Posts Tagged mangaka review

Arina Tanemura

(Sorry this is going up a little later than intended! I had a few medical issues to attend to, but all is well now! Enjoy!)

It would be a shock to find a shojo manga collection that didn’t contain a single work by the illustrious Arina Tanemura. Full Moon is no doubt one of the most popular shojo manga to hit shelves since Sailor Moon. Her stories are heart-warming, and looking through her works is evidence that there is true art to be found in manga. Since the recent US release of Time Stranger Kyoko by Viz Media, all six of her first works have been received in the US with open arms. With any luck, it won’t be long before we see Absolute Awakening Angel: Mistress Fortune hit our shores. Though I’d be willing to bet that it may be a while (yay for scanlations!). At any rate, her resounding success in the US should speak well for her talent.

One of my favorite things about reading Tanemura-san’s works is her notes. There are a ton of side-panel notes, comments on each chapter, etc. in all of her tankoban. I almost always enjoy reading what she has to say, even when her comments have nothing to do with the book! She really gives the reader a lot of insight into how the characters and their stories came to be.

What draws many into Tanemura-san’s manga was the art. One glance at pretty much any given cover will simply suck you into her beautiful world. When I read anything of hers, I can’t help but think wonder just how she sees the world around her. In some of her earlier stuff, there was a bit too much of an emphasis on decoration, but it never took away from the story (though I’ve caught myself more than once pausing in my reading to observe all of the details).

An issue I find between many of her works is similar character design. You might not notice if you read one series of hers, wait a month, and read another, but many of her leading female characters look a lot alike. Take Mitsuki and Kyoko, for example:

In addition to physical design, many of these lead female characters share personalities. Headstrong, wanting to help others, a little clumsy, in love with someone unreachable, etc. These characteristics do make for a loveable character  who is easy to connect with, but if you’re reading two series by Tanemura-san at once, it’s easy to get a little confused.

All in all, the works of Arina Tanemura are breathtaking in both art and story. Many are destined to become classics, and I look forward to reading more and more of her manga. Look for volume nine of The Gentlemen’s Alliance† hitting stores next month from Viz Media!


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