I love Mahoraba.

I love this manga, very, very much.


I hope this post doesn’t come of as being fake or stupid in anyway. If it does suck, I assure you that the low quality of this post is a result of my inferior writing skills and is in no way a sign of unauthentic feelings. My feelings for Mahoraba are about as genuine and pure as feelings for a manga can be.

Quick Info: Mahoraba is a manga by Akira Kojima, it was first published in 2001, and it ended in 2006. The publisher was Square Enix (I think it started back when it was just Enix, but whatever). It was running in Monthly Gangan Wing. An anime adaptation was made that lasted from Jan 2005 to July 2005. –Source: wikipedia of course .

When I first came up with the idea for this post, I thought long and hard about what title I should use. I even wrote something like a complete post under a different title, but I am going to leave that as a draft because it was a crappy post.

Any other title would be a lie. Titles like: “I like Mahoraba because of the plot” or “The combination of exciting art design and well crafted characters make Mahoraba a thrilling ride” would all be lies. The truth is, I love Mahoraba and that’s all there is to it.

The characters start of living in a place called Narutaki-Sou (Narutaki Villa according to wikipedia). By the end of the manga, the characters have realized that no matter what happens in life, no matter the path they walk, Narutaki will always be there for them. It will always be a place that they can return to and no matter how much time passes, they will always feel at home there.

Now, you see, Mahoraba is to me what Narutaki-Sou is to the characters of the manga. A few months back, I watched a little bit of the anime and I immediately felt “that this was where I belonged and that I was home”. I don’t know why I felt that way, technically, I was at home, but there is something special about Mahoraba.
It doesn’t suck me in or anything, it just calmly lulls me in, like a mother that gently rocks her baby to sleep while singing the most pleasant of lullabies.

Mahoraba: A feeling of comfort and peace.

Mahoraba is also one of the first genuine, non-mainstream mangas that I read, and I guess, in a way, it really showed me how incredibly moving something as simplistic as this manga can be. I have cherished this manga since.

I vaguely recall finishing Mahoraba for the first time, and I think I just quietly stared at my computer, lost in my bliss, sad that it was over, and yet pleased at the same time.

During the writing of this post, I wondered if maybe I was just letting my nostalgia goggles get in the way, that I may not love this manga as much as I thought. So, in my search for images for this post, I jumped straight to the last chapter, and skimmed through it.

Call me a sentimental fool if you will, but my eyes were teary when I was done. It was just so beautiful, so serene and so very touching.

Now, if you look back at this post, you will notice that despite my (hopefully) clear adoration for Mahoraba that I have not tried to back up my opinion with anything significant. I haven’t talked about the characters, the plot, the art or anything else. That’s because:

  1. As I alluded earlier, I don’t need an excuse to like Mahoraba.
  2. To me, reading Mahoraba is less about reading a manga as much as it’s about experiencing an experience of some sort.
  3. I do not wish to tarnish Mahoraba. I know that I am a pretty vocal fanboy of certain things (*cough One Piece cough*), but even when it comes to things I fanboy over, I normally look at the flaws, or at least the good things. I don’t do that with Mahoraba. It’s not that I choose to ignore any internal criticism that I might form for it, but I choose to not form the criticism in the first place. Call me childish if you will, but I want nothing to tarnish Mahoraba in my head. This is also why I don’t compare it to other manga/anime (a comparison would force me to think about such things).

Here is a great quote. I don’t quite understand it’s meaning, but somehow, it captures my feelings for the manga quite well.

One has distress.
Another got hopeless longing.
There, accept such sorrow.
Our precious treasured place
“MAHORABA”
–Quote from a blurb at the end of some volumes(1,6 and 12 for sure)

Now, one might wonder about why I chose to write this post. I mean, I said that I am content with this manga, that I need not try and justify and feelings for it. So, why, why did I waste my time writing this post? I do not know.

Maybe, I do need some justification, or maybe I just wanted to express my feelings for this manga, or maybe, I just wanted to thank Mahoraba, maybe I just wanted to make sure that I had dedicated at least one post to this manga that I love so much. I do not know, but my reasoning for this post does not matter, to me, all that matters is that I love Mahoraba, and hopefully, always will.

I hope, I haven’t given anyone any false delusions about what to expect with Mahoraba. To me, Mahoraba was a very personal experience. While other fans have Love Hina, the Legend of the Galactic Heroes, or some other universally acclaimed, but underrated series, I have Mahoraba. Do not go in to this manga, expecting to feel the same cheesy feelings as me. But, judging from ratings and other things, it would seem that a good deal of people like this manga, so, I don’t think anyone will be super disappointed if they gave it a shot.

If you are wondering whether you should read the magna or watch the anime, I would say that you should read the manga first and then watch the anime. The anime has a very unique perspective on the manga, it interpreted the manga quite a bit differently than I did (this is a good thing!) and it had to end before the manga did, so I heard the ending was rushed ( I still haven’t seen the entire anime). So, read the manga, interpret it how you will, then watch the anime for more fun. If, however, you are averse to manga, then you can simply start of with the anime, that should be fine.

Thank you for everything Mahoraba, I will always remember you.

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