One of the reasons I miss Central Park Media, other than the fact that I won’t get to read the second half of Duck Prince, is that they were the ones that published Tomoko Taniguchi’s stories. At this point, I’ve collected and read them all but the two-volume “Just a Girl.” They rank up there as some mighty fine shoujo, and I wound up liking all of them a bit, though I liked Popcorn Romance and Let’s Stay Together Forever a little less than the other ultra-girly alternatives.
This is actually a collection of short stories, the first one being the rather depressing title story. It’s depressing, but really, really good. The main character has a lot of problems that are present when the story starts and don’t really develop so much as you find out about them, and she doesn’t throw them in your face or wallow loudly in her sorrow. She’s just very sad, and then tries to do something about it. It has a very girly ending, which I appreciated, and I also liked all the marine life themes running throughout. It was quite good, and probably my favorite story in the volume.
The second story is about the life of a Japanese Airline Stewardess. I liked her a lot too because she was so cheery and I liked the sunny life she led. The conflict with her old high school crush I didn’t like so much, and the story felt kind of shallow compared to the others, but I liked it nonetheless. The main character was a really good character.
The third story was about a girl who was nursing a crush. It was pretty much just classic shoujo “oh I’m too shy to admit I love him oh another girl stole him away what am I to do!” kind of story… but it was beefed up with some… I dunno, churchy stuff that made me like it a lot. The girl realized in church one day that the boy was her soulmate, and quoted church stuff appears throughout and gives you that warm, happy feeling.
I dunno. Any red-blooded girl who loves girl comics as much as I do should at least get this and Call Me Princess. Princess Prince is also very good. I’m a bit sad I didn’t wind up with the new edition of this, I’ve got the old CPM oversize edition. Two of the pages are swapped out, too. There’s a stewardess page in Aquarium, and the missing Aquarium page in stewardess where the first page should be. Strangely, both pages have omake colums that correspond to the chapter that they appear in, so it must’ve just been a weird case of swapped artwork. I bet the smaller edition saved it, though.