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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If We Taught “An Intro to [Shōjo] Manga 101″ and “Surviving a YA Apocalpse 101″


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that other bloggers are welcome to join in, to create Top Ten lists on varying topics. This week it’s Top Ten Books That Would Be On our Syllabus If We Taught “An Introduction to [Shōjo] Manga 101″ and “Surviving a YA Apocalpse 101″.


sailor moon mars vb rose beast Master daisy

Don’t quite understand this one but here goes. I feel I’m always re-hashing the same old books so I tried to do something a little more interesting by choosing to do “An Introduction to [Shōjo] Manga.” Manga can seem to be stupid, but it can also have phenomenally powerful morals hidden in there too. For such a seemingly conservative country, there is a manga or anime covering literally everything in Japan. But we’re not going to cover those often murky waters today, we’re staying safely with Shōjo Manga (often romance based, but basically for young girls) which, even with a target audience of teen girls, can have remarkably empowering messages. It’s also actually not exclusively for teen girls (though the one’s I’ve chosen possibly are more so)

1 Sailor Moon

by Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon is about a young girl (13 or 14) who saves a talking cat called Luna and in return she gives Usagi a magical broach that enables her to turn into her aler-ego Sailor Moon, a protector from the future. Usagi isn’t too impressed with this, despite wanting to be just like Sailor V (Sailor Venus in disguise) she’d prefer to stay home and eat and sleep than go out saving the earth from evil. But as her group grows, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter etc her crybaby attitude fades and she starts to embrace the destiny that was hers long before she was born.

I’ve listed this one first even though I think it’ the longest because this manga was made into an anime (like so many are) and it was actually very popular in America and the UK for a time. They re-printed the manga, which is what I own (I so wish I owned the originals too!) and they’re even redrawing the anime! It’s because of this popularity that I’d start with this one as it’s likely people will have heard of it. Also, there’s an anime so there’d be comparing episodes with books because who doesn’t love watching stuff in lessons? The manga gives you insight into Japanese culture and also covers some legends. It not only has elegant art work and a beautiful story line, but it also features one of the biggest character developments of all time. A lazy cry-baby becomes a self-sacrificing and powerful Queen. This series also features things that, when the anime was translated into English, were lost in translation. For example, the female bad-guy dressed like the boys was actually originally male. AND the ‘cousins’ who turn out to be Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are in actual fact not related at all, but lovers.
In the end this manga teaches us that it’s alright to be you, unless you’re stealing peoples life energy for the nega-verse, in which case Sailor Moon will stop you.

2 Mars

by  Fuyumi Soryo

Mars is the story of Kira, a shy art student and Rei, a playboy motorbike racer who aren’t the type of people who’d usually take notice of each other. One day Rei asks Kira for directions and she draws them for him on the back of a beautiful painting she drew. Suddenly aware of each other they’re surprised to find themselves in the same class at school. As they get themselves more involved in each others lives they become friends, then lovers. No one can understand what they see in each other, but what they become to each other is everything.

This one had to make the list because I love it. Mainly I love what these characters do for each other, it’s spectacular. His life is going down and hers is getting even more closed in, she pulls him up and he smashes down her walls simply by being there. I can’t really describe it any other way. They unapologetically complete each other. They didn’t understand it either at first, but in the end they don’t really care ‘how’ or ‘why’ and simply enjoy it.
There is no world saving in this one, instead these characters are very relateble and if Sailor Moon didn’t teach you just how much you matter in the world (even if you don’t realise it), then hopefully Mars will.

3 V.B. Rose

 by Banri Hidaka

Ageha makes pretty bags that have developed a cult following but she likes nothing more than making bags for her older sister, Hibari. But when Hibari discovers she’s pregnant and decides to marry the father of her baby, Ageha is less than impressed. Accidentally injuring the hand on one of the two dress makers at V.B.Rose, the wedding shop her sister has chosen to create her dream dress, she apologises by offering her services there until Mitsuya’s hand is healed. The owner, Yukari, is none too impressed with her but he quickly comes around and they fall in love.

I think this one is quite girly, considering how flowy the art is and that it is based in and around weddings. But the owners and designers of the wedding shop are men, so adjust accordingly. In this manga Ageha grows up dramatically. She learns that her view of the world was very narrow and actually quite far off and she learns to see it as it is and that she enjoys making people happy on their big day.
This one teaches you the importance of pockets. Haha, I’m joking. (maybe), this one shows that the tiny details you’re missing right under your nose matter, slow down a bit and stop rushing about so much and look.

4 Beast Master

by Kyousuke Motomi

Yuiko Utterly adores animals, but she’s over enthusiastic and scares them away. When a scary looking boy transfers to her class at school, no one wants anything to do with him, but Yuiko discovers that despite his fierceness, Leo is actually sweet-natured and animals are drawn to him when he rescues the cat she accidentally drove into a tree. But Leo has a dark past and when he sees blood he becomes bloodthirsty and violent, only Yuiko can calm him.

Perhaps this should have been further up the list as it’s only two books long, but sometimes in the middle of a term you need a break. This is a little like Tarzan in that Leo has been raised by animals for some of his life. It’s so close to touching on the subject of how humans are more ‘animal’ than animals are (because animals usually have pretty good reason for what they do) but I don’t think that it highlights it enough for that to be what it teaches, instead I’d say that it teaches you that how a person looks is not who they are. Also, animals get pretty freaked when you rush at them screaming “I LOVE YOU!”, maybe try the sit and wait for it to approach YOU tactic next time??

Dengeki (Electric) Daisy

by Kyousuke Motomi

When Teru’s brother dies he leaves her in the care of DAISY, a mysterious protector on the other end of an email address who offers her words of advice and an ear to listen when she needs it most. When Teru, 16, accidentally breaks a window at school she is tasked with working for the grouchy janitor, Kurosaki, 24. True to style, he’s also DAISY and of course they fall in love…

Dengeki Daisy teaches you the Daisy Song, I’m not joking!! (Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, dooo,
I’m half crazy all for the love of youuuuu.) Anyway, I haven’t read all of this series because when I was reading it it hadn’t all  been translated into English, but from what I’ve read, this one teaches cause and effect and how you do not control other peoples choices, you are not responsible for what they choose to do and really you shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve just because you think you don’t deserve anything better.



. the stars never rise We all looked up 5th wave Loki variation MazeR zombie survival guide


This week seems really broad and exciting! I’ve had loads of fun doing this so I hope you guys enjoy it. I love a good dystopian especially one that gets your heart pumping. So I have decided to do 5 books I would give out as reading for my class ‘Surviving a YA apocalypse’ because you never know when you will need this kind of life skill :P (Think of it like… Harry Potter’s Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons… they needed them in the end didn’t they?!)

6 The Stars Never Rise

by Rachel Vincent

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Lesson 1Learn to tell the difference between Good and Evil. Yes good people can do bad things, but generally your gut will tell you if something feels wrong! TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Lesson 2 - A family bond is strong. Other people may leave you behind but for some reason, no matter how annoying your siblings or parentals may be, they will always have your back…

7 We All Look Up

by Tommy Wallach

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

Lession 3 – Enjoy life to the full. You may not know the end is coming but if you do, enjoy what little time you have left, but please! Don’t be a dick about it… other people matter too.

8 The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Lesson 4 – Believe In your self. When there is no one left to turn too you must find a way of carrying on. You can do it! Be strong because there is always someone else out there that needs you just as much as you need them!

Lesson 5 – Be resourceful – anything can be a weapon. Seriously use anything, because opportunity is key. And the enemy will play dirty too.

9 The Loki Variation

by Sabrina James Riley

Sasha is woken up in the middle of the night by the screams of a little girl she doesn’t know, and suddenly finds herself trying to protect the child against the end of the world.

Derek’s vacation hadn’t even started when his dog saves him from something he could have never imagined. Using what little resources he has, he struggles to stay alive in an unfamiliar town teeming with unspeakable horrors.

Sanjeev unknowingly helps to create the epidemic that threatens to annihilate the population, but his options have run out and he is forced to choose between his humanity or his scientific endeavors.

Strangers meet under apocalyptic circumstances, and have to rely on each other for survival. What begins as an unsteady, uncomfortable partnership to stay alive turns into a make-shift family who will do anything to save each other from the threat of the Loki Variation.

Lesson 6 – Sometimes you have to make hard choices, learn to deal with the guilt, you can’t save everyone. Leaving someone behind is the worst feeling in the world but if you and others will die whilst trying to save that person then sometimes its better to walk away. I know harsh right? But if there is no hope there’s no point in everyone dying. They wouldn’t want that either.

Lesson 7 – Avoid populated areas. This ones so obvious when it’s a paranormal apocalypse. They always attack built up areas, so stay hidden, stay safe.

10 Maze Runner

by James Dashner

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Lesson 8 – Work as a team. Sometimes clues to how to survive can be found in the strangest of places. But sometime you have to be brave. Assess each others skills and strengths and work together to find away of beating death.

Obviously the handbook for this class would have to be The Zombie Survival Guide‘ by Max Brooks because, not only is it an awesome read, but it also has facts and statistics on what to use as weapons and transport, as well as giving you moral dilemmas and strategic decisions to discuss.

pamspaein pamsms4tune


9 comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If We Taught “An Intro to [Shōjo] Manga 101″ and “Surviving a YA Apocalpse 101″

    1. Paein

      In that case, I’m glad I’ve brought it to your attention. I’m pretty sure that there’s a manga for every occasion so if you ever decide to try it, I hope you find one you love!
      Also, I love what you’ve done with your list.

  1. Rhoda K

    These are two great lists! Honestly, it’s never occurred to me to read Manga before now, I might just have to give it a try. Love your apocalypse picks too!

    1. Paein

      Excellent! My work here is done! haha
      Yes, Ms4Tune chose a very clever topic, a lot of people seem to be worried about the end of society as we know it ( or at least they do on pinterest), this would be popular lesson I feel.

  2. Nic

    Dengeki Daisy also teaches that the 4th wall is optional Paein. Do you want to borrow it next time?

    1. Paein

      That’s less of a book notion though, and I don’t remember that. Also, yes please!

  3. aentee @ read at midnight

    I am stoked to see the inclusion of shoujo manga! I also love your choices, especially the Motomi Kyosuke titles and Mars. I love Mars so much, one of the most emotionally intense series I’ve read :)

    1. Paein

      Hi! And thanks, I love Mars too! Read it so many times, might be time to read it again….

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