Top 10 Romance Manga of 2001
Rather than bow to the inevitable, Risa and Atsushi join forces to pursue their true objects of affection. But will their budding friendship become something more complex?
Volume 12: Hoshi ni Nattemo Aishiteru
Volume 16: Bokura no Ibasho
2. Nodame Cantabile
Shinichi Chiaki is a first class musician whose dream is to play among the elites in Europe. Coming from a distinguished family, he is an infamous perfectionist; not only is he highly critical of himself, but of others as well. The only thing stopping Chiaki from leaving for Europe is his fear of flying. As a result, he's grounded in Japan.
During his 4th year at Japan's top music university, Chiaki happens to meet Noda Megumi; or as she refers to herself, Nodame. On the surface, she seems to be an unkempt girl with no direction in life. However, when Chiaki hears Nodame play the piano for the first time, he is in awe at the kind of music she plays. To Chiaki's dismay, Nodame moves into the apartment next to his and finds out that she is head over heels in love with him.
Nodame Cantabile tells the story of Chiaki and Nodame, as they not only learn to deal with each other, but learn lessons from one another as they strive for the top of the musical world.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
3. Full Moon wo Sagashite
12-year-old Mitsuki wants to be a singer because of a promise she made with her childhood love, however a form of throat cancer is holding her back. One day she find two strange characters in her room, Takuto and Meroko, who are gods of death. She finds out she only has a certain amount of time to live, and wants nothing more in that time then to become a singer. The two shinigami show sympathy for her, and decide to help her reach her goal by transforming her into a 16-year-old girl.
Volume 2: Ginyuu Meika
Scientists had predicted this disaster, and in response, the leaders of every country met to develop a plan for human survival before the meteor hit. The Seven Seeds project was developed out of this meeting. Each country froze a number of young healthy people, which allowed them to survive the meteor. After the computer determined that Earth was once again safe for human life, it released them into the world.
The Japanese government created five groups of survivors: Winter group, Spring group, Summer group A, Summer group B, and Fall group. Each group consisted of seven members and one guide. The guide carried small tubes of poison on their necks to allow them to end their lives if their situation became unbearable. The Japanese government prepared seven "Fuji" as refuges for the groups. In each Fuji, the group would find seeds and numerous books instructing them on survival in the wilderness.
Hideki's just like every other guy in the 22nd century. He just wants a good job, a good car, and a sexy robot girlfriend to call his own. Until he lands a job, he'll never be able to afford his own 'Persocom' companion. Hideki's luck changes when he discovers Chi--an adorable but seemingly stupid Persocom--tied up in a pile of trash. His first robot companion turns out to be a lot more responsibility than he expected, and she gets him into quite a few embarrassing situations. It's 'boy-meets-girl' for the cyber age.
Satoyama Katsuki and his best friend Kawakami Kyouta, both age 15, enrolls in Mizutani Boxing Gym to get close to their tomboyish crush, Mizutani Katsuki, whose father owns it. However, Satoyama soon finds out that she is distant from her father. Worse, it turns out that she hates boxing.
In a sparring match, everyone including Mizutani soon discovers Satoyama's hidden yet unpolished skill in boxing. Satoyama soon learns that Mizutani is really in love with boxing, but disdains it because its a man's sport of which she cannot join. Mizutani then takes it upon herself to be Satoyama's trainer/manager to reach the championship belt. Satoyama complies to be closer to his crush.
As the story progresses, we soon find out that Satoyama has a hidden past and lineage, one that would give him the necessary skill and talent to be a legendary oriental pro-boxing champion.
7. Little Butterfly
Kojima seeks to befriend the class outcast, and soon learns of Nakahara's troubled family life - of his uncaring, abusive father and mentally unstable mother. As Kojima yearns to somehow comfort Nakahara, he gradually becomes aware that his feelings for the other boy arise from more than mere sympathy. When Nakahara declares his own romantic feelings for Kojima, their relationship becomes one of sexual exploration as they face their first steps into adulthood together.
8. Koi Kaze
Born twelve years apart, siblings Koshiro and Nanoka were separated when their parents divorced and moved to different parts of Japan; as a result, they both grew up hardly aware of the other's existence.
The story begins when 15-year-old Nanoka moves to Tokyo to live with her father and brother, the latter being 27 years old and employed by a marriage-arranging company. Koshiro first encounters Nanoka on the train one morning, and returns her dropped train pass. Despite their age difference, they feel a brief spark of connection before they go their separate ways.
Soon after that, they encounter each other once again near an amusement park, where they go on an impromptu date. While riding the Ferris wheel, the two open their hearts to each other and discuss their recent romantic woes. Nanoka comforts Koshiro when he breaks down and cries, and he realizes that he is very attracted to her. Right after the date, they meet their father, and are startled to realize they are siblings.
Koi Kaze is about Koshiro's love for Nanoka, his conflicting drive to obey societal norms, and Nanoka's growth into womanhood and her growing feelings for her brother.
Shiratori Ryushi wants to become a picture book writer, and he moves to an apartment, Narutaki-So, in order to go to an art school in Tokyo. Narutaki-so is an old Japanese style one-story house which doesn’t fit in urban scenery. It is owned by the cousin of his mother, and the manager of the apartment is Aoba Kozue. She is his second cousin, and they met with each other when they were children although he doesn’t remember her much. She is in the second grader of a high school attached to Aoba Junior Collage.
There are five people living in Narutaki-So. First, Chanohata Kotomi is living in the room #1. She is a best friend of Kozue. Then, the resident of the room #3 is Momono Megumi. She is a kind of person who goes her own way. In the room #5, Kurosaki Sayoko and her daughter Asami are living. Asami is in the first grade of a junior high. Finally, in the room #6, Haibara Yukio is living with his puppet, “Johnny”.
They are all characteristic and eccentric persons. However, in fact, the most eccentric person is Kozue. She has a secret; when she is shocked at something, she changes her personality. Not knowing this, Shiratori moves to Narutaki-So to realize his dream. What kind of a new life will be waiting for him?
10. Mademoiselle Butterfly
Our heroine is a girl who lives as a geisha in Japan. She has a male childhood friend who’s always been kind to her and is her favorite. He’s a painter, only he paints on human body parts and she loves it when he paints beautiful butterflies on her arms. She goes to visit him one day and finds a naked woman lying in his room. Immediately after, she gets a customer who’s rich and very interested in her. The thought of being away from her friend pains her, but is everything really too late?