Justin trolls around Media Do International's manga library, and starts reading whatever they got for free.
Title: Cash Boy
Published in: 1994, by Nihon Bungeisha
Author: Mio Murao
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Ecchi
Cash Boy is a story that begins with tragedy. Takanori Kitajima is a 18 year old in college whose mom remarried. He now has a little sister, Haruka Kitajima. The future was looking bright family wise, but then their parents died in a plane crash. Now the two have to try and pick themselves up together — when their parents life insurance drops them one billion yen, this changes everything for them!
What those changes are I’d have to pick up the next issue, and I am intrigued at what Cash Boy is selling. That classic 90’s art style is super appealing to me — so if you’ve read stuff like Kimagure Orange Road, DNA2, etc, you’ll get a kick out of this. The personalities of the two could not be any more different — Takanori as the boring, weak-willed dude, and Haruka, who’s cute but brutally honest. Their dynamic is interesting, and how they dealt with the loss of their parents was done well. How will these two kids getting this much money change them? It definitely has potential.
The problem with Cash Boy is the absurd amount of localization mistakes in 19 pages. From misspellings (Happines, disappoitment) to keeping the Japanese text to some of the dialogue mistakes, that’s a bit much. One example is when Haruka tells her friends about Takanori. Cut to the scene when she explains she’s making dinner for him:
Friend A: “What? You’re making the dinner!?”
Friend B: “You haven’t ever prepared dinner!”
Just ignoring the words that could be removed/changed, that just lacks punch. This is a romantic comedy. I think we can do better than those lines. So between that and repeating the same lines in a word bubble, I fear the rest of this series has many other issues that shows negligence and a lack of professionalism. And no editor? An editor or an adapter would be a big help to make it better.
Title: God Says! (Kami-sama no lutoori!)
Published in: 1992, by Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha
Author: Mito Orihara
Suzume Ohashi is the daughter of a famous actress and genius scientist. She seems to have it all… except she has a phobia of men. She’s now enrolling in an all-girls school to escape them, but then they made it co-ed. Now there are some pretty boys attending, and the girls can’t wait to meet them. However, the guys seem to be attending for a special reason… and that’s gonna involve Suzume?!
This is a pretty simple work from a long time manga creator, though reading the free chapter makes me wonder what they want Suzume for. Are they starting some sort of group or are they looking for someone to lead them? I dunno, but whatever the case, it’s not gonna make Suzume happy. With her fear of boys, it’s not gonna be fun for her. It’ll probably have some laughs in there, but at this moment I feel like with no strong hook I can at least wait to read this sometime down the road.
Unlike Cash Boy, the localization was better. It uses commas a bit too much (“It seems like someone moved in, to the western style house that was empty for so long”) and had one misspelling (weirdo, not wierdo), but was otherwise fine.
Title: Heart Break Club (Seishun Shonbori Club)
Published in: 2011, by Akita Publishing
Serialized in: Princess
Author: Nikki Asada
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Nima Momosato has a crush. The problem: she’s had crushes on many boys. For some inexplicable reason though, when she wants to get in a relationship with a boy, those boys find someone else right in front of her eyes. She doesn’t even get a chance to know them well enough; she just gets rejected, sometimes without confessing. This fascinates Yoriko Mitoya, who wants to observe love and relationships and discover why Nima has such bad luck. After a bit of back and forth, Nima joins the club, and… we’ll see what goes on from here.
This lasted 15 volumes in Japan, so I have to hope new challenges will be added or it’ll be funny. The first chapter was amusing, but unless you’re wondering if she can not be the Hanamichi Sakuragi of this manga, there’s not much to the work. The art isn’t too bad. It’s actually localized well enough (one small mistake). The cast of characters so far have their quirks and personalities well defined. So it could get better, but I’m not wanting to read more of it just yet.
That said, Nikki Asada is an artist to watch for. In addition to this, she’s also doing the illustration for another title published in English. It’s definitely well known. She’s also working on a few manga for Kodansha in Japan. This may not be the first manga we get from her in the next couple years.