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Old 2008-09-28, 20:13   Link #1
Cal-Reflector
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Cupid no Itazura (Cupid's Prank)

Cupid no Itazura Nijidama, by Kitazaki Taku

So I read "Cupid no Itazura," (Cupid's Prank) which is more famous stateside for its adaption into a Japanese drama. It is 7 volumes, and is DEFINITELY for a grown up audience due to its mature content. That said, it is also a fantastic work of romantic fiction, with phenomenal realism, sensibility, and artwork which is absolutely godly--I have never seen human emotions portrayed better in a work of manga.



There's no magic, no evil plot, no action, no violence, no huge sums of money at stake, no perversion, no porn. It's a story about love (and what isn't love) and friendship starring the working youth in today's Japan, and what that entails. The story is more graphic and brutally honest about the colder, less-rosy aspects of life and romance than Honey and Clover, another godly work, but which is more pastels and idealistic in comparison



Other things which Cupid no Itazura does not contain:
No helpless, insipid heroine. No lustful vengeful evil good looking guy (yeah, shucks, boohoo). No cat fights, no confrontation between women, no cheese drama. No evil in laws. In fact, as often in real life, there's no villain, just (for the most part) average, decent folks trying their best to be happy. There is an adorable kid (21) who really likes this adorable girl (19) who has never fallen in love, and then there's the young man's supportive girl buddy from middle school who is dating a married man.



There is one element of the fantastic here which forces our characters to confront issues and grow... but I won't spoil that. The parents play a large role, and family is an important part of the story. Like I said, this is THE most realistic romance I've seen drawn. It's emotional and touching and funny at times and has a very wholesome ending which is absolutely stunning for a work of this genre, so often filled with filth and guilty pleasure and thinly veiled sado-masochism. No, Cupid no Itazura's author accords its characters, both the men and women, with dignity and honesty, and I'm inspired.

Here are more screen shots for your viewing pleasure and curiosity. As I said, I've never seen people portrayed better in all the manga I read--I even peeked at the live action adaptation, and the actors could not keep up with the magic of this author's pen:

Spoiler for Stunning artwork, simply stunning:


Since manga is still, for the most part, strictly for kids in America, I doubt the manga of "Cupid no Itazura" will make it here in the foreseeable future. I'd say the potential target audience is huge however--men and women from 18-30--similar market as those trashy looking paperback romances one finds often in the library... except it's not trashy, has THE BEST ARTWORK, and is real and sad and beautiful and happy.
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Last edited by Cal-Reflector; 2008-09-28 at 21:53.
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Old 2008-09-29, 00:25   Link #2
Shouta
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Heh, a fantastic manga but barely anyone has read it. It's one of my favorites ever.
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Old 2008-09-29, 00:32   Link #3
ZODDGUTS
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"Read" the raws to this, it's pretty good been hoping someone would scanlate this. Same goes with the sequel :

http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=6517
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Old 2008-09-29, 01:18   Link #4
Cal-Reflector
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Originally Posted by Shouta View Post
Heh, a fantastic manga but barely anyone has read it. It's one of my favorites ever.
The sequel seems more light hearted and not as down to earth. I like this one more. Sure, the hero's fantastic plight and the graphic ecchi scenes is part of the big draw, but past that is really a wonderfully rendered story.

I can't look now at another Shoujo/Josei without laughing out loud at the sexy evil slave master vampire heart of gold rich boys and the eeeeevvviilll jealous desperate cackling ex-girlfriend fiances and the helpless lamb-like brain dead simpering voluntarily enslaved doormat heroines... well, except for the luluz.

There's only one other manga (ongoing) which I think is overall, better than Cupid no Itazura, when it comes to portraying realistic romance in a realistic world: Sing Yesterday for Me, or Yesterday wo Utate, by Kei Toume. I also felt Honey and Clover was a godly work, but as mentioned, the gap in artwork has to come into consideration here, as well as other factors.

I read the story in Chinese, I'm going to reread it in Japanese to catch the nuances now.
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Old 2008-09-29, 01:26   Link #5
Shouta
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The sequel, Cherry Syndrome is finally hitting the climax of the story so it'll be interesting. I can't say it's more light-hearted but it's definitely a little more unfocused. What it deals with is good material but it seems to have gone in a few circles before getting to the meat of the story.

Sing Yesterday For Me, I find, is too slow and not as much happens in the several volumes I read. Some of it is great but it's often punctuated with a lot of slice-of-life and romance cliche situations that make it hard to read at times. Nijidama is incredibly focused and sharp about what happens which is in sharp contrast to SYFM.
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Old 2008-09-29, 01:38   Link #6
Cal-Reflector
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Originally Posted by Shouta View Post
The sequel, Cherry Syndrome is finally hitting the climax of the story so it'll be interesting. I can't say it's more light-hearted but it's definitely a little more unfocused. What it deals with is good material but it seems to have gone in a few circles before getting to the meat of the story.

Sing Yesterday For Me, I find, is too slow and not as much happens in the several volumes I read. Some of it is great but it's often punctuated with a lot of slice-of-life and romance cliche situations that make it hard to read at times. Nijidama is incredibly focused and sharp about what happens which is in sharp contrast to SYFM.
I agree. SYFM is slllloooowww. Funny how two mangas in the same time and place and dealing with the same basic relationship (2 girl 1 guy) and the same age (21/22 and 19) and the same important detail (still virgins) could turn out so differently. I venture that Cherry Syndrome's author is a fan of SYFM who got so frustrated he ended up drawing his own version. (Not really, but it'd be funny).

I'll have to wait and see; volume five in SYFM had, relatively speaking, some earth-shaking developments.
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Old 2008-09-30, 15:51   Link #7
Cal-Reflector
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Originally Posted by Shouta View Post
The sequel, Cherry Syndrome is finally hitting the climax of the story so it'll be interesting. I can't say it's more light-hearted but it's definitely a little more unfocused. What it deals with is good material but it seems to have gone in a few circles before getting to the meat of the story.

Sing Yesterday For Me, I find, is too slow and not as much happens in the several volumes I read. Some of it is great but it's often punctuated with a lot of slice-of-life and romance cliche situations that make it hard to read at times. Nijidama is incredibly focused and sharp about what happens which is in sharp contrast to SYFM.
Also, do you mind if I ask you where you get your raws (Neither series is licensed in America so I don't think there's an issue)? I have Sakuranbo Syndrome up to volume 7, but can't find more.
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Old 2008-09-30, 18:13   Link #8
Shouta
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I buy them. I live in Japan. =P
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Old 2008-09-30, 18:55   Link #9
Cal-Reflector
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I buy them. I live in Japan. =P
AHHHHHHHHH...

The last time I went to Japan I came back with 40 volumes of Gunslinger Girl, Honey and Clover, Hitsuji no Uta, SYFM, Blood Alone, Bonbon Zaka Engeki Bu (If you've read this then I'd be extremely impressed; totally old school, but way ahead of its time in vulgar humor), Mushishi... BookOff is your friend.

You're right though, Sakuranbo Syndrome isn't necessarily more light hearted. I think it has more of the extremes; comical and heart-wrending; than Cupid no Itazura.

So............. isthequeenstilltogetherwithagawa?
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Old 2008-09-30, 21:49   Link #10
Shouta
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some interesting developments as of Chapter 91.
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Old 2010-02-24, 11:51   Link #11
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lol, a year long no reply

anyway, I've just completed the sequel after left it so long unread ^ lucky me it ended already so I dont have to wait for next chapters/vols
Spoiler for spoil:
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Old 2010-02-24, 19:14   Link #12
Shouta
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The reason why the story ended that was related to the purpose and themes of the plot.

Spoiler:
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Old 2011-09-04, 06:08   Link #13
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I was lead to this thread from finding out that it's a sort of "predecessor" for Sakuranbo Syndrome. Where can I find this?
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Old 2011-09-04, 06:38   Link #14
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i haven't found any scans for this, jap only t.t
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Old 2011-09-04, 06:46   Link #15
Khalil
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Hobo-1 is up to chapter 3, they're also doing Ore x Yome - they've finished the first part - and Kono S o, Mi yo!.
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Old 2011-09-04, 07:46   Link #16
Aesthetic Shampoo
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A lot of Kitazaki Taku's works seem to find there way into my read list nowadays - and for good reason. All the ones I've read are masterpieces, or something closer to it, with sex not running the whole thing. A shame there's only 3 chapters out though =/

And how is this related to Sakuranbo Syndrome in any way? I saw it listed as its prequel.
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Old 2011-09-06, 21:30   Link #17
Shouta
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If I ever get time, I'd love to do the manga but unfortunately I have work. I did have the entire first volume translated into a txt file somewhere tough.

This is a prequel to Sakuranbo in the sense that it's the first series in the Cupid line of manga by Kitazaki. There's only one character that comes from Nijidama into Sakuranbo and that's the doctor who is a recurring character in all the manga. Kono S wo Mi Yo! and Sakuranbo are more directly related being several years after the end events of Sakuranbo (but before epilogue) and that Chizuru (one of the main heroines of Kono S) and Asou were college buddies. You in fact get to see Asou and Agawa in Kono S about 3 years after the end of Sakuranbo.
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Old 2013-04-30, 05:22   Link #18
IllusionBreaker
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I've read all the mangas by this author, but most of them are incompletes!
Especially Cupid no Itazura Nijidama, so if someone could please post the link for the raws, the link for the live action adaptation or at the very least what happens in the end ^^
For this favor I would greatly and gratefully appreciate (O.O)

(though judging from the artwork posted by Cal-Reflector, it seems the adorable kid (21) ends up with the adorable girl (19) not the supportive girl buddy from middle school (21), I was hoping he would end up with the classmate from middle school because they have fresh and honest interactions [at least from what I've seen in the manga])
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Old 2014-01-14, 13:39   Link #19
itokiki
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Hi! I was very interested much this story, like all of Kitazaki Taku, I was wondering if there anyone can or knows someone else who wants to translate the manga. I have all 7 volumes in Japanese with a very good quality for which you are interested.
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