the shoujo manga of my childhood

kanamari headcanon hour
  • you know that dumb shoujo manga trope where Boy and Girl are childhood friends and the boy asks her to marry him once when they’re 6 and she promptly holds him to it for the next 20 years while he’s forgotten that ever happened
  • mari is the girl, kanan is the boy 
  • kanan absolutely has no recollection of her proposing to mari in first grade with a ring pop, but mari remembers. Forever. and she is 100% holding her to it, only instead of being used for drama she just brings it up at every opportunity to make kanan die
  • ‘wow kanan. so you and mari-san sure go way back huh?’ 'yeah, we–’ 'we’ve been married for 11 years now : )’ 'wow!!!!’ ’MARI SHUT UP
  • and what’s even more unfortunate is
  • 'cut it out! i told you i don’t remember anything like that!!!’ 'well, i do! and our witness dia does too, don’t you dia? :)))’ 'admittedly…… yes, i do recall.’ 'DONT BACK HER UP OH MY GOD’
  • 6 year old kanan made sure to get a lemon flavored ring pop to propose with and that is to mari the highest standard of romance that she still holds her to today
  • 'you were so thoughtful then… so romantic… where did that kanan go….’ LONG, WISTFUL SIGH
  • 15 years later at age 21, kanan proposes with a ring in a lemon cake and goes all 'hows that for romantic huh’ and is caught way off guard when mari starts blubbering. oh. oh, uh. okay.
  • finally she has outdone her 6 year old self…. now she can rest
J-Movie Stuff!

So, I have been watching some J-Movies this week. I watched Heroine Shikkaku, L♡DK, and Ao Haru Ride.

Heroine Shikkaku was so much fun! I loved it. I loved how fresh the story was. It was from the perspective of the “evil childhood friend” of the hero. And I loved how it made fun of shoujo manga cliches. Especially the scene where Hatori yells “I’m late, I’m late” with a toast in her hand, emphasizing she’s a main character and the teacher going “You’re not late?” was hilarious. I loved it. Even though I wasn’t really sold on the main couple’s romance, it was still so much fun to watch and in the end I want my heroine to end up with the one she loves and makes her happy. So, good for her! But still, major second lead syndrome. I now have a slight crush on Sakaguchi Kentaro.

I was not impressed with  L♡DK. There were some fun scenes, but it really was a fairly cliche shoujo manga story, wasn’t it? I don’t think it really put something fresh on the table. The romance didn’t work for me either. What the main character’s brother was even about? I don’t know. It was pretty mediocore and weird. I didn’t hate it or anything. You can watch without thinking much if you have free time. At least the secondary couple was adorable. (What are you doing there Larry Butz?)

Ao Haru Ride, on the other hand, was surprisingly beautiful. The cinematography and colours in the movie were lovely. I loved the main actress. I also loved that the story wasn’t just about romance, but also about friendship, facing your trauma and healing with the help of other people. I appreciated that. I lost my father fairly recently too. My parents were divorced and we weren’t really close. It hurts. The guilt hurts so much. I loved that the story addressed it. I was able to move on thanks to my friends, the people I chose to be my family and that’s why the movie hit home for me. The only complaint I have is that, the side characters’ stories were left hanging. I’m guessing on manga, it is handled much better because there’s no time constraint and I’m definitely going to read it. A TV series would be nice for this story too. I really liked it and I recommend it.

I have Strobe Edge on my list next. What else would you recommend that are similar to these movies? 

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I posted this on one of my other tumblr blogs, but I’ll post it here as well.

For my final year of University, I completed an undergraduate Honours Thesis on Magical Girls.  I won’t get into the details too much since I’m still in the process of research (and will be for the next two years).  Basically, for this project I explored how Joseph Campbell’s mythical narrative, the Japanese cultural aspect of “shoujo” (that is, the period between childhood and adulthood), and the changes in Shoujo manga which saw women taking over storytelling duties from me intersect to illustrate how a heroine’s transformation into a magical girl is a mechanism for personal growth and spiritual (and in some cases, sexual) maturity.  

The two series I focused on were Takuechi Naoko’s “Sailor Moon” (particularly “Sailor Moon Crystal” since it’s so close to the Manga), and Studio Trigger’s “Kill la Kill”.  I used the original Japanese versions of both series (even though my Japanese still needs to level up) to avoid any “lost in translation” issues.

Not only did I do this for my Honours Thesis, but I also to complete the requirements for a research award I received in 2014.  I presented my research during the month of March at Idea Fest at the University of Victoria.  While I can still do more to improve my research, it nonetheless received a positive response.

In the future, I hope to present my research to a more widespread audience.