Usotsuki Lily

If you enjoy a manga that involves a cross dressing boy who vomits blood every time a guy touches him, then this is the manga for you. Contrary to the image, Usotsuki Lily is not a Yuri manga rather the cross dressing individual is straight. Usotsuki Lily is a gender bender romance manga, where it follows a girlfriends journey in having a boyfriend thats cuter than she is. Originally when En Shinohara had asked out Hinata Saotome she was completely oblivious to his cross dressing tendencies, but she gets past her frustrations and falls in love with him easily. I love Usotsuki Lily because it gets rid of any gender stereotypes, but it also breaks all the conventions and just has two people who have fallen in love, making appearances not everything in a relationship. Passing the gender bender topic, Hinata Saotome and Hinata Saotome are the best couple, they are stupidly in love with one another, making enough drama for you to roll over in laughter. One of the greatest things this manga does, is that it does not follow one couple but multiple. This variety adds many new stories and a lot more humour, if anything it makes the plot better than it already is.

En Shinohara, cross dresser, confident, beautiful and a jealous individual when it comes to his girls friends attentions. En cross dresses as a hobby, because he absolutely loves women. But on a more serious note he does it because of his pure hatred towards men, if he sees even a reflection of himself he will punch it. En is a nice boy, but he makes me frustrated because he looks so damn good as a girl.

Hinata Saotome, kind, blunt, oblivious and a deep romantic but has a taste for good looking men which is why she instantly fell for En. She is a very open girl as she easily accepts en’s hobby and his reasons why. Hinata fights for what she wants, and she becomes the ‘ideal’ girl for En when he explains to other people his love for her. Hinata is very much into doing her own gags which makes the whole manga series way more interesting.

Bearer of good news, the manga is complete so there is an ending, which i can gladly say is fulfilling. Usotsuki Lily is one of the greater gender bender novels you can read, and even if you are unsure i say read it. The romance and slice of life style will only make you fall more in love with this manga.

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Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

If you enjoy a slice of life story where the main protagonist looks suspiciously like Kyoya from Ouran host club, then this is the anime for you. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is only a 12 episode anime, but those 12 episodes are absolute perfection. The plot follows a boy called Sakamoto, who is the heartthrob for both girls and boys. He is the pure essence of COOL, and no matter what the situation Sakamoto fixes it in such a dramatic way that people only see it as brilliance. Most people just peg his brilliance as a ‘secret skill’. Every episode has a different problem, but as always Sakamoto saves the day through the weirdest of methods, be it through holding an umbrella elegantly despite it being turned inside out. He takes being the main character to a new level, so imagine yourself doing an activity to the best of your ability and over dramatizing it, that is a Sakamoto move.  He is smart, well dressed, serious and still people fawn over him. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is one of the best anime i have seen, it is so good that i catch myself humming his main theme tune and it makes me giggle all the time. One of the best things about this show is that Sakamoto does not fall in love with any characters, nor does he really have any sort of affection. It’s very refreshing to see. If this does not motivate you, then the opening song will get you hooked. Im not kidding, this anime is hilarious, and imaging he might be Kyoya from Ouran Host Club, only makes the whole thing more hilarious.

Sakamoto, Cool, Coolest, serious, perfect, he is the best student a teacher could ask for, and not only this but he is good looking as well. Sakamoto is at first a boy who is oblivious to many peoples feelings, but once he catches on that a person is sad he will try his best to fix their unhappiness. Sakamoto has many methods to get around, for instance in one episode he was kicking a stone, and when you thought it was over he defied gravity and kicked the stone along a steep river bank.

Yoshinobu Kubota, quiet, cute, low self esteem, Kubota is Sakamotos best friend, which came about from him being bullied. Kubota is a nice side character, he unlike many of the students does not see Sakamoto in a love way but a friendship way. 

Bearer of bad news, there are only 12 episodes and for me the ending wasn’t as satisfying but it did make me smile. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is a must see, you will be loosing out if you don’t watch it. The main thing about this anime, is it tries to make you laugh by over exaggerating every situation, and i say they do a great job.

Whisper of the Heart

If you enjoy two young children who inspire one another to pursue their future careers then this is the film for you. Whisper of the Heart is a cute drama filled romance, where it follows two young children pursuing their passions. The plot follows Shizuku Tsukishima who often goes to the library and it is through sheer coincidence that every book she takes out was checked out before by a boy called Seiji Amasawa. Her adventures starts here as one day her curiosity gets the best of her when she follows a big white cat, because he was riding the train like a human would. She soon finds Seiji Amasawa who she learns wants to be a luthier (a violin maker), with his push Shizuku decided she was finally going to write. And she uses an antique cat called The Baron as the main protagonist to her story. The most famous part of this movie is the famed bike ride, and i have to say it is so cute, adorable and beautiful. Which is expected of a Studio Ghibli film, the art is just amazing, and the music is captivating. What i am about to tell you, will certainly make you watch this film with more eagerness than before. Whisper of the Heart is an early Studio Ghibli film, and in actuality is a sort of prequel to The Cat Returns. Throughout the whole film there are many allusions to The Cat Returns, for instance the fat white cat riding the train, or the antique cat called The Baron, which you do learn has a female companion, so this film adds a few extra elements to his story. The actual novella that Shizuku writes, which is the most obvious piece is the very early prequel to The Cat Returns, she writes a very similar plot and it will get you excited. So if you enjoy any Studio Ghibli film or The Cat Returns then you have to watch this film, it is an original and you will  feel your heart flutter once more.

Shizuku Tsukishima, age 14, book lover, quick temper, good singer, unsure about the future. Shizuku is a kind girl who does not have a lot of confidence in her own abilities, and so she easily feels overwhelmed when Seiji knows what he wants to do with his life. I like her alot, Shizuku has made it evident that she does not want to be a burden but rather make her own way in the world. And i can aspire to her feelings.

 

Seiji Amasawa, age 14, confident, good head on his shoulders, teases people, very persistent. Seiji knows what he wants to be and he has never faltered in his ambition once. Despite his care for his family and friends he will put everything on the line so he can be the best violin maker in the world. And i have to give him credit for his devotion.

Bearer of good news, as i said The Cat Returns is like a sequel to this so you can watch see the end of Shizuku’s novel if you watch the film. Studio Ghibli films are great, they make brilliant films and their music is the best so no matter what film they make it is perfect. Whisper of the Heart is one of the best out there, so i have to push you to watch it if you already haven’t.

 

Double Arts

If you enjoy a martial arts styled manga where both protagonists have to hold hands for eternity, then this is the manga for you. Double Art’s is in a world where a disease called troy is spreading over, and when one is infected they literally disappear. Troy is spread through skin to skin contact. There are people called sisters, who are trying to find the cure for this disease, but in the mean time they absorb the harmfull disease from those infected. Sisters use the ‘healing arts’ in order to absorb the disease, and while they have a high resistance to the Troy disease they will eventually die. The sisters main mission is to find the person who is wholly immune to the troy disease. The main sister we follow is Elraine who starts to contract the symptoms of the troy disease, and on the verge of death a young man called Kiri holds her hand. It is here she find that she no longer feels pain, because Kiri Luchile is the chosen man they are looking for. The whole point is that they can not let go of one another hands because Elraine will die. This manga is a perfect piece to read, it is filled with romance, adventure and a unique fighting ability called Double Art’s. This is a rare find, and it’s not that well known, but you should definitely give it a try, it has a great art style as well. And the outfits they were are so pretty, i would so want to wear them.

Elraine Figarette, age 16a sister, a healer, kind and deeply cares for those around her. Elraine has been a sister since she was 8, and by the time she became 16 she had healed more people than any in the sisterhood. She is a kind girl who wants to push people she cares about away, especially when she contracts the disease. Elraine is a great character, she definitely knows how to fight and she wont let her disease get the best of her, since she would die for the sake of the world. And that means getting Kiri to the head church so they can make the whole world immune. 

Kiri Luchile, age 16, a painter, calm, rash, and a happy go lucky boy. Kiri is a great boy to become friends with. From having immune blood he has a ‘power’ called flare, which lets him to see his strength and speed that he can gain with the number of people he touches. Kiri is a very lucky boy, even more so to have meet Elraine.

Bearer of bad news, there is only a manga, so there is no anime adaption to watch. But the best thing to know is that it is a complete manga, and the ending is not bad but not good either. The only qualm i have is that the journey is not that complete, but overall i find that the plot was good and i was happy with the end result.

Hotarubi no Mori E

If you enjoy summer romances and curses then this is the anime for you. Hotarubi no Mori E is a forty minute film which follows it’s shoujo manga to a T. The film follows a girl called Hotaru who as a young child gets lost in a forest thanks to an evil spirit when she is visiting her grandmother. Being too deep in the forest she cannot get out, and by chance she finds Gin. Gin is a supernatural spirt who despite having a human appearance has a curse that if he is touched by a human he will disappear. Despite saying this, Hotaru’s child mind decided she wants to play and try to catch him. Though he dodges each time and pokes her with a stick. After she is saved Hotaru promised that every summer she would visit him. And she did, we see her grow older each summer meanwhile Gin does not age one bit. The climax of the story happens when she physically becomes the same age as Gin. Throughout the whole film I was star stuck at their cute love for one another well Hotaru more so than Gin. The one thing I did enjoy about this film is the art work, it was smooth and seemed more so like the manga style. I’m not going to lie, this film may be a nice romance comedy, but I got very teary at the end. 40 minutes was not enough for me.

Gin, calm, nice, quiet, despite his cold attitude he seems to really care for humans. Gin’s main appearance follows him wearing a festival mask, we do not see his face for a while but it’s worth it. Gin is a very comical person, who often teases Hotaru. One of the cutest things he does is tie a ribbon on his arm and then to Hotarus to help her stay on the correct path. It is so cute.

Hotaru Takegawa, age 6 at start, is brash, cute and very childlike throughout the film. Hotaru found Gin very fascinating, especially when he is friends with the spirits in the forest. Hotaru, at first is just a child but as she grows she is seen as a beautiful young lady who even catches Gina eye. She become great friends with Gin after noticing he is lonely, and she also becomes great friends with the mountain spirits.

Bearer of mediocre news, there is a manga but the film follows it to a T, so while reading it will be nice, there is nothing new that is put into the story.

Beast Master

If you enjoy a wild child styled manga where if a boy sees his own blood or falls unconscious he becomes animalistic the this is the manga for you. This comedy manga follows a teenage boy leo Aoi, who despite his innocent nature can becomes very violet when angered. However with the help of animal lover Yuiko Kubozuka his bloodthirsty nature can be calmed and he easily follows her like a love sick puppy afterwards. The most interesting thing about this manga is that it focuses on taming an animalistic person. I like the concept of seeing past Aoi’s violent nature, and seeing his true naive person, it makes the romantic nature of the manga more powerful. I would say if you enjoy Beauty and the Beast, the you should read this manga. It definitely has the same story.

Yuiko Kubozuka, age 17, animal lover, strong, independent. The funny thing about her is that animals hate her, that no creature will treat her kindly. Which in some way makes no sense to how she can tame Aoi, but it can just be because she is maternal to animals.

Aoi Leo, age 17, naive, innocent, sharp eyes and has an animalistic nature when he faints or sees blood. He for as long as he can remember he has always been in hostile homes and remote locations so he has no idea how to interact socially.

Bearer of bad news, there is only a short manga but the story does get more interesting in the later chapters so read it slow and enjoy it to the fullest.

Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!

If you enjoy shows where the main character is a NEET who realises she is not popular then this is the anime for you. Watamote follows a girl called Kuroki Tomoko who through playing constant Otome games, and watching various anime believed she would fly through High school. However the reality is that she is a social anxious individual, who can barely get a word out to a girl, let alone a boy. I love this anime. Watamote is very relatable if you are a shy, or a social anxious individual and you can understand her pain in every episode. Although every episode does give you second hand embarrassment, the amount of cringe is overwhelming. Watamote is perfect if you just want to laugh or be embarrassed. One of the best things this anime does, is when we hear Tomko’s inner monologues she is commenting that people should act like they do in otome games, and i can so understand her. She is rather obsessed with the idea that she will be popular if everyone else just acts the right way. Although even i have to say, there are some very embarrassing scenes that i had to pause and just relieve myself of the second hand embarrassment. But there has to be something special about an anime, that it can make you feel embarrassed and still want to watch it. Oh and to push you more into watching this, the opening song is killer. It is perfect and i did not skip it once.

Kuroki Tomoko, age 15, pervert, socially inept, NEET, pessimistic, and painfully shy. Tomoko in retrospect has no social life, she with exception of two people did not have any friends in middle school. Tomoko somehow in every episode embarrasses herself and causes those around her to effectively see her as odd. She is overcritical of other girls, which i found one of the worst things about the anime.

Kuroki Tomoki, age 14, soccer member, popular, and weirded out by his sister. Despite his attitude to Tomoko he as a young kid admired her so much, and arguable he still admires her. He is a boy who has many friends and will through his pride away to help his big sister.

Yu Naruse, age 15, best friend to Tomoko in middle school, girly, She is a girl who was like Tomoko but once high school hit she made a huge makeover. Naruse is an innocent character so she is a complete opposite to Tomoko. All in all, it’s hard to see how they became friends in middle school. I guess the power of loving anime brings opposites together.

Bearer of good news, there is a manga that extents a bit further than the manga does. Sadly there are only 12 episodes in the anime, so it ends too quickly for our liking.

Fun tips, watch all the endings, there are some little changes that correlate to the episode making them all unique. And you have to pay attention to episode 10’s opening transition. You can skip all the openings except for this one. The turn of the opening scenes to the opening is just so powerful. I do not recommend, i demand you watch episode 10 fully.

Five

If you enjoy a strong female protagonist who is bent on having female friends, then this is the manga for you. FIVE a shoujo manga that focuses on the lives of 6 beautiful and smart kids. Hina Aso is the new transfer student, and this school assigns classes to the persons grading, and since Hina is a very intellectual girl she is placed in A+ class. An all boy class. Typical really. Hina being the only female is devastated that she cannot have any female friends, but she through various events becomes friends with the five most talented boys in the whole school. Now don’t go thinking this is a typical slice of life story, where the female has fallen hopelessly in love. Rather this manga, has Hina’s character fight her own battles. She is fully capable of whatever is thrown at her, and that is inspiring. She knows self defence, she is smart, and most of all she does not fall in love easily. FIVE is a brilliant manga, as not only is it’s art style unique but each of the five boys have very different personalities so you feel as if you really know them. I definitely suggest you read this, not for the art but for the plot as well. I mean in one chapter, they have sports day on another island, ridiculous i know but absolutely hilarious.

Hina Aso, smart, oblivious, childish, but a very capable girl. Hina is the main female who despite being surrounded by boys, only sees them as her friends. She is nicknamed princess by her friends, a sort of respected name considering she is the only female in the smartest class. One thing about her, is that once she drinks coffee she essentially gets drunk and has no self control on her strength. Seriously it is the funniest thing you will see. Hina is gorgeous as well.

Toshi Shumizu, leader, player, he is the first person to meet Hina but he doesn’t make the best impression. Toshi is the typical player of the group, he seems to not like monogamy which only ticks Hina off. Despite his attitidue, Toshi does care for Hina which can be seen when he accepts her as part of their group.

Koijro Yauchi, modern samurai, silent, he is gifted with a katana and is like a body guard for the group. He is a man of few words or expressions, but he does not lack in kindness. He’s is the most humorous because he uses a wooden sword for his attacks.

Jun Tairaku, smart, calculative, and he is the least athletic of the group. Jun by far is the the top of his year, he solves some impossible questions. But this helps when they need to hack into something. Jun is the heir to a restaurant which holds some favour from very powerful people. Which is hilarious when he uses these favours in silly situations.

Takui Iwabuchi, sporty, big brother, he is the most ‘normal’ of the group. Takui is an insane cook, which can be brought about from taking care of his family. He is most known to have a skateboard.

Nao Arisawa, cute, tiny, cute and the richest kid in the whole class. Nao is insecure about his friendship to Hina, especially since he only believes girls wants to be friends with him because of the company his father owns. But Hina beats his insecurities and he would do anything for her. I like Nao, but he’s too childlike for my taste.

Bearer of bad news, the manga is not complete, and there is not anime. So, while there is no end, it only means there are more chapters to read, therefore making the story longer, which i definitely enjoy.

Mamotte! Lollipop

If you enjoy magical boys and romantic comedies then this is the anime for you. Mamotte! Lollipop is a fantasy based anime that has a wide amount of magical battles, and it also doesn’t fall short on the romantic side either. The plot follows a young girl called Nina Yamada, who accidentally ate the crystal peal. The crystal pearl is an object that is used for the sorcery exam, which goes on for half a year. The exam goes on that whoever has the pearl at the end of 6 months is the person/group to pass the exam. However because Nina ate the pearl she is now targeted, and many of the participants do not value her life, she is expendable. But Zero and Ichii decided that they needed to protect Nina, mainly for the pearl. Apart from the obvious killing intent, many of the other characters are fabulous. They all have their own individual quirks and that’s what makes this anime special. It’s rare to have so many side characters in a short anime and actually expand on their backgrounds. Mamotte! Lollipop is a very cute light hearted anime that though has a damsel in distress situation, it still makes you go all gooey at the romantic tension involved. It is not only romance that is included but comedy, as there are many love triangles that make you cringe and laugh at the same time. Definitely watch this if you like magic girl anime, just this time it will be magic boys.

Nina Yamada, age 12, violent and a crybaby, Nina is a girl who is a dreamer which causes her to accidentally eat the pearl. She is the stereotypical damsel in distress character, and sometimes she is annoying but most of the time she seems to gain a back bone and fights for what she wants. There is a large sense of sympathy for her as she can die, not everyone is as kind as Zero and Ichii, she has more death flags than any other character.

Ichii, age 15, kind, logical, calm he is the thinker of his group and because he is older he has a sense of paternal feeling for his friends. Zero is a nice character but he seems a bit plain for my liking, he is the popular guy so he’s not as appealing as the other characters.

Zero, age 13, quick tempered, rash, but very kind. Zero is an exact representation of a kid his age, he is unsure how to treat Nina but he wants to win so his decisions can be somewhat harmful to her. Zero adds a very comedic element, as he and Nina are constantly fighting, he does not see her as a girl at all and that irritates Nina.

Bearer bad news, the anime is only 13 episodes long and it only covers half the story. However there is a manga that follows the first season and another called Mamotte!Mamotte! Lollipop that adds more adventures. So if you want to continue and find out how everything ends, then read the manga.

Jubei-chan: The ninja girl

If you enjoy a mysterious eye patch turning a girl into a master of swords, then this is the anime for you. Jubei-chan is a good sword fighting anime, so if you enjoy swords then this is a perfect find. The plot goes as such, that 300 years before the current time, a man called Yagyu Jubei had defeated Ryujoji. Jubei then tasks his servent called Koinosuke to bestow the lovely eye patch to his rightful successor. And finding its way to Jiyu Nanohana, she as a consequence has to fight her processors enemies. And get this, they lived for 300 years through sheer determination of defeating the successor. This anime takes dedication to a whole new level, i know i could never do that. Funnily this anime can be considered a magic girl anime, as the eye patch literally changes Jiyus whole body structure, so that can she withstand the power of the sword techniques. Though it might not have the fluffy fighting style of a normal magic girl show. This show is great for watching battles, and the sound track is on point whenever a battle is happening.

Jiyu Nanohana, age 14, eccentric, honest and very reluctant to wear the lovely eye patch. Jiyu is the main protagonist who through using the eyepatch becomes a somewhat fully grown women, who can use the hidden techniques of Yagu Jubei. She may be young, but she is fully aware that she is coming into something way beyond her power. She becomes the tool to freeing 300 years worth of hatred towards Jubei.

koinosuke Odago, age over 300, servant to Jubei and a comedic character through the series. He is the first one to find Jiyu and bestow her with the lovely eyepatch, and Jubei’s sword. He can be seen as a cheesy uncle to her.

Ayunosuke Odago, age over 300, loyal, good hearted, Ayunosuke is merely a child who is follow his fathers beliefs. This child is a guide for Jiyo as well as a younger sibling figure for Jiyo to want to protect. Just looking into Ayunosuke’s eyes would make you want to go all maternal on him.

Bearer of good news, there is a second season The Counter Attack of Siberian Yagyu which involves more characters and has more sword fights. Jubei-chan is a good anime, i would definitely recommend watching this if you do enjoy ninja’s amd samurai’s.