Meganebu! – No Megane! No Life!

[QUICK NOTE: I’m going to edit this post once I get back to campus. For the sake of time (and assignments that have been piling up) I had to rush this. If you want, feel free to wait for the edited version. :)]

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hopefully the holiday has been going well for you all. I just finished eating, so now I’m all cozy and ready to type for a bit. I played 4-5 hours of Persona Q last night, so I’m pretty excited about a lot of things at the moment. I’m just now getting to a wi-fi connection so that I can upload this blog post. I realized that I left the manga that I wanted to review back in my flat, so I decided to write about a show that I hold dear. I would go into more detail, but the sake of time at the moment I will try to keep it short and simple.

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So what exactly do you get when you have five megane characters who have a club dedicated to their love of classes? Well, you get Meganebu! (which literally means ‘Glasses Club’).

Close, but no quite

Close, but not quite~

Meganebu! is based off of the drama CD that came before the anime was announced. Meganebu is also the work of independent anime director Soubi Yamamoto and was produced by Studio DEEN in 2013. Yamamoto also worked on This Boy can Fight Aliens and This Boy Caught a Merman (both of which being BL/shounen-ai titles). I’ve only seen This Boy Caught a Merman, but she’s working on more titles for the “This Boy…” or “Kono danshi…” series.

Enter Akira Souma, the fearless second-year leader of the Glasses Club. From the top of the school building he claims that the Glasses Club will create a pair of x-ray glasses that will allow the wearer to see through women’s clothing. Typical boy right? His right hand man, and childhood friend is Yukiya Minabe. Yukiya is also a second-year and has a tendency to be dependent on his yPad and often takes naps throughout the day. He’s also the main engineer when it comes to making the x-ray glasses for the club. Takuma Hachimine doesn’t act like an upperclassmen due to his childishness, but he has a strong sweet tooth for cream puffs. Mitsuki Kamatani is one of two first-year students and has a strong admiration (if not boarderline obsession) for Akira. Hayato Kimata also shares a lesser level of Mitsuki’s admiration, but he wears a fake pair of frames without lenses. But as time goes by, Akira and the rest of the Glasses Club begin to shift from their original goal of seeing through women’s clothing.

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Hayato, Yukiya, Akira, Takuma, Mitsuki

As Meganebu! progresses you start to learn a little more about the quirks of each individual character and even the ones who aren’t main characters. They get to a point where they realize that there are more problems in their lives that don’t revolve around making a pair of glasses that actually let you see through someone clothes. I know that the show has a reputation for being weird or uninteresting, but I feel that every character is relatable for personal reasons. We all have things that we’ve wanted to tell someone but could never find the right way to say it or when. We’ve had moments where we felt invisible to others. We’ve thought that we would never make friends but became surprised once we did. We’ve had moments where we were self-conscious. We’ve all loved something so much that we try to get discouraged by negativity. We’ve maybe even gotten drunk at some point and thought about quitting our job. These are just some of the moments in the show that make it human. Moments that I feel make it touch emotions rather than be bait for fanservice.

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Honestly, can you think of an anime that has an entire episode dedicated to referencing Jumanji or Men in Black? Or a show that’s able to bring in aspects of manga while holding onto the feeling of animation? (Which I thought was really interesting considering how Yamamoto wanted to be a mangaka.)

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In the end, Meganebu! gave me heartwarming feelings and is one of those diamonds in the rough that people seem to look over. The first episode shouldn’t be a judging point for a show like this and I’m glad that I’ve watched the entire series. It’s a show that seems to have no plot what-so-ever, but everything comes together by the final episode. The animation is bright and refreshing. The characters have their own charm and helped me appreciate the show even more. I can’t help but smile while watching the series all over again because it helps me remember all the feelings I felt when I first started watching. I was able to laugh and cry while watching this series, so it means a lot to me.

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*wishing for a second season*

Meganebu! is streaming full episodes on Crunchyroll and Hulu for anyone who is interested. Although I downloaded all the episodes from Chia-Anime, Sentai Filmworks has released the series on DVD and Blu-Ray and I plan on buying it as soon as I get the opportunity. I’m a sucker for physical copies when it comes to supporting the artists I admire. I will definitely keep looking forward to Soubi Yamamoto’s work and I’m excited to see where she will continue to go from here.

Self-explanatory  ships from the Student Council

Self-explanatory ships from the Student Council

If you’re interested in following Soubi Yamamoto’s work, feel free to check out the following links. ❤

Website (Japanese) // Twitter (Japanese) // Kono Dan Website (Japanese) // This Boy Can Fight Aliens Website (Japanese) // This Boy Caught a Merman (Japanese) // Kono Danshi, Sekika ni Nayandemasu Website (Japanese) // Kono Dan Project Twitter (Japanese)

For more information (and spoilers that I won’t reveal here) about Meganebu! feel free to check out the following links. ❤

Meganebu! Website (Japanese) // Wikia Page (English) //

Actual Magical Boy Anime for Winter 2015?!

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Handsome High School Earth Defense Club Love!

美男高校地球防衛部LOVE! // Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!
The story centers on the five students in the Boeibu/Defense Club (aka “a club to do nothing”) at the Binan High School. Involving the battle between the two mysterious creatures came from the outer space, they have to fight against Seifukubu/Conquest Club (Student Council), as the successors to the throne “Battle Lovers. {via anilist}

Staff
Original: Kurari Umatani
Vice Director: Chizuru Miyasawa
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Character Design: Masakazu Ishikawa
Sub Character & Prop Design: Yumiko Hara
General Illustration Directors: Masakazu Ishikawa, Yumiko Hara, Yasuyuki Noda
Art Director: Masayoshi Mutou
Color Coordinate: Shuuji Uemura
Film Director: Yasuyuki Itou
Editing: Toshihiko Kotori
Music: yamazo
Music Studio: Pony Canyon
Studio: Diiomedia

Cast
Bouei-bu:
Yumoto Hakone: Kazutomi Yamamoto
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En Yufuin: Yuuichirou Umehara
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Atsushi Kinukawa: Koutarou Nishiyama
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Naruko Io: Yuusuke Shirai
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Ryuu Zaou: Toshiki Masuda
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Wombat: Mugihito
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Seifuku-bu:
Kinshirou Kusatsu: Hiroshi Kamiya
Ibushi Arima: Jun Fukuyama
Akoya Gero: Takuma Terashima
Thunder: Hiroki Yasumoto
{via MyAnimeList}

❤ Links of Interest: ❤
Official Website (Japanese)// Boueibu Twitter Account (Japanese) // Moca News Article (Japanese)

I literally just found this while browsing for shows to watch during JanTerm when I stumbled upon this interesting little gem. ❤

At the moment there is no released air date, but I will definitely look into this and will most likely review episodes as they come out. The video only mentions that it will start airing in January 2015. For now I will just get excited about magical boys. I really need to finish Star Driver before I press on.

All of these babies and I don’t know how to handle them.

 

Sleeping Moon [vol.1] [Part One]

Title: Sleeping Moon // 眠れる月 (nemureru tsuki)
Story & Art: Kano Miyamoto – 宮本佳野
Publisher: Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., LTD., (Japan) // SuBLime (USA)
Synopsis: In order to solve the mystery of a rumored curse that brings early death to the male descendants in his lineage, Akihiko Odagawa goes back to stay in his family’s ancestral home. One night, he experiences a time slip that lands him 100 years in the past! There he meets Eitaro, a student from the Meiji Period who is also trying to solve the same mystery. Bridging the gap between the past and the present, the two men traverse time and space as they work together to unravel the family’s secret. (via SuBLime)

It’s been a while since I’ve read this manga, so I had to re-read volume one to make sure I had all of my thoughts in order. Being that this is my first time coming across Kano Miyamoto’s name, I feel like this is a nice introduction to her work. Sleeping Moon (眠れる月) was originally published in Japan in 2009, so it’s not all that old. 🙂 To be honest, reading the first volume was refreshing and made me step outside of my usual reading genre.

100_0757The first volume of Sleeping Moon is split into five Acts and a bonus chapter called ‘Snow Lantern’. I will only cover Acts 1 – 3 in Part One and Acts 4 – ‘Snow Lantern’ in Part Two. Act 1 opens by focusing on Akihiko Odagawa who is leaving Tokyo to visit family in the country side as well as to work on research. This research being the events that have caused the family curse. It’s been seventeen years since he visited his dad’s side of the family, so one can only wonder what he’s been doing in Tokyo all this time. Meanwhile the quiet guy eavesdropping on Akihiko’s conversation with his Aunt happens to be his younger cousin, Ren Sakaki.  Akihiko admits to his Aunt that he has been having the same reoccurring dream, but doesn’t tell her that it’s one of the reasons that he came back for a visit.

During Akihiko’s first night there he has the dream again – but something isn’t quite right. This is where he discovers a mysterious figure standing on the balcony and it causes him to wake up after it notices him. The next morning we get a better introduction for Ren. The tall younger cousin that Akihiko sometimes picked on when they were younger. Oh how time flies by~  Did I mention that Ren has a twin sister named Eri? But she doesn’t fully show up until Act 3. 🙂 The rest of Act 1 continues into Akihiko providing a little more back-story about Sakaki family curse, his father, and how he feels that he will be next in line to die. Ren also becomes even more mysterious when he suggests that Akihiko return to Tokyo as soon as possible. What up with that?! The Act finishes out with Akihiko returning to the dream where he sees the figure again. Again, something isn’t quite right….

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Almost, but not quite right Akihiko.

See where this is going~? Moving onto Act 2!

Turns out it isn’t a ghost like Akihiko thought. The man happens to be Eitarou Shinjou who is also connected to Sakaki family, and that Akihiko has officially landed himself in the past. Eitaro then mentions that he’s a student of Akihiko’s great-grandfather (who happens to be a natural history scholar). Akihiko and Eitarou begin to talk about the curse and how no one has yet to uncover any answers on both sides of the time gap. Eitarou then gives Akihiko his good luck charm, a small bell, which he believes could be used as a way to call him back into the past. Which does end up working, but I will get to that in just a bit. Wait for it, okay~

Act 2 also gives us a little more information about Ren. We learn that he tends to hit his head on the door frame due to how tall he is and that he is a history major (anyone else see a connection here?). I should also mention he has connections to magic and spirits, but I won’t go into too much detail about that just yet. You will have to wait and see when you read it~! Though there was something that I wasn’t fully expecting when I initially started to read Sleeping Moon. This happens to be the moment when Ren starts hitting on Akihiko after he witnesses what happens. Akihiko is left in a slight mess and Eitarou becomes a little disappointed when Akihiko doesn’t respond to his bell. This Act ends with Eitarou looking out into what looks like a river where he sees the ghost of a woman who resembles someone named Ophelia.

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Oh me oh my~

Heck, I would probably be a flustered mess if this happened to me too. It’s okay Akihiko, I understand. But now it’s time to talk about the last act in this part of the review.

In all honesty, Act 3 is where Ren x Akihiko becomes more established. The memorial service is where most of this action takes place, but there is a little more to it than just that. This is where we learn that Ren has no set sexual preference when it comes to sleeping with someone. So he has no problem with hitting on Akihiko when he can. Remember how I said that we would get to meet Eri, Ren’s twin sister? Eri has some health problems but she was able to make it to the memorial service to meet Akihiko. Though the services is cut short when Akihiko and Ren are kicked out after Akihiko gets freaked out after seeing a spirit on the ceiling rafter.

Ren reveals that he’s been able to see demons and spirits ever since he was young and that the reason Akihiko is able to see them now must have happened after he returned to the family house. Akihiko then nervously asks if his cousin would be willing to investigate the curse with him and Ren accepts buuut…

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This proceeds into Ren being more flirty than usual. He then reveals that he has no problems with flings since he doesn’t get attached to his partners. Ren finally manages to get Akihiko on his back, whispers some things into his ear and a little tongue action before the duo is broken up by Eri calling out for her brother. She finds them in bit of a mess but isn’t aware of what happened between the two. This gives Akihiko and Eri some time to catch up with each other while Ren leaves, but their conversation doesn’t last every long.

That evening Akihiko is summoned by Eitarou by the power of the bell while he’s sleeping. It’s snowing in the past, so Eitarou invites him inside and they go inside to talk. Eitarou somehow believes that Akihiko is a ghost and touches him to make sure if he’s right or not. 100_0763 Here we learn that Eitarou is in an arranged marriage that will take place the following year. Eitarou then brings out some of the information he managed to find throughout the village. From what he has gathered, he believes that the curse began 100 years before his own time. The downside to his thought: there’s no documentation to prove it. This causes Akihiko to believe that the documents might have been destroyed on purpose, but doesn’t have a clue as to who could have possible destroyed them. Before the Act is over, Eitarou mentions to Akihiko that espers have been know to exist in the Sakaki family. These espers have the ability to travel back into the past and this makes Eitarou believe that Akihiko has the powers of an esper. The Act closes with Ren leaving his room to check on Akihiko in the middle of the night, only to find the small bell on Akihiko’s pillow.

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Baby come back…

But before this is over I wanted to point out something about the first edition of Sleeping Moon. During Act 3 there just to happens to be a typo (I had to read it super slow to notice it).

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One of the these ‘of’s is not like the other.

SuBLime has the official English release of Sleeping Moon already printed and in stores, but if you are wanting to read a scanlated version online you should/might be able to find one. Please, please, please consider buying the SuBLime release to help support the mangaka and her work! It would mean a lot if you did. Volume one and volume two can be found on Amazon if you are unable to find either copy in a bookstore. Don’t forget to check out Kano Miyamoto’s profile for more links if you wish to follow her. ❤

I will be sure to include my final thoughts (and possibly more details) about Sleeping Moon in the next section of the review, so I hope to see you there! 😀

Stick around for Part Two~! ❤

|| Part Two

[Mangaka] Yuo Yodogawa

Yuo Yodogawa – 淀川ゆお
Genre(s): yaoi, smut, comedy, adult

REVIEWS COMING SOON~

Fudanshi-kun no Honey Days // 腐男子クンのハニーデイズ
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Shinigami-chan ga Yuku // 死神ちゃんが行く☆ (this one is a maybe)
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Kataomoi Love Game // 片想いラブゲーム
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Sex Friend no Heart no Tsukamikata // セフレのハートの掴み方
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If you also like Yuo Yodogawa, feel free to check them out at the following links. 🙂
Website (Japanese) // Fudanshi-kun Website (Japanese) // Twitter  (Japanese)

Liebster Award Nomination

Finally getting around to accepting this nomination from Coco’s Corner. Thank you!! 🙂
Well then, let’s get started! Time to pay it forward!

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Liebester Award Nomination Rules:
More Details can be found -> {here}

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

11 Random Facts about Pantastic:

  1. I’m currently majoring in Japanese with a minor in Asian Studies (though I’m considering an Art minor).
  2. I make puns though I break down when I hear one. ^^;;
  3. I’m a sucker for hand drawn animation and distinct manga styles.
  4. I’ve been interested in BL since accidentally discovering it in middle school.
  5. All I want to do is draw (and be a fangirl) for the rest of my life 😛
  6. I’m a bit of a shounen dork with shota mentality who just so happens to wear glasses. (Confusing, right?)
  7. I once pulled a leg muscle while playing kickball in fifth grade.
  8. I have a silver tabby cat named Tiny.
  9. My personality type is ENFP.
  10. I’m a bit of a window shopping addict since I know I can’t afford most things.
  11. I’m also a bit of a masochist (as told by my friends and I still don’t get it .___.;; )

11 Questions by Coco:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    I’m pretty much a role-play loving, fanfiction writing, doujinshi reading, cosplay appreciating, headcanon making dork who wants to share my experiences with all things related to shipping. I created this blog because I was inspired by other anime/manga review blogs. I became inspired to have one based on a fujoshi’s perspective after trying to find like-minded blogs. Sadly there aren’t many, but I try to follow the blogs that are already around.
  2. How long have you had your blog?
    I created this blog back in January, so it’s only 10 months old. I practically have a baby blog right now. 🙂
  3. Who or what heavily influences you?
    I have a short page of blogs that I like. I’m influenced mostly by other bloggers, YouTube videos, music (primarily dubstep) and conversations that I have with my friends. I’m also influenced by the language skills of others and that motivates me to try harder to read Japanese manga in original Japanese.
  4. Have you visited places outside of your country or state?
    Never outside of the country, but I have been outside my state.
  5. If so, where? If not, why?
    Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. I’ve never been out of the country because I don’t have the finances for it right now.
  6. Dream place to visit.
    I have a not of places I would like to visit, though I don’t have a particular order. Some of these places include: South Korea, England, Japan, China, Australia, Egypt, Switzerland and Italy.
  7. Do you speak or understand another language other than your native tongue?
    Only chunks of different languages. (Sadly.. *sobs*) I took Spanish for two years in high school and I’ve been studying Japanese in college for three years now. I still have a loooooooot to learn before I can fully understand it, but it’s been a fun experience so far.
  8. What’s your most favorite book?
    I always tend to answer that my favorite book is “Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson. It was one of the first books that I read that had a lot of strong themes. It was also the first detective mystery novel I ever read. Though, my favorite book series is “Warrior” by Erin Hunter.
  9. What’s the origin of your nickname/screen name?
    Pantastic is a pun on the word ‘fantastic’. It also ties into one of my favorites animals, pandas. The Panda part is one that often appears in my internet names, so I wanted to stay true to that here on WordPress.
  10. Do you have a favorite quote?
    “So what if it seems hopeless? If it were me, I still wouldn’t give up. Embrace your dreams.” – Zack Fair (Final Fantasy: Crisis Core)
  11. Were you able to meet the reward requirements?
    Hopefully I was. >____<;;

My Liebster Award Nominations:

11 Questions for My Nominees: (I’m not the greatest at asking questions, so please forgive me. ^^;; )

  1. Why did you start your blog and what motivates you to write?
  2. Do you have a favorite post on your blog? (If so, which one is it?)
  3. Do you know a foreign language? (If so, which one? If not, which language would you like to learn?)
  4. What’s your biggest dream in life?
  5. Who is your favorite artist? (They can be from any field of art.)
  6. Do you have a favorite traveling experience? (If so, how did it go?)
  7. If not, where would you like to travel to and why?
  8. Who is your favorite character ever and why? (It’s okay if you have more than one favorite. 🙂 )
  9. What’s your favorite type of food and why?
  10. What are your hobbies?
  11. How do you feel after completing these questions? 😀 ( I apologize for the jumbled mess)

Finally managed to finish! I shall now reward myself with tea and potato chips while my Levi-heichou poster stares at me.

I can’t wait to see what my nominees come up with~!
~ Pantastic Panda

[Mangaka] Hideyoshico

Hideyoshico – 秀良子
Circle Name: Aozora Gundan (青空軍団)
Alternate Pen Name: Pochiko Inuyama
Genre(s): slice of life, yaoi, shounen-ai, romance, comedy, josei

REVIEWS COMING SOON~

Negative-kun and Positive-kun // ネガティブ君とポジティブ君
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Handsome-kun and Boring-kun // イケメン君とさえない君
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His Rosy Colored Life // 彼のバラ色の人生
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Rich Boy and Poor Boy // 金持ち君と貧乏君
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Long Vacation // ロングバケーション (one-shot)
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Wait for Me at Udagawa (I’ll Wait for you at Udagawa) // 宇田川町で待っててよ。
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If you also like Hideyoshico, feel free to check her out at the following links. 🙂
Website (Japanese) // Twitter  (Japanese) // Pixiv (Japanese) // Booklog (Japanese)

[Mangaka] Asumiko Nakamura

Asumiko Nakamura – 中村明日美子
Genre(s): drama, romance, slice of life, yaoi, shounen-ai, comedy, school life, psychological, historical, mature, smut, josei
Asumiko Nakamura is one of Japan’s hidden gems. The artist has penned more than 15 titles since 2002 and has reached critical acclaim for her sensitive protrayals of romantic narratives featuring a wide range of characters – men and women, young and old. Nakamura has worked in a range of genres for an equally broad range of audinces winning recognition in almost every category – shojo, women’s comics, men’s comics, LGBT fiction as well as erotic fiction. (via Baka-Manga Updates)

I’m still fairly new to Asumiko Nakamura’s work, but I already like her style. It took a little while to get to seeing, but I really admire the gothic inspired style she has. (Then again it might not be gothic style, but it reminds me of that. ^^; )

Classmates // 同級生  {review} – Currently In-Progress
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Graduates // 卒業生
Volume One – Winter // -冬-
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Volume Two – Spring // -春-
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Sora and Hara // 空と原
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O.B. (Occupation to Beloved)
Volume One
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Volume Two
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Transfer Student // 転校生 (one-shot)
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A is for Alice (one-shot)
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Welcome to Wonderland (one-shot)
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If you also like Asumiko Nakamura, feel free to check her out at the following links. 🙂
(I promise to add links when they become available. If  you know any feel free to leave a comment and I will ad them ASAP~!)

[Mangaka] Kano Miyamoto

Kano Miyamoto – 宮本佳野
Circle Name: CURVE
Genre(s): Yaoi, Josei, Drama, Comedy, Slice of Life, Shounen-ai, Supernatural
Kano Miyamoto is the creator of over a dozen boys’ love manga, several of which have been published internationally. Her previous English-language releases include Say Please, Two of Hearts and  Lovers and Souls. She has also published over two dozen doujinshi under the name “CURVE”. Born in Osaka on June 15th, she is a Gemini with a B blood type. (via SuBLime)

Kano Miyamoto’s work is one that I have been recently introduced to. I’m a big sucker for nice looking art styles, so I was drawn to Sleeping Moon not too long after reading the first few pages. She’s a growing sources of inspiration for me when it comes to developing my own drawing style, so I hope to read a lot more of her manga in the future.

REVIEWS COMING SOON~

Sleeping Moon // 眠れる月
Volume One Reviews
{Part One}
{Part Two} ~ COMING SOON

Volume Two
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If you also like Kano Miyamoto, feel free to check her out at the following links. 🙂
Website (Japanese) // CURVE Website (Japanese) // Twitter  (Japanese) // Facebook Fan Page (Japanese / English)

[Mangaka] Ayumi Kanou

Ayumi Kanou – 狩野アユミ
Genre(s): Shojo, BL (hinted?)

Ayumi Kanou’s style is one that I hope to learn a lot from. Especially the way she draws hair~ Everything just seems to flow when I flip through the pages of Dictatorial Grimoire and I can’t wait to have my own copy of I am Alice. Reviews for both will be up momentarily and links will provided. Once a review is posted and a link is added, I will be sure to edit this entry. 🙂

REVIEWS COMING SOON~

Dictatorial Grimoire //
Volume One — Cinderella

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Volume Two — Snow White
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Volume Three — Red Riding Hood
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I am Alice – Body Swapped in Wonderland // 俺アリス ~男女逆転~
In which Alice is a boy named Makoto who becomes trapped in a girls body~

Volume One
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Volume Two
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Volume Three
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If you also like Ayumi Kanou, feel free to check her out at the following links. 🙂
Website (Japanese) // Twitter  (Japanese) // Pixiv (Japanese)