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Love So Life

Hello readers. We are fast approaching mid-October, and in a matter of months this year will come to an end. Now, where did most of 2015 go? While I can't say for certain where mine went, I would like to think that even in times of bad there was still a faint hint of light which gave me the strength to move on with life. Naturally, I remain thankful for the good things as usual, no matter how slight. Anyway, it still feels a little unbelievable that half of the month is passing us. Oh, Halloween is coming! I just realised that it falls on the 31st of October. Shall I celebrate with Pumpkin Soup? Actually, I kind of feel sorry for those discarded pumpkin goo.

Today's offering is a manga series that seems perpetually soaked in sugar despite life's down moments. If anybody remembers, I used to talk about how little children seem more bearable in anime and manga than in reality. While I have no intention to offend those who genuinely love children, I still have to say that the modern world has changed so much over the years that children are no longer just children, if anybody gets what I mean. In any case, children would probably remain acceptable in print and animation. That said, let's get to the manga in question. By mangaka Kouchi Kaede, here is Love So Life.

The odd title aside, the manga is filled with such high levels of cuteness, sweetness and anything in-between that there should probably be a disclaimer somewhere in case of an uprise in a certain condition which could well send anybody into the medical ward. Okay, while that is definitely far too exaggerated, there is no denial that with a manga like this anything is deemed possible. Anybody knows the foam in the mouth thingy? Apparently, the actual condition has been rumoured to co-exist with an overdose of certain manga genres. Anyway, pardon the digression.  

Love So Life opens with a self-introduction of the protagonist, Nakamura Shiharu. Shiharu is a 16 year-old high school freshman who lost both her parents at a very young age. Her father died before she was born, and her mother passed away when Shiharu was five. Since then, she has been living in the orphanage called The Sunflower House. Shiharu dreams of becoming a qualified daycare teacher as spending her formidable years with other children in the orphanage has made her unconditionally loving towards them. She is especially fond of the Matsunaga twins: Aoi and Akane.

Aoi and Akane are two years old at the beginning of the manga. Well, I still find them a little difficult to differentiate. Until many chapters down I didn't realise that Aoi is a boy and Akane is a girl. The twins have a rather dramatic story: Their mother passed away suddenly, and unable to deal with the grief their father disappeared, leaving them in the care of their uncle Matsunaga Seiji. The twins prove to be more than just a handful for Seiji, who is a popular television presenter. However, they take an immediate liking to Shiharu. The striking contrast would eventually lead to an offer which Shiharu can't refuse. She becomes the babysitter of the twins outside of the daycare.

I think that a manga like this runs on a familiar prescribed formula. Naturally, the human drama element is prevalent throughout. Shiharu attempts to hide her vulnerable side since she believes that she has to be strong for herself as the world out there could be quite brutal. She longs for the warmth of a family, easily envious of her friends in school and such. Her vulnerability is noticed by Seiji and the twins, who have grown so fond of her over the series that it isn't surprising that others would mistake them for an actual family.

There is also the comic relief which cushions the more solemn parts of the story. After all, Shiharu is a high school student. She has a bunch of close friends in school, and gets involved in stuff that girls her age would do. Then, there is the romance for those who enjoy excessive blushing, hearts thumping, dangerously intimate moments and such. Of course, the general idea is to be wholesome (?) in any genre thinkable to mankind.

Love So Life has officially concluded with a total of 17 tankoubon volumes. See what I mean? Everything feels so fitting (?) now! Even though the twins aren't Seiji and Shiharu's. Anyway, this has become part of my invisible list of must-follow manga! I recommend it to anyone who has a soft spot for children in manga.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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