It has been a long, long time since I can last remember reading a doki doki manga!
Last night I started to read a shojou manga by the title of Mishounen Produce written and drawn by Kaoru Ichinose. I may have "accidentally" read it in one sitting instead of actually sleeping... but I guess that means that it's not too long of a series, there's really only 18 chapters that make up the whole story.
The story is about a boy (Kousei) and a girl (Ka-ako), who have been best friends since they were young children. (It is made clear several times in the manga that they really didn't have much choice in this as they were the only two children living in their small country town.) Growing up in such isolation it's only natural that they bring their interesting and colourful personalities with them as they enter high school, (as boarders of course), only to be met with teasing and criticism on their first day. Ka-ako, a self-confessed lover of a shojou manga about a Prince called Lawrence, vows to show up their bullies by transforming/producing her best friend Kousei, a 'country bumpkin' with a wild side, into the most popular guy in school. She does this by modelling Kousei into the mold of Prince Lawrence including his princely charms and feminist ideals, only for it to start getting out of control when Kousei finds inspiration from other sources and starts creating more characters to play and appeal to more girls. The humour pursues as Ka-ako constantly tries to keep the reigns on an obviously out of control Kousei and his even more out of control increasing popularity.
This wasn't the best manga that I've read. The plot was predictable, (if you read lots shojou manga you soon learn that there are particular formulas and stories which get used and re-used quite a lot), the characters were pretty standard shojou and it felt like the manga abruptly ended in a spot where there was potential for the plot to really start developing some interesting story arcs. However despite that I really enjoyed the story, the characters and artwork. It's cute and the manga is chock full of doki doki scenes that will actually make your heart go doki doki~!
STUDY NOTE: For those unfamiliar with manga or the Japanese language: the term "doki doki" is Japanese onomatopoeia for one's heart beating. I guess in English it would kind of be similar to "ba-dump ba-dump" only with romantic connotations attached to it.
It has been such a long time since I last remember reading a manga that constantly had scenes and situations that make you smile or swoon, your heart beat or whatever it is you do or feel when you read a doki doki manga. For me it's like a tugging sensation somewhere deep in my gut and feelings of excited anticipation for what happens next or wondering how the main characters are going to respond.
I guess this is the kind of thing people refer to as a guilty pleasure/read? Something that's not particularly sensational or spectacular but still deliciously enjoyable!
If you have some time and would like to try something a little bit different give Mishounen Produce a try. If you google the title I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will lead you to it. *wink!
I'd love to know what your experiences with doki doki-like manga are, as I'm sure it's not just me who has experiences like this. If you have any recommendations for manga to read or would like to let me know what your favourite doki doki manga is leave a comment below.
Till next time!