4.244 out of 5 from 25 votes
Two collections of short slice-of-life stories about the lives of women. Both are very realistic and low-key. The stories in All My Darling Daughters are interconnected, and deal mainly with love and marraige, whereas Monokuro Kinderbook's are all stand-alone and cover a wide variety of topics.
Fifteen-year-old Marion is intelligent, handsome and loved by everyone at his French boarding school, but the boy holds nothing but disdain for both his classmates, and himself. For Marion is devoted to rationalism, believing that emotions such as anger and love are unnecessary – even sex is merely a means of ensuring a species' survival. But deep down, this attitude is simply a façade that was carefully constructed to protect Marion's naivety and fragile emotions, and when a chance encounter brings a seductive adult woman into his life, even he won't be able to retain his icy exterior…
Both these manga are short, female-oriented stories about May-December romances. They don't have many similarities besides that, but the subject is fairly rare in manga, so check out both if you're interested in cougars and their much younger suitors.
22-year-old Hazuki lives a boring life in an apartment filled with plants, but secretly he couldn't care less about the vegetation, for the highlight of the young man's day is buying the items from cheery Rokka, a widow who runs the flower shop nearby. So that he can spend more time with her, Hazuki eagerly accepts a job working part-time at the shop, but after months of working with his crush, the man can't seem to muster the courage to confess his feelings. And it's not just his abrasive personality getting in the way of his ideal relationship - the ghost of Rokka's dead husband haunts the shop and is determined to keep all potential suitors away from his wife. Despite this unexpected obstacle, Hazuki continues his attempt to woo the older woman and free her from the ghost of her past.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous and the first story from All My Darling Daughters are both about women and their younger male suitors. Both manga have a similar emotional yet low-key tone, and feature untraditional romances that have their share of hardships/quirks.
F-mi Y-naga is a mangaka whose life revolves around three things: work, sleep… and food! One day, the food-loving F-mi gets an assignment to introduce people to fine dining around the city and – with various friends in tow – she commences a gastronomic tour of Tokyo restaurants. From plates of Italian seafood salad with her room-mate S-Hara and rich French cuisine with fellow foodie, O-ta, to Sushi with her gay friend A-Dou and all you can eat Chinese dim-sum with her secret crush, F-mi is intent on eating her way around the world one dish at a time.
Both these slice-of-life volumes by Fumi Yoshinaga chronicle the daily life and trials of an adult woman and the people in her life (her friends, family, co-workers, etc). Both are realistic, sensitive, slow-paced, and full of dialogue. Not Love But... also features oodles of pictures and descriptions of food, which All My Darling Daughters only occasionally slips into.