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(In alphabetical order of author surnames)
FUJII, Mihona
FUJITA, Maguro
KADA, Tomomi
KAMIO, Youko (non-Ribon)
YUUKI, Akira

(In alphabetical order of author surnames)
FUJII, Mihona
KIZUKI, Niwako
MAKI, Youko
OONO, Nozomi
SETO, Yuuna

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KITAZAWA, Kaoru (Summaries)

Combini Crisis
Combini Crisis is a convenience store style service where a customer can get help in trying to overcome their problem. Kotone wants help in getting back at the guy who dumped her, but how will she able to have a the male combini attendant help her if she's afraid of guys?

Published in the 1998 August Ribon Original issue.

Click here to view the cover image (opens in a new window)

For those of you who want more details:
Read the translation (opens in a new window)

Overall plot:
Kotone "Combini Crisis" is a convenience store style place where they deal with people and their crises. If you have a problem and want help, this is the place to go. Well, for a price of course! This story focuses on a girl called Kotone, who wants to find a way to be able to face the guy who dumped her. The "attendant", a guy called Ran, is like her genie and will grant her wishes to help her get over her problem. Kotone has a problem with getting Ran to help her, because she's not very good at hanging around guys.

Ran He's available to help her for one day and then everything after that is up to her. So Kotone and Ran spend the day trying to help her change herself and get her to try out new clothes, different looks. Ran gets her to get rid of her glasses (and change to contacts) and also let out her hair. Kotone is convinced she looks funny, wearing cute clothes she wouldn't usually dare to wear. Ran says she looks nice and Kotone blushes, then yells at him for being a liar (not seriously). She goes into her bedroom and contemplates.

Outside her room, Ran sees a photo frame with a photo of Kotone's crush. He's looking at it when Kotone comes out of her room and then asks if they can go to a theme park. She always wanted to go at night, but it was a couple's thing to do and she might as well take advantage of the fact that she can go there with another guy and not feel weird about it. While they're there, Ran says something that reminds Kotone that to him it is just a job. She feels funny inside for some strange reason.

Kotone The next morning, Ran tells Kotone that she's meeting with her crush at 1 o'clock. Kotone asks him why on Earth he did such a thing. Ran reminds her that her crisis was to face her the guy who dumped her and Kotone realises. He also tells her that his job ends at 6 o'clock that day so whatever she decides to do is up to her.

She decides to meet up with her crush, but they wait and wait but he doesn't come. Kotone thanks Ran for helping her and tells him her story about her crush and why she was dumped. She got told by her crush that she was ugly and since then, she's been afraid of boys. But now she feels much better all thanks to Ran. It's six o'clock and Ran has to go. He leaves, but Kotone feels funny again and she decides to go after him. Someone grabs her hand and it's her crush! He apologises for being late (isn't he 5 hours late?) and Kotone tells him she's sorry, but she's in a hurry at the moment (to go after Ran). Her crush asks her why she asked him to meet up. He says, isn't it because you wanted to ask me out once you looked decent? Then just as Kotone yells out "I just wanted to tell you I'd never like a guy like you again!", Ran kicks her crush in the back. Ran tells her crush to think about other people's feelings before he talks. Kotone asks why Ran is still around. Ran says he just overheard what her crush said and either way, he just didn't want to see her cry any more.

Kotone asks Ran for one last favour, even though he's not "on duty" any more. She asks if they can be friends, because she feels as though she can change when she's with him. Ran agrees and kisses her on the forehead and Kotone faints. Back at the shop, Ran's brothers are watching and they comment that Ran shouldn't be picking up customers. But one of Ran's brothers say if he's happy, then it doesn't really matter.

Kaihou Meiro
Shouko's mother takes her to the countryside. While there, Shouko meets a strange guy called Michinari who intrigues her. They grow closer everyday, but is this love that they share?

Published in the April 2001 issue of Ribon.

The title means "Release/Escape Maze". Kaihou means release or escape and meiro means maze.

Click here to view the cover image (opens in a new window)

For those of you who want more details:
Read the translation here (opens in a new window)

Overall plot:
Shouko This is the story of a girl called Shouko who has come to the country to her grandmother's house. She is supposed to be studying for her exams, but she just isn't inspired to do so. She meets a guy called Michinari, who at first impression seems like a guy who likes to pick on her. Gradually, they see each other more often and get to know each other. Shouko tells him about how it's suffocating in the city with "concrete forests". She asks if he'll be sad if she returns to the city and after teasing her, he admits he will miss her. As the days go by and they spend more time together, they grow more and more fond of each other. Then finally, it's the day before she has to return to the city.

Michinari The night before they leave, Shouko's mum tells her that she doesn't know what Shouko's been upto but it seems like it was good for her and if she succeeds with her exams, they can come again. Shouko doesn't know if the feeling she had for Michinari was love, but it could just be that she needs an escape from everything.

In the middle of the night, she wandes out into the forest and sees Michinari fishing. They talk and Michinari tells her that he thinks he was starting to like her. But Shouko's mum calls Shouko's name and she has to head back. Shouko then asks Michinari for a memory or reminder of him, so they kiss.

Shouko is leaving in the morning and she passes by Michinari and squeezes his hand as she walks by. She then tells her mum that she'll try very hard for exams and there the story ends.

My Opinion:
This is a pretty different kind of story for Ribon, I think. It's a bit more meaningful and has a more 'alternative' feel to it (in the way it's drawns and on the themes). The art is really nice and although I don't usually like Kitazawa sensei's work, I really enjoyed this one! You can view more image scans over at the translation page for this story, here.

Kitazawa Kaoru is also the author of stories such as - 16 Venus, Dengeki My Boom!!, Anata ga Sekaiichi! and Renai Masui.

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