Jinja no Mori no Noraneko-kun
A blind buy from Kinokuniya awhile back. The male protagonist’s hair coupled with the cats garnered my interest enough to see what the story was about. It should be noted that Jinja no Mori no Noraneko-kun marks my first buy from the Betsukomi Flower line this year haha! I tend to avoid the Betsukomi area in Kino because the stuff on display usually has these guys all up on the girls whose giant eyes are looking at me like, help me. Please.
Me: D: I am sorry but I cannot help you because you aren’t real *backs away slowly*
Jinja is the first tankouban release for manga-ka Chiyori. You can tell things are rough but for a debut manga, it’s not bad :) The story isn’t something that will have people talking for generations but that’s ok because look at Twilight :P The tankouban is comprised of a total of 3 stories. 3 chapters belong to the main story and then you have two oneshots. The main story is about a girl whose parents are thinking of divorce. The girl is sent to hang with her uncle in the sticks while the parents get their shit together. But it just so happens that Uncle is housing the son of his BFF. So they’ll be living together ~ much to the girl’s embarrassment and shock. I think it was here that the uncle became a fave character – this is how he responds to her concern about staying in a house with a complete bishi stranger: “It’ll be fine, Nagi. Besides, if anything were to happen between you two, I’m just going to look away (I know how you kids roll).” xD Uncle! What the hell haha!
During her stay with the Uncle, the girl tries to play it off like hey I’m totally not worried about my parents because things will work out haha haha ahaha oh gawd. However, the boy sees through her act and through his own way, tells her she needs to be honest with herself and that she should talk with her parents about how she feels with what’s happening. It may not stop the divorce but it’s better to get things out and let both parents know she treasures them and what they have as a family. Chapters 2 and 3 are dedicated to the girl helping the boy out this time. The boy’s story is the following – his father fell into drinking, forcing his mother to work in order to support the family. However, mom one day died from working too hard (she got some kind of blood clot in her brain if I remember right) and the boy blamed his father for being a worthless ho drunk and making mom bring home the bacon. The two drifted apart after mom’s death until the Uncle ended up taking the boy in. The girl, once she hears his story, wants to help the boy out like he did with her.
The main story was really engrossing and I like how both the male and female character were able to confront their problems through encouragement from the other. Interspersed amongst the angst were a lot of cute moments between the two (this is a shojo after all ~). And the cats turned out to play a role in the final chapter (they weren’t just there for nothing!) ~
The first oneshot after the main story is called Maiko no Obakeyashiki (lit. The Lost Haunted House or Haunted House of the Lost). This one shot is very loosely connected to the main story in that the BFF of the main girl in Jinja is the star in this oneshot. The BFF is bored with life and one day visits a house rumored to be haunted. However, while she doesn’t find a ghost, she finds a bishi. Interested, she comes back to the house to find him there as well. He tries to scare her off by telling her the house is haunted by a family that was killed in a car accident but the girl doesn’t care. The two continue to interact and eventually we learn why the bishi visits the haunted house and his ties to its story.
Oneshot #2 is called Houkago no Kotae Sagashi (lit. Searching for the Answer Afterschool). From what I could decipher from the afterward, Houkago is the manga-ka’s first debut work (the manga-ka was all, omg my characters back then look like they should have been in a shounen manga haha). This popular dude wants to get a grade higher than 6 on his tests so his teacher got him a tutor. Pretty much you can guess where this is going xD
Overall, I enjoyed Jinja no Mori no Noraneko-kun. It wasn’t smutty which was nice. I like some non-smut every now and then xD The artwork was cute, though the guys were a bit hard to tell apart (the manga-ka even lamented over this fact when she drew a mini short crossover between Jinja and Maiko). If you’re looking for something easy to read, I recommend Jinja no Mori no Noraneko-kun :)
PLUS LOOK AT DEM CATS: