Forbidden Dance

Aya has always devoted herself to ballet, but when she loses her nerve after an injury, getting back on stage proves to be nigh impossible- until the night her inspiration is rekindled by the performance of a new troupe named Cool. Filled with a renewed desire to dance again and become accepted as a member of Cool, Aya takes to her feet one more, but there’s just one tiny problem- Cool is an all-male troupe, and they aren’t interested in adding a female amateur! Can Aya improve her skills enough to melt the frosty demeanour of charismatic troupe leader Akira, or is she just wasting her time? And could it be that Aya’s feelings for Cool and its leader are to do with more than just dancing?

Continue reading “Forbidden Dance”

Somedays Dreamers Spellbound volume 2

With Ryutaro keeping out of her way for the summer, Nami has plenty of times to reflect on her feelings for her- and despite his brusque attitude towards her, she just can’t help but stop thinking about him. In the meantime, however, there are plenty of summer activities with Nami’s other friends to keep her occupied- at least until an awkward moment when she learns that one of them harbours feelings for her that run deeper than mere friendship.

Continue reading “Somedays Dreamers Spellbound volume 2”

Rozen Maiden volume 4

They were meant to be inseparable twin sisters, but now Suiseiseki and Souseiseki have ended up on opposite sides- one serving a master acting on a long-held grudge, and the other desperate to save her twin from doing anything rash. With the help of Jun, Shinku and Hinaichigo, Suiseiseki decides to confront her sister, but if she cannot persuade her to stand down, they will have no choice but to do battle.

Continue reading “Rozen Maiden volume 4”

Nodame Cantabile: the manga

Volumes 1-15

With most anime, it’s usually a case of straightforward like or dislike, but right from the start, Nodame Cantabile was different. It tantalised me with its leads and the things we might have in common, frustrated me with off-kilter humour and wacky side characters and in general formed a surprisingly complex relationship with me. With this in mind, was it any wonder that I would eventually turn to the original manga in order to see what happened to Chiaki, Nodame and the rest after the anime had ended? Continue reading “Nodame Cantabile: the manga”

Good Witch of the West volume 1

In the quiet village of Sera Field, Firiel Dee lives an uneventful life, spending time with her father’s servants whilst he and his apprentice research and study the stars. On her fifteenth birthday, however, she decides to attend a royal ball as a special treat, only to discover that she is descended from the queen and thus a candidate for the throne! This isn’t to be a simple rags-to-riches tale, however, for this revelation ends up sparking a series of events that plunges Firiel into a world of intrigue and danger that will affect both her and the ones she loves the most.

Continue reading “Good Witch of the West volume 1”

Te Wo Tsunaide, Sora Wo

“I don’t really know if I’m gay or not, but this is a yaoi manga so I’d better sleep with you.”

Itou Haruya is a struggling novelist who just can’t seem to find the inspiration for his next book, until a chance encounter with seventeen year old Hidaka Maki breaks him out of his routine. An obsessive compulsive with a dislike of being touched, Maki clearly has problems of his own, but nonetheless the two men find themselves drawn to each other in a relationship that proves to have a healing effect on both of them.

Continue reading “Te Wo Tsunaide, Sora Wo”

La Corda d’Oro volume 2

When Hino Kahoko was given a magical violin and chosen to enter her school’s music competition, it all seemed like a crazy dream. Even so, now Hino must face up to the reality of the situation, and with only two weeks to go to the first round of the competition, she must not only choose a piece to play, but find someone to accompany her. Could the answer lie not in the music school, but in the hidden piano talents of her classmate Ryotaro Tsuchiura? Continue reading “La Corda d’Oro volume 2”

Zipang manga volume 1

Many months ago, I reviewed the Zipang anime, a series which defied all my expectations by being a story that combined World War II and time travel in a way that was most definitely worthy. At the time, the manga was nigh impossible to find in English, but since then, the first volume has come into my possession, and whilst it is only the first link in a much longer chain, it is at least a start. Continue reading “Zipang manga volume 1”

Final Thoughts: Ichigo Mashimaro OVA and manga

OVA: Three more episodes of Nobue and co.
Post TV-series OVAs tend to come in two forms- either they pick up where their predecessor left off and fit quite naturally into the franchise, or they cover a new and generally quite uninspired storyline that makes you wish they’d just left well alone. Fortunately, the Ichigo Mashimaro falls into the former category, and indeed, if you didn’t know it was an OVA, you might just think what you were watching were episodes 13-15 of the TV series.

Continue reading “Final Thoughts: Ichigo Mashimaro OVA and manga”

Le Portrait de Petite Cossette: Anime and Manga

The OVA: Confusing Yet Compelling
When a Venetian glass arrives at the antiques shop where he works, art student Eiri Kurahashi begins taking an almost abnormal interest in it- for when he stares inside, he can see the spirit of Cossette, a girl who was murdered over 250 years ago. By telling the tale of her life and death through a series of compelling visions, Cossette draws Eiri further into her world- but will he be able to make the ultimate sacrifice if it leads to her salvation?

Continue reading “Le Portrait de Petite Cossette: Anime and Manga”