Great Deal for Shueisha titles from Jmanga

Jmanga is featuring shojo titles from Shueisha, with great deals when you buy both volumes.

Or, you can sample the titles Crazy for You and Pride over on Jmanga7, Jmanga’s new free site.

Crazy for You is by the author of Kimi Ni Todoke, which is published by Viz. Here’s the series info from Jmanga:

Brought up in an all-girls high school, Sachi is a natural airhead who has been single for her whole life. During her first match-making party, she meets a boy called Yuki-chan, and suddenly her history of being boyfriendless has come to an end…?!

And Pride sounds like soapy fun:

Shio Asami, the wealthy daughter of a famous, deceased opera singer, aims to follow the same path as her mother. Moe Midorikawa, a young woman working several part-time jobs, dreams of becoming an opera singer as well. What will happen when these two meet?! Volume one is full of drama, love and rivalry!

Both of these series rocked up my to-read list and I hope to read and review them very soon!

Apartments of Calle Feliz by EST EM on

Apartments of Calle Feliz Vol. 1 by EST EM

It probably isn’t fair to EST EM, but I tend to think of her work as “yaoi for people who hate yaoi.” Yaoi just isn’t my thing as a genre, yet there are quite a few creators who have a large catalog of yaoi titles who I enjoy reading. Fumi Yoshinaga and EST EM seem like standouts as they have more of an indie sensibility, with a a focus on characterization and slice of life stories. I’m guessing that Natsume Ono would fit into this category of authors too, but her yaoi work hasn’t been licensed in the United States. I still have my EST EM titles from Deux stockpiled for a rainy day, but in the meantime I’m enjoying her e-book titles. Working Kentauros was gloriously off-the-wall, but Apartments of Calle Feliz provides a quieter, more meditative look at the lives and loves of a group of men who all live in the same apartment building. The core of the story centers around Luca, a writer who has just been kicked out of his apartment by his boyfriend. He finds the apartments of Calle Feliz and talks to the landlord, Javi. Javi says that his last apartment is already rented but says that Luca can be his roommate. Javi’s sudden offer of becoming roommates is mysterious in motivation and he declares “Because I think you’re pretty hot….is unfortunately not actually the reason.” Luca finds the economics of the situation compelling despite Javi’s eccentric behavior and he moves in, discovering that Javi is actually a well-known radio DJ in addition to being an apartment landlord. When Luca’s stuck for writing material, Javi tells him to write the stories of the residents of Calle Feliz.

Luca’s habits of writerly observation allow EST EM to provide quick snapshots of men in different situations. Dino and Salvatore are a committed couple, but their relationship is strained by Salvatore’s quirks – he’s a nudist and an agoraphobe who hasn’t stepped out of his apartment in three years. Noe has a relationship with twins, who want to know who he actually prefers. A puppet maker has a habit of rehabilitating people who’ve lost their voices. Eva lives in a noise-filled apartment and finds a connection with his deaf upstairs neighbor. All of these character vignettes are interspersed with the continuing story of Luca and Javi, as Luca begins to wonder what happened to Javi’s old roommate while they start becoming better companions for each other. EST EM’s art is always a treat, and she has certainly honed her talent for drawing attractive men. Unlike many other manga artists who cycle through a standard set of character designs, only varying hair and outfits, the reader can easily distinguish the differences between the large cast of people in this manga. While Apartments of Calle Feliz didn’t provide the humor and insanity of EST EM’s manga about salarymen centaurs, it offers a variety of enjoyable slice of life stories that should appeal to anyone who also enjoys the work of Fumi Yoshinaga and Natsume Ono.

Twelve Hour Ruler Volumes 1 and 2 from

I’m always on the lookout for fun fantasy series, so I decided to give The Twelve Hour Ruler a try when I saw it appear on The series blends attractive art, a large cast of characters, and some intricate geopolitics when building a story about identical twin princes and the fate that awaits them.

Twelve Hour Ruler Volume 1 by Wasa Sagiri

The first volume opens with a popular gambit – the old introductory crazy barfight! An attractive young barmaid named Koyuki suffers the loutish attentions of a local government official when an arrogant young man decides to step in and save her. His name is Twelve, and it turns out that he’s the prince of Orchis, a vaguely Middle-Eastern Empire with a complicated creation myth involving twins. Twelve’s older brother Eleven is treated not as a prince and heir, but as a disposable commodity while the younger prince is viewed as the source of goodness and light. One of the things I enjoyed about this manga was the difference in personality between the brothers. Twelve basically acts like an arrogant rich boy, yet he has a streak of kindness that he tries to disguise. He bomes to Koyuki’s aid quite often, even though they fall into the habit of bickering with each other. Eleven is watchful and more cynical. He genuinely cares for his brother, but he tends to observe rather than participate due to his many years of being pushed aside for his twin.

The characters in The Twelve Hour Ruler are all attractive. Eleven distinguishes himself from his brother by having shorter hair and earrings, but he puts on a wig if he suddenly has to act as a decoy for the heir to the Empire. Twelve gradually gets to know Koyuki better, and he seems to almost enjoy having someone to call him out on acting like a spoiled brat occasionally. My one quibble with this manga is the pace of new character introductions. In short order, the reader encounters a large portion of the extended royal family, all of whom have names and number designations. While the characters all look distinct, it is a little dizzying reading about people who just seem to pop up for a chapter or two and then disappear from the rest of the narrative. Twelve’s piratical uncle Four and his daughter Lulu are some of the more consistent supporting cast members. When a large dark-skinned man with amnesia drops through the roof of Koyuki’s bar, Lulu decides that he’s Skazy, the hero of her favorite story and she promptly decides to adopt him. The twin princes move forward through a complicated progression of court ritual, as the day approaches when Twelve will be crowned as ruler and Eleven will be cast aside.

Twelve Hour Ruler Volume 2 by Wasa Sagiri

In addition to a plethora of characters, The Twelve Hour Ruler also deals with various forms of fantasy nation desert geopolitics. It turns out that Twelve has to be married before becoming Emperor, and while the court elders are aware that Twelve has a preference for Koyuki, they won’t allow him to pick his own wife. The main candidates for Empress are Sakura, a girl with the power of foresight and a Pirate Princess named Yuan Fang Long. Koyuki seems oddly philosophical about the women circling Twelve. This volume slows down the pace of character introductions a little bit, showing the reader some flashbacks of Twelve and Elven as young children. I’m somewhat mystified as to what is going on with Skazy, as he’s referred to as a “Monster” by observers, and I’m not entirely sure if this is based only on his strength and appearance or if he is actually a non-human creature. Skazy and Lulu provide a bit of comic relief as he deals with her marathon shopping sessions. Twelve moves forward towards his succession, but it turns out that the desert tribes have a competing myth that favors the rule of the older twin, and representatives descend on the city to check out Eleven to see if he is suitable. The combination of unconventional setting, attractive art, humor, and action offsets the extremely crowded cast and plot. Twelve Hour Ruler would be a clear winning manga for me if I felt like as a reader I had a bit more room to breathe. As it is, after reading two volumes I am still invested in seeing what will become of Twelve and Eleven even though I hope that the next couple volumes slow down a bit with introducing new characters.

Reading Wishlist on Jmanga

When Jmanga first started out, one of the things I was hoping for was more romance and josei manga. While it took a little bit of time for these genres to take off on the site, I have really been happy with the pace that they’ve been adding new volumes. My only wish now is for more multi-volume series, but I suspect that there will be plenty of those to binge on in the upcoming months. It is actually getting a bit tricky for me to keep track of what I want to read on the site, so I thought I’d share some of the series that are on my radar, so I’d be able to remember what I want to read when I have more points.

Dousei Ai by Setona Mizushiro. I was excited when I saw that Jmanga would be releasing this series, since Mizushiro’s series After School Nightmare is loved by many manga bloggers. I only tried a couple volumes of that series, but it was definitely interesting and a change of pace, so I want to check this out.

The Twelve Hour Ruler – This is a fantasy series from Ohzora publishing and two volumes are available! Here’s the series description:

One day, Koyuki, a girl who works at a tavern in the port city of Salim, is saved from the advances of a feudal lord by a pair of twin princes, the cool and collected older brother Eleven and the free-spirited younger brother Twelve. After they invite her to the palace, Koyuki begins to learn the truth and destiny of the Empire. A royal fantasy revolving around the myths of the desert empire Orchis!!

Evil feudal lords and twin princes sound fun 🙂

Pippira Note One day, a young woman named Kimiko meets a little lost bird named Pippira. Living with the little bird becomes a series of surprises and discoveries. Before long this little happiness becomes, to Kimiko, an irreplaceable treasure in her day to day life. – This looks almost unbearably cute. I think it is great that Jmanga is putting out so much work by Fumiyo Kouno, author of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.

SEREILA OF SILVER -The Kidnapped Princess Falls In Love With The Falcon King – I was lukewarm about the other Rin Koudouki titles I’d tried, but I’m curious to see if the story develops a little more depth in the sequel.

Tale of the Crescent Moon Dragon – The art in this historical seinen title looks stylin’. Also features a hero with an eyepatch, which can only be a good thing.

Odds GP! – I think this is a sports manga about bicycle racing!

More Harlequin/Romance Titles:

Passionate Fantasy – I want to read this for the sole reason that the hero’s name is “Darius Speed.”

Jack and the Princess – I will always read romance manga about princesses.

In the SAND DUNES where the black feathers dance – This initially caught my eye because the title is almost long enough to be a Fiona Apple album, but the creator Hashimoto adapted one of my favorite Harlequin manga To Marry a Stranger, which was also notable because the hero had an eye patch.

Prisoner of the Tower – I will also always read romance manga about towers.

Keeping Luke’s Secret – “Leonie is drawn to his cold green eyes…” of course she is!

What series on Jmanga look good to you?

Roman Holiday from

Roman Holiday by Yoko Hanabusa

I did a quick double take when I spotted this title on Jmanga. I thought, surely this isn’t a manga adaptation of the Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck movie from the 1950s? But then I read the plot summary and it was! Roman Holiday is deservedly known as a classic movie, so I figured a manga adaptation would either be worth reading just for the possibility of a terrific train wreck, or it might actually be fun to see an interpretation of the movie in manga form. Fortunately due to a very faithful adaptation and some nice art from Hanabusa (who also adapted the Harlequin title To Woo A Wife) this ended up being quite enjoyable to read, but not as great as watching Roman Holiday all over again.

The plot of Roman Holiday (which if you haven’t seen, you should) centers around a wayward princess named Ann (Audrey Hepburn) who escapes the drudgery of her princessy duties for a day when she meets a newspaper reporter named Joe (Gregory Peck). Joe immediately sees the potential for a scoop in idea of escorting an escaped princess around Rome during her one day of freedom, so he gets his photographer friend to document the day as they run around Rome and do all the things that tourists do. Along the way they fall in love, but Princess Ann has to return to her duties and Joe is left to decide if he’s going to sell her story or keep the memory of the day as a precious secret. Let’s take a minute to bask in an image from the movie:

Wasn’t that refreshing?

As a fan of the movie, I was happy to see that the manga captured all of my favorite moments. There’s the near-diplomatic incident when Ann loses her shoe during a state function, the drudgery of Ann’s schedule, and the simple delight that she takes in things like wearing pajamas, wandering around a market, and getting her hair cut. Hanabusa’s art does a great job capturing both the settings and the costumes in the original movie, so the reader does feel like they’ve been briefly transported to Italy. Joe gradually becomes more and more reluctant to write his story as he sees Ann’s delight in her brief holiday, and there’s a definite wistful tone to the story as it shows a love affair that could never happen. While there is no way that a manga can really capture the charisma of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, I enjoyed being able to revisit the story of Roman Holiday in a different way. I’m not sure how much crossover there is between classic movie fans and manga fans, but if you happen to be both you will likely enjoy this manga.

Access to electronic copy provided by the publisher.