Sunday Manga Recommendations: Shoujo Showdown.

64So we all know shoujo, right? Those corny, dramatic and cliché comics you don’t dare to read in public, ‘cause god forbid someone catches you with a cutesy-cutesy book in your hand whose climax centers around our main characters holding sweaty hands. Jesus. Or atleast, this is the public perception of (one of) my favourite genres for anime and manga alike, see here two manga that have produced quite the following for fuck all reason, cheers.

Ao Haru Ride, Blue Spring Ride or Youth Ride by Sakisaki Io, who you may or may not know from the movie HAL tells the touché story of a girl who reunites with her childhood sweetheart in highschool, except that, gasp, childhood sweetheart has changed! this along with a group of misfits and the obviously neccesary love-triangles, unrequited love and drama makes for one hell of a, heh, ride.

What sets Ao Haru Ride apart from hundreds upon hundreds other shoujo manga is that Aoraido actually has a bloody good sense of direction and it knows exactly what it’s doing and where it’s going, this and a fresh narrative with a likeable cast and (somewhat) believable drama mixed with comedy guarantees you will adore this manga from the very first chapter, and makes it my favourite recent shoujo, unless you count NANA as a shoujo, but Nana is God, so that’s unfair for everyone else.

67The reason I decided to feauture both these titles in the same article apart from their popularity is their ridiculous similarities that, after not reading either of them for a week, made me forget what happened in what.

Honestly though, Hirusaka no Ryuusei or Daytime Shooting Star shows us Yamamori Mika’s brave entry for the typical love-triangle setting. And it’s literally that, a typical love-triangle: What makes people go nuts over this series apart from it’s gorgeous art are probably the characters and the label they wear, we have our country girl, mysterious bishonen 1 and goofball teacher slash love interest 2. That’s it.

Sure, sure, sure. It might give us moral lessons about friendships and the boundaries of love, but all of this is secondary, and for what it’s worth, Daytime Shooting Star starts out with a bang and then slowly but steadily spirals down to a bore of trainwreck that leaves you uninspired and unsatisfied realizing that absolutely nothing happens for 67 chapters. Look, atleast Ao Haru Ride gets enough done in half Daytime‘s lenght, meanwhile the latter dicks around just to make you go: “When is SOMETHING going to happen and WHY don’t these characters DO something?

Daytime Shooting Star is the first cocktease of a shoujo that actually made me fall for it’s trap, and leaves me tired as consequence. I suggest you read Ao Haru Ride as it is almost a safe best for you to like it, or atleast worthy to use to kill some time, meanwhile, to this date where both manga are still publishing, Daytime Shooting Star will leave you unsatisfied, eyebrow-raised and curious about the past, present and future of the corny-but-amazing shoujo genre.


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