Surprised to find that I enjoy reading Ai Yazawa manga?
Well, I don’t blame you considering the type of books that I tend to recommend on my blog.
But just to let you know that I enjoy reading josei manga just as much as reading shonen manga and anything that falls into the mystery, thriller, and suspense genres.
And yes, that includes manga by Ai Yazawa.
Think that I never recommend any josei manga before? Well, you’ll be surprised to find out that I did recommend josei manga in the past.
Both of them are great reads. And I do recommend that you give any of the manga a try if you haven’t already.
But if you ask me which josei manga that I enjoy the most, it has to be the manga by Ai Yazawa, hands down.
Sure, she may already be out of the scene for such a long time. But I still think that her manga is top-notch even to this day.
What makes Ai Yazawa manga a fascinating manga to read?
The romantic relationship tends to be the bread and butter in josei manga, for the most part.
Of course, you can put shoujo manga in the same context as well. But the josei manga takes things to another notch with the presence of sex scenes in the story.
Well, there’s nothing unusual about that considering the target audience for josei manga is adult women.
So, no surprise about the adult content there.
While the sex scenes aren’t as elaborate and steamy as the ones you’ve seen in TL manga, nudity is still prominent within the manga, though.
In that sense, Ai Yazawa manga is no exception here.
And that leads us to this question.
What makes manga by Ai Yazawa any different when it doesn’t differ much from your run-of-the-mill josei manga?
Well, the reason for that has a lot to do with how stylish the character designs are. Even minor characters are just as stylish too in her works.
Another thing that I find interesting about Ai Yazawa’s works is how the story isn’t just appealing to the female audience. But it’s appealing to the male audience too.
Well, I will say that a manga like NANA is more likely to be appealing to the male audience considering that the story in NANA isn’t just about Nana Komatsu’s and Nana Osaki’s life.
The story gives us a glimpse into the music industry as well.
I guess that anything that gives us an inside scoop on how the entertainment industry operates tends to be a big hit among the audience regardless of gender.
That explains why a manga like NANA is such a big hit to both female and male audiences.
The manga by Ai Yazawa that I tend to enjoy the most
With NANA being a big hit among readers, then it’s fair to say that NANA must be the manga that I enjoy the most right?
Well, you’re not wrong to assume that I enjoy reading NANA.
What’s not to like about NANA when the story itself has a mixture of love, a slice of life, and a glimpse into the music industry?
While it’s not the kind of story that I tend to read, for the most part, I admit that I really am digging the story.
But here’s the thing that may come as a surprise to you.
Yes, I enjoy reading NANA. But the manga that I enjoy reading the most is Neighborhood Story.
That’s Gokinjou Monogatari for those who aren’t familiar with the English title.
What makes me prefer Neighborhood Story over NANA has more to do with the story in Neighborhood Story being less about sex and more about pursuing a career in fashion.
If it sounds like Smile down the Runway, it sure is.
Imagine having to choose between deepening the relationship you just started and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will take your career to the next level.
I’m sure that it’s something that many of us can relate to even if you’re not in the fashion industry like Mikako.
Does it mean that you’re not going to see any sex scenes in the manga?
Au contraire! You’ll still be going to see Mikako sleeping with Tsutomu. But that’s just about it. No nipple in the flesh is sighted throughout the story.
You can say that the Neighborhood Story is as clean as you can get when it comes to manga by Ai Yazawa.
As much as I don’t have any issues with the sex scenes, it’ll still be better if it doesn’t have any of them.
If I do want that steamy action, there’s always TL manga, you know?
What’s happening with Ai Yazawa now
As some of you may already know, it’s been more than 10 years since Ai Yazawa went on hiatus due to an unspecified condition.
Yes, it’s been that long.
Is there any telltale sign that she may resume NANA anytime soon?
Sad to say, the answer is no. Even having an art exhibition of her own works may not necessarily guarantee that she’ll be making a comeback soon enough.
When she’ll be coming back is anyone’s guess.
But all I can say is she’s free to come back at any time she wants and whenever she thinks she’s ready.
And I’m okay with that.
This can be a good alternative too
While Ai Yazawa did express her desire to continue working on NANA, it’s possible that she may not even want to come back at all.
Okay, I probably jinxed myself by saying that. But the possibility isn’t that far off either.
If she decided not to resume the manga, at least just give us a brief description of how the story will unfold in the end.
Heck, she can even get someone to flesh out the whole story from the beginning and release it as a light novel.
I can bet that it’s going to sell like a hotcake if she’s fine with it.
You can bet that I’ll be one of the people who would like to get my hands on the light novel.
Well, that is if it does happen for real, of course.
P.S If you’re looking for a light novel that has a josei manga vibe, my light novel, The Diary of Modern Cinderella is the closest thing you can get.
Yes, it’s a psychological suspense light novel. But there’s romance in between too. And they’re just as juicy as the ones you’ve seen in shoujo and josei manga too.
Interested in reading the light novel? You can learn more about the light novel right here on my Payhip store:
Interested in buying the light novel? Don’t forget to use the coupon code SEKINAMAYUBLOG to save 25% off on your purchase.
Just to let you know that you can also get the light novel in print and on other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple Books.
But you can only get a discount when you buy the light novel directly from me, though.
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