Manga Before Flowers -- Recommendation Post #7

Rin wrote the following, "I like josei / shojo series that are not too romantic or smutty, my two favourites are Honey and Clover and NANA."

I could not have asked for a request more up my alley.  I'm not recommending Ai Yazawa's Paradise Kiss because I assume everyone who reads NANA has also read that.  On the other hand, I still want to mention the title because Paradise Kiss remains my absolute ideal of a series that nicely bridges the world of shojo and the world of josei.

And so I take this opportunity to recommend three titles that also function as excellent transitions from shojo to josei.

1.  Venus in Love, by Yuki Nakaji, published by CMX.

Description by publisher: College: A time for new friends and new loves — and getting confused about which is which. It seems like Suzuna is on track to land Eichi the guy of her dreams. But her other new friend — the beautiful Hinako — has some interesting information regarding Eichi that's going to force Suzuna to take a second look at the whole situation. She's about to discover that love can come with some unexpected competition.

2.  Walkin' Butterfly, by Chihiro Tamaki, published by Aurora.

Description by publishers: Michiko's height is matched only by her complex about it. While delivering pizzas at a fashion show she is mistaken for a model. Mihara, the show's designer, confronts her and tells her that she can't walk the catwalk. From that moment on, Michiko is determined to find her place in the world as a model. Can she find the inner strength to undergo a spectacular transformation? Is Michiko up to the challenge? Just try her.

3.  Flower of Life, by Fumi Yoshinaga, published by DMP.

Description by publisher: Forced to enroll in school one month late after recovering from a serious illness, Harutaro is doing his best to remain optimistic about the entire situation. The other students are working hard to make Haru feel welcome - especially his chubby, loveable pal, Shota. However, Kai Majima, President of the Manga Club and all-around hard case, seems to be the one person intent on making Harutaro's school life a living nightmare.

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