April marks a new beginning in Japan – the new business year, the new school year, and of course, the famous cherry blossoms! This busy spring period is full of excitement and new adventures to be had all around, including in your favorite manga.
Spring in Japan
Blooming every year between March and April, the delicate “sakura” (桜) has even been declared the unofficial flower of Japan.
The cherry blossom represents a fleeting beauty that in some ways could be compared to life itself; It bursts into bloom and disappears just as quickly.
When the blossoms are in full bloom, families, and friends will enjoy “hanami” (花見), flower viewing, and seasonal food and alcohol. Popular food chains and traditional sweet shops will often stock sakura flavored snacks, such as biscuits and coffee.
The blossoms also mark the beginning of the new school and business years, both of which start in April.
The word “youth” (青春) in Japan is also associated with spring, as it is made up of the kanji for “blue” and “spring” – An alternative reading, “Aoharu” is often used to refer to the times when students enjoy their youth to the fullest, hanging out with friends and falling in love. It is often used to refer back in time, reminiscing on your youth or talking about young people.
Story: favary Inc., Tamaoki Kosame
Art: Aoto Hibiki
Chilled out Shino is an ordinary girl, especially compared to Asuka, the beautiful and smart student representative who partakes in all kinds of traditional Japanese arts. It seems that the two of them will never cross paths, only for fate (and Shino’s clumsiness) to bring them together.
Will Shino stick to her plan of fitting in and enjoying low-key high school life, or will her new friend change things forever?
The bond between Shino and Asuka is heartwarming to read as the two high-school girls strive to improve themselves for the sake of one another.
Story & Art: Yamamura Hajime
Aspiring violinist Akio will never forget the time he was mesmerized by Hibiki Sonari as she conducted as a child many years ago.
Akio was inspired by sight and studied at a musical college where he was shocked to meet Hibiki once more. However, after losing his passion for the violin, Akio is worried that his skills won’t live up to the gifted Hibiki’s conducting skills. Will the two of them be able to grow closer as Akio learns to rebuild his confidence?
Sound of the Sky is a relatable topic to many people – Dropping your passion due to a feeling of inferiority is a common struggle, but sometimes a small push is all it takes for your passion for returning!
Story & Art: Kingyobachi Deme
Madoka loves to play dress up and play with dolls. However, despite this girly appearance, Madoka is actually a boy. After moving to a new town, Madoka decides it’s time for a fresh start and hides his hobbies so his classmates won’t make fun of him. His classmates all seem friendly, but one stands out from the rest – the cool and boyish Itsuki. But it seems like Itsuki may be hiding something too…
Madoka and Itsuki are both young children who were ostracized for going against the stereotypical gender norms. Read along as the pair navigate their own feelings with help from the cast of supportive adults.
Story: Io Shizusa
Art: Kumata Ryusen
Ayumu has stopped playing badminton after his team was overwhelmingly defeated by the genius Sho. After deciding on sports-free high school life, Ayumu’s thoughts are thrown back to the court when he discovers that Sho goes to his new school and refuses to join the badminton club! With a big decision on the horizon, Ayumu’s new school life is looking up to be much more exciting than planned.
This passionate sports manga is full of fun characters, relatable stories, and plenty of mysteries to resolve – plus a ton of badminton tips to take your game to the next level!
Which manga makes you think of spring? Let us know on Twitter!
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