Sunday, September 29, 2013

Basara by Yumi Tamura (it has a graphic violence and candid love scenes)
 I found this when I was browsing looking for good reads, and Basara is a hidden treasure in the ocean of manga titles, and that’s not an exaggeration.  A saga of 27 volume shoujo classic manga loaded with Action and Romance in both old and new senses of the words.  It actually ends at volume 25 and volume 26 to 27 is a collection of side stories of every significant character in the story.  It has a very much 80's art style and made me think twice to read, because I am not a fan of 80's drawing style (but because of Basara, I became a new fan of this style!!lol) I guess this manga was first published early 90's and won a prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award.  

 This is a story of the prophesied Child of Destiny,Tatara, who will save the country from tyrannical rule  of the Royal Empire. The birth of this child gives hope to everyone who hopes of freedom and a new nation. It was set in Japan after the global apocalypse, which made the country more remote and primitive than before.  Japan was divided to four regions and ruled by the four colored Kings:  White, Black, Blue, and Red, the four wicked sons of the cruel Emperor.

The child of destiny, Tatara, was born in one of the villages in the south which ruled by the young Red King, Shuri, a hard and ruthless young man. Threaten by the fact that there’s someone on his land who will lead a rebellion, the Red King raid the village and beheaded this ‘people messiah’, Tatara.

But Tatara has an identical twin named Sarasa, she took over her brother’s position and vows to revenge and to see her brother’s vision through, she takes his identity and begins to build the revolution to reclaim the country under the claws of the Royal Empire including the four sons, especially her mortal enemy, the Red King who killed her twin brother and raid her village. Initially,I honestly picked this up because of the hint of gender bender plot. I’m a sucker of gender bender genre and I love strong willed woman in a storyline. However as I was reading this, I cannot put it down and kept looking forward to each chapter with much curiosity, excitement, and anticipation. The whole story, not only the gender bender part, totally blown me away. 

On Sarasa's journey to fulfill her vow, she met this smart but obnoxious young man, they usually meet in a hot spring where she let her hair down and be a woman. They meet in mostly oddly places and they just know each other’s name Shuri and Sarasa! Not knowing they were the Red King and Tatara!!  And this fact excites me the most! Their frequent meeting chances blossoms into romance and they fall deeply in love and even promise to marry someday. As their love for each other grow, their hatred also grow towards one another unaware of their true identities and here where the sweet and agonizing love story begun. 

Their Poignant Face Off
Though Basara focused on Shuri and Sarasa’s love story, this manga has a huge cast of characters and most of them with interesting stories and points of view.  There are countless characters that are well-developed heroes and villains whose perfectly grey characters and I was moved and agonize at every wrong decision they made and applaud in all the right ones, I love watching them grow and they always swept me of my feet.  Lastly, I also love it when Sarasa and Shuri made unthinkable decisions that always shock me, how I tearfully watch their character grew mature and strong, and how they makes their romance work out in the end.

Inked with Love and Passion,
Simply Princess


Sunday, September 08, 2013

I used to not like kimchi at all, and you know why, right? 
I don’t know why…but that special day,when I tried it, this adorable little side dish was so comforting, cooled my head down and warmed my heart.. (hey that was so poetic for a side dish huh).  It was less spicy, cold (just in right temperature) and sweet.  It even healed my bitter-sulking of 3 months  < Gee I didn’t know that I sulked that long>...and found my self falling in love again. Why I sulked? That’s another story…^_^ . I'll tell it next time.

Some restaurants serve delicious Kimchi and others…not so much, but this Kimchi @ Buffet101 was superb! Try it!

Inked with Love and Passion,
I just finished Chapter 203, the latest chapter of this shoujo manga, Skip Beat! another masterpiece of Nakamura Yoshiki and gee this is my ultimate favorite! It is the funniest and finest shoujo manga I've ever had the pleasure of reading. With such a great love-hate-revenge premise that you'll never get bored.
Skip Beat!'s Recipe: 

  • Funny - Check
  • Dark Evil Spirits- Check
  • Revenge - Check
  • Romance - Check
  • Smart and Sassy Female Lead - Check
  • Hot Guys - Check  
  • Art - Check 
  •  Moral of the story - Check

Complete with comedy, action, romance and full of wits and lovable-hate characters that you can really sink your teeth into. Oozing with sexiness too, and set in a circus world of show business.

Kyoko Mogami

Focus on the life of heroine Kyoko Mogami, an innocent local maiden that was ruthlessly betrayed by her love and childhood singer boyfriend Sho Fuwa. Her adventure begins when she entered the showbiz industry making friends and enemies to achieve her total goal - to get revenge to Sho. 

What I love the most was the author's way of showings Kyoko’s anger and hate to Sho by expressing ghosts, demons, and spirits, and how she can use them to physically attack someone or to bind them so they couldn't move. It may sounds disturbing but it was so funny.

Kyoko cursing Sho Fuwa (images copyright Nakamura Y.)

Kyoko's demons and evil spirits loathing Sho 
 This manga has been made to anime,(Skip Beat anime Season 2 will be on 2014)  and live action drama starring KPOP Super Junior members Choi Siwon as Tsuruga Ren and Lee Dong Hae as Sho Fuwa.

However I love the manga better than those two versions. I mean the anime was well done but the live

One of my favorite scene here is Kyoko's portrayal of an Angel in Sho Fuwa's promotional video. It was an instant reunion to her ever hated ex-boyfriend. It was an awakening call to Sho who was dumbstruck-mesmerized by Kyoko's beauty and also felt threaten to Kyoko's ability to act and enter showbiz in a short span of time.

 Kyoko as an Angel - Manga vs Anime vs Live Drama:  

Captivating Angel in Skip Beat Manga
Another Angelic Kyoko in Skip Beat Anime
Ivy Chen as Kyoko in Skip Beat live action drama (Taiwan) - I'm so sorry but I saw it as a lost sheep/lamb than an angel..>.<
Kyoko as an Angel, Scanlation of Skip Beat! manga 
There's more to it than this images. A deeper story, secrets, and dark past of each character  and how they chase their love in circle. 

I also love every Kyoko's role, as she morph into different persona in every character she portrayed

In this story I really fell in love with Kyoko's character. She has been deceived and made used of, but she used it as her stepping stone to fight and get even. Though at first her goal in entering the world of glitz and glamour showbiz was revenge but as she walks down the path, meet friends and different circumstances she get to personally see her growth both as a person and an actress, how she managed her inner demons, her struggles and carve out her own living and reputation as an actress. Kyoko has a potentially bright future on this field. As the story goes on, her new friends, who loves her dearly keep her from her dark desire of revenge and made her leave her painful past behind and start living her own life for herself. 

This manga is still on going and I'm looking forward to the next chapter. ^_^ 
You can read and download SKIP BEAT at Manga Traders for FREE !! 

Maybe next time I'll make a comparison and review of this manga vs anime and vs live action drama.

Inked with Love and Passion,