After the new-year festivities end and we move into February, the store shelves begin to fill with chocolate and teddy bears in preparation for Valentine’s Day. The problem is, if you’ve got nothing to do on February 14th, then you’re probably not feeling too excited.
But who needs real-life when you can enjoy a cozy date with Manga Planet, where you can enjoy a selection of dreamy romance stories to get into the mood?
Today we’ll be looking at how Japan celebrates Valentine’s Day and introducing you to four of our favorite lovey-dovey tales.
Valentine’s Day in Japan
In Japan, February 14th is especially aimed at girls who want to give something special to their beloved – Whether it’s a confession or a reaffirmation of love, a carefully wrapped chocolate is the ultimate sign of affection. The holiday is especially popular with school-age youngsters.
However, it isn’t as simple as exchanging chocolate with your partner. Japanese people actually have categories for each kind of Valentine’s chocolate. The first is Honmei Choco (本命チョコ), which is given to a boyfriend or partner as a representation of love and true feelings. This type of chocolate is often handmade or a little more luxurious than your average chocolate bar. The second is Giri Choco (義理チョコ), which is given out of politeness and obligation. This type of chocolate is often cheaper and gifted to coworkers or classmates.
Following Valentine’s Day is White Day, an event held on March 14th. On this day, men are expected to return a gift as thanks for the chocolate they received. Some people claim that the gift should be worth three times as much as the original chocolate.
After finding a note tucked into her coat pocket, Yukawa starts exchanging notes with Mizuki – a beautiful lady who smells like vanilla. After eventually exchanging numbers, the pair become the best of friends… But how would Mizuki react if she knew Yukawa had a crush on her?
If We Leave On The Dot portrays the ups and downs of romance. Although jealousy and confusion may arise, the highs of love can often make the tough times worth it.
At 30, Wakaba Amamiya is excited to settle down and marry her boyfriend until she overhears him, saying that she’s “she’s more like a mother than a girlfriend.” The devastated Wakaba leaves, breaking her shoe as she runs. However, a chance meeting with Takumi Kobashi, a cute, 20-year-old shoemaker, changes her outlook on life forever.
He is 10 years Younger Than Me investigates the struggles of an age-gap in a relationship and the effort it takes to follow your dreams.
Akari and Shiho are polar opposites – Akari is girly and fashionable, while Shiho is a lethargic photographer. Despite their differences, the lovable pair have grown to appreciate their girlfriend’s quirks as they develop their relationship and learn more about each other.
One of the joys of Night and Day is watching the couple work through their differences and coming out stronger for it, whether it’s through picking an ice cream flavor or traveling to meet the family.
Haruka is born deaf and communicates through lip-reading, writing, and sign language. She often dreams of being like the other girls and likes to escape to the one place where she can hear her own voice – her dreams. One day, her dream is intruded by a beautiful girl in a school uniform who causes Haruka’s heart to flutter. After waking up, Haruka discovers Ayumi, the girl from her dream, asleep in the local park and realizes that it may not have been a regular dream after all.
This light novel tells the heartwarming story of Haruka’s first love, while also bringing awareness to the experiences of people who are considered “different” by much of society. Combined with a touch of fantasy, you’ll find yourself rooting for Haruka and Ayumi’s relationship.
Which of these cute couples is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter!
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In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. Aiming to bring new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
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