Short-Tempered Melancholic and Other Stories

Arina Tanemura, Author, Arina Tanemura, Illustrator . Viz $8.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4215-1801-5

According to this book, the four most romantic things a Japanese high school girl can hope for are walking home from school with her boyfriend, baking for said boyfriend, sharing an umbrella and going to the aquarium. All four are central to the stories of Short-Tempered Melancholic , a collection of short early works by Tanemura (Gentlemen's Alliance , Full Moon ). The title story follows Kaijika, a ninja girl. Her love interest, Fujisaki, wants Kaijika to be more ladylike (and less ninjalike) while childhood friend Tanimoto is fine with Kaijika as is. In “This Love Is Non-Fiction,” a pair of pen pals exchange false pictures of themselves and then agree to meet on a date at the aquarium, employing their best friends' help. In “Rainy Afternoons Are for Romantic Heroines,” a girl realizes that by turning down her current crush the previous year, turning him bitter toward all girls. “The Style of Second Love” is Tanemura's inventive debut work about a girl in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Tanemura's work never lacks energy in pacing and layouts, but she occasionally reuses character designs across books. Despite the ninja on the cover, the bulk of the book is straightup romance, which is too bad, as Kaijika is an appealing protagonist. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/18/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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