Samamiya Akaza is well-known for her gorgeous art style, which consists of soft and light strokes that give off a gentle and delicate vibe. She is normally an illustrator for light novels and drama CDs, as her art is truly alluring and beautiful. Like her art, most of her works are usually lighthearted and comedic in nature. Nevertheless, her works, such as Torikago Syndrome and Bloody†Mary, which are darker than her regular works, are the ones that really draw new readers to her. After all, her light and soft art style that contrasts the darker theme of her stories gives off that mysterious and enigmatic atmosphere that is perfect for that kind of genre.
Although Samamiya Akaza draws manga for a shoujo magazine, most of her works have a lot of BL undertones, which confuses some of her readers most of the time. Still, don’t let it deter you from reading her manga, as she has works that are really good and entertaining. With that said, we will list the top 6 manga by Sumamiya Akaza, so stick with us until the very end! Enjoy~
6. Kare Pillow: Extra Comic
- Genre: Romance, Shoujo
- Volumes: One-shot
- Published Date: Jun. 2016
Kare Pillow is a R18 drama CD series that features different kinds of guys that are voiced by some of the most well-known voice actors in the industry. Currently, Velvet Voice has released 21 volumes in total and the primary illustrator for this series is none other than Samamiya Akaza. Kare Pillow: Extra Comic is a one-shot about you and Hirose Ryou, who was featured in the 12th volume of Kare Pillow series. Simply put, Ryou is a famous hairstylist who falls for you and becomes your boyfriend. The premise is that you stay at his house after he cuts and styles your hair. Ryou invites you to stay the night at his place and seduces you during the whole process.
While it is indeed quite short, Samamiya Akaza manages to pique her readers’ interest. Ryou’s facial expressions and actions are on point. Besides, who doesn’t like a hot, sweet, and bashful boyfriend around? The one-shot’s sole purpose is to encourage readers to listen to the Kare Pillow series, which isn’t a bad bargain, as there are a lot of talented voice actors that will whisper sweet nothings to you. Honestly, if you don’t know the Kare Pillow series, you will be confused about what is happening in the manga. The story is very straightforward and expects the readers to know the series already. If you are curious about who voices Ryou, it is Shinnosuke Tachibana, who is known for his roles as Tomoe from Kamisama Hajimemashita and Nisaka Yuusuke from Koi to Uso.
5. Hanamachi Monogatari: Hatsuzakura Mau, Yoru no Shitone
- Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance, Yaoi
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: Mar. 2011 - Aug. 2011
Hanamachi Monogatari is based on a BL game made by Togake Ally with its original illustrator Takatsuki Noboru, a famous BL artist. For the manga adaptation, Samamiya Akaza focuses on Toujou Tatsumi’s route, the owner of the brothel Hanabishi. Shuri, an orphan child that is being maltreated by his current master, is constantly being ridiculed because of his unique and special appearance. While he is being punished at his workplace, Tatsumi takes notice of him and buys him to become a potential prostitute at his own brothel. However, Tatsumi cannot deny the fact that he is falling for Shuri, thanks to his kind and cheerful personality. Is Shuri the light he has been seeking?
If you enjoy cliche yaoi tropes, then this manga is for you! As usual, Samamiya Akaza captures the proper expressions and emotions of her characters, especially Shuri. While he is indeed your typical uke, you can’t help but be amazed by how cute and adorable he is. Just like the game describes him, he is beautiful and very gentle. Many may not like Tatsumi at first glance, but during the last moments in the manga, he begins to show his lovable side to Shuri and to the readers. Obviously, this manga is not for everyone; still, if you enjoy reading historical yaoi manga, then give this a try!
4. Ouji wa Tadaima Dekasegichuu
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shoujo
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: Mar. 2011 - Feb. 2012
Ouji wa Tadaima Dekasegichuu is an original story by Iwaki Hiromi and is only illustrated by Samamiya Akaza. So what comes to mind when you hear “prince charming”? Commonly, the first words that come to mind are noble, gentle, handsome, graceful and RICH. Now, meet Yuuto, a prince who is both noble and gentle. Unfortunately, Prince Yuuto is too beautiful to be called handsome, too brash to be graceful, and too poor to be rich! That’s right! Yuuto is in debt and will do anything for his sister since she is about to be married off to a regal and wealthy royal family across from his kingdom. He wants nothing but the best for sister, even if it means he has to work as a mercenary. Although it is easier said than done, nothing is working in his favor, thanks to Iro his clumsy attendant, and Tajesu, a wealthy prince who never ceases his wedding proposals to Yuuto.
If you want a manga that will definitely make you laugh, by all means, read this one! Ouji wa Tadaima Dekasegichuu is purely hilarious and ridiculous. A pretty prince who is drowning in debt is not something you always see in a manga. While the story is about Yuuto working hard to earn money and pay his country’s debts, it seems all his efforts are for nothing, as his debts are continuing to add up instead of decreasing like he wants to. For the sake of earning money, he is prepared to crossdress, fight off “ghosts”, and a whole lot more! It’s short, but it will give you the daily dosage of laughs that you need!
3. Hatsukoi Canvas
- Genre: Romance, School Life, Shoujo
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: Nov. 2013
Unlike the previous entries, Hatsukoi Canvas is an original work by Samamiya Akaza. If you know Kimi ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina, then you will get the gist of Hatsukoi Canvas. Sakurako Kagawa has been very passionate about art ever since she was young. Unfortunately, because of a certain incident, her drawings are considered to be cursed and bring bad luck to the people who see her artwork. This causes her to become a loner who has trouble interacting in social activities. However, everything changes when she meets Hayama Akiharu “Haru”, a gentle boy who sees more than what Sakurako really is.
One of Samamiya Akaza’s the earliest works, Hatsukoi Canvas is so good because of its sweet and adorable characters. There are misunderstandings here and there in the manga, but it’s not the type of misunderstanding that might make you want to pull your hair out. In fact, the misunderstanding in this manga is something that will make you laugh! Sakurako and Haru are indeed a very cute couple to read about. Haru’s reactions to Sakurako is priceless since it looks like he is the “typical shoujo heroine who is so in love”, while Sakurako is just in the corner, oblivious to Haru’s feelings. Not only that, readers will also get a chance to get to know the side characters of Hatsukoi Canvas. Although there is really no definite “ending” to the manga, Hatsukoi Canvas is a fun manga to read.
2. Torikago Syndrome
- Genre: Mystery, Drama, School Life, Shoujo, Psychological, Tragedy
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: Jun. 2012 - Feb. 2013
Torikago Syndrome is another rendition of Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs but with a twist. The story revolves around Tsumugi Ayase, an orphan who is supported by “Daddy Long Legs”. Wanting to escape the harsh stares and criticisms in his hometown in Japan, he flies to Europe to start a new life. Upon entering the academy that his Daddy Long Legs recommended, he realizes that the teachers are not in control of the school, rather, it is governed by a “King”. It is said that in order to gain freedom in the school, one must follow the king’s orders. If the student manages to follow the king’s orders, they will level up and will be given special privileges. However, if the student fails, they will be called “targets” and be treated harshly by the whole school. What will Tsugumi do when he knows the pain of being bullied by other people? Is there a purpose as to why his Daddy Long Legs brought him to this type of academy?
Torikago Syndrome is one of the most twisted manga by Samamiya Akaza. The story is excellently well done and the characters are interesting and intriguing. The manga is truly a thriller, making the readers guess what will happen next in the story. Even though there are things that are quite confusing in the manga, understanding it and reading it carefully will certainly give the readers some answers, as not all explanations are shown in the manga, but are merely implied. If you are wondering why Torikago Syndrome is only in second place, it is because of its pacing, other than that, everything is amazing. Despite its fast-paced storytelling, the manga manages to incorporate its most important parts and even achieves shock value during the plot twists. Give Torikago Syndrome a read as it will show that Samamiya Akaza is not only good at drawing, but she is also good at writing stories.
- Genre: Mystery, Drama, Horror, Shoujo, Psychological, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: May 2013 - Feb. 2017
Ichirou Rosario di Maria is a high school student who is constantly plagued by vampires that are after his special blood. Just when he thinks that he is done for, an odd vampire named Bloody Mary comes to his rescue. According to Mary, Maria is the only one who can kill him. While Maria did manage to inherit the cross from his father that can exorcise vampires, he doesn’t know how to fully use it. This is why they formed a contract; Maria will find a way to properly use his exorcism cross to kill Mary while Mary protects Maria from vampires that are after his blood. It is a story about a human who wants to live, and a vampire who wants to die.
Unlike Torikago Syndrome, which starts off with an uneasy atmosphere immediately, Bloody†Mary starts off lightheartedly. But, as the story flows slowly, Bloody†Mary begins to get darker and more twisted. The mystery is simply about Mary’s past and his connection with Maria’s father. The manga also shows why vampires are so enthralled with Maria’s blood. While the manga is indeed quite dark, Samamiya Akaza never forgets to leave a bit of humor to balance out the twisted things and events. Like our previous selection, Bloody†Mary may be too confusing to some readers, especially if they really don’t read between the lines. If you enjoy some thrilling mystery, Bloody†Mary is a sure recommendation for you!
And that’s it for this list! Although Samamiya Akaza’s manga are only a few, they are worth a read. If you read her works starting from Kare Pillow: Extra Comic up to Bloody†Mary, you will surely see how much she has improved as a mangaka. Hopefully, we can see more of her works in the future! So, what manga of hers do you want to read? If you did manage to read some of her works before, what do you think of them? We want to hear from you, so put all your thoughts regarding this article in the comment section! Hope to see you again in the next article! Now signing off~