Tuesday, December 27, 2011

josei manga short reviews: Hapi Mari, Hotaru no Hikari, Pink Lady

Hapi Mari
A josei manga by Enjouji Maki.
Takanashi Chiwa never had a boyfriend and focuses on working hard to pay the debts of her father (mainly in order to keep the house). One day she's called to the new president (young and good-looking) of the company she's working for - and asked to marry him. There's something in it for both of them (she gets her debts paid and he can stay president of the family company), so she agrees. So far, so WTF.
Of course they don't get along at all at first and of course they fall in love with each other later on. He's the boss not only in work life, but also in their personal life and the virgin woman never really carries through with any of her efforts to get a little freedom on her own. He's violent, nearly raping her several times, but she always comes running back to him. They never talk much with each others, they sulk, and she's trying to be the good wife and no burden to her husband, crying and apologizing for everything even if he's being a huge asshole. Did I mention she's not the brightest? They're constantly fighting and hurting each other but of course they "love" each other.
Pretty much run-of-the-mill josei. The best character is his mother-substitute secretary.
So far there's 27 chapters, it's ongoing. I will not continue reading.

Hotaru no Hikari
Another josei manga, by Hiura Satoru with 31 chapters so far.
Actually, similar to Hapi Mari, Hotaru isn't interested much in relationships - she's a so-called "dried fish" - and she also suddenly comes to live with her boss (secretly). The difference is, he's forty-something and they don't marry. Actually she finds herself a different boyfriend, an furniture designer three years younger than her, but more experienced relationship-wise. The plot is about her struggling to make the relationship work after having been several years "out of the game".
I think I can identify with Hotaru - working at the office, loving to laze around at home, no relationships the past years... So I really like this one.
But I have to say that the drawings sometimes aren't really that good. Apparently there's a TV drama series, too - I think I'll try that one out someday.

TV Tropes

Pink Lady
This one actually is a manhwa - that's the Korean version of mangas or comics. Since it started out as a web comic, it's in colour.
Gyeo-Wul studies art at the university. One day she meets a blunt male co-student whose drawing style is praised by the others. She starts doubting her own skills. Then it turns out she and the young man have already met as children.
There's only about 7 chapters translated, so the plot didn't progress very far. It has a different stlye than what I'm used to, and also it's all in colour - but that's a nice change. Apparently the creator Yeon Woo is an art student, too, so you can notice that they know what they're talking about (there's references to techniques, famous paintings, etc).

The Webcomic (Korean)

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