Manga Review: The Secret Sakura Shares / by Akira Hagio

The Secret Sakura SharesThe Secret Sakura Shares

by Akira Hagio

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title begins quickly, and ends quickly. It’s textbook shoujo scenarios and tropes, arranged neatly between two covers. The only thing missing was “the indirect kiss”/sharing a drink. Which oddly, made me a little sad. I like that scenario!

Unfortunately, there is no character development. There is no story development. And, there is definitely little if no tension or conflict.

Did I hate this title? No. Definitely not. Despite it’s faults it is still charming, and readable. It is a light, innocent and sweet romance with the quirky premise of a female student pretending to be the cat of a male student so that she will be taken care of after her family becomes destitute. Perfectly suited for tween-aged readers.

The biggest thing this title has going for it is that it is self-contained, which means it’s an inexpensive option if you like sickly-sweet teen romances.

If you’re a little older than a tween, but still want to read similar themes/scenarios I would recommend instead:
“Stepping on Roses / by Rinko Ueda” >> About a girl who marries a wealthy young business man to save her family. (for teen readers)
“Tramps Like Us / by Yayoi Ogawa” >> About a young woman who finds a stray boy and takes him in as her pet. (for adult readers)


Review: The Tipping Point / by Naoki Urasawa (and others)

The Tipping PointThe Tipping Point

by Naoki Urasawa et. al.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a mixed bag for me, but that makes a lot of sense considering how many artists were involved in the creation of the work. I’m not going to go too into detail of each story, just that I enjoyed the art in about 80% of the stories… and I enjoyed the stories (or at least appreciated) the stories in about 40% of the works.

I didn’t do any research into this work before I bought it. None. So, I was a bit surprised to find that it wasn’t a single work by Naoki Urasawa. Unfortunately, his was not the strongest work in the compilation. So, I guess it’s good that there were other creators involved.

By far my favourite titles were:
Hanako’s Fart / Taiyo Matsumoto
The Awakening / Emmanuel LePage
The Child / Bastien Vives
Fish / Keiichi Koike

The production though, was very beautiful. Thick glossy pages. Large trim size.

It’s strange to me to read Japanese works in the English left to right orientation, but that’s the nature of compilations. I’m glad to see a work like this that takes creators from all over the world and puts them next to each other. I don’t know too many other publications that do the same.