Spotlight: Kobato Mebaru
Here we are at the final spotlight post for my favorite five mangaka. We’ve come a long way. /wipes away tears of joy
Every time I start this post, I end up putting it under the ‘saved drafts’ folder because I inevitably get distracted while reading her manga in an attempt to figure out exactly what I want to say. Don’t judge me, bro, it’s hard to find ways to describe the things you love most—and Kobato Mebaru is one of those things for me.
There is also her doujinshi continuation of Sawatte, Tokashite called Touch me, and melt me (which I reviewed here) and then her joint with Ogura Muku under Munya Munya Sue Aishiteru Love You (reviewed here). She tends to do a lot of novel illustrations, though now that I look at the list of her compiled novels it seems oddly short. She is most consistently featured in Shousetsu Dear+. I don’t often see her named in BL manga monthlies. This breaks my little fujoshi heart, because I love her. A lot.
In my opinion, if you took the glorious smuttiness of Ootsuki Miu’s work and the sweet stories of Ogura Muku, then proceeded to mix in some of the cute giggly-ness of Aniya Yuiji’s characters, you’d probably get Kobato Mebaru. Or at least something very, very close. Her characters are cute and sweet and sexy and fun, all rolled into the perfect package. She knows when to make her stories serious, when to keep them comedic, and when to add the perfect sex scene like delicious whipped cream on top of a sundae.
The second I saw her art I completely fell for it. Instead of her characters having huge, wide eyes they’re almond-shaped, fox-like and quite beautifully detailed. The clothing she draws her boys in is adorably stylish, and so are their hairstyles. The bodies are lean and long to the point where they would look anorexic on any real person, but I don’t care because it’s absolutely stunning in the context. The facial expressions she draws are adorable and generally perfect for conveying the emotions she’d going for. Character designs are usually quite cute, and character personalities can range from being feminine to quite masculine depending on how you personally see them.
As said previously, her stories are light and simple and generally lead up to a sex scene. (Though she also has light stories that don’t end in sex!) My favorite is probably Flip Flop from the tankoubon Sawatte, Tokashite, because I’m a sucker for dirty stories about brothers. Other plots include bathhouse crushes, a cute story about a boy on the cheer club falling for a man who works at a train station, love between a student and his tutor, etc. She makes even the most cliché stories an absolute joy to read.
Sex scenes are niiiiiice! /o/ They are not as cute as Aniya Yuiji’s nor as smutty and graphic as Ootsuki Miu’s, but they have their own special personality to them. They’re probably explicit enough to make a person blush, but I don’t know how well they’d get someone off if that’s what you’re going for.
Overall, if what you’re going for is something deep and meaningful I wouldn’t exactly recommend Kobato Mebaru. However, her manga are always sweet and cute and have very high entertainment value. Plus, her drawings are definitely not something to turn your nose up at, with their distinct personal style and wonderful sense of design. I think that if you pass up her works, you’re definitely missing out! Please check them out. o/
Since it has been over a year since you last released something, Kobato-sensei, please release a new tankoubon soon! That is my New Year’s manga wish.