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Manga Monday- Mahoromatic

Manga Monday- Mahoromatic

Mahoromatic is a Japanese manga series about a female android former soldier, Mahoro. Driven by guilt from her actions during her combat days, she decides to dedicate the rest of her life to serving the son of her late commander as a maid.

Characters

Mahoro Andou (CODE: V1046-R MAHORO)
is an android created by VESPER to fight an alien invasion by Saint during the 1980s. She is fast and immensely powerful, and is considered to be a formidable opponent by her enemies. Being an android, she has a limited life span. At the beginning of the story, she has just 398 days to live, and is given the choice to do anything she wants by VESPER. She chooses to become a maid for Suguru Misato: his father was her superior officer who was also killed (as collateral damage) when she killed an alien who had taken him hostage. Mahoro has a very sunny disposition and is friendly to just about everyone—she becomes a welcome regular at the market and becomes famous at Suguru’s school when it is made known that she is working for him. She also quickly becomes an excellent cook, able to emulate and recreate dishes from the best restaurants. She is also quite devoted to Suguru, with feelings for him reminiscent of both a doting mother and a shy girlfriend. She is, however, extremely hostile towards anything perverted. A good portion of the story’s humour comes from Mahoro chasing after Suguru’s secret stash of pornographic magazines which, given her training, she is easily able to find. She is well known for this attitude from her catch phrase: “Ecchi na no wa ikenai to omoimasu” (“I think that dirty thoughts are bad”). Mahoro and Shikijo-sensei’s dislike of one another stems from the fact that Shikijo is constantly trying to engage in an illicit relationship with Suguru. As such, Mahoro is very protective of Suguru when it comes to Shikijo’s advances towards him. Mahoro is very concerned about appearances, refusing to wear normal clothes given her position as a maid. She is also obsessed with her small breasts, and some stories actually deal with her rivalry with Shikijo (who has very large breasts), as well as her techniques and requests to VESPER for larger breasts. Mahoro retains access to many of her weapons and gadgets from her VESPER days, and is able to pull out her gun at any time. She also has access to the “silpheed”, which when worn on her back allows her to fly, as well as her support mech, Slash. She is able to call both the Silpheed and Slash at a moment’s notice from the badge she wears on her maid uniform. In addition, she also has access to a fully equipped and armed BMW sports convertible and MV Agusta motorcycle. Mahoro was created using Saint alien technology, giving her a true soul and a pure heart. Later in the series it is revealed that Mahoro is directly connected to the memories of Matthew, who on some occasions supplies Mahoro with advice. She had no family name until the name Andou (short for android) was created by Suguru.

Suguru Misato
is a junior high school student living in Tokyo. He lost both his parents earlier—his mother (who was half Saint), and years later, his father. While he believed his father was killed in an accident during a business trip, he was actually a commander (and Mahoro’s commanding officer) in VESPER and was killed-in-action during the alien war. Although relatives offered to take him in, he refused and lived alone prior to Mahoro’s arrival. He is smart and has an IQ of 130. He makes a favorable impression on members of the opposite sex. Suguru had a whole stash of dirty magazines which were all thrown away when Mahoro first arrived. Although he continues to try to smuggle them in and hide them, Mahoro will often find them—leading to comical confrontations between the two. Suguru uses a whole range of creative tactics to conceal his magazines, and is capable of running away very fast when being chased. Suguru hired a maid because of the filthy state of his house. He was expecting an older woman, and Mahoro’s arrival completely surprised him. At the end of the series Mahoro and Suguru have fallen in love.

Minawa Andou 
is first introduced in Mahoromatic ~Something More Beautiful~. Clumsy and anemic, she ends up living with Mahoro and Suguru and going to school under the pretext of being Mahoro’s younger sister. She has a habit of apologizing for everything she does, even if she has done nothing wrong. She claims to be a runaway member of The Management, but is later revealed to have been sent to gather information on VESPER’s battle android Mahoro after being promised a heart in return. Mahoro, however, convinces her that the fact that she can cry means she already has a heart. Suguru’s friend Hamaguchi develops a crush on her, and, despite her shortcomings, it is later insinuated that they form a relationship. It was later revealed that Minawa is not an android but a cyborg, and her body is in horrible shape due to all the experiments performed on her. Near the end of the series she leaves earth so she can get treatment at Saint’s home world. At the end of the anime, it is suggested she was completely healed and is with Hamaguchi. She had no name until one was created by Suguru, so she could pretend to be Mahoro’s little sister.

Slash
is known as a “support mech” and assists Mahoro during combat. He has the form of a panther and can be summoned at any time by Mahoro. Although he can speak, his mouth never moves except during times when he expresses emotions. Although used for combat in the past, he often now acts as a guard dog around the Misato residence and a friend to the Misato’s dog—a role he was not thrilled to take in the beginning. He is friendly but tough and will lend a helping paw when asked. Although Mahoro is Slash’s master, he will now take commands from Suguru: since Suguru is Mahoro’s employer, he is also her master and thus Slash’s master as well. Near the end of the anime series, he was used to wipe out Management and was last seen standing at the side of the fallen Vesper leader. However,(in the manga) he firmly stood by Mahoro’s side, as she uses her final powers to destroy the asteroid to save mankind.

 

Manga Monday- Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Manga Monday- Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Space Pirate Captain Harlock  is a manga series written and illustrated by Leiji Matsumoto. It was serialized in Play Comic from 1977 to 1979, with the chapters collected into five tankōbon volumes by Akita Shoten. The series follows the titular Captain, an outcast turned space pirate after he rebelled against Earth’s Government and humanity’s general apathy. On August 2014, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Matsumoto’s debut, he launched a retelling manga, Captain Harlock: Dimensional Voyage, illustrated by Kōichi Shimahoshi, which features some significant plot differences. Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the manga in North America.

Plot

In the future, in 2977 AD, humanity has achieved a vast starfaring civilization, but is slowly and steadily succumbing to ennui or despair, often due to defeat and subjugation by a foreign invader. Rising against the general apathy, Harlock denies defeat and leads an outlaw crew aboard his starship Arcadia to undertake daring raids against Earth’s oppressors. Their primary oppressors are the Mazone, a race of organic plant-based alien women who explored Earth in the mythic past and are now back to reclaim it.

Characters

The Captain

Harlock is the archetypal romantic hero, a space pirate with an individualist philosophy of life. He is as noble as he is taciturn, rebellious, stoically fighting against totalitarian regimes, whether they be earthborn or alien. In his own words, he “fight[s] for no one’s sake, only for something deep in [his] heart.”

Crew of the Arcadia

Tadashi Daiba 
is the audience surrogate, the viewer’s gateway to Harlock’s world. The 14-year-old son of a scientist who was killed by the Mazone, he joined the Arcadia crew following the death of his father. He lost his mother in a disaster on the Neptunian moon Triton when her pleas for help were ignored by the indifferent government. Tadashi is sometimes in conflict with Harlock early in the series, but he would become a trusted part of Harlock’s senior staff as the series progressed.

Kei Yuki 
A young human woman with blonde hair who was already part of Harlock’s crew at the time Tadashi came aboard. She first met Harlock when he raided a ship that was transporting her back to Earth as a prisoner after she had assaulted a military officer who had belittled her father’s death. There is a slight intimation that she harbors a crush on Harlock (though this would be made more definite in the later SSX series), and initially seems inclined romantically towards Tadashi Daiba, though the two eventually settle into a platonic friendship. She is the Arcadia‘s chief navigator and science officer and the second-youngest crew member after Tadashi.

Miime 
A mysterious brooding female alien with blue skin and body-length blue hair. Like all of her race, Miime has no mouth or other facial features outside of almond shaped yellow eyes. Like others of her race, she uses alcohol as a non-intoxicating foodstuff and uses her psychic and psionic powers as a means of reducing pain of injuries. Originally from the planet Jura, she became the last of her species after being saved by Harlock and crew. In gratitude, Miime became part of the crew of the Arcadia and pledged her life to Harlock’s support and safety, becoming the pirate’s nearest companion. Having no mouth, she can still “speak” and still absorb liquids through the general mouth area. Although not provided an official position aboard the Arcadia, she will help Doctor Zero tend to injured crew members in times of crisis. Her empathic nature makes her a valuable counselor (for example, when she consoles Miss Masu following the loss of the latter’s estranged fiancé) and is capable of quelling pain/anxiety of all onboard by the strumming of her lap harp. In the 1999 Harlock Saga OVA, she is refashioned to appear as a more humanoid woman and provided a different back story, making her a member of the Nibelung clan; here, her preferred musical instrument is the pipe organ and somehow possesses the ability to control time. In 2002’s Endless Odyssey OVA her original look and history return. Miime is depicted as more distinctly alien but with a face featuring a mouth in the 2013 feature film.

Yattaran 
Harlock’s first mate on the Arcadia, he is usually portrayed as comic relief in the series, but when a battle against alien threats become imminent he will be at the captain’s side. He is also a brilliant mathematician and has a major interest in building plastic model kits of ships (he was even seen building a scale model of the Arcadia in one episode). Yattaran is based on manga artist Kaoru Shintani (best known for Area 88) who, in his early career worked for Matsumoto building models for reference.

Doctor Zero 
Chief Medical Officer. Like Yattaran, he serves as comic relief when he argues with the ship’s cook, Miss Masu, over his raids of Masu’s kitchen to get his beverage of choice, sake. He has a pet cat called Mi-kun (named Miaou in the French version), which he adopted after the then-kitten’s mother, which was injured and apparently dying, brought him to Zero’s office, and was later brought with Zero on board the Arcadia. Doctor Zero’s cat, Mi-kun also appears in Space Battleship Yamato as Doctor Sado’s cat. Mi-kun also makes on-off appearances in several other anime such as Queen Millennia and Galaxy Express 999. Mi-kun is based on Matsumoto’s own pet cat, the latest of which is named Mi-kun III.

Maji
Chief Engineer.

Miss Masu
Chief steward. Masu Tsunajima is a cantankerous spinster who is intolerant of her kitchen being raided by Doctor Zero or his cat. She is also a comic relief character in the series, although her back story had her intended to marry her fiancé, Gozo Otowara, before circumstances prevented the wedding from taking place. Masu believed she had been stood up, until she learned the truth years later and reconciled with Gozo in a brief communication before Gozo was killed by the Mazone.

Tochirō Ōyama
Harlock’s old friend and chief builder of the Arcadia. He died of illness prior to the events of the series, but his consciousness survives within the ship’s computer.

 

Manga Monday- Cells at Work!

Manga Monday- Cells at Work!

Cells at Work! is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akane Shimizu. It features the anthropomorphized cells of a human body, with the two main protagonists being a red blood cell, and a neutrophil she frequently encounters. The manga was serialized in Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Sirius starting in March 2015.

Manga

The manga was launched in Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Sirius in March 2015. Kodansha has collected the manga into five tankōbon volumes as of October 2017. The manga received a spinoff in the May 2017 issue of Nakayoshi called Hataraku Saikin by Haruyuki Yoshida, which follows the lives of good and bad bacteria in the intestines. Another spinoff, titled Hatarakanai Saibō by Moe Sugimoto, about immature red blood cells (erythroblasts) that do not want to work, was launched in the September 2017 issue of Monthly Shōnen Sirius. Kodansha USA announced that it had licensed Cells at Work! in North America on March 21, 2016. The manga is also licensed in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing. The manga received another spinoff titled Hataraku Saibō Black, set in a “black” environment of a human body suffering an unhealthy lifestyle, that runs in Weekly Morning since June 7, 2018. It is written by Shigemitsu Harada, with illustrations by Issei Hatsuyoshi and supervision by Shimizu.

Plot

The story takes place inside the human body, where trillions of anthropomorphic cells each do their job to keep the body healthy. The series largely focuses on two such cells; a rookie red blood cell, AE3803, who often gets lost during deliveries, and a relentless white blood cell, U-1146, who fights against any germs that invade the body.

 

Manga Monday- Mob Psycho 100

Manga Monday- Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 is a Japanese webmanga created by ONE, which began publication on Ura Sunday on April 18, 2012, and concluded on December 22, 2017. A Chinese translation started publication in Taiwan on April 16, 2014. It has been available online on Shogakukan’s mobile app MangaONE since December 2014. Dark Horse Comics has licensed the series for English publication. In 2017, the manga won the 62nd Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shōnen category. A spin-off manga series titled Reigen launched in the MangaONE mobile app on March 19, 2018.

Plot

Shigeo Kageyama is an average middle school boy, nicknamed Mob (meaning “background character”) for lacking a sense of presence. Although he looks like an inconspicuous person, he is in fact a powerful esper. As he grows older, Mob realizes that his psychic powers are strengthening and becoming more dangerous. To avoid his power getting out of control, he constantly lives a life under an emotional shackle. Mob wants to live a normal life just like the others, but a barrage of trouble keeps coming after him. With the suppressed emotions growing inside Mob little by little, his power threatens to break through its limits.

Characters

Shigeo Kageyama 
is an eighth grade Esper with powerful psychic abilities. His helmet hairstyle is his defining physical feature. He is not good at reading the atmosphere, and since childhood, has rarely felt or displayed intense emotion. He thinks his power is not necessary in his life, so he avoids using it. He suppresses his emotions to keep his power in control, but when the percentage of his accumulated feelings reaches 100, he is overcome by the strongest emotion he is feeling at the time and unleashes the full extent of his powers. He works at Reigen’s spirit counsel for 300 yen an hour. When he was asked to join the Telepathy Club so they wouldn’t be disbanded, he was introduced to the Body Improvement Club, which he then joined to become popular, in order to impress his secret love. He is also credited as Salt Middle School’s urabanchō (裏番長 is roughly translated as “secret school gang leader”) known as White T Poison but this fact remains unknown to many including himself. Shigeo also possesses an unknown power as explained by the narrator during his battle with Teruki which far surpasses even the height of his abilities, but is uncontrollable and only awakens when unconscious.
Arataka Reigen  
Mob’s master, a self-proclaimed psychic who has his own spirit counsel (the “Talk About Spirits Agency”), which is cheap compared to competitors. He wasn’t getting much business, but after setting up a homepage on the internet, the number of assignments has increased. He is essentially a con artist and excels in persuasion, speech, and perception, as well as massage and whack-a-mole. He is clever and agile, claiming to have a greenbelt of Shaolin boxing. He is very afraid of cockroaches and likes dogs. Reigen solves his clients’ problems with a variety of skills (including Reigen’s “secret technique”); if that doesn’t work, he’ll call in Mob to deal with it. Even though he is a fraud, he treats Mob’s inner turmoil very seriously, and gives him pertinent suggestions. For better or worse, he is Mob’s mentor.
Dimple 
An upper class evil spirit, devious and sly, characterized by the circular blush on his cheeks. In order to become a god worshiped by people, he established a religion/cult called (LOL), which was dissolved by Mob. After his defeat, his power fell off remarkably, and Mob came to regard him as reasonably harmless. Dimple thinks Mob might be a great springboard to godhood, so he stayed with Mob in order to exploit him, however this plan failed. Later in the series, he attempts the same thing with Mob’s brother, Ritsu. Dimple claims to be Mob’s partner. He can possess the bodies of others and release the full potential of his host, but he tries to avoid breaking the host’s body.
Ritsu Kageyama  
Mob’s younger brother, grade 7. He is clever and competent, excelling at both academic and athletic performance. Having a handsome face, he is popular among girls. He is also a member of the Student Council. The only thing he’s lacking is psychic power. Because Mob is a strong Esper and Ritsu witnessed his immense power while growing up, Ritsu has always had an inferiority complex and an obsessive longing for psychic power of his own. He eventually developed his own psychic powers and became a fairly powerful esper but not as powerful as his big brother, as the strength of Ritsu’s psychic abilities are tied to his feelings of grief and guilt. After his abilities first awaken he allows Dimple to possess him in order to quickly gain control of his power, but ends up attracting the attention of Claw.
Teruki Hanazawa   
Black Vinegar Middle School’s “ura banchou” (“hidden boss”), known to most as Teru. Also a strong Esper, he originally held scorn for people without psychic power, calling them “commoners.” Accustomed to using his power freely in daily life, be it exams or sports, he excels at it all. Coupled with his handsome looks, he is very popular. He’ll do a pigeon-toed pose when he fights seriously. After he is lectured and defeated by Mob, his perspective on psychic power changes, and he becomes more friendly to others. Teru later becomes the mentor for several low-leveled psychics that were captured by Claw. Teru always wanted to hang out with Mob and tries his best to be more kind and understanding to the people around him.

Claw

Touichirou Suzuki 
The leader of Claw. Touichirou is a ruthless and cunning man who founded Claw for the sole purpose of world domination and use everyone he can to achieve this goal. Being an incredibly powerful psychic on par with Mob, he seeks to put the rest of humanity under his thumb. Touichirou is not entirely without a heart, however, as he also seeks to find his ex-wife who left him many years ago.
Shou Suzuki 
The son of Touichirou Suzuki. Initially thought to be some random trainer sent to the 7th division from Claw’s HQ, he is revealed to have been scouting potential psychics for some unknown reason. Shou is an extremely powerful psychic, capable of easily smashing Ishiguro’s gravity orbs with little effort. Shou states that he can always find a way to deal with the psychic powers of his opponents. One of Shou’s most notable techniques allows him to refract light around him, rendering him invisible to the naked eye.

 

Manga Monday- Tokyo Mew Mew

Manga Monday- Tokyo Mew Mew

Tokyo Mew Mew is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from September 2000 to February 2003, and later published in seven tankōbon volumes by Kodansha from February 2001 to April 2003. It focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of endangered animals which gives them special powers and allows them to transform into “Mew Mews.” Led by Ichigo Momomiya, the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to “reclaim” it.

Well received by English-language readers, several volumes of the manga series appeared in the Top 50 sales lists for graphic novels in their respective months of release. Critics praised the manga as a cute and entertaining series with free-flowing style and character designs. à la mode received praise as a good continuation of the series, but was also criticized for offering nothing new.

Plot

In Tokyo, Japan, a young girl named Ichigo Momomiya attends an endangered species exhibit with her “crush” Masaya Aoyama. After an earthquake, Ichigo and four other girls are bathed in a strange light. A cat appears before Ichigo, then merges with her. The next day, she begins acting like a cat and making cat puns. After meeting Ryô Shirogane and Keiichirô Akasaka, Ichigo learns that she was infused with the DNA of the Iriomote cat. Ryou and Keiichirou explain that this allows her to transform into Mew Ichigo, a powerful heroic cat girl. She is ordered to defeat Chimera Animas—alien parasites which infect animals and turn them into monsters. Ryou and Keiichirou instruct Ichigo to find the four other girls from the exhibit—the remaining Mew Mews.

The first Mew Mew Ichigo encounters is Minto Aizawa, a spoiled, wealthy girl and ballerina who is infused with the genes of the blue lorikeet; Retasu Midorikawa, a shy but smart girl who endures constant bullying from three girls and absorbs the genes of the finless porpoise; a hyper and yet young girl named Bu-Ling Huang who receives the genes of the golden lion tamarin; and Zakuro Fujiwara, a professional actress and model infused with the genes of the gray wolf.

The five Mew Mews battle the Chimera Animas and their alien controllers Quiche, Pie and Tart. Quiche falls in love with Ichigo where he tries to gain her love despite the fact that he is trying to eliminate the other Mew Mews. Pie and Tart later join Quiche in trying to destroy the Mew Mews.

As the fighting intensifies, the Mew Mews are tasked with finding “Mew Aqua”, a material created from pure water that contains immense power for combating the alien attacks and can be sensed by the Mew Mews. During a battle with Quiche at an aquarium, Ichigo is in danger of losing when the mysterious Blue Knight appears and rescues her. He returns periodically throughout the series, protecting Ichigo from various dangers. It is later revealed that the Blue Knight is in fact Masaya. Shortly after this discovery, Masaya collapses and transforms again. This time, he transforms into Deep Blue, the alien leader who wants to destroy humanity. After explaining to Ichigo that Masaya was a false form for temporary use, Deep Blue attacks the Mew Mews. Pie and Tart try to stop the other mew mews while Ichigo goes after Deep Blue. He and Quiche battle and Deep Blue wins. Masaya’s personality briefly reappears and he uses the Mew Aqua inside Deep Blue to save Ichigo and Tokyo, killing himself in the process. Crying over his body, Ichigo pours her power into Masaya to save his life, losing her own in the process. Masaya kisses her, changing her back to a human and revives her. Ryou gives Pie the remaining Mew Aqua to save the aliens’ world, after which Quiche, Pie, and Tart say their goodbyes and return to their own world.

Sequel

In the two-volume sequel Tokyo Mew Mew à La Mode, Ichigo and Masaya move to England to study endangered species. The remaining Mew Mews continue to eliminate the Chimera Animas left behind by the aliens. They face a new threat in the form of the Saint Rose Crusaders: humans with special powers who desire to conquer the world and create a utopia while taking over the remaining Chimera Animas. Berry Shirayuki becomes the sixth Mew Mew and temporarily takes Ichigo’s place as the leader. Berry is the first Mew Mew to be infused with the DNA of two endangered species, the Andean mountain cat and the Amami rabbit. As one of the strongest Mew Mews, Berry is targeted by two of the Crusaders, who attack her at school. Ichigo returns to provide assistance during this battle. For their final attack, two Crusaders hypnotize the citizens of Tokyo and set them against the Mew Mews. Berry and her childhood friend Tasuku Meguro use their new-found feelings of love to reverse the hypnosis and cause a change of heart in the Crusaders.

 

Manga Monday- Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Manga Monday- Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is a finished manga series written and illustrated by Miki Yoshikawa. The series has been published by Kodansha in their Weekly Shonen Magazine since February 22, 2012 to February 22, 2017. The series has been licensed in Chinese by the Taiwanese publishing company Tong Li. On October 26, 2013, Crunchyroll announced a partnership with Kodansha where it would distribute chapters digitally to 170 countries. The series has been licensed for North American release by Kodansha USA, who began releasing the series in 2015. The series concluded in February 2017 with 28 compiled volumes. It concluded on February 22, 2017 after running for exactly 5 years.

Plot

Ryū Yamada is known as a delinquent in his high school; he has been bored of classes after one year of attending school. One day, he accidentally falls from a flight of stairs onto Urara Shiraishi, the ace student of the school. Yamada wakes up to find that he has swapped bodies with her. The two try to reverse the change and discover that kissing triggers the body swap. On the suggestion of student council vice-president Toranosuke Miyamura, they revive the Supernatural Studies club. The supernatural-phenomenon-obsessed Miyabi Itō soon joins the club. The club encounters other “witches” with different powers that are activated with a kiss. A transfer student, Kentarō Tsubaki, becomes a part of the club after nearly causing a fire to the old schoolhouse. Upon discovering the identity of the seventh witch, Yamada supposedly has his memories of the witches erased, but it instead affects the witches and the students involved. While the student council tries to impede his progress, Yamada restores the memories of the witches with a kiss, and gathers the seven witches for a ceremony where he wishes for the powers to go away. He confesses his love to Urara and they become a couple.
He is recruited to the new student council where he learns that he still has his witch copying power, but that there are more witches. Although the student council tries to shield each other from the powers while discovering and allying with the witches, they find themselves facing opposition from students controlled by the Japanese chess club, which has male students with new kinds of witch powers. The student council receives a vote of no confidence and must face a recall election. In the process of infiltrating the Japanese chess club, Yamada learns of a witch who was connected to his past. He works a deal with childhood friend-turned-rival Ushio Igarashi where he wishes for his memories to return; in exchange, Ushio would take seventh witch Nancy’s ability. When the Japanese chess club continues to manipulate the campaign, Yamada uses his copied seventh witch power to erase the recent events, but Ushio beats him to the punch and they are both forgotten by the students.
Yamada returns to the Supernatural Studies club as the school has to deal with new witches following the new school year. He also learns there are gaps in his and his schoolmates’ memories of what happened at the end of his first school year, including those of whom he was dating at the time. Yamada then tries to find out the truth of what happened. He ultimately gathers the male witches to hold a ceremony to restore everyone’s memories. As he goes through his senior year of high school, he plans to apply to a prestigious university. However, when Urara suddenly disappears from his life along with the witches powers and everyone else’s memories of her, Yamada discovers she was the original witch. Urara had agreed to the witch powers in order to have a relationship with Yamada, but on the condition that her memories of him to be erased again when she leaves school. However, when she returns at graduation, Yamada finds a way to get her to remember again.
Ten years later, Yamada has become a successful businessman and adult who is looked up to by his coworkers and keeps in touch with his high school friends, but has yet to propose to Urara. The two get married and some years later, share their story with their two children.

 

Manga Monday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Manga Monday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Wolf Girl and Black Prince is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Ayuko Hatta.

Plot

Erika Shinohara is a high school student who desperately wants to fit in a clique so she would not become lonely. However, because her clique consists of girls who have boyfriends, she has to resort to tell lies about having one herself. To make them more authentic, Erika takes a photo of a random guy in the street. Unfortunately, the guy, Kyoya Sata, turns out to be the most popular boy from her school. Erika asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, which he agrees to under one condition: that she become his “Wolf Girl” by acting like a pet to him.

To her dismay, Erika discovers that Kyoya is far more dark-hearted than the “princely” personality he feigns towards others; he frequently gives snarks, insults, and generally has a cynical view of the world. Despite this, Erika is slowly attracted and eventually falls in love with him. Kyoya in turn softens and finds out that he is attracted to her as well, something that is cemented when Erika quits being the Wolf Girl after a misunderstanding, which he responds by “promoting” her to become his actual girlfriend.

Erika and Kyoya go through their high school years as a couple while having to face many challenges, including love rivals for each other, misunderstandings, and jealousy. They also learn to understand and change for the benefit of each other. In the process, they befriend three people who form a part of a group: Erika’s self-reliant best friend, Ayumi Sanda; Kyoya’s hot-blooded best friend, Takeru Hibiya; and the flamboyant Nozomi Kamiya, who becomes their classmate during their second year. Near the end of the series, the couple also have to face the truth of a long-distance relationship when Erika has to move to Kyoto to attend a vocational school for glass making; the two ultimately decide on working it out somehow.
Seven years after graduation, the group have attained each of their preferred professions, with Erika herself becoming a glass maker. She has also married Kyoya, with whom she has a daughter, Yuina.

 

Manga Monday- Pandora Hearts

Manga Monday- Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts is a shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Jun Mochizuki. Individual chapters were serialized in Monthly GFantasy between May 2006 and March 2015, with bound volumes published by Square Enix. The series ended with twenty-four volumes having been released in Japan. It was originally licensed for an English language release by Broccoli Books, but was later dropped. It was relicensed by Yen Press. The eighth volume of Pandora Hearts was ranked 21st on the Tohan charts between March 24 and 30, 2009, and 19th between March 31 and April 6, 2009. Volume nine was ranked number one between July 27 and August 2.

Plot

Oz is the heir to the Vessalius house, one of the Four Great Dukedoms given excessive power by the country’s royalty. He lives a luxurious life alongside his younger sister Ada and valet and best friend Gilbert. This extravagant lifestyle is only diminished by the constant absence of Oz’s father Xai, who decided Oz and Ada should be raised by their uncle Oscar when they were still babies. When Oz goes to his Coming-of-Age Ceremony, he meets Sharon Rainsworth and her ominous servant Xerxes Break. Everything appears normal until the Coming-of-Age Ceremony rituals are completed and the giant clock that hasn’t worked in a century moves. Suddenly, a group of people in red cloaks known as the Baskervilles proceed to reveal themselves. The Baskervilles say Oz must be dragged into a supernatural prison called Abyss where monsters called Chains live, a place previously believed to have only existed in fairy tales. The Baskervilles then force Oz into the Abyss, claiming his existence to be a sin, although Oz is clueless as to the true meaning behind these words and the desire to acquire it becomes a driving force for the rest of the series.

Trapped in the Abyss, Oz finds out he can make contracts with Chains by drinking their blood. He does so with a Chain named Alice, infamously known as the Bloody Black Rabbit (or B-Rabbit for short), in order to escape the prison. By the time they escape from the Abyss, ten years have already passed. He is taken under the care of Sharon and Break, who he discovers are members of a Chain-research organization called Pandora that was established a century ago after a disaster known as the Tragedy of Sablier (in which the entire city of Sablier fell into the Abyss) by the Four Great Dukedoms. Wanting to understand why his existence is supposedly a sin, Oz helps Sharon and Break in their investigation in regards to the Intention of the Abyss, the ruler of the Abyss. They have the help of Alice and adult Gilbert, who has now been adopted into the Nightray dukedom and made a contract with the family’s chain, Raven. As they investigate, they learn that Alice, Gilbert, and Gilbert’s odd younger brother Vincent were involved with the Tragedy of Sablier. Additionally, they come into contact with the soul of Jack Vessalius, the legendary hero of the Tragedy of Sablier who prevented the entire world from being dragged into the Abyss after such a thing happened to Sablier. Jack was also the one who established Pandora. In the current time, he lay dormant in Oz’s body. Jack reveals that the one behind the Tragedy of Sablier was Glen Baskerville, the head of Baskervilles and his best friend.

Following a meeting with Duke Rufus Barma, Break reveals he became an illegal contractor thirty years prior and has met the Intention of the Abyss, who is in fact Alice’s twin sister. Duke Barma reveals that, according to his ancestor Arthur Barma’s memoirs, Jack has sealed Glen’s soul by placing it within his own mutilated body, split into five sealing stones. Following the destruction of two of the five sealing stones, Oz and Duke Barma trick foreign noble Isla Yura into conducting a second Coming-of-Age Ceremony for the former in his mansion, wherein one of the sealing stones is located. However, in the middle of the party, Yura and his sect start killing the guests in an attempt to reenact the Tragedy of Sablier. Although Oz and his friends manage to stop Yura’s cult from succeeding in their efforts, the sealing stone is destroyed by the Baskervilles and Gilbert’s adoptive younger brother, Elliot Nightray, is killed. This leads to Elliot’s valet Leo being taken away by Vincent, who reveals that Leo holds Glen Baskerville’s soul within him, and thus is the next successor of Baskerville clan. Blaming himself for Elliot’s death, Leo accepts his role as Glen Baskerville in order to destroy the Intention of the Abyss.

The Baskervilles and Pandora clash as Leo attacks the latter. Upon destroying the fourth sealing stone, the fourth seal is revealed to contain Glen’s head rather than Jack’s. Duke Barma then declares he has deciphered an entire code within Arthur Barma’s memoirs, which, once decoded, reveal Jack is actually the one who caused the Tragedy of Sablier. Oz then witnesses Jack’s memories. It is revealed from such that Jack’s motivation for instigating the Tragedy was to merge the world with the Abyss and be reunited with Lacie, who was the younger sister of the previous Glen (originally known as Oswald), as well as Alice and the Intention of the Abyss’s mother. Gilbert is also revealed to be a Baskerville who was originally chosen to be the next Glen a century ago. Following this revelation, Oz learns that he is actually the real B-Rabbit and used to be a sentient but still lifeless black rabbit doll that belonged to Lacie until she left him in the care of the Core of the Abyss, of whom gave him life. During the Tragedy of Sablier, Oz was turned into the most powerful Chain in existence, capable of destroying the world, by the Intention of the Abyss in order to help Jack fulfill his goal of plunging the entire world into the Abyss. Meanwhile, Oswald takes over Leo’s body and decides to go back into the past to kill Lacie before she met Jack, which would prevent the birth of the Intention of the Abyss, Oz, and Jack’s complete slippage of sanity following Lacie’s death, thus averting the Tragedy.

Accepting his real origin, Oz decides to prevent Oswald from changing the past with the help of his friends. They come up with a plan to stop the world from falling into the Abyss without changing the past by destroying the Intention of the Abyss’ body. Oz’s uncle Oscar Vessalius dies on their quest, as well as Break. Traveling back one hundred years into the past during the Tragedy, Alice tries to convince the Core of the Abyss to cut her ties with her twin sister while Oz tries to convince Oswald to reconsider altering the past and focus on helping them stop Jack instead. Alice’s words causes the Core to go berserk out of fear of being left alone, which results with the dimensions distorting even more and Oz and the rest being sent further back into the past, before Oswald and Lacie became Baskervilles. In the end, Oswald can’t bring himself to kill his sister and passes on, returning control to Leo. Using Oz’s illegal contractor seal, they reach the Core of the Abyss and manage to convince the Core to cut her ties with the Intention of the Abyss and restore the world back to normal. Oz and Alice pass away with hopeful dispositions to ensure the safety and security of the world, Gilbert promising them that he will wait for them until they are reincarnated and he can see them again. After the incident, Pandora is disbanded, the Baskervilles establish a new bond with the Core of the Abyss, and Sharon and the rest who have survived move on with their lives. Approximately a century later, Vincent brings the reincarnated Oz and Alice to Gilbert before dying in his brother’s arms. Gilbert and Oz both begin crying upon seeing each other for the first time in a hundred years, and Gilbert happily welcomes him and Alice back.

 

Manga Monday- Noragami

Manga Monday- Noragami

Noragami is a Japanese manga series by Adachitoka. It began serialization in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Magazine in January 2011’s issue. The series has been collected into eighteen tankōbon volumes as of February 2017.

Manga

Noragami started as a manga series, authored by Adachitoka and published by Kodansha. The series premiered in Monthly Shōnen Magazine‘s January 2011 issue, released on December 6, 2010, and has been compiled into seventeen tankōbon volumes between July 15, 2011 and July 15, 2016. The ninth volume was released simultaneously with a limited edition, bundled with a drama CD. Volumes 10 and 11 were released simultaneously with limited editions, each containing an anime episode on DVD. Extra chapters of the series have been published in the spin-off publication, Monthly Shōnen Magazine + since 2011 and as of November 15, 2013, they have been compiled into one volume under the title Noragami ShūishūBoth the main series and spin-off series have been licensed in North America by Kodansha USA, under the title Noragami: Stray God and Noragami: Stray Stories respectively. The first volume of Noragami: Stray God was released on September 2, 2014, with 17 volumes released as of October 25, 2016. The first volume of Noragami: Stray Stories was released in December 2015.

Noragami was the 14th top selling manga series in Japan during the first half of 2014.

Plot

Hiyori Iki is a normal middle school student until she was involved in a bus accident while trying to protect a stranger. This incident causes her soul to frequently slip out of her body, and she becomes aware of the existence of two parallel worlds: the Near Shore, where regular humans and creatures reside, and the Far Shore, where demons and human souls linger. Through her soul, she meets the strange, nameless god without a shrine, Yato. Yato is determined to make a name for himself out there by accepting any wishes for 5 yen, including Hiyori’s to fix her body. Along with Yato’s Regalia — a weapon from a human soul named by the god in question — Yukine, the trio go through many adventures struggling with their friendship, identity and pasts.

 

Manga Monday- We Were There

Manga Monday- We Were There

We Were There is a Japanese romance manga by Yuki Obata, which chronicles the relationship between Motoharu Yano and Nanami Takahashi, starting from their teenage years and continuing during their early twenties. It has been serialized in Betsucomi from 2002 to 2012. The series went on hiatus in early 2008, but resumed publication in June 2009. It is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. In 2005, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo. The manga has sold over 10 million copies in Japan.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Yuki Obata, We Were There has been serialized in Betsucomi since its debut in 2002. The series went on hiatus after the January 2008 issue, and resumed serialization in the July 2009 issue. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan, with the first volume released on October 26, 2002. Fifteen volumes were released. The last chapter appeared on the February 13 issue of Betsucomi.

The series is licensed for English language release in North America by Viz Media, which released the first volume on November 3, 2008 under its “Shojo Beat” imprint. Four volumes were released in English. It is licensed for regional language releases in France by Soleil Productions, in Germany by Egmont Manga & Anime and in Argentina and Spain by Editorial Ivrea.

Plot

Nanami Takahashi, a teenage girl in her first year of high school, hopes to make new friends quickly. The center of attention at her school is Motoharu Yano, a very popular boy, whom Nanami dislikes at the beginning, due to his apparent superficiality. However, she soon falls in love with him, but Yano is still affected by the loss of his girlfriend, Nana Yamamoto. Nana was killed in a car crash a year before the beginning of the story. Because she was with her ex-boyfriend at the time of her death, Yano suspects she was cheating on him. Due to this, he is unable to trust people or to talk about his relationship with her; instead, he chooses to pretend he does not care very much about the situation.

Nanami confesses her love to Yano, but is rejected when he is unable to tell her if he loves her back. Despite that, she is still willing to support him and reassures him she will always be by his side. Soon, Yano realizes he has fallen in love with her as well, so they start going out. However, Yano’s secrets (including the fact that he slept with Nana’s little sister, Yuri, after the accident and his unwillingness to talk about his feelings for his dead girlfriend) make Nanami unsure to the point that she decides to end the relationship, believing she is unable to make him happy. The story becomes even more complicated when Masafumi Takeuchi, Yano’s best friend, also falls in love with Nanami and becomes Yano’s rival.

Due to these circumstances, Nanami is confused over whom she should choose, but she soon realizes that Yano is the one she genuinely loves. She agrees to start going out with him again, on the condition that she can find out more about the relationship between Nana and Yano and his true feelings about what had happened. Their romance takes an unexpected turn when Yano finds out that his mother, Yoko, wants to move to Tokyo. Upon hearing this, Nanami tells him to make a decision without taking her into consideration. The anime ends with Yano’s departure; however, the two of them decide to continue their relationship.

The manga picks up four years later. It is revealed that Yano and Nanami kept in touch for about six months, then he stopped contacting her and disappeared without a trace. Tired of waiting, hurt and confused, Nanami starts a relationship with Takeuchi. Even so, she is still in love with Yano and unable to forget about their common past. She befriends a co-worker named Akiko Sengenji, who is revealed to be one of Yano’s classmates from the Tokyo high school he transferred to. In a series of flashbacks it is shown that Yano was forced to work part-time when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, but kept everything hidden from Nanami, not wanting to worry her. Following an unexpected visit from Michiko, her former friend and wife of Yano’s father, Yoko became increasingly paranoid, fearing he would leave her. When Yano announced his decision to go and visit Nanami, she accused him of being insensitive. After a short, but violent fight, Yoko hung herself; as in Nana’s case, Yano blamed himself for her death and therefore decided to sever all the ties with his past.

Sengenji is also in love with Yano, but, despite this, she sees Nanami as a friend, not as a rival. She is the one who reveals Yano’s whereabouts to Nanami (including the fact that he adopted his father’s name, Nagakura) and later the fact that he lives with Yuri Yamamoto. As a result, Nanami rejects Takeuchi when he proposes to her, feeling that it wouldn’t be fair to marry him. Upon meeting Nanami for the first time in more than five years, Yano claims he is in love with another woman. However, when he and Nanami meet again, she tells him that she knows about the relationship between him and Yuri. He then admits that he only stays with Yuri because her mother is dying and he feels he can’t leave her alone. He also tells Nanami about his mother’s suicide, and also about his panic attacks. During this meeting, it is hinted that he’s still in love with her.

Meanwhile, Takeuchi decides to continue his relationship with Nanami, but only as friends. He tells her that she will eventually reach Yano and asks her to wait for him. He also starts to push Yano to admit his own feelings for Nanami and points out that no matter how strong she seems, she is unable to deal with the situation by herself. Nanami and Yano have an unexpected meeting, during which Yano finally confesses he wanted her to hold him back instead of letting him leave with his mother. Shortly after, Yuri’s mother dies, which prompts Yuri to end her relationship with Yano. She reveals to him that her sister Nana never cheated on him and that she only wanted to have a proper break-up with her ex-boyfriend at the time of the accident.

Yano decides to start over with Nanami and tries to contact her on the telephone. He fails several times due to her busy schedule, but eventually reaches her. During their conversation, a severely over-worked and anaemic Nanami falls down from a flight of stairs and is brought to the hospital injured and unconscious. Terrified by the possibility of losing her as well, Yano rushes to her side – as a result, the two of them are reunited. The finale of the manga shows Yano proposing to Nanami and then visiting Yamamoto Nana’s grave site with her.