Ribon Comics, 1995
Once again this manga series isn’t quite random, as there is an anime series made off of it, but perhaps that anime isn’t quite well known yet as most others? Ah well, I like the manga so much I decided to include it here 🙂 Gokinjo Monogatari or ‘Neighborhood Story’ is one totally wild manga 🙂 The art style is so incredibly insane, and the character’s clothing styles is so retro it’s cool! The look of this manga is enough to set it aside from all the rest! Everyone is drawn so skinny that they make the characters from Marmalade Boy look fat! And everything is drawn with very thin lines, and then has a lot of solid black shading. In the anime you’ll notice a similar look- lots of shadows in solid black, and characters colored with solid patches of color. Everyone in this Neighborhood dresses in uber-swanky 70’s style.
The story is about a girl named Mikako. Her mom is a manga artist, and she herself attends an unusual school. It’s like a school that focuses on textiles or something ^^; Mikako’s main focus of study is fashion design. For once they go to a school that looks *unique*! All her life, Mikako has lived next-door to a boy named Tsutomu. They grew up together and are best friends. However things lately have been different. All the girls have been noticing Tsutomu’s resemblance to a popular rock star, and their gushing over his cuteness has made Mikako take a second look at this best friend she’s known forever. She realizes that they are growing up and she actually sees him as a ‘guy’ for the first time instead of the friend she always knew. This creates a lot of tension between them. Things get more complicated when an older girl also notices Tsutomu and latches on to him. Yes this is a shoujo manga series about relationships, but the style of it is so very wild that it’s really worth taking a look at it! Also, another fun thing- if you get all the manga and line them up side by side, you’ll notice that all of the cover art makes one nice big picture 🙂 I also highly recommend the anime! Hearing Mikako yell WARP! is an experience, I tell ya! 🙂
Another series set in the Gokinjo World was made after this one. It is called Paradise Kiss and one of the supporting characters is Mikako’s younger sister Miwako.