Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Manga Review: The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko vol. 3 by Ririko Tsujita

Title: The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko vol. 3
Author: Ririko Tsujita
Pages: 192
Publication: August 9, 2011
Publisher: TokyoPop
Summary taken from goodreads:
Although she doesn't get along with people very well, Lady Kanoko considers herself a perfect "observer." Just wait till you read what she writes in her secret notes, in this next charming manga volume.



What I really liked about this trilogy is the fact that it is almost completely different from most shojo manga. The heroine, the plot, the love interest, the side characters... they're diverse and different and very interesting to think about.

Kanoko is an awesome protagonist. She does not mind being a loner--in fact, she prefers it--because she takes pride in the fact that she is an observer. She watches the drama the takes place in her classes and around the school because she thinks that it's the most entertaining thing ever. She takes notes and guesses how people act or their motives because she's seen so many different types of personalities since she's a transfer student who never stays in one place for more than one month. That is why her sense of what is normal is different from most people. This also explains why she does not take the effort in making friends. However, in one school, she does make a couple of good friends, and she slowly learns about what friendship really means and how her friends noticed things about her, which surprised her since she always thought that she was the only observer around.

She realizes this throughout many different events since it's an episodic trilogy where every chapter was taken place at a different school that Kanoko transferred to. Kanoko observes the events of the school that she is in, and when given a situation where she is curious about the outcome or is indignant of what is occurring, she will interfere for the sake of her curiosity or her own sense of justice. And her sense of right and wrong is not your typical shojo heroine where they are selfless and willing to do anything to help others; Kanoko does things with her own motive (being able to see how everything plays out), which ends up helping the characters, but she doesn't hesitate to break the rules and tell the characters that they're idiots to get what she wants.

The second-best part of the trilogy is the fact that there really isn't any romance between Kanoko and anyone else. Sure, there's a love interest, Tsubaki, but nothing ever happens because they both always claim that they're just friends because Kanoko really thinks so. She still doesn't understand what's considered normal friend behavior and such to realize that Tsubaki likes her, and she's so realistic and thinks that she knows how people are from all of her observations that she totally thinks that no guy would ever fall for her because she knows that she's short and unsexy and generally weird. And even better, she's okay with that.

Even though I just said that I liked the trilogy for the fact that it didn't involve romance, I'm really glad that there's a sequel, because I'm really hoping that the two get together there because Kanoko isn't going to be transferring schools anymore, so it'll be interesting--not to mention entertaining--to watch her finally experience high school life like a normal teenager instead of being just an observer from moving around every month.

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