Honey and Clover

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The author: Chika Umino

Data: April 2000~ July 2006

Publishing company: Shueisha

This is my favorite girls’ comic. The story is about five art college students in their love triangles and especially unrequited love. Not only their love, but the story also includes graduating from college, finding job, and learning more about themselves.

I think in general girls comics, those characters shows their desire to catch their loved one. However this comics does not have such characters so many, and they always try to find themselves through their love. Compared to other girls’ comics, the mood is embarrassing or uncomfortable because the characters are too innocent. However I think this is the one having such mood and funny scenes with cute drawing.

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And related to this week’s lecture, this author, Chika Umino, did doujin activities before her debt as a comic artist.p1-1

 

Otake culture is getting to be accepted, and publishers find many talented persons.

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Left side images are from their doujinshi, right side images are their original comics. Both artists are from doujin activities. It is clear that doujin is widely accepted and it means people can easily get opportunities to show their abilities. And some official artists do doujin activities after their debt.

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It is interesting to know that some official artists are also fan of something through doujin activities, but I think famous artists could influence (good or bad) on people and media. Dojin is like a tacit agreement, I think getting too much attention could cause being blamed.

Goodnight Punpun

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I think it is hard to find such main character. This like-bird character is the main character of this comic. The story set is present. It is not fantasy. I have recommended this comic to some friends. Their reacts were same.“Such joking character is the main? And they finished reading this, they said,“it’s too real! It’s gross!” The story is about Punpun’s life; from a primary school, a middle and high school, and he becomes a part-time jobber. He does not have any speciality. A person like him is seen everywhere, and he spends his life in normal town. He gradually changes from a child into an adult. It’s mentally and physically. The feature of this comic is Punpun, his parents and relative are depicted like chick. And Punpun is only character who never uses bubble. His thoughts and dialogues appear in caption. Compare with them, other characters and any landscapes are realistically depicted. Because of that, we see Punpun and his family are very isolated character. And the author often uses collage and surrealism that some characters strange act; it’s non-related to the story. I think these experimental tries and unbalance expressions make some people feel bad.

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The story is thought boy’s growth story in the present society. However, Punpun never grow up till last. I guess he grows up, but it does not mean good. His self-consciousness and self-hated grow. He is unknowingly struggled by those ties. Young Punpun is so innocent. However, his situation is very severe, as he has to have a twisted personality. His parents are divorced from father’s domestic violence. His mother says, “I shouldn’t have had you.” And Punpun is taken care by his uncle. He is kind, but he has strange personality. Nobody warmly welcome Punpun. Through such situation and severe events, Punpun becomes not-ordinary person. He becomes different person from others. He has insanity. And it is interesting to note that, Punpun changes his figure depending on his emotion.

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The story seems very dark tone. However, it also has funny and emotional scenes!

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The reason why I recommend this comic to people is I like those unique expressions and characters settings but I love the author openly depicts secrets or confidential experiences (peculiar to young) like everyone has. When I read this comic at first, I thought the author’s purpose was that he wanted readers to see their selves in Punpun. However, while continuing to read that, I noticed that we cannot experience Punpun’s life at all. His experiences belong to only him. We readers just look in his life. It is also hard to find such comic that we can see extraordinary events in ordinary situation with reality and surreal expressions.

The author: Inio Asano

Data: March 15 2007~November 2 2013

Publishing company: Shogakukan