Saturday, July 07, 2012

A Little Love Story

"Chiisana Koi no Monogatari" (A Little Love Story) by Chikako Mitsuhashi is a manga series that began in 1962 when it was first published as a four-frame comic strip in a teen magazine. The first book was released in 1967 to become an enduring bestseller. Since 1970, new books are published each year in May, continuing on schedule give or take a few years between the last couple of books, up until volume 42 published in 2011. The romantic comedy was geared toward girls in primary and middle schools, but the unique combination of Chikako Mitsuhashi's art and poetry has been loved cross-gender and by all ages throughout the years in Japan.

The story is about a platonic love between the shortest girl in her class (her nickname, Chitchi, means "small") and the love of her life who just happens to be the tallest in his class and handsome (his nickname, Sally, is derived from The Beatles' song, "Long Tall Sally") and an ace at everything he does.

The story would be incomplete without their friends and family: Tonko (Chitchi's best friend and mentor who has weight issues but is "voluptuous"), Yamashita (her gentle, faithful boyfriend), Mayumi Okamoto (a beautiful, naturally curly-haired exchange student from Hokkaido who makes all the guys weak, but seems to have no interest in boys), Kishimoto (the popular captain of the tennis club who seems to adore Chitchi), and more. Taking the reader through picturesque cyclic seasons, the timeless classic manga gives you glimpses of life in Japan, progressively from a now-vintage time period till today.

Visit the original blog by Chikako Mitsuhashi, "A Little Love Diary" (An English translation by Google (which is not great but you'll get the gist) is available at this link)