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Manga: A Perfect Day for Love Letters 1 & 2

I rarely buy manga. During the years when I first wanted to buy them, a graphic novel can cost up to Php1000, and a single issue costs Php120 to 150. The English translated manga market was cornered mainly by Viz Comics and Dark Horse Publishing, with Mixx Entertainment coming in during the late 90s. Publishers nowadays, like DelRay, are releasing them the same way its released in Japan, tankōbon, or pocket sized compilation manga printed in newsprint paper, which costs less.

I came upon A Perfect Day for Love Letters by accident. It was the only manga in the bookstore that didn't seem to run for volumes. In the end, I got both of them (and at Php10 less per volume, it wasn't so bad).

Each volume is composed of five to six short stories revolving around a relationship that is often sparked by a letter, while in some cases it is sustained by that. With the exception of one story (which seems to be more about a boy getting to understand his late brother by spending time with the latter's lover), everything is about a guy and a girl and their relationship.

Many of the stories evoke a feeling of nostalgia, as they are about first love. But the relationships go deeper than that. Quite a few of the stories have the characters communicate solely through letters, and interacting only at the end of it. Yet some of the stories involve just one letter, while two stories have the characters exchange letters digitally.

It is also endearing to read about young men who can pour their feelings though old fashioned letters. With all the guy friends I've had over the years, only a handful willingly write me letters. But whenever I receive any, it is a wonderful feeling.

DelRay includes some notes and explanations at the end of each volume, which is rather handy for first time manga readers. As American culture is remarkably different from Japanese culture, some comments, instances, words and customs need to clarified to avoid confusion. Even the honorifics used by the Japanese (although absent from the translation) were explained.

Mind you, this a work of fiction, but the feelings these stories invoke are all too real for anyone who has gone through the joy (and pains, of course) of liking someone. The kilig factor definitely there, and for a hopeless romantic like me, this is a light but fun read.

Originally published in my Multiply account.

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