On Sale Now: “Peculiar Preferences” Yaoi

I get it. Sometimes vanilla is boring. Sometimes you need that extra kick to spice things up. You don’t have to tell anyone, because at Renta! we know exactly what you need. Whether you gotta keep it on the DL or not, that’s up to you…

This week we’ve got a special treat: up to 25% off select BLs with guys that are also missing that special sauce and need a little bit of extra seasoning to really start to boil. Here’s a couple of my recommendations:

Title: Will a Guy Who Likes Cats Fall in Love with a Guy with Cat Eyes?
Author: Shima Nekonomori

Zenya has always grown up around cats, but now that he’s gone off to college, he finds himself missing he cuddly feline friends. That’s why at first, he thinks he’s hallucinating when he sees a fellow classmate, Takeru, randomly sprouting cat ears. Takeru’s last name, Nekoya, even has the Japanese word for cat in it! Zenya finally corners Takeru, but those ears are just so fluffable and huggly that he needs to touch them!

Title: The Mascot is the Goddess of Victory
Author: Sasori Haibara

Yuji has always loved Shinichi, the star catcher for the Ozaki Black Cats, so he takes a job as Kuro, the team’s mascot. After Kuro gets a bit too into the game and starts dancing inappropriately on the field, Shinichi calls him over after the game. Yuji thinks he’s going to be fired for what he did, but Shinichi wants to get closer? Yuji wanted to be close to his idol, but now that he’s in the suit, and so close to Shinichi, maybe he can just roll with the pitches and see if he gets a home run of his own.

New Releases for 6/28

Let’s get right into the new stuff for this Friday. Hope you’re excited!

Let’s get right into the new stuff for this Friday. Hope you’re excited!

Yaoi/BL

Title: The Red String of Fate
Author: Akira Yoshio

All his life, Keiji has had the ability to see the red strings of fate that connect two people together. When two people have connected strings, they are destined to be together, and couples that don’t have the strings are unfortunately not fated to last. Keiji has been waiting for his own string, hoping it will be on his crush, Yui, and one day it finally appears. But the target is not Yui but another guy, Hiroki! Keiji tries to avoid Hiroki as much as possible, but how can he run away from fate?

Check out the other New Releases!

Love/TL

Title: I Can’t Help But Love Him. [VertiComix] (Chapters 1 & 2)
Author: Yoko Ito

From Yoko Ito, the same author of the popular series, Allergic to Love comes another hit series, now in easily-digestible, full-color, scrolling VertiComix form! Sako is your everyday office worker with one catch. She really really really likes suits. Sako, along with everyone else in the office, loves to stare at the handsome office hotshot Eiji, but unlike everyone else, Sako doesn’t care about his appearance… she just loves looking at his suit. Being the one woman that doesn’t blindly love him, Eiji has a few questions of his own…

Check out the other New Releases!

Romance/Harlequin

Title: What the Prince Wants
Author: Haruhi Sakura/Jules Bennett

Darcy has been trying to run her grandmother’s day-care service, but now she has lost everything and her family business is on the verge of bankruptcy. That’s when she gets a call from a man who claims he will pay an exorbitant salary to be a nanny for his daughter. Darcy answers the call, and the man, Colin, immediately turns her down for being so young. However, when he sees how quickly she can calm down his young daughter, he is instantly impressed. But Colin has a secret of his own: he’s actually the prince of a kingdom in the Mediterranean!

Check out the other New Releases!

Shojo

Title: The Duchess Of Rosia -A Contract Marriage? How Did This Happen?- (Chapter 15)
Author: Kazura Kinosaki/Tsuredurebana

Viola is the daughter of an earl in a poor, famine-stricken kingdom. Her quiet life is suddenly thrown into disarray when she gets an offer of marriage from the rich and handsome Duke of Rosia, Cersis. He explains that his family will not allow him to marry his girlfriend, so he would like to wed Viola in name and law only. In exchange, Viola and her family will have all the freedom and comfort they can desire… but now that she’s married, what exactly is she supposed to do!?

Yuri

Title: No Release Until Ecstacy is Achieved
Author: Wani Kurokoda

Ai and Liliya, the characters from Wani Kurokoda’s previous manga, True Love That Starts with a Lie awake in a mysterious room with no memory of how they got there. They can only leave the room when they carry out all the instructions left for them. As you can expect, the instructions continue to get more and more dirty/fun (depending on your perspective). Will this be a chance for Ai to get as perverted as she wants with the innocent Liliya?

Title: Patterns of Yuri at the Girls’ School (Chapter 2)
Author: Mira

Hikari and Maho have been friends since they were kids, but Hikari can’t get over her crush on Maho. However, Hikari can’t help but feel betrayed when Maho admits that she has feelings for another girl. Hikari tries to hide her feelings, but it seems she’s caught the attention of Ai, who has no intention of sitting around and waiting for what (or who) she wants…

Review: The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring

Today I’d like to take a look at a slow-burning yaoi tale between two high schoolers. Like the title itself, the manga is pretty long and definitely worth checking out.

Title: The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring
Author: Miwa

Page ID: https://www.ebookrenta.com/renta/sc/frm/item/140284/

Today I’d like to take a look at a slow-burning yaoi tale between two high schoolers. Like the title itself, the manga is pretty long and definitely worth checking out. This story has been doing well on Renta! and like a lot of my favorite series, it doesn’t just get right into the “good stuff” so to speak but instead focuses on real-life themes like accepting your own sexuality and trying to become a better person for your partner. But enough jabbering about that stuff, what’s this story about, anyway?

Ayumu is a high school senior coming home from his part-time job after school, when he sees another student trying to shoplift from a local store. He notices an air of loneliness in the boy’s eyes, so he decides to help him out. After getting to know the younger student, he finds out the boy’s name is Ryosuke, and he’s in the same class as Ayumu’s younger brother, Hikaru. However, he never shows up at school and doesn’t really care about his future.

On the other hand, Ayumu is in the top of his class, but thanks to rumors told by Hikaru, he’s seen as some kind of legendary bear-fighting delinquent king. The stories have kinda gotten more and more ridiculous as time went on. As the honor student and the pseudo-dropout continue to meet up and get to know each other more, a friendship starts to form between the two of them. Hearing rumors that Ryosuke is hanging out with the mythical Ayumu, some thugs kidnap Ryosuke to try to fight Ayumu for themselves. Ayumu and Ryosuke escape, and Ryosuke decides to thank Ayumu with a kiss! But… they’re both guys! Ryosuke knows that, right!?

After that kiss, both parties need to do a lot of introspection. Was Ryosuke being too rash and has he ruined his chance of a normal friendship? Can Ayumu accept Ryosuke and his crush on him? Would he even be able to reciprocate that kind of love? And, will Hikaru be just as aloof and uncaring throughout the entire story? Oh wait, I can answer that last one. The answer is yes, and he’s the best.

Check out The Lovesick Flower Buds Waiting for Spring, available on the Renta! store now, and let us know what other kinds of stories you prefer!

Kris’s Korner: Thicc Thighs Save Lives

Although not a very well known video game series in the west, the Atelier series has been making waves online recently, with the announcement of their new game Atelier Ryza, and more importantly the main character Reisalin Stout, owner of thighs thicker than a shake left in the freezer overnight.

How the heck does she put her shorts on in the morning!? They’ve gotta have some serious stretch in them.

Although the Atelier series is normally known for it’s super cute art and characters, thicc thighs will always go down well on the internet. I have to say that they’ve lured me in as well (*´Д`)

This is how I want to go.

One thing that I do think is a little sad about the way the games are advertised though, is that they aren’t making use of the pretty, pretty boys that fight alongside the cute girls.

I think they’re pretty anyway… (Psst… Google “Sterkenburg Cranach”)

Oh well, more cute girls for me I guess (*ノ´∀`)ノ

One of the things I really like to see in our manga here at Renta! is these kind of fantasy settings, which sadly don’t get a lot of love in TL/BL series. They do tend to be a bit more common in shojo manga however, and so I’d like to introduce one that I’ve been enjoying recently!

Title: This Mage Desires Mediocrity
Author: Hiromi Taihei
Story: Ren Hirose
Adult Content: No
Link to store

Swept from our world into a world of magic, Mizuki is set on living her life by her own rules, and has settled into her new life in a quite country village quite nicely. Unfortunately her absurdly strong magic has been drawing attention from all the wrong sorts, and now knights have come from the capital requesting that she go with them to meet the prince! This is not turning out to be the kind of life she had in mind.

Mizuki really stands out as a girl who doesn’t take crap from anybody. Watching her take down arrogant nobles and the like is very satisfying, and there’s some video-game-like aspects to the fantasy world that make it really interesting. To top it all off there’s a constant flow of silly, comedy moments that will keep you laughing throughout each chapter! ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \


What kind of settings do you guys like? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts~

Until next time~! ヴァ───ヾ(´ー`)ノ───イ

New Releases for 6/25

Hey everyone! Here are the new releases for this Tuesday.

Yaoi/BL

Title: I Need You Too, Maybe
Author: Tsutako Tsurusawa

Shion has always been quiet and never trusted other people. He’s been bullied since elementary school, and the only person who’s ever stuck up for him has been his lifelong friend Leo. But Leo has ulterior motives of his own: he just likes to look at Shion’s flaccid member! Now that they are university students living together, Shion still has trouble talking to people, but he wants to progress his relationship with Leo further. But for Leo to see Shion as more than a friend it might be a little bit hard.

Check out the other New Releases!

Love/TL

Title: Our New Life Together
Author: Hana Aoi

Koyuki is starting her new job this spring, but her boyfriend Tono still has another year left of school. Tono suggests that they kill two birds with one stone and move in together, but because Koyuki wants to save money on rent, she waits to move in until the last minute. But, she’s quickly learning that living with your partner isn’t always so easy! Will their relationship make it out alive? This short story collection also includes a story about an office worker trying to become beautiful, a couple in the midst of a fight, and a tutor who is asked out by her student.

Check out the other New Releases!

Romance/Harlequin

Title: Bride on Demand
Author: Keiko Okamoto/Kay Thorpe

Seven years ago, Regan was able to get the CEO of the company she was working at, Liam, to fall in love with her. However, after being in a relationship for months, Liam told her he was getting married to someone “more befitting of his status.” Regan vowed never to see him again, but now after a chance meeting, Liam can’t stop himself from making a move on Regan. But Regan has a secret of her own that she could never tell Liam…

Seinen

Title: Monthly: Editor-in-Chief Aikawa (Chapter 16)
Author: Takeshi Ohmi

Ms. Aikawa has been a star magazine editor for her entire career, and now she has moved up the ranks and been transferred to become editor-in-chief at a publishing company! The only thing is that it’s her first time working as an… adult magazine editor. She’s never dealt with this kind of office before! One of her co-workers, Keisuke comes to check up on her after hours, and finds that although she tries to be professional during the day, she has a few fantasies of her own…

Title: The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior (Chapter 8)
Author: Miyahara Ruri

Usa (pronounced oo-sa, not like the country) is about to move into a new place for high school, but on the way to his new (actually very old) apartment, he runs into a weirdo peeking into a public school. After dealing with the police and making sure he gets taken in for questioning, he gets to his apartment and is shocked to find that same guy just happens to be his new roommate! Usa can’t live under these conditions, but just as he is on his way out forever, he finds Ritsu, the girl of his dreams, standing at his front door…!

Yuri

Title: A Timid Woman Longing For Her Delivery Girl (Chapter 1)
Author: Haiji Sanada

Rei has finally found a freelance job working at home so she can avoid all the hassle of dealing with other people. After one too many bad experiences, she’s tried to close herself off from the outside world as much as possible. But, the new driver who delivers her packages, Rinko, is so cheerful every week. She even writes a cute little newsletter about her life! Rei can’t help but start looking forward to the days when Rinko will be arriving…

Shojo

Title: Loving You! (Chapter 8)
Author: Noll Shikisima

For two years, Aio has asked her boss, Yuri, out like clockwork at the start of every season. Yuri always refuses on principle, but he never seems annoyed by the idea. He’s not exactly the most romantic or traditionally attractive kind of guy, so mostly he’s just confused why Aio would show so much interest in him. But his frugality and his practicality just make Aio want him more! Maybe someday he’ll fall for her charms, but until then Aio will just keep silently hoping.

Title: Half-a-Million-Dollar Bride
Author: Kaiji Umeda

Akane lost her parents when she was young and grew up with her aunt and uncle, who were not happy with the arrangement. Now that she’s 25, she’s always wanted to find a partner and give the happiness to her children that she could never have. She thought she found the perfect man… but it turns out he was already married… and with three kids! Akane is forced to provide compensation to the couple, but a mysterious man takes care of it while claiming to be her husband… just what will become of her?

What Makes a Good Translation? Part 3 – What’s In a Name?

Localization can be handled in different ways, depending on how the translators decide to recontextualize the story.

This post is a continuation of my various and sundry musings on translation. You can find the previous part here.

Localization can be handled in different ways, depending on how the translators decide to recontextualize the story.

I love the Ace Attorney series, featuring Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth, and a cast of other wacky lawyers, detectives, and witnesses. It’s also a great example of how Japanese media can be localized to English.

Every time I do it makes me laugh.

Since all the names in Japanese are puns, the localizers at CAPCOM decided to change all the names in English to different names. In Japanese, Phoenix’s last name is 成歩堂 Naruhodou, which is a play on the Japanese word naruhodo, which means “I see.” In English, changing this name to “Wright” makes the joke different from the Japanese, but keeps the author’s general intent, as it’s possible to make jokes based on the similarity between Wright and “right.” However, as last names are used more in Japanese to address others versus English, the Japanese pun probably gets more mileage. In English, first names are much more commonly used, so a name like Phoenix carries an additional context of “rising from the ashes” or coming back from the brink of destruction. This seems to happen a lot for poor Phoenix.

 The location is also moved from somewhere in Japan to somewhere in the US. As I talked about in my previous article, Keeping the Author’s Intent, all of our manga take place in the original settings. Of course, whether the localization chooses to move the location or not, each comes with their own issues. Both ways have to explain Japanese concepts to a foreign audience in a way that still makes sense. Maya Fey (in Japanese 綾里真宵 Mayoi Ayasato), Phoenix’s young spirit-channeling sidekick is obsessed with eating hamburgers in the US version, while in the original Japanese version she can’t get enough of ramen.

When the story takes place entirely in a new location, it can make things like going to a village of Japanese spirits somewhat unrealistic, but the translators must work around this concept with their decision. Likewise, if the context is still in Japan, it still needs to be explained to a foreign audience using other methods such as a roundabout explanation or through connecting it to something familiar to the reader.

Just around the corner from the local gas station.

Other games also change names to suit their audience better. For Final Fantasy VI, while a name that sounds cool and foreign in Japanese like “Tina” may sound cool to Japanese speakers, in the West it sounds like a regular girl’s name. “Terra” has a much more foreign ring to it, don’t you think?

Final Fantasy VI is absolutely the best FF. Don’t @ me.

A Pokemon with a name that sounds cool in Japanese like “Fire” doesn’t really have the same nuance in English. Moltres captures that same coolness spirit in English, while also connecting the other two legendary Pokemon. Being able to translate a work and add a context that the author can’t express in their native language is something that every translator dreams about!

Title: Over-Cumming Writer’s Block
Author: Awaji Nae

Here at Renta! too, we’re proud of being able to sometimes get that perfect pun. Our popular title, Over-Cumming Writer’s Block, is a great example of being able to continue the author’s meaning while still being constrained in the world and the context of the original story. The original title, “Teach Me, Mr. Fujishima” would be fine in English, but as the main character is a writer, being able to include a bit of extra humor in the title is amazing!

Title: Stuck Between a Sexy Rock and a Hard Friend
Author: Ikuyasu

One more puntastic title I’d like to recommend today is “Stuck Between a Sexy Rock and a Hard Friend.” The original title, “Love Friend Triangle” doesn’t really have that same oomph. When you can write a title that sticks in the mind of your readers, that’s when you know you’ve made it.

Kris’s Korner: I’m a Straight Guy and I Like Pretty Boys

Over here in Japan, there’s quite a strong separation between male anime/manga otaku, and female otaku. Generally speaking male otaku here are into cute girls, and female otaku are into pretty boys. People looking from outside the fandoms often imagine that they have a lot in common, but actually the difference between liking cute girls and liking pretty boys, is something of an impassable chasm.

Over here in Japan, there’s quite a strong separation between male anime/manga otaku, and female otaku. Generally speaking male otaku here are into cute girls, and female otaku are into pretty boys. People looking from outside the fandoms often imagine that they have a lot in common, but actually the difference between liking cute girls and liking pretty boys, is something of an impassable chasm.

There are of course exceptions to this, which is a category I’ve realised that I fall into. In my case I’m a guy who’s into cute girls, and also really likes pretty boys! *:.。☆..。.(´∀`人)

Five points to anyone who can guess who that’s supposed to be.

In Japan, girls who are into pretty boys (and ship them) are labelled, fujoshi (腐女子, literally “rotten girl”). So in the same vein, guys who are into pretty boys are called fudanshi (腐男子), replacing the woman (女) character, with man (男).

As this appears to be a reasonably rare phenomenon, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how I’ve come to appreciate beautiful boys, as a straight guy.

1. I Can Identify With Them

The first real bishounen (beautiful boy) series I saw was the anime adaptation of the visual novel Amnesia (quite different to the horror game, I can assure you).

“Amnesia for Nintendo Switch. The official site is up♪”

My first thought was “Oh damn, these guys are edgy!” Because I mean, seriously, who wears clothes like that? (I actually want their wardrobe so much it physically hurts) (ノД`)ノ

But as I watched more of it I realised that I could identify with these characters far better than with what we, in the west, consider to be good, male role-models. We tend to idolise sporty, muscular, traditionally masculine looking guys, with short hair and simple clothes.

But that wasn’t me, I didn’t like sports, I was so skinny a strong wind could break me in half, and I wanted longer, exciting hair (although now it’s short again). So it was great not only seeing characters like that, but characters like that who were designed to be cool. They weren’t some “weirdo” being laughed at in a TV show for being different, they were the protagonists.

Not long after that I stated to get really into Japanese fashion and got a proper hair cut!

2. The Character Designs Are Amazing

As much as I like cute girls, I have to confess that I think characters from pretty boy series often have more interesting designs. More interesting might not be quite the right phrasing, but bishounen character designs do tend to be very detailed (and again, fantastic hair).

Recently I’ve been really into the online game Toukenranbu, which features anthropomorphised Japanese swords as pretty boys, and I can really get behind the amount of detail that goes into the character designs.

A new sword released recently, Hakusan Yoshimitsu.
Okay, I’ll admit, this one just looks like a beautiful girl.

As someone who’s into fashion and cosplay as well, these kind of designs make for some really interesting outfits and inspiration! Obviously it’s hard to look as beautiful as them in real life, but we can try! ヾ(´Д`)ノ

3. Gender isn’t the Most Important Thing in a Series/Prejudice is Hard to Overcome

I had some trouble phrasing this point, but basically, gender is not what makes a character or series good, there’s so much more to it than that.

I often find that I don’t enjoy bishounen works because of the pretty boys, but rather because I really like the characters’ personalities, or because the story is very well written.

I always like to use Yuri!!! on Ice to demonstrate this point, as I’ve never seen my guy friends get so excited about a gay romance before. It’s often not the content itself that audiences have a real aversion to, but rather the way it’s written and portrayed, along with their own preconceived expectations and assumptions.

A special illustration, celebrating the “ISU World Team Trophy 2019”.

My friends genuinely didn’t know what they were getting into with Yuri!!! on Ice, they had only heard that it had great animation, and was very popular online. They basically had no reason not to watch it, so they did… and they loved it. On the other hand, if I’d introduced it to them as a “gay ice skating anime”, I’m not sure how they’d have felt. Maybe they’d have surprised me, who knows?

To put it simply, I think a lot of guys have an aversion to pretty boys (and BL) because they just expect it to not be interesting to them. As someone who went in blind myself, I never had this issue, but often I see it with male otaku who won’t touch anything lacking cute girls.


That just about covers everything for me really. I’m sure if you meet other guys that are into pretty boy series, they might have some other good reasons to give you.

Regarding the last point about the importance of good characterisation and story writing, one series that helped me get into the more adult, BL side of things was The Subway Dog, which just went up on Renta! recently. So if you fancy something slow-burning and more mature, I really recommend checking it out!

The Subway Dog Cover
Title: The Subway Dog
Author: Sakae Kusama
Adult Content: Yes
Link to store

If there are any other guys out there reading this who’re into BL or pretty boys, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Until next time~! ヴァ───ヾ(´ー`)ノ───イ

On Sale This Week: Loveless Marriage

For some people, you can’t have love without marriage. However, at Renta! we know that reality doesn’t always work the way it does in the movies. That’s why this week we’re offering a sale on couples who are together for other reasons, be it convenience, money, or even something… more sinister… mwahahaha. Ahem.

Anyway, these love and romance manga are only on sale until June 26th. Make sure to check them out so that you end up happier than these couples! Here’s the linky link: https://www.ebookrenta.com/renta/sc/frm/page/topics/other_marriage_love.htm. Some stories are up to 62% off! Now that’s a deal you don’t need to love to get hitched to.

Here are a couple stories that I would recommend to get you started:

Title: I Can’t Fall in Love with My Husband!
Author: Akira Fujiwara

Akane has always had problems with hanging on to men. The reason: she’s just too active in the bedroom. Her insatiable sex drive has just driven away yet another man. As she’s drinking away her problems at a local bar, she runs into her boss, the award-winning (and amazingly handsome) CEO, Takuya, who just got dumped by another girl for the same problem! One thing leads to another, and after just one amazing night, he asks her to marry him! She accepts, but can they really make their loveless relationship work based on chemistry alone?

Title: I’m Going to Have My Way with You
Author: Haiji Sanada

Yuki’s family has run a Japanese sweets shop for generations, but it is in danger of closing soon. In order to save the shop, Yuki ends up going on a date with the wealthy heir of a successful business, Ryo. She’s nervous at first since he’s eight years older than her, but their first date seems to be going well. He’s attractive and seems to be kind. That is, until a switch seems to go off in his brain and he forces her into a hotel room with him! Now he just wants to have his way with her! For him, he can’t marry a woman unless he knows how they match in bed first! Will Yuki bite the bullet for her shop?

Remember, these deals are only going on until June 26th (Japan time), so be sure to engage yourself before then!

New Releases for 6/21

Good morning, everybody! June is flying by, and we’ve got more new releases today!

Good morning, everybody! June is flying by, and we’ve got more new releases today!

Yaoi/BL

Title: The Subway Dog
Author: Sakae Kusama

Masaki has just been divorced by his wife for working too much at his company. On his way home, he comes across an antiques and tobacco shop run by the eccentric Tomoki. For some reason he can’t place, Masaki thinks Tomoki looks very familiar. To pass the time, Masaki ends up frequenting the shop, and opening up more and more to Tomoki… this is a slow-burning story of two guys learning to deal with loneliness and blossoming love!

Check out the other New Releases on the New Releases page!

Love/TL

Title: My Complex Soulmate
Author: Yu Yuzuki

Hiroto is a 32-year-old businessman who signs up for a data-based dating service after breaking up with the love of his life. The dating company finds him a 200% match with Hibiki, a cute girl over ten years younger than him! They hit it off right away and end up staying the night at a hotel. The next time they meet, Hibiki is now a man! What is going on? She was definitely a girl before…

Check out the other New Releases!

Harlequin/Romance

Title: Business Affairs
Author: Tsumika Abe/Shirley Rogers

Jennifer has always tried to hold back her feelings for her boss, Alex, in the name of being professional. At the urging of her best friend, she decides to participate in a charity date auction to potentially meet the man of her dreams. As she turns around to remove her date’s blindfold, it turns out to be none other than Alex! They lean in for a passionate kiss and to her surprise, he doesn’t turn down her request for a date! Will Jennifer really be able to go out with her boss…?

Check out the other New Releases!

Seinen

Title: entrans! (Chapter 2)
Author: Pon Takahanada

En is always pranked by his fellow students and getting his uniform switched out with a female one. When he wakes up one day to find that he actually has a girl’s body (and a nice one at that!), he realizes that no prank could have gone this far! Now En has to figure out what has happened so he can turn back into a guy. But what issues will he face on the way with his new body?

Yuri

Title: True Love That Starts with a Lie
Author: Wani Kurokoda

Ai is kind of quiet and doesn’t really talk to anyone at school. But, after she gets home, she’s one of the most perverted people you could ever meet. Just her luck when Liliya, the most popular girl in school, notices that Ai drops her “good luck condom” after class. But, instead of chastising her for it, Liliya begs Ai to know what it’s like to be with a guy! Well, Ai doesn’t know, but with all her experience she could probably figure it out with Liliya…

Shojo

Title: Summertime Blues
Author: Asuka Sakashita

Chika had a crush on Kataru all throughout high school, and their love blossomed when she was 17. Whenever she was able to spend time with him, she felt like she was flying, and she would do anything for him. But, what caused them to drift apart? And now, years later, why are all those feelings from high school coming back again?

Preview: My Complex Soulmate

Today I’d like to spotlight a manga that’s super cute and wholesome but also makes you think a little bit. It’s called My Complex Soulmate (運命の相手がややこしい Unmei no Aite ga Yayakoshii) and it tackles a lot of things about gender and what love actually means.

Title: My Complex Soulmate
Author: Yu Yuzuki

Update: It’s out! Check it out here: https://www.ebookrenta.com/renta/sc/frm/item/140416/

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying your pre-weekend (or preekend). Today I’d like to spotlight a manga that’s super cute and wholesome but also makes you think a little bit. It’s called My Complex Soulmate (運命の相手がややこしい Unmei no Aite ga Yayakoshii) and it tackles a lot of things about gender and what love actually means. It’s a super interesting read and I’m totally hooked… and best of all, it will be releasing on Renta! tomorrow morning Japan time. You can check out the New Releases page to find it once it drops.

So here’s the story. Our protagonist, Hiroto, is a 32-year-old typical office employee who’s just broken up with his long-term girlfriend. Fearing that he doesn’t understand how people actually think, he signs up for a dating service that matches people based on data rather than physical compatibility.

Sooner than he thought, he gets an urgent call from the dating company saying they found a perfect match for him: meet Hibiki Arai, who’s a 21-year-old part-timer. She’s cute, but could it really work out? I mean, she’s over 10 years younger than him! What could they have in common!? Well, turns out, when the dating company CEO shows them their data, they have a 200% match. In other words: they’re basically soulmates!

At first, things are kind of awkward between them, but they quickly hit it off, and at the end of the night, they are enjoying each other’s company. But, maybe they’ve had one too many drinks, because Hibiki suggests they head to a hotel right then and there. After all, they’re supposedly soulmates, right?

Even though their bodies are also a good match, Hiroto wakes up to find that Hibiki has already left, and he didn’t even get her number or anything. Eventually, he gets another call from the dating agency to schedule an emergency meeting… but there’s also another dude there too. And, he knows that Hiroto had a one-night stand!? What’s the ethics policy at this company like anyway?

So, here’s the big bombshell: Hibiki is actually sometimes a guy! Every few weeks on a biological cycle, he has a rare condition where she shifts back and forth. Sounds fun, right? Well, actually, probably not. Hibiki doesn’t seem to think so, anyway. Falling in love with someone isn’t exactly easy when you’re not always the same gender, after all. But Hiroto and Hibiki did spend the night together… what will happen to these soulmates?

Personally, I love any kind of sci-fi content or speculative fiction, so this manga is right up my alley. Unlike some gender transformation stories where the character is suddenly just like, “I’m a girl now wtf okay whatever lol let’s bang,” My Complex Soulmate actually deals with, well, complex issues and the ramifications of what could really happen if this kind of condition did exist. If you’re interested in seeing what happens with Hiroto and Hibiki’s complicated relationship, check out My Complex Relationship when it arrives on Renta! tomorrow!