In which, hoo boy, do I have a treat for you! (Albeit, a treat with some crappy photography…)
I’m obsessed with furoku — free giveaways with Japanese magazines I think I first talked about here — and since I can’t exactly buy everything I’d like to, I love that I’m not the only one nostalgic for some of the older stuff enough to write about it. This book covers furoku from major shoujo magazines from 1979 to 1989 to reiterate just how wonderful these goods are. And besides just showing me a lot of cool furoku, it reminded me that my knowledge of shoujo manga is still full of holes, so I thought we’d learn a bit together.
The book starts off with examples via type of furoku — stationery, playing cards, calendars, bags, and so forth. In the picture below, as one example, we have a selection of buildable crafts. Starting on the left, there’s a Wardrobe Bench Box from the March 1988 issue of Ribon done by Aoi Hiiragi, who I know because she did the manga on which the Studio Ghibli film Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart) was based.
Next to that, we have a Twin Tray from the November 1983 issue of Ribon, illustrated by Keiko Honda, who did a series called Wedding Eve I’m largely unfamiliar with. On the right, from the March 1983 edition, it’s a “Humming Rack” (nope, no clue) featuring the character Ranze from Tokimeki Tonight by Koi Ikeno. This series is really cute; I should look into more of it.
Here on the left, we have a Fashion Box from the May 1984 issue of Nakayoshi, with Apple Dream, a series I don’t know by a mangaka I do (although for her later BL work), Yuu Asagiri. On the right, we have a Charming Letter Rack from June 1986, featuring Hohoemi ZOOming. I hadn’t heard of that series and couldn’t find much online (there’s not even a Japanese wiki article) but it’s no wonder I was drawn to it — it’s done by the mangaka for the Ojamajo Doremi series, Shizue Takanashi!
On the left page below we have items from the August 1980 Nakayoshi. I especially liked Mariko’s Summer Beach Bag (design by Mariko Satou) (top left) and Spank’s Exciting Sun Visor (from other Shizue Takanashi series, Ohayou Spank and Spank no Wao Wao Tanteidan) (top right on the same page).
The right page shows items from the same magazine that year in September — I wonder if anyone has ripped the records from these. And if you’re wondering if that’s a whoopie cushion on the bottom right, yes, yes it is.
If I listed everything amazing in this book, I’d just list everything in the book, and since it’s less than $15 at my old favorite CD Japan I guess that’s not necessary, but below we’ve got a selection of just a few things that caught my eye:
Like the Deluxe Fancy Box with designs by Yuu Asagiri on the bottom right here.
On the left below, I kind of love the “crest seals” by Mayumi Ide (especially the “Don’t Touch Me!). And on the right, check out the pen cup shaped like a post office box done by Mariko Satou in the top right corner, and the amazing design of the Aoi’s Free Space notebook, based on Aoi-Chan Panic! by Izumi Takemoto, who also did the later version of Anmitsu-hime.
Below, furoku from Ribon, including the swim bag on the upper left by Megumi Mizusawa which I thought was from Hime-chan’s Ribbon before I realized 1986 is too early for that. Instead I think this is for Ponytail Hakusho. On the upper left of the right-hand page, we’ve got a Milky Bag from the same artist.
I love all these items from Nakayoshi in 1985, but my favorite has to be the piano with a design by Izumi Takemoto.
I’m absolutely charmed by everything here too, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be the bus-shaped Charming Rack designed by Ako Mutsu.
Hey, it’s Arale-chan! ☆彡
And just below here, along with lots of other goodies from Nakayoshi in 1989, including the continuation of Hina Matsuri goodness — this time from Hotaru no Hikari‘s Satou Hiura — first thing from the left, and the Wankorobee pillow on the upper right!
Sometimes when you write a review of a book or magazine, there are photos that are obviously the best, or the only good, choices. But this book is nothing but awesome picture after after awesome picture, for about 240 pages straight. If it has any bad side to it, it’s that it makes me want to spend even more money on manga and start stalking auctions to own some of these goodies myself….and how bad can that be, right?
…maybe don’t answer that.