[Newcomer] Smile at the Runway by Inoya Kotoba

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A hot new rookie on Weekly Shounen Magazine, Smile at the Runway, starts with the story of Fujito Chiyuki, an aspiring fashion model and daughter of a fledgling Modeling Agency, Mille neige. Ever since she was little, Chiyuki’s dream was to be the star model of her dad’s agency and perform at Paris Fashion Week. With great looks and a gifted environment, it seemed like she was on the right track to fulfill her dream, but she soon found herself faced with a seemingly insurmountable wall when her height stopped growing at 158cm (5’2″), hopelessly too short to be a professional model.

Although Chiyuki still kept on believing in herself for years despite everyone telling her it’s impossible, Chiyuki’s resolve starts to crumble as she enters her last year of high school. This is when she meets Tsumura Ikuto, a lame classmate with a surprising talent for designing clothes, who is also considering giving up his dream due to unfortunate circumstances. Together, they begin the journey of doing the impossible in order to realize their dreams.

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[HiddenGem] Chihaya-san wa Sonomama de Ii by Kuzushiro

From a standard 4koma food manga to an adorable slice-of-life…

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Chihaya-san wa Sonomama de Ii (Chihaya is Fine the way She is) follows the life of an average high school girl, Chihaya, who thinks she is overweight and wants to lose weight. Unfortunately, its impossible for her to keep her appetite in check, especially with his childhood friend, Shima constantly bombarding her with food. Can Chihaya resist her urge to eat and succeed in her diet?

This adorable little series starts off looking like a cute slice-of-life food manga, but slowly morphs into something more special.

Continue reading “[HiddenGem] Chihaya-san wa Sonomama de Ii by Kuzushiro”

[Newcomer] Akairo Crossroads by Hino Natsumi

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Akairo Crossroads (あかいろ交差点) is a lighthearted school-life romance about timid but friendly highschooler Keita, trying to become better friends with his classmate Tamaki who has always been cold to him ever since they met on the first day of school. When Tamaki confesses that she can see the “red string of fate” and that the reason she tries to avoid is because he is her partner, Keita pledges they will always be “just friends”…..

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[HiddenGem] Game yaru kara 100-en Kashite! by Zawa & Nakano

When retro arcade meets office romance.

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Game yaru kara 100-en Kashite! (Lend me ¥100 so I can play a game) by Nakano (art) & Zawa (story) is a cute romance/slice-of-life with retro game themes thrown in. Sugita is a handsome, skilled, newcomer at a company who gets along with everyone…. everyone except for the petite assistant manager, Yumihara, who tend to be very strict on him.

One day during his lunch break, Sugita finds a small, secluded, coffee shop named “Dead Copy” which features special tables dedicated for playing retro games. To his surprise, he also spots Yumihara completely immersed in her game like a child; opposite of the strict attitude she shows back at the office. The story follows Sugita and Yumihara’s daily encounters at the arcade cafe, and how the two’s relationship develop through their various interactions.

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[First Impression] Ichigo 100% Sequel: East Side Story, Chapter 1

Sequel to a beloved classic……. ruined?

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Ichigo 100% by Mizuki Kawashita is a beloved classic in the shonen-romance genre. It was one of my first romance series, and certainly has a special place in my heart. This is why when the news of a sequel coming came along, I had mixed feelings. While I genuinely did love Ichigo 100%, I found the end to be quite satisfying and complete. Rather than giving me excitement, the news of a sequel gave me fear about ruining my beloved childhood series. Seeing Suzuka get butchered by Seo Koji by the creation of Fuuka certainly didn’t help.

Well, now that the first chapter came out (not English), here is what I thought about the series so far.

Warning: Spoilers for both Ichigo 100% and Ch.1 of the spinoff  ahead. 

Continue reading “[First Impression] Ichigo 100% Sequel: East Side Story, Chapter 1”

[Newcomer] Hibiki – Shousetsuka ni Naru Houhou by Yanamoto Mitsuharu

Winner of Manga Taisho 2017 is a captivating tale of a girl with immense potential

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The surprise winner of prestigious Manga Taisho 2017, Hibiki – Shousetsuka ni naru houhou, is a compelling story about a girl setting up to become a revolutionary writer. Set in the modern age where publishing industry is shrinking drastically every year, ordinary(?) high school girl, Hibiki, sends a short manuscript to a publishing company, which comes into the attension of a young editor, Hanai. Hanai is immediately convinced that Hibiki has the potential to not only be a successful writer, but one that can usher in a new era of japanese literature.

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[HiddenGem] Misoshiru de Kanpai! by Sasano Sai

A hearth-warming tale of two teens learning about the different flavors of miso-soup.

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Misoshiru de Kanpai! (味噌汁でカンパイ!) is a heartwarming slice-of-life & cooking(?) manga about an average high school boy, Zen, and his childhood friend & next-door neighbor, Yae. After learning that Zen relies on pre-made food for breakfast, Yae decides to start cooking breakfast for Zen everyday. Yae’s dream is to fill the void of Zen’s deceased mom and become the perfect “mother”. Disappointed by Yae’s lack of romantic interest but happy to see his long-time crush coming to cook him breakfast,  Zen gladly accepts their new morning routine of exploring different kinds of Miso soup.

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