I’ve been plowing through my manga TBR lately and I’m pleased to say each of the new series I’ve started has been wonderful. A lot of them remind me of spring, and with the warm weather I’ve begun prepping a list of books to read outside.
First on my list is…
Waiting for Spring
I’ve only read volume 1 so far, but there was such a warmth to this first book that made me want to get my hands on the rest of the series as soon as possible!
The story follows a high-schooler named Mizuki who is struggling to make friends in her first year. She’s very shy, and struggles to reach out and open herself up to others.
After a series of events, she ends up being befriended by a group of boys from the schools basketball team.
I found Mizuki very easy to relate to and her new friends are incredibly funny, sweet and endearing.
I’m glad that I decided to take a chance on this series! I’ll definitely be doing a longer review of it in the near future, but I’ve been working and editing and haven’t had the time to type out my reviews haha.
I gave this first volume a full 5 stars!
The next book on my list…or I should say the next series is…
Love Me, Love Me Not
I’ve raved on and on about Io Sakisaka’s work here on my blog, and if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I’ve been reading this series now that the official English translations are available!
I adore every single leading character in this series. I constantly feel the need to scream “protect Yuna at all costs!” because she’s so precious. She’s just such a sweet, generous and thoughtful character.
This is one of those series where you can’t help but root for everyone. As the reader, you feel drawn to the cast, which is something that Io Sakisaka does really well with her shojo romances. All of her characters are relatable to some degree, and each have a clear goal in mind.
I like that compared to some of her previous work, these characters aren’t all simply striving towards the goal of gaining the affection of another…but are also discovering themselves and learning to love who they are!
I think as of the 3rd volume in the series, that Yuna is my favourite character, because I’ve gotten to see her become more and more confident in herself each volume.
A Sign of Affection
This book was fantastic! I’m so excited for the next volume to come out. Firstly, that artwork was breath-taking. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was lovely.
A brief summary: Yuki is a college student, who meets Itsuomi, a classmate of her best friend, who helps her on the train when a foreigner asks for directions.
Itsuomi speaks several languages, but doesn’t know sign language, which is what Yuki uses. Yuki offers to teach him so that the two of them can be friends. This friendship soon begins to blossom into something more…
The way sign language was incorporated throughout this book was excellent. It’s clear that the team did their research, and consulted with several sources when deciding to incorporate it into this manga. It was handled with respect and care.
I loved Yuki as the lead. She’s sweet, funny and genuine. She’s such a bright, warm, relatable character. I connected with her instantly and I absolutely adore her friends. There isn’t a single character in this book that I dislike!
Daytime Shooting Star
CW: Student-teacher relationship and gaslighting…
I was ranting about this series to one of my co-workers the other day. I’ve reviewed the earlier volumes here on my blog, and each time the comment is the same.
Great series, but the teacher love interest thing really bugs me.
This volume however, which is volume 7 in the series had me cheering! I don’t want to give away any major spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read it, but Mr. Shishio gets whats coming to him.
It sucks because I like his character, I just hate his actions. He constantly questions his relationship with Suzume and YET continues to do the wrong thing…which just makes me so angry.
The story line is really well done. Watching all the anxiety and just…self-doubt that Suzume has in this volume is upsetting and there were definitely events in the previous volumes that lead up to this. I’m 100% going to finish this series because it’s really good!
I also love how in this volume the Mika Yamamori mentioned how almost all her readers hate Mr. Shishio. I found that so funny.
I really just want Suzume to be okay…because watching her go through all of this stress and anxiety makes me so sad. Like…I’m almost protective of her at this point. She’s just, such a good kid. I hate seeing her go through this.
This series overall at this point is a 4.5. Well written, lovely artwork but Mr. Shishio makes my stomach turn.
I also thought I would include a content warning above, as I know there are people out there who were in this type of situation and that this series may be a trigger for them. I feel its necessary for this series…especially with volume 7. Like…it hit hard.
A Perfect World
This series is extremely well researched. I was shocked. Not because I didn’t expect them to research spinal chord injuries, but because they didn’t gloss over anything…like they actually go into detail about the difficulties people in this type of relationship can face.
The cover of this book is beautiful, but unfortunately the image quality of it on Goodreads isn’t great.
To give some background, my Dad’s job is building and adjusting wheelchairs. So over the years, I’ve learned a few things here and there about different types of seat cushions, foot rests…that sort of thing, and how each chair should be specifically set for that particular person based on factors like their height, their usage (how often they’ll be in the chair) and the injury they have.
So when I saw all of this INCLUDED in this manga, I was like “Whoa! This is really detailed!”
Clearly, I’m not an expert on wheelchairs or spinal injuries. I’m not my Dad–I studied English Literature and Creative Writing–but from just going to work with him over the years and listening to him talk about some of the builds he’s done, I know that the authors really took the time to make sure that they learned everything they could when they decided to create this series.
I also love that the relationship isn’t heavily glamorized. I’ve seen this done in films and often it falls into the “sick girl/sick boy” trope which kind of…at least in my personal opinion has become a branch off of the manic pixie dream girl trope.
This series isn’t like that at all! These two people, Tsugumi and Itsuki are navigating their relationship, and learning about themselves as individuals and themselves as a couple. Tsugumi, although she loves him feels as though she isn’t doing enough for Itsuki whereas Itsuki believes that he’s holding Tsugumi back. The two of them are constantly trying to make life easier on the other, and questioning whether they’re a good match. The relationship is new to the both of them…and their actions don’t just have an effect on each other but on their family and friends as well.
I really love how thoughtful this series is, and I would definitely recommend it. I’ve read books 1-3 so far.