The Mermaid Princess’s Guilty Meal

Get ready for a gourmet manga like no other! I’ve discovered Ningyohime no Gomen ne Gohan (The Mermaid Princess’s Guilty Meal) thanks to MAL’s Summer Challenge and I just had to share it! The story is centered around Princess Era, a beautiful mermaid who is living a peaceful life with her fish companions. When Bonito (one of her best friends) gets caught by humans, she decides to go to the surface, to pay tribute. So she turns into a human, goes to the restaurant that had Bonito and orders him. When Era was about to leave, a customer tells her that she needs to eat Bonito in order for him to go to Heaven. And she starts eating him.

The birth of Cannibal Princess Era! (But don’t worry, this is a comedy!)

At first, Era was against it and only took a small bite. But that was enough for her to develop an addiction to seafood! She feels guilty about what she did and tries her best to keep it a secret. At the same time, it’s hard for her to control her urges when her friends keep getting caught by humans and end up cooked to perfection! Almost every chapter ends with: “I’m so sorry “insert fish name” but you taste so good!” comment from Princess Era! πŸ˜† I love how all her fish friends have different backstories, some even have really sad pasts. Whatever you do, just don’t get too attached because sooner or later, they will get eaten by Era!

Everyone thinks Princess Era is an angel while she hides a dark secret

I had low expectation at first but this manga turned out to be ridiculously funny and stupid (in a good way). I was surprised when I found out that The Mermaid Princess’s Guilty Meal was made by the same team who also did Love After World Domination! I guess it makes sense, because I really loved the humor in Love After World Domination (which I regret not reviewing it last season). That’s really cool! Now I really need to talk about the pop culture references that were spread out across the story (and between chapters). I just had to include some of them down below, because the references were spot on!

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The many faces of Hanako Honda (Asobi Asobase)

I feel like Asobi Asobase deserves more love! It’s easily one of the best comedy anime/manga out there. And because Hanako is my favorite character, I decided to make a post to celebrate the wackiness (and insanity) that this series has to offer! Hanako is one of the 3 main characters of Asobi Asobas. She’s a very energetic girl who often says and does whatever comes to her mind! She often acts without thinking about the consequences of her actions, which almost always causes trouble for her and her friends. Hanako makes the best faces and you can’t convince me otherwise! We all know “a picture is worth a thousand words” so I’ll let them do the talking! 😁

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Evil Flowers and Messed Up Teenagers

I kept avoiding Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil) for years now because I usually like to stay away from over-hyped Shounen series (there are exceptions but you know what I mean). That was until last week, when I checked out the anime version because I was fascinated by the art style. And believe it or not, I actually liked it a lot. πŸ˜… Yes, I was surprised also! I know the anime had a bad reputation before, but I genuinely loved the dark, eerie atmosphere and I found the story quite intriguing. So I had to know what happened next so I ended up reading the manga too. Long story short: I wasted my time! πŸ˜’

Just Nakamura and her usual insults

So what’s Aku no Hana about? Well Kasuga is a middle school boy who has a crush on the most beautiful girl in class (Saeki). He gets caught by Nakamura (a rude and isolated girl) while he was about to steal Saeki’s gym uniform. Nakamura then starts bullying him because of his secret and continues humiliating him over and over until he does everything she says. Kasuga’s life changes for the worst as Nakamura’s influence awakens new emotions within him. He even ends up dating Saeki, while hiding the fact that he was the one who stole her gym clothes. But she finds out eventually and this is her reaction:

Translation: Saeki is so desperate for validation that she is fighting hard to stay in a relationship with a pervert who stole her gym uniform just because he was the first (and only) guy to ask her out.

And yes, Saeki is even more pathetic than Kasuga, a guy who doesn’t fight back Nakamura’s bullying and suffers alone without telling an adult about it. πŸ™„ At first I thought it was because he might have developed Stockholm Syndrome but no, it’s because his actions just don’t make sense when the writing is bad. For example we know these kids have some deep psychological problems but nothing from their past justifies their crazy behavior. They’re normal kids leading normal lives, going to school every day.

For some reason Nakamura thinks Kasuga is a lot like her and often would talks about leaving the small town that they both hate and start a new life together.

Kasuga kept doing messed up things just to please/entertain Nakamura. They formed a bond because of their desire to escape the town and Saeki wasn’t happy about it. She got so jealous of how close Nakamura appeared to be with Kasuga that she ended up raping him. Again, Kasuga tells no one about it. But when everyone finally finds out that Kasuga was the town’s biggest pervert all along, things started getting even more extreme. Nakamura and Kasuga plan to set themselves on fire during the summer festival. πŸ˜‘ I wish things ended up here for good πŸ˜… but no, we got a time skip instead.

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Bota Bota – A story filled with Nosebleeds and Failed Relationships

From the creator of Beastars comes Bota Bota, a short manga about Mako, a 29 year old woman and her disastrous dating life. Nothing unusual here, right? Well.. she also suffers from a strange medical condition that causes her to trigger a ridiculous amount of nosebleeds when she comes in contact with dirty objects (or dirty people). But that doesn’t stop Mako from wanting to find her ideal partner! She tries her best to live her life despite the huge inconvenience. And it’s honestly quite refreshing to read!

Believe it or not, this is not a horror manga

Mako’s failed relationships are just blessings in disguise. Her dating adventures are surprisingly relatable and quite amusing. She gets into some wacky situations that almost always end with an excessive amount of nosebleeds! Really, how is she still alive? πŸ˜† I love that Mako doesn’t dwell on her condition too much. She doesn’t blame, nor hate herself. She is quite desensitized to failure at this point. But even so, I couldn’t stop feeling a little sad for her every time a loved interest turned out to be just another huge disappointment.

Mako is a hopeless romantic

Mako’s childhood offers some insights on why her condition is more emotional than medical. Her mother developed an unhealthy obsession with germs because of her father’s affairs. That caused Mako to subconsciously develop a defense mechanism (nosebleeds) out of fear of being intimate with men. Everything changed when Mako met her old classmate, Ryunosuke. Thanks to his comforting words and calm attitude, she decided to trust him instead of her nose. And for the first time, the bleeding stopped.

This scene reminded me of Carrie

Unfortunately Mako’s happiness didn’t last long! She found out on her wedding day that Ryunosuke was actually a very horrible person who was only good at deceiving people. This inevitably triggered one of her worst nosebleeds ever. With her white dress now covered in blood, Mako still refuses to give up on finding love. She had a revelation: Ryunosuke’s lies made her realize that her nosebleeds never determined who’s dirty or not. Mako is now free to live her life as she pleases and not stress about “filth”! Go Mako! 😊

“Kawaii Hito” or how beauty is in the eye of the beholder

“Kawaii Hito” might look like a horror manga but I assure you there’s nothing scary about it (unless you’re scared of getting diabetes that is).πŸ˜† Looks can be deceiving. I think we already know that by now, well this manga is just another example! “Kawaii Hito” is a simple story about a 27 year old guy named Hanazono who works at a family-owned flower shop with his mother. He has scary facial expressions that tend to often frighten his customers. πŸ˜† Well, all customers except one: a beautiful girl named Suzuki.

Some might say Suzuki is the opposite of Hanazono in terms of looks, but that didn’t bother her because she actually fell in love with him at first sight! Suzuki then started to visit the flower shop quite often and it didn’t take long for her to confess to Hanazono! He also thought she was adorable and amazing too, so they started dating right away! Aww! ☺️ Mind you, this happened only in the first couple of pages! It’s so refreshing to read a shoujo manga like this, where the two main characters are dating from the start.

What I loved the most about the story was the lack of unnecessary drama: there were no love triangles and no petty misunderstandings either. I get tired of seeing the same things in shoujo manga. And while I do admit some tropes are great when they’re done right, it gets boring sometimes. Anyway,I also liked how we experienced the story from Hanazono’s point of view. He’s extremely adorable, considerate and just really sweet, which again is rare for a male shoujo lead! I really think “Kawaii Hito” is like a breath of fresh air.

Now for my verdict: If you’re looking for something cute and fluffy to read, then this is for you! The comedy is surprisingly good, it was well balanced and it really fit the story. I loved Hanazono’s facial expression and I don’t think he’s scary at all! While this is a charming series, don’t expect anything new or revolutionary about it. The ending felt quite abrupt and it could have been done way better but it didn’t bother me that much. I gave it a solid 7 out of 10 but I still do recommend “Kawaii Hito” to all shoujo fans out there! 😊