Lovefool 01.21.13 | Shojo, Take Me Away!

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Nothing like a little shojo fluff packed with juvenile delinquents in love and romance simmering among the pots of a gourmet restaurant to get you through a sick day, right? Good thing Lovefool got her hands on Yuriko Matsukawa's Hush a Bye Baby.

 

Quelle nightmare, nerdlings, I am having a hell of a month. There's all kinds of stuff going on and I've been fighting off the Cubicle Farm Plague for weeks and gave in today and just called off and slept, which I hate doing and will probably just add to some issues at work. Although, upon review, the least worrisome thing that's happened to me is my boss was like “Hey, so you're here and I need you to be here by the end of the month.” Least bad because I might be able to do something about that, pretty bad because I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it, but I bet it's going to involve skipping my morning Starbucks trip. I know, right? Ugh. But, because I'm the kind of ladycakes who can't spot even a slightly off-white cloud without looking for a silver lining, it's not like I didn't get a wee French press for Christmas and I also write this column, which tends to involve me submersing myself in the fluffy lands of guaranteed happy endings once a week.
 
And sometimes those fluffy endings come at the end of a delightful saga about Tokyo bike gangs. Yes, nerdlings, sometimes there are weeks where it all comes together and I get to read a book about two people getting handcuffed together while one of them is on a name-clearing quest for vengeance and it's those weeks that I gleefully high-five myself because, dude, seriously? This is called a slice of life book with nary a blink and that's great. Hush A Bye Baby, Yuriko Matsukawa's tale of teenage probably-not-delinquents starts out in a convenience store in the middle of the night, where sweet Sayaka is covering the shop for her aunt and uncle and gossiping about a trio of hot customers who always show up right about then with the lady security guard they have around to keep things under control when a bad boy with long hair, coincidentally one of the hotties, comes flying into the shop, all noise and wounds and flailiness. Sayaka, of course, because she's a smart cookie, handcuffs herself to the kid and their madcap adventure begins.
 
And it does actually seem pretty madcap, with Sayaka demanding a bath and Reiji, the bad boy, learning that she knows, like, fifteen kinds of martial arts. Guess how he learns that? If you're guessing he finds out because he tries to get fresh with her in the bathtub, you're wrong, wrong, wrong. He finds out during a street brawl and that just warms my heart. And then there are twists and turns galore, wrapping up with some explosions and a brief conversation about how parents just don't understand. All that AND two love stories set in a gourmet restaurant, “No Saint of Soupe” and “P-Passion.” Iron Chef with a way hotter cast, a brief tale about how love simmers amongst the soup pots and we grow up to realize our dream beaus aren't exactly who we thought they were but, maybe, just maybe, they're better. And maybe they have hothead brothers who come to spirit them away to France but stay in Japan to make journalists miserable and swoony and feed the sweets. Maybe. Just sayin'.
 
Either way, it's weeks like this where I'm glad I write this column. I know I say this all the time but it's nice to be able to flip open a book or, in this case, hit a crazy-awesome website (nice upgrade, eManga!) and download 201 pages of drama and silliness and joy. Life is pain, Highness, but don't forget – it's a drab world out there sometimes, sure, but there's occasionally a splash of color in some black and white pages if one is looking and, I suppose, loving. | Erin Jameson
 
Check out Hush a Bye Baby for yourself at eManga.com!
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