Theme: Cute Asian Comics
Winter and snow days are the perfect times to stay in and read, and what better to keep your mood high than cute Asian comics? Today I’d like to share some of my favorite ones. Most of them are Japanese, but they all feature adorable art, great characters, and moments that just make you want to go, “Kyaaaa~~~!” I’ve included online links for all of them, but if you have the means, I recommend getting the trades or purchasing a subscription to Crunchy Roll.
- 19 Days by Old Xian (ongoing). This Chinese comic is about the friendship between Jian Yi and Zhang Zheng Xi, which picks up after Jian Yi goes away for a few years. Yet from the very beginning, it’s obvious that Jian Yi has deep feelings for Zhang Zheng Xi, who is much rougher, aggressive, and less willing to return his affection. However, whenever Xi shows Jian Yi any kindness, it makes your heart thump. It’s available online at Manga Here, Manga Fox, and the title link. Suuuuuuper cute and silly.
- Beauty Pop by Kiyoko Arai (completed). This Japanese comic is about Kiri Koshiba, a child hairstylist, and her interactions with the Scissors Project, a group of boys with styling skills who give pretty girls makeovers. However, Kiri Koshiba likes to bring out the natural beauty in everyone, which means she butts heads with SP. She’s also shy about going into the spotlight, so during the course of this manga she ends up getting dragged into the open and forced to use her skills to their full advantage. It’s embarrassing how much I like this manga. It’s available in trades and online at the title link.
- Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai (Please Love Useless Me) by Aya Nakahara (ongoing). This Japanese comic is about Michiko Shibata, a 29-year-old woman who is constantly being taken advantage of by guys, leading her to almost starve and become homeless. However, by chance she’s taken in and cared for by her evil ex-boss Kurosawa, who gets her to help him set up the Sunflower Cafe with some former delinquents. The characters are amazing and speak so bluntly, calling others little bitches and gross for doing cute things. I love this series so freaking much. It’s available online at the title link.
- Gokinjo Monogatari (Neighborhood Story) by Ai Yazawa (completed). This Japanese comic centers around Mikako Koda, a high-spirited high school girl that wants to make it big in the fashion world and fall in love. She’s unafraid to speak her mind, dress extravagantly, or make her own business – but she is reluctant to act on her feelings towards neighbor Tsutomu Yamaguchi. It’s a great series with great female characters and fun art. I love it! It’s available online at the title link.
- Honey and Clover (Hachimitsu to Clover) by Chika Umino (completed). This Japanese comic is about three young men, Yuta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama, and Shinobu Morita, who live together in a teeny, tiny apartment and are students at the same art college in Tokyo. Throughout the series, they fall in love and fall out of love while trying to graduate, get jobs, and understand themselves. It’s beautifully done, really energetic, and adorable. It’s available in trade and online at the title link.
- Kitchen Princess (Kitchen no Ohime-sama) by Miyuki Kobayashi and Natsumi Ando (completed). This Japanese comic is about Najika Kazami, a girl who leaves home to go to Seika Academy in Tokyo in order to find the “flan prince” who cheered her up when she was little. However, Najika has trouble making friends at school and ends up getting into confrontations with numerous people, which she often solves through cooking. It is a melodramatic manga full of cute, yummy food, love, and dei ex machina, but I still loved it. It’s available in trades and online at the title link.
- My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!) by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko (ongoing). This Japanese comic is about Takeo Goda, a tall, scary-looking dude that just wants to find love but always scares away the girls – until one day when he saves Rinko Yamato from a pervert on a train (and it just so happens that he’s her exact type). The series follows the two as they date, overcome misunderstandings, Takeo saves as many people as he can, and people learn to love him for his kindness and strength. It is the Goddamn greatest. It’s available in trades and online at the title link.
- Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime) by Akiko Higashimura (ongoing). This Japanese comic is about an apartment building, Amamizukan, and the otaku women who live there. It centers around Tsukimi Kurashita, who’s terrified of men and loves jellyfish and forms an unlikely friendship with a cute boy that likes to cross-dress. As the residents of Amamizukan try to prevent their building from being bought out, Tsukimi turns to fashion design. It’s a silly, awkward manga that teaches you way too much about jellyfish. It’s available as an anime on Crunchy Roll and online at the title link.
- Shugo Chara! (Guardian Characters!) by Peach-Pit (completed). This Japanese comic is about Hinamori Amu, an elementary age student who puts on a tough exterior because she’s afraid of showing her true self. However, one day she’s given three bright eggs, which will hatch into “shugo charas” that are facets of her true personality. With these shugo chara, she fights against the Easter Company, which tries to steal kids’ eggs. It’s a great little series about falling in love, being true to yourself, and making friends. It’s available in trades, as an anime, and online at the title link.
- Their Story by Tan Jiu (ongoing). This Chinese comic is about the burgeoning platonic and romantic relationship between Qiu Tong and Sun Jing. Sun Jing has loved Qiu Tong from afar and is trying to overcome her awkwardness and their same sex to develop a relationship while Qiu Tong values their friendship and is not yet sure if she can return her feelings. Also very cute and silly. It’s available online at Manga Here, Manga Fox, and the title link.
* Image from 19 Days.