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More meme

November 14, 2010

Brief one today because I’ve got a lot of things today.  Forgot that the in-laws are taking us all to see Spamalot at a local theater tonight.

Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever

The problem with this is that I rarely have one absolutely favorite ANYTHING.  I don’t have a favorite color, or band, or song, or show.  I certainly don’t have a favorite book.  I MIGHT have a favorite series, but two years from now I might reread it and think, “You know, this really drags at the end” or “The person I am now just really doesn’t enjoy stories about ____ anymore.”

So I guess I’ll go with the first series that came to mind: Tramps Like Us.

Tramps Like Us is a fourteen-volume manga by Yayoi Ogawa that follows Sumire, a tall, well-educated, well-paid Japanese woman whose boyfriend cheats on her and leaves her for a woman who isn’t so intimidating.  She then finds a young man in a box outside her home, beaten and unconscious.  She takes him to her place and cares for him, and finds that he’s a sunny, silly guy whose simple cheerfulness is a sharp contrast to her edges.  He asks to stay with her, and she sarcastically says that if he wants to stay, he can be her pet, and he immediately agrees, to her surprise.  She names him Momo, and the two live an odd life together, where she can be finally herself without reservation.

There’s a ten-episode series that was never released here, but you can watch it on YouTube–it’s a sin that the Japanese box set doesn’t have English subtitles so we can watch it here, but it’s been fansubbed.  The series is slightly different, in that Sumire IS a lot more emotionally reserved, and there’s an added character who’s just wonderful, but I love both.  The manga Sumire is a lot more relatable, but television Sumire will just break your heart.  The show and the manga veer off into different directions after a while, but both are true to the version of the main character being portrayed.  Also, Jun Matsumoto is the PERFECT Momo, omg, what casting.

Mannnn, now I want to read and watch the whole thing over again.  Maybe my daughter will want to watch it with me, since I finally let her read the manga a little while ago.

So yeah, that’s been my favorite series for a few years now.  I think you should check it out, especially if you haven’t read any manga before and you’re not a “magical girl” kind of person.  This is strictly realistic–as realistic as romantic fiction gets–and it’s definitely one of the titles that got me into manga years ago.  Absolutely worth it.

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