Kind of an old manga but always been one of my favorites. This manga has been made since 1976 ~ 20... (still haven't finished yet).
I was writing this for my MR journal, but i guess i can pass the story here too :blush:
---The story was about a naive, ordinary girl (kinda poor), Maya Kitajima, 14-15 yo, who couldn't do anything right but acting. She loved acting so much that she could remember all the dialog from any show she recently watched and then performed the full plot in front of the kids on her neighbourhood. One day, a former famous theatre actress, Mayuko Chigusa, saw her talent and asked her to join her new theatre group which is about to open. Mayuko even wiling to pay for her school and freed her from theatre course's monthly fees.
This girl only lived alone with her mother. She and her mother were working in a noddle restaurant. Long story short, her mother didn't allow her to leave the house for acting (her mother always thought she was just a stupid girl and refused to belive that she had a talent) so she ran away. Ms. Mayuko, who hadn't been performing anymore cos of a horrible accident that ruin half of her face 20 years ago, taught her all she needed to become a great actress and sharpen her raw talent. Maya, was known for having a thousand glass masks, she could become anything as an actress, only she had to learn it the hard way.
There was The Crimson Goddess, the name of a show who is copyrighted to Mayuko Chigusa, which told a story of a Plum Tree's spirit. This special show has never been performed by anyone else but her. Because of the unique and difficult character of the Crimson Goddess, this play role was a dream role of any living theatrical actress. A lot of famous theatre companies who would like to buy the copyright from her but she refused to sell it for any amount of money. It was Mayuko's passion to find and taught a very talented actress herself for this role and would give the copyright to her.
There was also Daito, a top theatre company in Japan who was the most eager to have the copyright of The Crimson Goddess. Masumi Hayami, late 20's/early 30's, the second generation of the owner of this company (a VP to his father), was known as a cold-hearted workaholic businessman, tried a million way to own the copyright of The Crimson Goddess. In his mind, money can buy everything. He was, more less, the cause of Maya's mother's death and Maya hated him for that besides the fact that he always bugged her teacher for the copyright matter. He was actually also Maya's #1 fan who hid behind the identity of "The Purple Roses Person" (Murasaki no bara no hito). He annonymously always sent a bouquet of purple roses for Maya after a show or when Maya was down. Later on, Maya grew a like for him afer she realised that he was actually not that cold inside, he's been always behind her success and always had his eyes on her. The love and hate relationship between them was the interesting part of this manga besides the great learning process of an actress and the "battle" of getting The Crimson Goddess role. (this should be a must read manga for those who like to act)
There was Ayumi Himekawa, a pretty, raising young actress who was about in the same age as Maya, who's living in the materialistic world. She was born from a famous actress mother and a famous director father. Anyone would compare her as a "pure breed" in the theatre world and she disliked that. She's a one confident and ambitious girl whose willing to work hard to loose that title and make people see what's beyond her fortunate background. This girl became Maya's rival to get The Crimson Goddess role, who was chosen by Mayuko Chigusa herself. A good rival who fight in a clean way for the role. She was good in acting technique for her years of training but in the other hand, she always felt a step behind Maya and jealous of Maya's natural raw talent. Ayumi and Maya were always supporting each oher tho.. Ayumi was supporting Maya cos she didn't wanna loose one and only rival of hers she admitted to have and Maya, naively, was always fond of Ayumi's performances.
more resource Wikipedia
how about some personal ratings? like, out of 10.
the theme is very original, but the poor-rich setting is kinda common.
i like it a lot. makes you don't wanna stop reading "oh oh, what happens next?!"
character building: 8/10
each of the main character has a distinct personality and the author has a constant work on keeping their personality alive.
although i'm not crazy about the art (face wise), i have to admit that the author has a mad skill. the art has various point of views, she makes drawing multiple people in one panel seems effortless.
thriller point: 9/10
you can never guess who would get The Crimson Goddess role. Altho Maya is the star of this manga, but Ayumi also have the same chance to take the role away from Maya. :wwah:
mind you that this is only a personal opinion, not a professional review :sweat: