It has been a long time since I last posted on this blog. It was Fanime weekend: I had to prepare for that. Anyways, I am going to introduce two josei manga by Akira Fujiwara that I read prior to last weekend’s event: Diamond Life and Love Blog!. What I like about these two manga is how they incorporated characters who seem to be isolated from society due to their sexual orientation or health.
Diamond Life (ダイヤモンド・ライフ)
Kanae lives a poor and unfortunate life due to her father’s gambling addiction, and her mother’s abandonment. At the age of 22, Kanae dropped out of high school, and is now working as a cleaning lady. Kanae meets Haruki Oda by chance, where he gives her money to pay for her rent. Haruki is an IT millionaire, who is very resourceful when making profit.
There are certain things that money cannot buy. One of the usual answers to this statement is love, but another thing money can’t buy is health. It came as an unexpected surprise to learn that the male lead is diagnosed with HIV. (This is something I never came across before in a manga, which is a pretty interesting twist). As a reader, it changed my perspective on the storyline, in which I began questioning whether the couple will have a happy ending at all. There were many scary moments where the protagonists faced life-threatening incidents.
I found this manga amusing because it is centered around the female protagonist’s blog, where she talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly in her love life. Eriko is in love with the Director at her work; in which she persistently attempts to express her feelings for him even though he is already in a committed relationship.
In this manga, Eriko’s roommate is a homosexual. Throughout the series, he struggles with finding love and also coming into terms with his sexual orientation. In fact, there is one incident where Eriko’s roommate is attempting to commit suicide after his lover decides to leave him. The reason is that his lover cannot be seen with him in public due to his lover’s desire to have a political career, and does not want any scandal or rumors to come out. It seems that in this manga, LGBT individuals are not widely accepted.
Since this manga is based on blogging, I like Eriko’s blogging style. She incorporates various subjects like literature and science into the philosophy of love.
Although the plots are simple, I found these josei manga to be entertaining, and has some really in-depth characters.