Anime/Manga Recommendation: Alpen Rose

In case you’re not sure what to do this coming weekend, may I suggest a vintage series called Alpen Rose (アルペンローゼ) .

Well, maybe it’s not as vintage as our favorites (CC and GNK). The series was released in mid 1980s, first as a manga then adapted into an anime.

Still, if you fancy a tear jerker shoujo romance series, set in a historical era with a convoluted plot and a touch of mystery, plus an amnesiac heroine who also becomes a nurse, this one just may fit the bill 😀

The synopsis from tv trope:

Lundi Cortot is a boy who lives in Switzerland with his aunt and uncle in 1932, few years before World War II; in these days, he and his family find a little girl in a dandelion plain, and they take her in alongside her cockatoo Printemps. Since she can’t remember anything about her past, they rename her Jeudi and raise her for a while until she’s taken in by a nearby store (manga) or a nursery school (anime).

Fast forward to 1939, few after the Austrian Anschluss and a little before Switzerland declares its neutrality. Lundi and Jeudi are already teenagers, but Jeudi is still amnesiac; her only clue about her identity is a song that repeats itself in her memories, whose name is apparently Alpen Rose. And then, a strange man named Count Germont appears and attempts to kidnap Jeudi! When she refuses to become his mistress and is pretty much locked in the castle as a maid, Lundi rescues her and they run away from home, setting out in a journey to find the answers to all of their questions, as well as falling in love in the process…

The complete 20-episode series of the anime adaptation, fully subbed in English can be found here

The manga is comprised of 9 volumes, just like CC. But I don’t think all the manga chapters are available in English. If you’re interested, you can find some of the chapters here

For any other details related to the series you can refer wikipedia

PS – No worries. Another chapter of Forever and a Day is cooking in the pot right now 😉


Anime/Manga Recommendation: Meiji Hiiro Kitan and Meiji Melancholia

Another article in less than a week?

Is this for real? Yes it is, since you’ve all been so understanding and supportive 😀

You surely don’t want to miss this if you’ve been wondering about another series that has protagonists similar to Albert and Candy in Candy Candy. Yes, there’s Love So Life, and maybe Emma too to an extent. But I might have just found another one with a storyline that is more compelling than the other two. Well, I certainly think so 😀

Meiji Hiiro Kitan (明治緋色綺譚) and its sequel, Meiji Melancholia (明治メランコリア) are manga by Rikachi (リカチ). The two titles are serialized in Be Love, a manga magazine aimed for adult women (yes, such a thing exists :D).

The series was completely out of my radar until about a month ago, when one leisure browsing on a stressful night led to a stumble upon this hidden gem.

The art, as you can see from the cover image below, is very appealing. Rikachi sensei is obviously an amazing artist.

However, I must admit that it wasn’t the pretty art that first drew me to the series. Rather it was the two leads, Tsugaru and Suzuko, and that even upon a quick glance at the synopsis below, I just couldn’t stop imagining Albert & Candy in the same setting and scenario.

Synopsis from Aerandria Scans:
It’s the middle of the Meiji Era and our heroine, little Suzu, is sold to the red lights district. However, the rich heir of a dry goods store, Tsugaru, buys her freedom for no apparent reason. She is deeply grateful for being saved, but she doesn’t understand why he paid so much money for her and the only explanation he offers is “we have a bond.”

She tries to unravel the mystery of his feelings and gradually grows from a little girl to a young woman, always by his side. A gentle and slow-paced love story set in the Meiji Era.


Tsugaru & Suzuko

From the synopsis you could probably tell this is yet another age-gap romance. The kind of trope that satisfies my guilty pleasure craving 😀

Actually, this isn’t the only series of this particular breed of romance manga I’m following. There are a few, but none had truly grabbed me as Meiji Hiiro Kitan had.

No doubt this manga has become my new obsession—which isn’t a bad thing, considering how this could spark more inspirations, in the same way an impulsive re-read of Garasu no Kamen had reintroduced me to Candy Candy, which later had galvanized me into writing my first CC fic, and a brisk liaison with Emma had led me to pen Awakening.

As it turns out, the tradition still holds. I’ve regained a renewed determination to continue my ongoing stories, and I owe it all to Meiji.

So… Have I managed to rouse your curiosity yet?

If you’re slightly interested and want to know more about the series, or you’re just plain curious about Albert & Candy from the Meiji Era, read along 😀

Continue reading ->


Yumiko Igarashi’s Other (Less Known) Works: Recent Works

Are you aware that there is a long list of manga created by our very own Yumiko Igarashi other than Candy Candy, Georgie, and Mayme Angel? You can find the complete list here Quite impressive isn’t it? And versatile too. … Continue reading

News & Update: Anime/Manga Recommendation Page is Live!

For your convenience, I created a master list for anime/manga. So now you can find all the series I talked about in previous posts, along with some others I never mentioned, on one page, instead of having to search them through the archive.

The list can be found here

I hope you find this useful.

Enjoy 🙂


If you’re interested, currently I’m reading/watching:

  • Toshokan Sensou – Love & War Bessatsu Hen – a manga sequel currently running in LaLa
  • Love So Life light novel – When The Cherry Blossoms Bloom
  • Tsubaki Chou Lonely Planet a manga currently running in Margaret by Yamamori Mika, who is the creator of Hirunaka no Ryuusei, which I don’t like for one specific reason
  • Shingeki no Kyojin
  • Watching and reading and re-reading various adaptations of Jane Austen’s works
  • Watching and re-watching various Ghibli movies
  • Re-reading some old manga titles
  • And last but not least my (sorry) attempt of watching Candy Candy anime

Guhhhh… I’m such a geek. LOL.

Hiatus Aftermath Rambling & Love So Life Spoiler

Happy Tuesday everyone (or early Wednesday to those of you in the other part of the world)

Can you believe it that July is going to end soon? Then before we know it, summer will be over. Time sure flies. A few week have passed since I came back from my vacation, yet I haven’t accomplished much with regard to my writing and still haven’t finished responding to all the comments and messages. I really am sorry for taking long. Unfortunately with so much going on, I can’t promise things would improve anytime soon. Rest assured, I’ll address each one of your comments. In addition, I’ve not forgotten about “Awakening” and “All I Want”. Whenever I could, I would write a bit here and there. My goal is to release one chapter by end of the month. And there are also a few posts I need to finish for the blog, continuing the ongoing analysis on the manga/anime. BTW, if there’s a specific scene from the manga you think a bit vague and you’d like to discuss and have it translated from the original Japanese tankoubon, let me know.

Moving on to a more exciting news, do you remember Love So Life, a manga I recommended back in 2003 in this post? At that time, I mentioned the series was currently running in Japan. Guess what? The series is finished now. The final chapter was recently released in Japan. I skimmed through it, and I’m happy to say I like the ending, very very much. It’s a good one, really good, with no ambiguity whatsoever. I highly recommend this adorable series. It’s one of those series that can literally put a smile on your face, even in a gloomy day. And … have I told you how the OTP, Seiji & Shiharu, their personalities and situations remind me of Albert and Candy, complete with the age gap, subtle development, and all? And how I’ve considered them as the Japanese Albert & Candy of the modern era? 😀

For those who are curious here is a tiny peek of the final chapter. Beware major spoiler alert!


There’s a light novel version of the series! Although the writer is not Kaede Kouchi, it’s as adorable as the manga. Even better, it’s told from the hero POV, from Seiji. He’s too cute at times 🙂

I wish Mizuki would’ve done something like this for the novel. She could’ve retold the story from Albert’s POV. Now that would be something I would be eager to invest.

Continue reading

Manga/Anime Recommendation: Emma

Recently, I’ve just completed reading an utterly charming manga called Emma by Kaoru Mori.

If you like historical romance and Candy Candy – even more so if you’re an Albert Candy fan-  this series will be perfect for you.

emmaSynopsis from Baka-Updates:
In Victorian-era England, a young girl is rescued from a life of destitution and raised to become a proper British maid. Emma meets William, the eldest son of a wealthy family, and immediately falls in love with him. William shares her feelings, but the strict rules of their society prevent their relationship from ever coming out in the open. Traditional class distinctions and rich, historical details provide the backdrop for this appealing romance.

Continue reading

Manga/Anime Recommendation: Library Wars (Toshokan Sensou)

Need a new series to read or watch?

I highly recommend Library Wars. There’ s even a reference to a prince, just like Candy & her prince of the Hill 😉

1660588_618296081592166_259475896_nSynopsis from mangaart:
During the 31st year of Seika, the battle between the Library Force and the Media Improvement Committee reached a new level of violence. Each group has armed itself for either the freedom of expression or the “protection” of society from the bad influences of media. Kasahara Iku joins the Library Force with the intent of finding her “Prince” who helped her during a censorship exercise by the Media Improvement Committee and with her strong will of protecting books.

Continue reading

Short Film: Dareka no Manazashi だれかのまなざし by Makoto Shinkai

Are you familiar with Miyazaki? Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Totoro? Does any one of them ring a bell? Those are some of Hayao Miyazaki critically acclaimed animated works. Very recently, Miyazaki just announced his retirement. While his retirement is sort of expected given his old age, it still is considered a terrible loss in the anime world.

There is one name that has been mentioned from time to time again as an artist who can pass Miyazaki’s legacy. It’s Makoto Shinkai. He has been hailed as the new Miyazaki. And I couldn’t agree more with that. His work is hauntingly beautiful both in terms of art/animation and narrative.

If you have ten minutes to spare, I highly recommend you watch this short film by Makoto Shinkai. Dareka no Manazashi (Someone’s Gaze) and tell me if you don’t think this is a poignant short film that resonates deeply. The message is deep but presented in a very simplistic format. A beautiful story between a father and his daughter.

Note: The subtitle is already included in the film. You might need to activate it first though. Once you click play, hover over the youtube screening area to bring up the control panel at the bottom. Then click on the CC button (caption). Click (on) to turn on the caption, and the subtitle should come out now. It may take several tries but the caption is there, embedded within the video. Let me know if you still have problem.

Anime/Manga Recommendation: Love So Life

Love So Life is a manga by Kouchi Kaede, which is still currently running in Japan. The story is adorable. I can’t stop smiling reading each chapter. The romance progresses slow but very realistic. The main couple, Shiharu and Seiji, is like the modern day Albert and Candy from Candy Candy. Shiharu is an orphan girl just like Candy, and Seiji is an adult man who works as a TV newscaster. The story starts with Seiji offering a babysitting job to Shiharu to care for his toddler twins nephew and niece. From there, their relationship develops.

I highly recommend the manga if you like fluffy and light-hearted story, a good diversion from the brunt of stress. The angst is almost non-existent. There is drama but the level of cuteness makes you forget about it easily. But don’t be deceived by the fluff – the story is not a cookie-cutter fairy tale with zero development. The author has done a good job in developing the characters (and plot), and everything is done in a realistic way. The one drawback is that the manga is still not finished yet, so this can lead to a long waiting period that can easily become a source of frustration.