With a constant influx of fresh new artists delivering remarkable pieces of work, we often forget about some of the artists that have truly paved the way for these artists to come into the scene. Many have come and gone but Minami Kanan has made it her purpose to maintain her footing in what’s known to be a highly competitive field, which always continues to evolve even as we write this. While her name hasn’t been placed in the higher ranks like that of Takeuchi Naoko, or the queen of them all Rumiko Takahashi, Minami has made a name for herself creating classics that are still a staple piece in many shoujo fans manga collections. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops is one notable piece that really catapulted her popularity followed by Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu, which as of late has become her best piece of work since her debut. While these two have grown to become familiar within the community, we’ll shed some light on her other great pieces of work that are also worth reading if you’re a fan of the shoujo and smut genre.
5. Shinju no Kusari [Chain of Pearls]
- Genres: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Smut
- Volumes: 2
- Published: February 2002 - June 2002
Hisa just became the soccer club’s new manager but underneath this exterior lies a secret that she’s trying to hide from everyone, and it’s that she has a part time job. If anyone were to find out about Hisa’s position she’d have to either quit the job, or give up the very sport that so much passion went into. One of the team’s strongest players, Sakyou, discovers the secret but luckily for Hisa, he has every intent to not only keep the secret close to him but her as well.
While Minami’s structure of work focuses primarily on shoujo, she does enjoy throwing smut into the mix to keep her readers enticed. Chain of Pearls is a story about a young woman trying to better her life situation and things suddenly change when love makes its way into the picture. Hisa’s life in the beginning was in a bit of a blur and needed some sort of direction, which was why she insisted on getting a part time position to survive. Sakyou comes in and the two immediately hit it off and never shying away from being honest with each other. It’s a cute tale of love at first sight, which then quickly forms into a very sexual relationship that have the two all over each other. Of course you can’t have romance without some tension and the two often have those moments when other members of the soccer team try to make their move. Love triangles, bitter arguments, unconditional love, this one has it all and despite how short the story is it wraps everything up in one sweet little package for you smut fans to enjoy. There are two one shots included in the manga as well, so once you finish up on Hisa’s steamy life, be sure to hop into the others for more smut fun!
4. Ren-ai Shijou Shugi
- Genres: Adult,Comedy, Drama, Mature, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Smut
- Volumes: 8
- Published: August 2002 - May 2004
Seri is a well known martial arts specialist who’s trying to put her past behind her, and move onto bigger and better things. At a party she tries to grab the attention of a guy she’s attracted to, but the situation changes when her childhood crush Tamaki walks into the room, causing all sorts of alarms to go off in Seri’s heart. With their competitiveness still in tact, the two form a little game where if Seri loses she’ll need to become Tamaki’s toy, but little does she know that there’s a lot more in store than just a little kicking and punching.
This story is full of sex--lots of sex--so expect to see a handful of it once you start reading further. As a warning however, this manga portrays a lot of mature adult themes pertaining to rape and sexual abuse, so if that’s something perhaps you’re not comfortable with then be advised. This is smut county and with smut comes a lot of sexual encounters, jealous competition, and rivalry that’s sure to spice up your evening while reading. Seri, however, seems to want to let herself go a little too much, and that often leads her into scenarios that she could’ve otherwise been avoided had she not exposed herself and just focused on Tamaki. Minami seems to have a strong fantasy around her main female leads being possessed by a number of men, and Ren-ai Shijou Shugi is one you don’t want to miss.
3. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops [Honey x Honey Drops]
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Smut, Sports
- Volumes: 8
- Published: December 2004 - September 2006
Yuzuru is in the prime years of her teenage life and is about to attend her first year at Houjou Academy. During her summer gig she meets a young but troublesome boy named Renge Kai, who surprisingly attends the same school as her. The reason why she had never encountered him at school was due to the fact that Kai is part of Kugeka, a class that’s only open to those of a wealthy background in Houjou. Another surprise hits Yuzuru at the end of summer when word gets out that she’s become Kai’s honey, which according to the Kugeka rules means that regular students are to be of assistance to the wealthy to ensure their success during school. The great thing about being a honey is that all is paid for but despite Yuzuru having financial troubles, she’d rather take the hard route...or will she?
Honeys are in charge of ensuring that those in the wealthy class succeed in class. This is smut we’re talking about so while grades do come into the picture, there are some characters in the series that take advantage of the honeys. While Kai isn’t as aggressive as some, there’s a lot to be questioned about his character and just what his ulterior motive is. Yuzuru is caught up in it all and while she begins to grow feelings for Kai, you’re left wondering just how the other male classmates will feel towards their relationship. At times you probably want to smack some sense into Yuzuru and tell her to smarten up about her ways, but of course this is a romantic comedy so it should come with the territory. Nevertheless the story’s plot is sure to have your emotions in a twist, as it takes you in many directions and leaves you wondering how it’ll end between Kai and Yuzuru.
2. Kyousou Heaven (Rhapsody in Heaven)
- Genres: Drama, Mature, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Smut, Sports
- Volumes: 3
- Published: August 2006 - July 2007
If there’s one thing that Miyu pledges her life to, it’s most certainly swimming. It became such a passion that it allowed her to grab a scholarship at the prestigious Tenkai Academy, so she could pursue it competitively at some point. However just as things were starting to heat up for Miyu, she encounters the handsome young boy named Suzuki Aoi, and is drawn into his charming demeanor that now takes Miyu on an adventure that she initially never planned for.
Sex rears its head once again in Kyousou Heaven and it should once again come as no surprise considering how much Minami Kanan enjoys writing sultry stories to entice her audience. Miyu isn’t necessarily the brightest of the bunch and you can clearly see that in her relationship with Aoi, as the two grow to know one another. She often lets herself go at times which leads into serious sex scenes, and doesn’t really fight back when the situation clearly encourages it. Once the student council rolls in is when this story takes a much different direction, and it could either make you really excited or turn you off. Miyu is just a young girl who really just wants to explore her sexuality, but jealousy often gets in the way and causes a stir for everyone. There’s plenty of drama to keep you going through the chapters, and crazy romance thrown into the mix so be prepared for it all.
1. Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life, Smut
- Volumes: 15
- Published: September 2007 - February 2012
Tsubaki really loves her younger sister and would do just about anything, especially making sure that her hair is well taken of. One problem is that Tsubaki isn’t very secure with her own style and decides to go school without really considering how she looks. The day of her high school ceremony approaches and she finds herself sitting next to the top student of first years (which unfortunately she failed to become due to poor test scores), named Kyouta. Not being too keen on politeness Kyouta strikes with his sharp tongue towards Tsubaki and she doesn’t take his words very kindly, so she decides to cut off his hair in retaliation. Kyouta, totally furious at what just happened, insists that Tsubaki become his but Tsubaki decides to cut off even more of his hair. In spite of all that drama Kyouta lays a kiss down on Tsubaki who’s completely startled by it, and swears to her that she’ll become his girl.
If that summary wasn’t enough to reel you in, then expect more outrageous comedy in this wonderful romantic comedy. Compared to Minami’s other more provocative and risque settings, Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu takes a more light hearted approach to love and really gives it a more realistic feel. Tsubaki and Kyouta’s relationship is like that of a married couple in their later years, bickering over the stupidest things, but then later making up for it all with something romantic. Tsubaki at times acted like a little child which often made her seem like a pushover to many, while Kyouta was credited as being the selfish playboy. Despite all of this their relationship matured much like a real pairing should be and so as you read through it all, you kind of get this sense of congruity because you know we’ve all been through it before. It’s essentially teenage love at its finest as two young spirits create this unique bond through moments of jealousy, inexperience in love, while developing a cohesive bond you grow to enjoy over time.
While many may not cling to some of Minami’s works, it’s quite safe to say that her stories do paint a picture of how our society tends to imagine sex and how women are often treated by men. It’s most certainly a wake up call in a way, and we can respect that because there aren’t that many mangaka that really take the initiative to speak about raunchy topics and actually do a good job of it. Whatever your taste is, you definitely have to tip your hat off to Minami Kanan for showing the world that she’s no pushover and is willing to follow her heart on the path to success. Let us know what you thought about Minami’s manga in the comments below, and be sure to like, share, and tweet our articles to keep the community buzzing!
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