Boys x Girls
Title: Danshi x Joushi
Ribon Mascot Comics, 2000
Yay, another slightly older, totally random manga! I like this one because it is somewhat different than the average shoujo manga story about girls finding love or being in love. This collection of one-shots focuses on other things instead. While love is a theme, the main focus isn’t on various heroines finding boyfriends. It’s nice to change it up a bit every once in a while! 🙂 I don’t have anything else by this author, but that seems strange, because the art style is very familiar. The style is cute, but not the humongous-eyes-overly-cute style that sometimes dominates Ribon magazine.
This book contains 4 short stories. The first is my favorite, but they are all very nice. In story 1, a girl named Kamikawa-chan finds herself troubled by a boy in her class. Ishigami is very obnoxious and she can’t see why he is so popular. Her opinion of him is not helped when she overhears him and the other boys laughing over some ecchi girly magazines that he brought to school. Ugh, boys. However, Kamikawa-chan’s opinion and whole perspective on Ishigami changes one day when she finds his class ID card and memo book laying on the ground. Before realizing who the memo book belongs to, she reads through it and is shocked to find a brief diary and a familiar photo. What is said in that diary is unbelievable. It’s an Ishigami she doesn’t know, and now she finds herself being forced to keep his startling secret. Can she keep quiet, or will she reveal it to their class?
The second story deals with friendship angst between a group of three friends when one of them is revealed to secretly be dating a boy that one of the other two girls really likes. Yoriko-chan is caught in the middle of this bad situation and can only try to smooth things out between her friends, but will this rift be enough to ruin their friendship forever?
Next up is a story with a little bit of fantasy in it! Kuki-chan has a problem. She is being stalked! She isn’t absolutely sure at first, but the feeling she is being followed is very strong and is beginning to scare her. Her friends at school try to be supportive, but they can’t always be with her. When she encounters a strange boy on her way home from school, she gets even more scared. Things finally reach a point where a notebook is found at her school containing hundreds of photos of Kuki, in various places, and all obviously taken without her knowledge. Who is doing this to her!? She ends up getting some help from a very unexpected source!
Finally we have a story about school bullying. Seriously, when girls bully each other in Japanese schools (at least in shoujo manga), they can get pretty vicious, and everyone tends to look the other way. Rin is in a class that is doing just this. A girl named Marie is a notorious bully, and for the last month, her target has been a smart girl in their class named Fukazawa-san. Everyone tries to ignore what Marie is doing, saying it is none of their business. Rin does the same, observing all the bullying but doing nothing. However, as Marie begins to get more vicious, Rin finds herself unable to be an observer any longer. Is there anything she can do to help Fukazawa?