But anyway, yesterday Athena finished Monochrome Kids volume one, which means we get to talk about it now! But first, I should probably explain that Monochrome Kids is the series also know as Monokuro Shounen Shoujo. We call it Monochrome Kids for three reasons. First, that's what it says on the title logo under all the Japanese text. Second, it's easier to say. And third, if the creators (Ryoco Fukuyama + editors) have already provided an easy-to-pronounce (and shorter!) title to make things easier for me, why use the longer, harder-to-say one? That would just be silly.
I like it a lot!!!! It's about this girl Kureha who gets a scholarship to a super-elite school and is excited to finally live a normal life instead of changing schools all the time because a new relative has taken over custody of her. But of course, this school is far from normal, and it's actually a school where a bunch of carnivorous beasts go to school, and part of their curriculum is learning not to eat people.
So they developed this program to slowly introduce humans into the picture, and Kureha is the guinea pig... or rather, the Rabbit. Most of the students aren't ready to deal with humans yet, so they start by introduce an herbivore. And if she takes off her rabbit ears and tail, she'll smell like a human and all the animals will want to eat her. Except for the three who are in charge of making sure she doesn't try to escape, because they have the best grades in everything at the school, including not eating people, plus they get fabulous prizes if she stays.
The characters are all super fun, if a little sadistic... but it's Ryoco Fukuyama, so are we really surprised? (Incidentally, I spell Fukuyama-sensei's given name with a C because that's how she spells it for her Twitter handle. I'm not sure about the surname, though.)
Oh! And the three top students are all animals that show up in the Jungle Book! Chouchou is a wolf, Chigaya is a tiger, and Ukyou is a black panther. Big cats and wolves! Eeee! Athena's hoping for a bishie snow leopard at some point. As it is, I'm pretty excited that Chigaya is a tiger, and played by sexy-voiced Takahiro Sakurai in the CD dramas. It's kind of tough knowing he plays Chigaya, though, because Ukyou is like The Sakurai-san character, so it's hard keeping the voices straight when imagining them in our heads. (Kureha's easy to imagine, though, voiced by Rie Kugimiya.)
Speaking of Chigaya, since I sounded it out in my head, I immediately thought, "Tigger?" because it sounds very similar. (That might make more sense if you know that Japanese doesn't naturally have the "ti" sound; it becomes a "chi." And "Chigaa" is just not a Japanese name. But "Chigaya" can be like "Chiga ya" in a dialect, which would then be, "It's Tigger!" And we know that Fukuyama-sensei grew up in an area with a dialect...) Maybe one of these days we'll get up the courage to tweet at Fukuyama-sensei and ask if the connection is deliberate.
One thing that I found extremely amusing is that when they introduce each of the characters... oh I forgot. All of the students are royalty in their respective animal kingdoms. And when they introduce all of them, they say, for example, "This is Chigaya, the second prince of the Tiger Kingdom." Growing up in the West, I assumed this meant something like, Chigaya the Second. But then I realized that in Japan, royalty is numbered according to order of birth to the monarch. In other words, Chigaya is the second son of the Tiger King. And when I realized that, I was just so entertained by the fact that Kureha is supposedly the 32nd Rabbit Princess.
Anyway. That's about it. It's fun and we like it. Volume three just came out, and we don't even have volume two yet! We may have to make another manga order soon.
Today I'm thankful for Ponyo being kind enough to drive us to the vet again on Monday to get Page's booster shots, having a fun time at the craft activity, delicious dark chocolate melting chocolate that actually tastes more like Nesquik sludge than dark chocolate, Monochrome Kids, and cool Beethoven music.