Remember how I said I picked up Red River from the library a few days ago?
Teenage me would have loved this series, and probably declared it right up there with her favorites. It’s slightly smutty, long-running, filled with boys pining for the main heroine, and erupting with more 90’s shoujo art than you can shake a stick at. I’m already through four of the six volumes I checked out; at a hefty 28 volumes, it looks like I have a way to go (and many more trips to the library).
I’m a little ways past my teenage years (not by too much, though) but Red River takes me back to how shoujo used to make me feel — excited for the next volume, and really believing in the main couple’s romance. Red River isn’t without its flaws and plot devices, but you can really feel the couple’s passion for one another. The older I get, the less I feel like seeing awkward high school kiddos parsing apart their “first love” feelings (although Kimi ni Todoke is HUGE exception to this). I’d rather see established couples acting well, couple-y for lack of a better term. Yuri and Kail seem quick to accept whatever their feelings may be, although Yuri is initially uncomfortable with them given her role as a concubine. I suppose I need more than four volumes to really make a judgement though.
Still, finally getting around to reading Red River has me thinking about other old school shoujo I’ve meaning to check out. Finishing From Far Away — similar in premise to Red River — is a “must-finish” read, seeing that I own the series. The Please Save My Earth piece over at The Hooded Utilitarian (despite it’s sort of…daunting length, haha) has once again convinced me that I am in need of a library trip for this series. And over at All About Manga, I am convinced that Basara needs its own library trip as well.
Seeing volumes of Red River advertise both From Far Away and Basara, makes me wish I was older during Viz’s apparent old-school shoujo kick, as it didn’t nearly get the appreciation from me that it’s getting now. I think this commenter over at All About Manga makes a good closing point:
…now I’m wondering what else is out there–Where are the shojo action fantasy/sci fi manga, and why doesn’t anyone publish them here anymore? Basara, Please Save My Earth, Fushigi Yugi (and it’s incredible but as-yet-unfinished prequel, Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden), almost everything else by Yuu Watase: I know that they came out in Japan, and I know that they were popular enough to span dozens of volumes worthy of their epic lengths.
But many of those titles are out-of-print, and romcom seems to be the main type of shojo brought over to the States, while epic shonen adventures are a dime a dozen (or 2-3 dozen for things originally published in Jump, like One Piece and Naruto).
Maybe at some point down the line we’ll see a revival of old-school shoujo! Have any old school favorites?
No Friday post from me, as I’ll be at Anime Central! Hopefully I’ll be buying cheap manga, stocking up on unneeded plushies, and taking cool pictures. 😀