As most of you know, I don't usually write about manga that has not finished serialization. But I just cannot help up write about Takano Ichigo's newest manga Orange. Some of you may have seen her other successful shojō title, Yume Miru Taiyou (though it has yet to be finished scanlated), but it is Orange that I predict will be called her masterpiece. I can quite honestly say, I think it is the best shojō manga I have ever read. And it's not even 10 chapters in!
I've previously posted about other shojō titles such as, Strobe Edge, Kare Kano, Bokura Ga Ita, and 7 Seeds among others, but I am much more of an adamant fan of shōnen titles. As you can see from the other articles I've written, the shōnen titles overpower the shojō titles by a solid 2/3 to 1/3. Part of this might be because of that mini Jump marathon I did, but I would mostly blame it on my personal tastes. So, I am going to focus on some shojō titles to give this blog, and my brain, a little balance.
While I will be the first to tell you that I don't and haven't read many "classic" shojō titles, I can tell you that I have heard of them and usually know the general plot lines and tropes that they carry. I haven't read Nana and I've actually never read Hana Yori Dango, but I know almost everything about them because they are so popular and I just cannot stop hearing about them. Not even those, I can probably go into detail on the different tropes that shojō manga relies on. For example, Kimi ni Todoke, Suki itte Ii na Yo, and Hiyokoi all have the same trope of the popular guy in class, who is usually very "refreshing" and nice to everyone, getting together with the shy outsider. Of course, the trope is used differently between all three of them based on the intended readership. Kimi ni Todoke, which captured national attention with not only a 2 season anime, but also a live action adaptation, is easily one of Betsuma's most popular manga and the one aimed at the widest audience. Whereas Suki is aimed at mature audiences, as it is a josei title and Hiyokoi, published in Ribon, is for the middle school crowd.
So, without further ado, I shall get started on what my thoughts and feelings are on Takano Ichigo's manga Orange.