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 images 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.

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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 reread 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 ->

 

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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!

ETA:

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

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.

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