Staff Awards

Jo

Shojo

Clavay's Keys

Posted on Oct 16th / Genre: Shojo

Clavay's Keys
Shojo

Jo's comment

Do you like cats? Do you like... talking cats!? If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for? Check out this manga now!!

Okay, I guess I should talk about the story and stuff, too. Anna is a locksmith that lives with her mysterious cat, Clavay. Also, their locksmith shop is in a mystical dimension that only appears to those who need to unlock something. Pretty nice digs, right? Anyway, the manga is split into different short stories, all involving some kind of mystery or problem that somehow needs to be solved with a cat. And a lock, too. But, mostly a cat.
There are all sorts of different stories in this 200+ page volume, ranging from a girl who loves the piano but is jealous of a boy who plays better than her (and who also loves cats), a spoiled cat who hates the frilly dresses his owner puts on him, even a restless spirit who possesses a... well, you get the point. For those of you who prefer a bit of sweet romance, there's also a story of a boy who has a crush on a girl who likes his twin brother (and he has a really cute pet cat). If you like lighthearted adventure comics, check out Clavay's Keys for a story that's paw-sitively sure to unlock your heart and have you going, "Aww!"

Summertime Blues

Posted on Sep 18th / Genre: Shojo

Summertime Blues
Shojo

Jo's comment

It's back-to-school time again, and for many people, that means new opportunities, new friendships, and maybe even new love. But, for Chika, when she looks back at her high school memories, all she can think about is the one who got away: Kataru, her classmate and first crush. One summer, she was able to get close to him, but then somehow it all fell apart...
This story takes place with the past and present interspersed. When Chika happens to run into Kataru for the first time six years later, it's as if those summer memories from all those years ago have bubbled up to the surface and are reaching up to a slow boil. And that's exactly what Asuka Sakashita is great at doing in this story! Each chapter starts out leaving you wondering what will come next, and slowly builds up to a heart-pounding climax, only to leave you hanging for the next chapter. I admit I couldn't put it down myself without reading everything in one sitting!
Chika and Kataru, as well as Kataru's younger sister Yuki, are really interesting and fleshed-out characters who react to the manga's themes of love, despair, loss, and change in realistic ways. Both of them deal with sadness and pain differently, and the story takes some surprising turns as their relationship develops! Just because summer is over, it doesn't mean you have to be sad. Check out Summertime Blues and cure your own malaise!

I Hate Romance Comics!

Posted on Aug 21st / Genre: Shojo

I Hate Romance Comics!
Shojo

Jo's comment

I'm sure if you try hard enough you could easily name a laundry list of romance tropes: stuck in a sudden rainstorm together with your crush, bumping into him on the street with your half-eaten breakfast, getting stuck at the nurse's office together...

But, Momoko Akashi wants nothing to do with any of that! For her, romance comics are tied in with the worst day of her life. After that horrible day, Momoko swore that she would never touch another romance comic ever again. But, her friend is sick of her constant badmouthing and "curses" her: Momoko is forced to find love in the most "romance comic" way possible with the first boy she sees! It's happily ever after whether she likes it or not! And, guess what, it's none other than Aiji Aoto, the boy she absolutely hates!
Despite all the crazy situations Momoko finds herself in with Aiji, she's determined to stay strong and not lose to her stupid curse. Besides, there's no way the curse is even real, right!? Will she succumb to her sweet happy ending after all? Don't be a hater and check it out for yourself!

The Bittersweet Taste of Love -Bakery and Restaurant-

Posted on July 24th / Genre: Shojo

The Bittersweet Taste of Love -Bakery and Restaurant-
Shojo

Jo's comment

Ah, on-the-job romance. What could be more glamorous? Well, it turns out that working day-in and day-out in the kitchen at a five-star hotel isn't exactly the best place to get to sit down and have a real heart-to-heart when you have a huge crush on another employee.
Ryoichi is the award-winning head chef at a hotel bakery. Chika has been in love with him ever since she crossed paths with him when her sister, Hazuki, hired him to create her wedding cake four years ago. What better place to fall in love than at a wedding, right? There's just one problem: Chika's sure Ryoichi has a crush on Hazuki due to the amazing intricacy and incredible beauty of the cake topper he created. Oh yeah, and also Ryoichi has no respect for anyone and belittles everyone he meets. Darn. Even their boss isn't safe from his sharp tongue!
But deep down, beneath his rough exterior, Chika knows that Ryoichi has a caring heart, even though she can't bring herself to tell him how she feels. Now that Chika is working at the same hotel, maybe her chance will finally come! Will Ryoichi notice her for who she really is, or will Chika be forever doomed to hiding her sweet feelings behind her sweet creations? Read on for a story of love and dessert so savory you'll be hungry for more!

Want to Sell Me Your Body?

Posted on June 26th / Genre: Shojo

Want to Sell Me Your Body?
Shojo

Jo's comment

Our story begins with tragedy. The young student Tsukasa loses her mother in a car accident, and soon after that, her father loses his own job and succumbs to the vices of drugs and alcohol. Fast forward three years and now even her father has run away from home. As she is sitting down for dinner, there's a knock on her door. She is shocked to find a beautiful woman on the other side, but not as much as when she hears about the debt that her father racked up: a whopping $30,000! While she's still reeling from shock, the woman lets herself in and starts helping herself to Tsukasa's food... and then Tsukasa herself! Unfortunately, more debt collectors show up, this time demanding $70,000! This really isn't Tsukasa's day, huh? They are about to kidnap her, when the lady from earlier slams the collector to the ground and slaps a check for the money in his face. This woman, who introduces herself as Reiko, makes Tsukasa a counter-offer: if Tsukasa sells her body to Reiko, she can consider her debt taken care of. Wait... sell her body to Reiko? What the heck does that mean? And, why is she talking about "night duty "? Reiko seems so nice, but what does she want? Why would Reiko want to sleep together with Tsukasa in her tiny apartment? Throughout the course of the series, you can see the bonds between Tsukasa and Reiko blossom, as both of them help the other grow as people through their own trials. This story is amazingly sweet, and you definitely won't regret reading it if you're a fan of sweet, lovely yuri relationships!

That's the Hottest Restaurant in Enoshima

Posted on May 29th / Genre: Shojo

That's the Hottest Restaurant in Enoshima
Shojo

Jo's comment

Iori Tachibana is broke, jobless, and has nothing to look forward to in her life. After failing yet another interview, she goes for a walk and ends up in front of a famous restaurant run by the world-class chef, Tsubaki Shiratori. Although she is initially turned away by the manager, an attractive chef takes pity on the poor girl and offers her a table. As expected, Chef Shiratori's meal is so good, Iori can't help but get lost in the amazing taste. She leans back in her chair to savor the flavors... and accidentally knocks over a priceless vase! It's really not Iori's day, is it? The same hot chef from before once again comes to her aid, and it turns out he's none other than Chef Shiratori himself! Iori vows to do odd jobs at the restaurant until the debt is paid off. The rest of his staff doesn't seem to share her work ethic and devotion though, and they all decide to quit at the same time, just before a huge Valentine's Day banquet! How terrible of a person do you even have to be to do that!? Will Iori and Chef Shiratori be able to salvage the restaurant they love in time for a full crowd?
While reading this story, you can tell the author did a lot of research on French cuisine, and put just as much effort into drawing it! Everything looks so good, just reading this manga makes me hungry. If reading about delicious food isn't good enough to sate your appetite, the touching love story with a full-color ending is the perfect pairing that's guaranteed to leave you stuffed to the brim, yet still wishing for more!

Running a Love Hotel with My Math Teacher

Posted on Apr 24th / Genre: Shojo

Running a Love Hotel with My Math Teacher
Shojo

Jo's comment

Kana is a busy high schooler, but she has slightly different problems than her friends. While they worry about juggling clubs, schoolwork, and blossoming love, Kana is busy with a different kind of work: secretly managing an after-hours hotel by herself! Since her parents passed away in an accident midway through her freshman year, she has been forced to take over their more-than-slightly unsettling family business, and with staff dwindling, it's been taking up more and more of her time. Naturally, her lack of free time and sleep has drastically impacted her studies, and the last thing she wants is to be held back a year. Thankfully, her math teacher, Mr. Saitou, has been kind enough to give her extra lessons. Not the worst punishment in the world, as Mr. Saitou is the most popular teacher at Kana's school! Lucky Kana gets to be next to her crush for a few hours every day, but of course, manga characters can't be truly happy for more than a few pages at most. One late night working reception at the hotel, she gets a call to fix the A/C in the most popular and expensive room, and I bet you can guess just who she finds there... none other than Mr. Saitou! Having a part-time job is already against her school's rules, and at a love hotel too! Why is such a nice and friendly guy like Mr. Saitou even there in the first place? What will happen between Kana and Mr. Saitou (besides the situation in the title)? This long-running, beautiful full-color series full of all kinds of twists and turns is a big hit, and you don't have to be a love hotel manager yourself to see why!

Instant Lovers

Posted on Mar 27th / Genre: Shojo

Instant Lovers
Shojo

Jo's comment

High school can be a tough time for everyone, and for Aki Maihara, that's no different. After her crush ends up dating one of her classmates, she comes to a sudden realization: if she doesn't speak up and share her feelings for the guy she likes right away, she might end up regretting it for the rest of her life. However, after six months and ten failed confessions to ten different guys, her new shotgun approach to love doesn't really seem to be working... until one day. Aki bumps into a handsome boy on the street, and knowing she might not ever see him again, she takes the plunge and asks him out without even knowing his name. And, to her surprise, he says yes! Is this a joke!? He seems to be serious about it because they even exchange numbers and everything! In order to get to know her new boyfriend Haruto better, she goes to meet him at his school, and finds out that he's a charming and sweet person. But, before she knows it, he steals her first kiss and invites her up into his room! When they get to his house, why is he suddenly in such a bad mood and acting so aggressively? It seems Haruto has a secret of his own that he can't even share with his girlfriend he's known for ten whole minutes! I really enjoy the dynamic between the naive yet optimistic Aki and the quiet but charming Haruto. Despite their interesting circumstances, they both seem to make the best of each other's company, and want nothing but the happiest possible outcome. The full-color artwork is really gorgeous too and the characters really pop out! Within seconds of reading this story, I think you'll be able to instantly declare your love for Instant Lovers as well!

First Time with the Boy Next-Door

Posted on Feb 27th / Genre: Shojo

First Time with the Boy Next-Door
Shojo

Jo's comment

Chisato and Riku have been childhood friends since Chisato's family moved next door in elementary school. The two grew up together and remained good friends all the way through high school, so their parents suggested that when they move out for college, they find apartments next door to each other as well. That way, even though they would be living alone, they could keep each other safe. Riku often comes over to play video games and chat over a meal, and their relationship has always been strictly platonic. However, now that they're both maturing into adults, Riku wants to transition into becoming something more. But, throughout their entire childhood together, Riku never even gave a single hint that he was interested! Where did this sudden declaration come from!? And, why is Riku so touchy all of a sudden!? Chisato just wants things to be the same and hang out with her friend, but now that Riku's made things awkward, she might never be able to talk to him again! This manga has a cute art style and the characters are also well-written. Chisato isn't a generic, cookie-cutter female stereotype, and her tomboyish nature is really refreshing. She has a nice sense of humor and you can really tell that she is comfortable and happy to be around Riku. Riku is a bit forward, but knows when to back off and isn't too pushy. He acts like a true friend and it's clear that he only wants the best for him and Chisato. Will the two of them end up together, or will college mark the end of their long friendship?

Loving You!

Posted on Jan 30th / Genre: Shojo

Loving You!
Shojo

Jo's comment

Sometimes you run into a story that is just so cute you want to share it with everyone, and Loving You! is definitely one of them. All of the characters feel like real people, from the cheerful optimism and persistence of the heroine, Aio, to the melancholic and down-to-earth realism of her crush, Yuri, who acts as her boss and the head of General Affairs. While all the other girls around the ad agency where she works are scared of Yuri's cold and impersonal nature, only Aio sees the nice and hard-working guy who really cares for his company and coworkers underneath. Even though for two years, Yuri has constantly spurned Aio's requests to go out with her, the two still have a good working relationship and play really well off each other. Through her conversations with her friends, it's easy to tell that Aio is young and inexperienced with love, but she never acts like an overly naive caricature of a human. All of the side characters are also interesting, and they naturally drive the story forward without seeming like soulless plot devices. Noll Shikisima's art style is also wonderful, perfect at capturing both the drama of serious moments as well as charmingly cute asides. After reading this story, I'm really rooting for Aio in the end! If you love stories that are cute and will get you hooked from start to finish, you'll love Loving You!, available exclusively on Renta!

Puppy Love

Posted on Jan 16th / Genre: Shojo

Puppy Love
Shojo

Jo's comment

It's hiring season at Yuki's company, and some of the new hires are pretty handsome! The young Nobuteru acts like a younger brother, while Hirotaka is hard-working and diligent. At the company party, Yuki gets swept up in the moment and has a few drinks too many. The next morning, she wakes up in Nobuteru's bed! If only she could remember what exactly happened last night...! Did she do anything with him? Nobuteru is definitely handsome and kind, but he's five years younger than her! Will they be able to put aside their feelings and have a normal working relationship after this? Or is this the start of a budding office romance?
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