Happy Christmas from Manga Market! (This was coloured by Claire, and as such all the more credit should go to our usual digital colourist Emily, who is an absolute wizard with a graphics tablet!)
Natsume’s Book of Friends was a book that sent out ripples of excitement before and during our visit to the MCM Expo, so having grabbed myself a copy of the first volume, I set out with quiet optimism to find out what was so special about this series.
If I am strictly honest, the cover of Gakuen Alice did not draw my attention at first. The design is remarkably restrained, with a mock red leather pattern, and a single person underneath the title. It doesn’t give much away, and as I wasn’t a huge fan of the style of the art on the cover I am sad to say that this initially dissuaded me from reading it. However, a brief flick through revealed that the art style of the actual manga is very similar in style to that of Fruits Basket, and re-reading the blurb I decided to give it a chance.
“The purpose of kendo is not to teach one how to kill their opponent- it’s to learn about yourself and your inner warrior spirit” (episode 2)- this was, of course, said by a girl. If a boy was asked what the purpose of any competitive game was they’d probably tell you flat-out to win. However, having watched the first 13 episodes of this anime, it did seem the girls were right; as much as it was about winning the battles, it was also about learning life lessons on the way, like the importance of friendship and persistence.