Tokyo Crazy Paradise (Manga)
Tokyo Crazy Paradise
Publisher: Hakusensha (Hana to Yume)
Manga: Complete at 19 (Tankoubon) or 10 (Aizouban) Volumes
Mangaka: Yoshiki Nakamura, same author as Skip Beat!
It's the year 2020 AD, and Tokyo II is a city infested with crime. Women can no longer go out in the streets alone without being victimized. Not wanting their daughter to suffer the same fate, Tsukasa Kozuki's cop parents raise her as a boy. When they are suddenly killed by one of the yakuza's in-fights, Tsukasa is left orphaned on the streets along with her three brothers.
With no other options, she goes to the only person she can think of for help: pokerface Ryuji Shirogami, her classmate of 8 years and also the head leader of the powerful yakuza group, Kuryugumi. Ryuji, whose father was also a victim of the same yakuza fight, agrees to take her on as his personal bodyguard. As they set out to find their enemy, Ryuji slaps an increasing amount of debt onto Tsukasa, using all manner of ploys to keep the reluctant Tsukasa by his side.
Why I Want It (forgive me for gushing but I love this series):
Time to kick it back old school. This and another series have been at the top of my most wanted shoujo titles for many years (I'll probably make a suggestion post for that one too at some point). It's by the same mangaka who does Skip Beat for those who've read that. I've read this series a couple times in the past and have been supporting Skip Beat for the past 10 years, so I'm probably biased but:
Nakamura-sensei writes amazing, badass female characters. Kyoko from Skip Beat may kick butt when she's in character or when using her grudges, but Tsukasa knows her way in a fight using a chain whip with a blade in gunfights, it's crazy and awesome.
The series has it all: comedy, drama, action, romance, gender bender, yakuza.
Relationship and character development. The relationship that starts as an antagonistic one of children of cops vs. yakuza, of grudgingly being a bodyguard for someone who doesn't really need a bodyguard in order to pay an arbitrary debt he made up to keep her close becomes an equal partner relationship of love and support. Thankfully, you don't have to wait dozens of volumes for relationship development like you do in Skip Beat.
If you've ever needed a series where teenagers lead/are central to yakuza gangs, has teenage angst and love triangles in the midst of life and death struggles against rival gangs, has a dose of action, violence and tragic backstories with equal measure of light-hearted, comedic moments and romance, then this series is for you.
Sounds Great But...
I know a lot has been holding this series back from getting licensed:
- It's old, it ran from 1996-2002 (but hey, JNC picked up Discommunication, which is older).
- It's long, it's 19 volumes (but hey, it's complete).
- It's all fan-translated online (but they're crappy scans anyway).
- Add the fact that it's a Hakusensha title, which traditionally have been exclusive to Viz, and that's another strike for JNC. However, with Seven Seas and Yen Press picking up titles from the magazine recently and JNC doing print now, it's not as impossible as it used to be though I know it's probably a ways off from actually happening. Sam if you're reading this, I wanted to put this title out there as a contender for pick-up if that day should ever come. Regardless, I'll still be here, patiently waiting as always.
Thanks in advance for those who read all this and for those who upvote. This series is one of the few I have a extreme soft spot for, so I appreciate the support for it.