Being a manga reader for quite a long time has led me to discover tons of amazing stories and talented artists and writers. When a story hits me really hard, I tend to remember it for a very long time. One of these instances was when I read Yamamori Mika’s (やまもり三香) works. Her refreshing art and enthralling stories were like a breath of fresh air that I will always remember.
In this article, you will get to know more about Yamamori Mika, a charismatic mangaka (manga artist/author) from Japan, and her beautiful stories! Also, you will get to know which of her works will be getting a live-action soon!
Yamamori Mika is a Japanese female mangaka. She was born in Ishikawa (石川), Japan on October 8. Her hobbies include drawing and watching movies. She has written lots of stories before, her oldest one being Sugars which she wrote in 2008. Among her works, she is well known for having written Daytime Shooting Star (ひるなかの流星), which is now complete, and Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet (椿町ロンリープラネット), which is still in ongoing serialization. She does not have a blog, but you can follow her on her Twitter account.
Sugars by Yamamori Mika is a collection of short stories that revolve on a certain group of people who are somewhat related to each other. Each chapter features a different story, and as you read along, those short stories come together in one beautiful narrative. The chapters revolve around love, heartbreak, and friendship. Sugars was serialized from 2008 to 2011 in Margaret, a manga magazine from Shueisha. The series has six volumes in print.
The story starts with 15-year-old high school student Yosano Suzume (与謝野すずめ) suddenly moving to live with her uncle in Tokyo. This is because of her parents’ decision to move to Bangladesh due to her father’s sudden job transfer. On her way from the countryside to the city, she gets lost and meets a stranger who reaches out to help her. That man is Shishio Satsuki (獅子尾五月) who turns out to be her new homeroom teacher. In school, she meets new friends and classmates and among them is Mamura Daiki (馬村F大輝).
Hirunaka no Ryuusei, or Daytime Shooting Star in English, is a Japanese shojo manga written and illustrated by Yamamori Mika. It was first published in May 2011 by Shueisha in their Margaret magazine. The manga finished its serialization in November 2014. The series has 12 volumes in print and a special volume of side stories, one-shots, and a chapter entitled “6 Years Later” which gives the readers details on the characters’ lives after six years.
During its serialization, the series had a few crossovers with other manga and their mangaka. These were with No Longer Heroine (ヒロイン失格) by Koda Momoko (幸田もも子) and Hibi Chouchou (日々蝶々) by Morishita Suu (森下suu).
Aside from that, Daytime Shooting Star also had a clothing collaboration with Japanese brand earth music&ecology. The reception was so great that a lot of items got sold out pretty fast.
The items sold were based on Yamamori Mika’s art and there was also an exhibition at earth music&ecology’s Shimokitazawa branch to celebrate the launch of the collaboration.
Just recently, a live-action adaptation of Daytime Shooting Star was announced in the 20th issue of Shueisha’s Margaret magazine this 2016. The film is slated to premiere on March 24, 2017 and will be directed by Takehiko Shinjou (新城毅彦) whose previous works include the live-action of Your Lie in April (四月は君の嘘), I Give My First Love to You (僕の初恋を君に捧ぐ), and Beyond the Memories (潔く柔く). The screenplay will be written by Naoko Adachi (安達奈緒子) whose works include the live-action of Heartbroken Chocolatier (失恋ショコラティエ), Rich Man, Poor Woman (リッチマン・プアウーマン), and You Taught Me All the Precious Things (大切なことはすべて君が教えてくれた).
They have also announced the actors who will be playing the main characters. Nagano Mei (永野芽郁) from the My Love Story!! (俺物語!!) live-action will play Yosano Suzume, Miura Shohei (三浦翔平) from A Girl & Three Sweethearts (好きな人がいること) will play Shishio Satsuki, and Shirahama Alan (白濱亜嵐), the leader of GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE, will play Mamura Daiki.
Yamamori Mika commented that when she saw the cast, she was very impressed because it felt like her characters came to life. She added that she felt very blessed to be able to have met those great people.
Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet is Yamamori Mika’s ongoing serialization. It debuted last May 20, 2015 and the story is centered on Ohno Fumi (大野ふみ), a poor high school student. Her father’s debts led to her banishment from her own home and she had to rely on part-time jobs to survive. She finds a part-time job as a live-in housekeeper for a reclusive writer whose name is Kibikino Akatsuki (木曳野暁) and that is where the story starts off.
The series is currently being serialized in Shueisha’s Margaret magazine, the same magazine where Daytime Shooting Star was serialized. The series currently has five volumes in print which were also published by Shueisha.
With these stories, Yamamori Mika went straight to my top 10 favorite shojo mangaka. I only discovered her by chance. Her art style is very light and refreshing – quite different from other shojo manga out there. I personally think that this is what makes her memorable.
Another thing to point out is Yamamori Mika’s stories itself. Her characters and the story they tell really have a way of tugging a reader’s heartstrings. The reader may not be able to relate to everything in the story, but certain pivotal points in the story make the reader smile, laugh, or cry. Her stories may have simple and cliché plots, but that’s what I love. With so many shojo stories out there, everything else just seems to be a copy of another. But with Yamamori Mika, she finds a new way of retelling those plots.
Among her works, Daytime Shooting Star is definitely my favorite. You can probably call it my first love in terms of her works. But I do recommend that you read everything that she has written! If you happen to find her one-shots, those are a definite recommendation too.
None of Yamamori Mika’s works have been officially licensed in English yet, but she already has a wide international following. Daytime Shooting Star alone has already been translated into other languages such as German, Polish, and French. Fans, including me, are still hoping that a major English publishing company picks up any of Yamamori Mika’s works so that it can be shared with a wider audience.
Now, I am excitedly waiting for the live-action adaptation of Daytime Shooting Star and the future chapters of Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet. If you have never heard of Yamamori Mika before, she is definitely a mangaka that you should watch out for!