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[MANGA TALK]

Romantic sentiments of a sweet sixteen

Somehow bumped into a youtube video of a young woman performing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. She is one of the hopefuls of this year’s UK’s X Factor.  

I am in no position to judge her skills and quality as a singer as per the X Factor contest. But I love the way she sang the song – It was as if the song was made for her to sing out those romantic sentiments and lovely feelings of a sweet 16.

… and that somehow echoes to many shoujo stories that I have come across with. In particular those of the late 70’s and 80’s, of which the storylines were non-dramatic at all. Also, simple artwork was often used to allow those stories to focus on human and (of course) romantic relationships, through which emotions and sentiments of the young heroines were depicted.

(On top of my head), few classic examples of such include:

SHIOMORI Keiko – Kirinkan Tooru (希林館通り), 1979

Story: Karin’s family ran an accommodation business, Kirinkan, catered for students. For a very long time, she had developed a crush on Itozaki, a teacher at her high school, but had no intention at all to confess her feelings to him. Nevertheless, things were about to change when Itozaki introduced his friend, Takahiro, to stay at the Kirinkan….

Karin and Itozaki became closer as they got to know each other better…. and eventually Itozaki proposed to her, at her (and everyone else’s) great surprise! However a great person Itozaki was, Karin became insecure of their relationship as she lacked a confidence in herself. Her insecurity grew even stronger when Itozaki’s ex-girl friend suddenly showed up…..

The story continued as both of them became engaged, Itozaki left her high school (because of their relationship) for Kyoto to advance his research study, whilst Karin stayed and worked in a local publishing company after her graduation. It was not easy to maintain a long distance relationship, especially for Itozaki’s reserved personality and Karin’s growing insecurity. Moreover, Karin was concerned and terrified by her growing feeling for another man, who happened to be her boss….

HIKAWA Kyouko – Shiroi Mado no Mukougawa (白い窓の向こう側), 1980

Story: (From Baka-Updates) Seiko is a normal girl with a tendency for daydreaming, and Yoshito’s a fairly sensitive, subdued boy. They’ve been close friends since grade school, and now that they’re in high school, their feelings for each other become complicated. Though all of the diverse array of characters in the story seem to see it as plain as day, Seiko does not realize Yoshito would like to be more than friends.

KURAMOCHI Fusako – Obake Tango (おばけたんご), 1992

Story: A boy called Tango was engaged to Ako when they were just 7 years old!  Later, the boy was killed in a car accident but his parents survived. There was another family involved in the accident, where Rukuruu’s parents were also killed…. Eventually, Rukuruu was adopted by Tango family and became Ako’s fiance in Tango’s place.

Ako and Rukuruu grew up together and went to the same high school. In the past 10 years, Ako had resisted to be his future wife and tried to convince him, by all means, to cancel their engagement! In truth, Ako was annoyed by Rukuruu’s apathetic attitude towards their relationship – would it not be a concern to him at all, to live in Tango’s life for the rest of his life?……

The title, Obake Tango, can also be translated as “The ghost of Tango (the boy)”.

YACHI Emiko – Kakatte Kinasai! (かかってきなさい!), 1990

Story: (From Baka-Updates) The story revolved around Tsukina, an ordinary girl who constantly battles the problems created by the people around her on a daily basis. The story is very cute and it’s fun to see the hero becomes frustrated at how clueless Tsukina is to his feeling.

==

Going back to this girl in X Factor…. I hope she will win the contest ^^

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