Highlights from Cheese! Issue 3 (Updated!)
The furoku is the Cheese! 20th anniversary Special Edition Selection. It consists of 6 works from various Cheese mangaka. The content looks VERY 90’s shoujo, as it should.
What I read:
“Hisama ni Kiss” Chp 2 — Now that Kiryuu has a girlfriend, he can repel the girls that think he’s easy. Kiryuu struggles with the urge to touch Hazuki and worries about whether he looks cool or not. After getting his hair styled, he unexpectedly runs into Hazuki and they go on an impromptu date. He gets embarrassed at a moment that’s about to turn into a kiss and hides his face. Trying to maintain his cool image, he tells Hazuki he hid his face because he saw a girl he knew. Later Kiryuu fessed up to his lie, to which Hazuki says she likes his uncoolness and he finally gets to hug Hazuki under lovely fireworks. At which point, lots of precious teenage-boy blushing occurs.
This series continues to be incredibly adorable. I can’t help but like it because of it’s purity and honesty. The last chapter runs in Cheese! issue 4.
“Kage no nai Torikago” Chapter 1 — This is a disturbing story about a high school girl named Haru who is a model student. She pretends to like her life, but in reality she knows most of her classmates don’t like her and are taking advantage of her. Thinking that she wants to be a bad girl, Haru enters a master and pet relationship with manipulative Biology teacher Sakasa. Haru vows that she will make Mr. Sakasa feel the pain of being loved. Meanwhile Sakasa just wants a girl who will beg for him.
Art A — The art is very nice. There are big close ups of Haru’s expressive face, which are at their best when she crying. The screentones are limited to filling in the line art, so the pages look clean. It give the series a very serious tone.
Story B — I’m not convinced Haru’s character is smart enough to outwit Mr. Sakasa. Haru comes off as too needy. My rating of the story could change depending on how the story progresses and ends.
Readability — Difficult but doable. The vocabulary is the usual shoujo, but there are some gnarly sentences to unravel, and the verbiage is dense. I had to read the chapter twice to grasp the nuance of what was going on.
Overall — I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
“Tenohira no Suisei” Chapter 1 — Haruno wakes up naked next to a gorgeous naked man. She doesn’t know how she got there and whether they had sex. After parting on friendly terms, Haruno begins her college internship at a prestigious design firm, and her boss, Inui, happens to be the naked guy she woke up next to. Inui says he’ll keep last night a secret if she acts like his dog. And from there, begins Haruno’s long day of being mercilessly teased. Her new coworkers tell her that Inui only teases people he likes, but Haruno doesn’t believe them. At the end of the chapter, Inui tells Haruno to meet him on a train and off they go hand-in-hand, with Haruno wondering who’s the real Inui, the stranger she woke up next to or her sadistic boss.
Art B — It’s serviceable. It does enough to convey characters’ emotions, but overall it’s sparse and not “pretty”.
Story C — So far, this is a typical office lady falls in love with her sexual harasser love story. I don’t like these kinds of stories, but it seems to be a common shoujo/josei fantasy. This one is pretty mediocre compared to others I’ve read. I had to force myself to finish the chapter.
Readabiliy — Easy — It uses typical shoujo vocabulary, it’s light on the verbiage, and the sentences aren’t complicated.
Overall — This is not a series that I will continue reading, but for those who want to practice reading Japanese, this is a good series to read for intermediate level learners.
“Hime no Tonari no Oujisama” Last Part — Kanna takes a modeling job to spite Mako. On the job she runs into her former frienemy, Yayoi, who is a model. Yayoi is a man-stealing bitch, but Mako is having none of it and reaffirms his love for his girlfriend Kanna.
I was irritated by Yayoi. A man-stealing bitch is one of the quickest ways to make me hate a series.
“Barairo no Yakusoku” Chapter 2 — Iroha sneaks off to the Duke’s ball. While hiding in the bushes, the rogue who was in her garden sneaks up on her and carries her off like a piece of heavy luggage into the party. He asks her dance (more like a challenge to get her to agree). She decides to dance because she’ds resigned herself to marrying the rich old oil man and thinks that this is her last chance to have fun. Iroha can’t dance, so the rogue tells her to leave everything to him, look him in the eye, and smile… and now she’s dancing (and blushing) just fine. After the dance, she runs back home.
Soon after, a kimono arrives for her along with a guest. She puts on the kimono and guess what? Yes, the roque has come to see her, at which time she finds out the guy is Duke Inui. The Duke has come to ask for her hand in marriage, but Iroha’s stepmother says that Iroha has already been bought and paid for. The Duke won’t take no for answer and asks how much to payoff either the stepmother or the rich old oil man.
This series continues to be a fun read. The series went on hiatus for several months, but is returning in May with a 100 page 3rd chapter! I can’t wait!
The rest of the color pages.
Previews for Extra Cheese! and Cheese! Issue 4