Monday, February 4, 2013

"Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi" -- New Series by Arina Tanemura

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There's a new series by the infamous Arina Tanemura! I bought this magazine for the first time because the cover was so beautiful I couldn't leave the store without it (and because the magazine was cheap.) I'm going to upload scans and a brief summary for the first chapter, in the hope that some group will get interested and pick it up as a project. 


Tachibana Ai is a 16 year old high school student who likes cute things and chocolate, helps out as a student librarian at the school library, and has a crush on an upperclassmen, Serizawa Mia. Serizawa-senpai is the most popular guy in the school, nice to everyone, and apparently loves to read because he comes to return library books he read over the weekend every Friday when Ai is working at the library. He's also a bit of a flirt, and is always making Ai get all flustered by being too cool and too nice to her. One day Ai is on the phone with her friend Mosuko asking if she think Serizawa-senpai has a girlfriend and her friends answer that they think he doesn't but there are tons of girls in love with him including Mayu-senpai in class 3A, Eriko-senpai in class 2D and Yumeko-chan in classH 1A. Perhaps these characters will be important in the future, I don't know. Anyways Ai's friend tells her she thinks Serizawa-senpai must like her because his especially kind to her. Then Ai's mom calls her and she has to get off the phone. Ai's mom tells her that her cousin Nekota-kun, who is in Elementary school, has been asking for Ai to become his tutor because his grades suddenly dropped. Ai finally agrees when her mom reminds her that there will be pay for the job. Ai recalls the last time she met Nekota-kun, over a year ago; he had gotten a bad fever and collapsed while they were playing together and she had carried him to the hospital, running as fast as she could. She wonders what he's like now. When Ai goes over Nekota-kun's house for their first lesson, she finds he's gotten bigger than she remembered, but he's still completely adorable. He tells her his mom took away his Monhan because of his grades (I don't know what Monhan is but I think it must be a video game consule or something) and so he wants to improve his grades so he can get it back. His tearful face moves Ai and she cheerfully grabs his hand and tells him they'll start "Battle Plan: Grades-UP!" He agrees cheerfully and his cuteness almost bowels Ai over. She calls him an angel in her thoughts and remarks on how quickly he picks up what she's teaching him, saying he's smarter and more adorable than she remembered. Talking with Mosuko about it later, Ai says that although part-time jobs are forbidden by their school, this can be counted as "helping around the house" so she can still earn some pocket money. She also says that the Honjou family (Nekota-kun's family) must be rich becase they gave her Godiva chocolates as a snack. As Ai is telling Mosuko that she'll be tutoring Nekota-kun every friday from now on, Serizawa-senpai appears. Mosuko takes off to give them "privacy" but Ai only gets more flustered and starts blurting out something like "in the world of chocolate godiva is king, but if we're talking about chocolate, any chocolate is chocolate and chocolate is good" which just confuses Serizawa-senpai. He tells Ai that she's weird, and no matter what he ends up laughing when he's with her. She appologizes but he tells her not to worry, it's her strong point and he thinks it make her very cute. Ai starts panicking internally but Serizawa-senpai moves on and asks her what she's doing for valentines day, if she's planning on giving choclate to anyone. He faces away from her and admits that he's totally jealous of any guy who gets choclate from Ai. Ai tells him that he's popular and probably gets tons of choclate every year but he says that he had no interest in beautiful girls, in bookish girls with glasses, or girls that look younger than they really are; he only wants a normal girl, someone like Ai. Ai's heart starts pounding and she's afraid it might actually stop. Then Serizawa-senpai leans over and whispers in Ai's ear that the real reason he borrows books from the library is so he can go to return them every week when Ai is working, so he has an excuse to see her. Then he smiles and says "You get it? About my feelings..." and walks away. When Ai gets to Nekota-kun's house later, she's still flusted and he notices. She plays it off like it's nothing but she's lost in her own fantasies about Serizawa-senpai. She later writes him a love letter but says she doesn't have the courage to give him chocolates, let along the letter confessing. In her thoughts she says that she's just a normal girl with nothing special about her, but if the prince has chosen her that means she'll become a princess. The following day(?) Ai sees Serizawa-senpai alone in the library. She knowns that right now is the only chance she'll get to give him chocolate but she's so scared of being rejected. She tries to pump herself up by telling her self if she doesn't move now, nothing can start. She says that love is a game and courage is the cost to play. She makes up her mind and calls out to Serizawa-senpai, about to charge up to him and give him the letter and chocolate, when she realizes the letter's not in her bag. Serizawa-senpai asks her what's wrong and she gets panicked and, pretending she never intented to give him anything, starts asking him trivial questions. She asks "If chirimenjako get big, what are they?!" (chirimenjako are baby sardines) and Serizawa-senpai answers "Chirimenja!" (removing the '-ko' on the end which means "child") Basically this is a pun in Japanese. Afterwards Ai is panicking searching her room at home for the letter, worrying about what would happen if someone found it and read it. If the yankee guys found it, they'll make copies and show the whole school, if the upperclassman girls find it they'll bully her, and if her classmates find it they'll cheer her on while secretly thinking it's hopeless. At school, Mosuko and Ai are talking about it and Ai says she never ended up finding the letter, but at least it doesn't seem anyone else found it either. Mosuko suggests confessing directly to Serizawa-senpai but Ai says that she's tried 50,000 times to get the words out but it's impossible. Then Mosuko suggests confessing by phone email, but when Ai pulls out her phone she notices that Serizawa-senpai's email address and all the emails he sent her had been erased by someone. Ai gets depressed and takes it as a sign from god that she shouldn't confess. At Nekota-kun's house that day, he notices that Ai seems depressed and gives her some chocolate and she cheers up immediately. Nekota-kun tells her he hates seeing her depressed and he feels depressed too when she is. Ai is really moved by his kind words until she suddenly sees her love letter to Serizawa-senpai on the floor in Nekota-kun's room. She freaks out because she's so happy she found it and can once again move forward with her plan to confess to Serizawa-senpai, until suddenly Nekota-kun quietly recites Serizawa-senpai's email. Ai is confused but Nekota-kun goes on to recite some of the mails Ai had sent to Serizawa-senpai in the past. He tells her those mails were cute, but she should give up on confessing to Serizawa-senpai. Ai is dumbfounded. She tells Nekota-kun to give back her love letter but he starts reciting mails she sent to Mosuko as well and Ai gets mad at him for reading through all her mail and tells him if he does have to read them at least don't memorize them. After Nekota-kun recites a mail in which Ai told Mosuko about meeting him and thinking he was as adorable and an angel, Nekota-kun makes a cheeky face and asks her "Was I really that cute?" Ai calls him a devil in her thoughts. Ai yells at him to give back the letter and forget all the mails he read but he tells her its her fault for leaving the letter and her phone laying around unprotected. Ai is close to tears and tells him that she thought at first he was like an angel but now he's acting more like a devil, and that she thought they'd get along really well so why is he bullying her like this? Nekota-kun says that OBVIOUSLY that's because he's in love with Ai. Ai doesn't know what to make of this. Nekota-kun goes on to say he's neither angel nor demon; only a man who loves Ai. Ai on the other hand is once again dumbfounded, give that Nekota-kun is her cousin and in elementary school. Nekota-kun tells Ai he fell in love with her determined expression the day she ran to the hospital carrying him, collapsed from fever. He tells her that asking for her to tutor him was all in a plan to get closer to her. He says he knew she had no boyfriend because he asked her mom, but he didn't know there was someone she liked. Ai is pissed off that she got set up. Nekota-kun asks her to give him chocolate too. She says she won't (though she did get him friends-and-family-chocolate) because she loves Serizawa-senpai and as such she can't respond to Nekota-kun's feelings. At first Nekota-kun tells her indiginatly(sp?) not to reject a young man's undying love in less than 6 pages, but then he says it doesn't matter, if she refuses he'll take her the way he took the love letter-- by force! He knocks Ai down and climbs on top of her, only to chastely kiss her hand. Ai bolts upright but her heart is unexpectedly beating fast. Nekota-kun explains that he is serious about her and tells her to prepare herself (for him pursuing her.) Ai is still astounded that her heart is beating so hard because of this little kid and thinks that she must be mis-wired somewhere. The chapter ends with Ai thinking that that was the fateful friday when the magic door opened.


  1. Ohh, is that Arina's new manga? I'm a big fan of hers, or was - of her earlier works. You gotta check THOSE out XD Shinshi Doumei Cross was the last thing I read and that's when her style started to change a bit in a way that kind of... made me stop reading her... Although I said that, she's still one of my weakest manga spots because she's actually the one that turned me into a j-fan... :)

    1. Yeah, I read most of her early stuff in English (Shinshi Doumei Cross, Full Moon wo Sagashite, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, etc) her art is so beautiful its almost a sin! For some reason I got turned off halfway through Sakurahime, though. I should go back and read it.

    2. Haha, Sakurahime is what turned *me* off too... XD

    3. What a cheeky kid! Ai-chan, forget the brat and go after the senpai!

    4. Right, senpai seems way nicer. I bet he has some hidden character flaw though. No one's that perfect! Well, except Matsunaga-san, lol.

    5. Hahahaa! XD Though Matsunaga's not perfect either - he gets tired, he sometimes hesitates... Proof that he's human! 8D

      About the character flaw, I guess you're right... Generally I don't like loli-shota and I don't like this kid cuz he's still a kid... Realistically speaking, he's way too young (was he 12 or sth?) for the type of Real Love Arina writes about. Crushes develop easily (especially towards neechans) and can change pretty quick. Not to mention cousins?


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