Monday, February 20, 2006

Shojo Beat: March '06

The March edition of Shojo Beat magazine contains an exclusive preview of Aishiteruze Baby, as well as more Nana goodness and Absolute Boyfriend!

Nana is consistenctly the best manga out there, even with such great new titles coming out like Dragon Head and Monster. Ai Yazawa is just a master at soap opera, whether dealing with money issues or secrets between friends, she gets the feelings across to the reader amid a tidalwave of emotions. She just knows the perfect moments to have her characters react in the right ways. In this installment of the series, Nana calls home to find out why her mother sent money to her account and gets a shock of sorts. I can kind of relate to how she felt at one point when her mom says "Just don't come home" - I think anyone can really. Your parents are always a fallback and it's always "home" in the space where you grew up. When my mom changed my bedroom to a guest room when I left home, I felt a little hurt. Then she sold the house and I really felt like "home" was kind of gone. It's these kinds of emotions that Yazawa is able to portray in stories that make them superior to others. And yeah...lots more happens too!

I was a bit disappointed in Aishiteruze Baby. I really enjoyed the preview of Beauty Is the Beast that they had a few issues back and I was expecting something a little more...interesting, I guess. Aishiteruze Baby is basically about a high school student, a spoiled playboy, who has to grow up fast and help his family raise their missing aunt's five-year-old girl. Of course, he grows attached to her and shows a softer side than he has before. I just felt like I was hitting all of the notes along the way as the story unfolded. Nothing really new and inventive happened. Very predictable.

I thought Absolute Boyfriend would fizzle out after the initial first few issues, but it's actually chugging along quite nicely. It may have actually grown on me a bit, if truth be told. I think having Riiko go through such a trial with her best friend was a good way for Yuu Watase to make her audience relate to her protagonist a little more closely. At first, she was a very generic character, but she's congealed into something a little more since then.

And that's all I read in the magazine. I should consider just purchasing Nana and Absolute Boyfriend in serialed digests, but what can I say? I like the previews, I like being caught up with the story and I like the little tid bits of Japanese culture speckled throughout the magazine.

No comments: