.

I had to laugh when Yukino went over to Arima’s and they ended up reading together. Mrs B and I do that all the time and thankfully, we’re both content in that. I think a big part of that though is that we’re mature, married and a lot more confident about the other person then when we had first gotten married. So I totally understood Yukino’s reaction to it.

The introduction of Tsukino as a character and her “snake in the grass” approach is definitely very high school drama’y. Her campaign to turn the girls against Yukino, which works and happens in like 2 days, is sad in how much truth it contains about how easily kid’s minds are manipulated. I don’t remember what happens, so I have no idea whether she’ll end up like Asaba (starting out as an enemy and turning into a friend) or if she stays a nemesis. My goodness though, makes me glad I’m not a girl.

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting but I think my one volume per month rule is helping in that regards. Not sure I could handle more than that and not burn out. My emotions, while not burning so bright, are steady. After the turbulence of my own teen and 20something years, I welcome that steadiness. I guess I am liking this series because it is helping me see how I have changed over the years and that just fascinates me!

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #2 ★★★☆½

karekano2 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #2
Author: Masami Tsuda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback Copy

 

Synopsis:

Miyazawa and Arima continue their relationship but both are still dealing with putting up a fake persona for the public to see. Arima catches Miyazawa ostensibly reading Bridges of Madison County but that is just a cover for her reading a fashion magazine. Of course, everyone also thinks they are going out as a couple but the truth is they are just friends, even while having feelings for each other.

Miyazaw has decided that she will return Arima’s confession but every time she tries to confess to him, she gets interrupted. She is also wondering if Arima still likes her and just doesn’t have the courage to tell him how she feels. Arima asks her, again, for her answer to his confession and she runs away. She realizes that she is afraid of letting someone in to her life and decides that she will answer Arima. The next day in class she holds his hand and that is her answer.

2 months pass and the school festival begins. Both Miyazaw and Arima, being the top of their class, are on committees for everything and are as busy as can be. Neither know how to deal with being so busy and having a relationship. They realize that they can’t have a “normal” relationship and so must make what they have work. Once they realize that, things start to go much smoother for them.

The next chapter introduces Hideaki Asaba, one of Arima’s friends, who is also good looking, smart and popular. Miyazawa decides to introduce herself and Asaba cuts her off sharply. A war begins between them until Arima tells Miyazaw that Asaba is just someone he talks to. Asaba and Miyazawa meet and Asaba reveals that his interest in Arima is to use him as a magnet to attract more girls, as Asaba’s dream is to have a generic harem of girls around him at all times. Asaba plays on Miyazawa’s doubt about her worthiness to be with Arima and it shows in her behavior. Arima takes Asaba to task for hurting Miyazawa. Asaba and Miyazaw make up and become mutual friends and Asaba grows up a little by giving up his dream of becoming a Harem King.

The final chapter is a review chapter of how Miyazawa and Arima met, from Arima’s perspective.

 

My Thoughts:

This is definitely a manga that I can only take in very small doses. The amount of “emotions” swirling around is akin to a hurricane. And yet, it made me remember my first time of falling in love. I was 19 and from that point on, until I met and married Mrs B, I was a maelstrom on the inside, with chaos occasionally breaking out to reveal that inner turmoil. All I can say is thank goodness we don’t remain teenagers with hormones forever. You can’t sustain that level of emotion forever without burning out.

So I guess I’m bashing on this series and praising it all at the same time?

Arima, the male main character, is definitely not your normal male. He’s one of those feel’ers and this makes him a lot more vulnerable. Being of this bent myself, I really felt bad for him even while yelling at him in my head to man up and stop whining. What he needs is a mentor and I know that never happens in this series. That could be an interesting side of things in a shojo manga.

Now Miyazawa on the other hand is everything I expect from a teen girl. Even a wicked smart, determined one. She looks at Arima and turns into butter, a little pile of sighing, melted butter I might add. I’d have thought it was over the top except Mrs B has made it known that, no, this happens. So I just accept it as one of those mysteries of life 😀

The drama has ratcheted up already, with the introduction of Asaba and the war between him and Miyazawa. Thankfully, the friendship isn’t destroyed and Asaba turns into an ally. Friendship is much more important to young people than romantic interest even if they don’t think so. I like to see friendship and romance being allies and not enemies and so far the manga-ka is doing that dance rather well.

Speaking of the manga-ka, she does a LOT in the side bars of each page. She does little stick’ish figure type drawings of herself and things she’s interested in. It is funny little things and adds to the sweet, saccharine flavor of the manga.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

[Manga Monday] Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #1

karekano1 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #1
Series: Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances #1
Author: Masami Tsuda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Yukino Miyazawa is an average girl who works excessively hard to present a perfect social image. Her true identity is discovered by her rival, Soichiro Arima who blackmails her into helping him maintain his status as the perfect student. Their interactions cause Yukino to fall in love with Soichiro who likewise, discovers his true personality under his stoic facade. Soichiro begins to express angst in his new personality, believing he will become like his abusive parents. However, Yukino comforts him and Soichiro confesses his love to her in response.

There is a smaller second story about a young woman who hides because she is afraid and a young man who accidentally gets involved in her life. She begins to learn to not be afraid and he begins to learn to think about other people instead of just brushing them aside.

 

My Thoughts:

Given that this is my third time reading this you’d think I’d remember more beyond knowing it is a highschool drama. But nope, not a bleeding thing. So this was like reading it for the first time.

First off, I appear to have a soft spot for highschool drama, even while castigating it and rolling my eyes. Otherwise I can’t explain why I enjoyed this so much. Two 15 year olds filled with young pride and angst learning to navigate Life and thinking that nobody before them has ever encountered the same horrible problems that are currently destroying their lives. Hahahahahaa.

I am not expecting to be able to make it through the whole series even while I really enjoyed this volume. The second couple’s story I think sets the theme for the whole series. The two main characters and their issues and then side stories about ancillary characters.

Not a bad way to spend an hour or so.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)