Webcomic: Cardboard Angel
Mayuko Inadama is a Middle Schooler with, like many girls her age, a favorite Boy Band
. So when her favorite member, lead guitarist Yuuji Konno, dies in a car crash she is of course distraught. On her way back from the memorial service she finds a life size cardboard cut out of Yuuji thrown away in a back alley. Figuring somebody clearly threw it away she swipes it and shoves it in her closet as her Mom wouldn't approve.
Seems this was no mere cut out, so Mayuko discovers when Yuuji leaves the cardboard behind and manifests in ghostly form in her bedroom. It seems Yuuji has Unfinished Business
he must attend to before he can 'cross-over'; and he's picked Mayuko to help him. Now she has to help him bury hatchets and make amends with people he's wronged in his life - unfortunately only Mayuko can see him.Read it here
. Also available in print through Strawberry Comics
This series provides examples of:
- Alpha Bitch: Aya is one to Mayuko, but soon becomes a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
- Angst: Mayuko after the death of Yuuji.
- Animesque: The art style.
- Betty and Veronica: Satoru is the Betty to Shigeru's Veronica.
- Bishōnen: All the members of Haruka.
- Boy Band
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Here, here, and here. Yuuji even rants at the narrator at one point.
- Chekhov's Gun: A mild example Yuuji's cardbord cut out seems to disappear from the plot shortly after he abandons it, but it shows up many chapters later when Mayu wants to take a photo of Yuuji.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Mayuko smacks and kicks Yuuji when he makes fun of her. However, he usually barely feels a thing due to being dead.
- Crossover: With another Strawberry Comics webcomic Red String starting here.
- Disappeared Dad: Mayuko's parents are not only divorced but her father has disappeared from their lives, making himself neigh on impossible to trace. Mayu has abandonment issues because of it.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Yuuji is almost never depicted with shoes. Even in art of the band with everyone wearing full tuxedos, Yuuji forgoes the shoes◊.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: When Mayuko and her friends are at Yuuji's funeral, they are all dressed in this style.
- Five-Man Band
- Invisible to Normals: Normally only Mayuko can see Yuuji. When someone is near death, like the man Yuuji crashed his car into or Yukiya after passing out due to massive dehydration at a concert the can also see him.
- Jumped at the Call: Mayuko almost immediately decides to help Yuuji.
- Junior High
- Love Dodecahedron: Mayuko starts out liking Satoru, but he is pursued by both Aya and Masami. Kenji is in love with Aya, and Aya soon dates him. Just when Satoru begins to return Mayuko's feelings, Mayuko falls in love with Shigeru, and he reciprocates.
- Love Letter Lunacy: When Mayuko's friends find out she has a crush on Satoru, they insist she write him a love letter as it is "the way it's done." Mayuko is coerced into putting over the top things in it and is forced to try to hand it off to him. Unfortunately, Aya intercepts the letter and uses it to publicly humiliate Mayuko.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: On rare occasions does anyone refer to Ka-en by his real name. Tomohisa's name often gets shortened to "Tomo" too.
- Our Ghosts Are Different
- Multitasked Conversation
- Romantic False Lead: Mayuko develops a crush on Satoru, and he begins to reciprocate her feelings. Come later chapters, when Shigeru Takenouchi steps in, Mayuko has all but forgotten him.
- Schedule Slip: Originally the chapters were posted 3 times a week, and then once a week... and then every two weeks.
- Smoking Is Cool: Tomo is the only smoker in Haruka but he quits later on.
- Those Two Girls: Rika and Masami.
- Unfinished Business: In Yuuji's case it's to make amends with some people he's wronged in his life and to bury some hatchets.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Just as Mayuko has accepted that he just wants to be friends and has begun to move on, Satoru seems to be getting infatuated with her.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Kenji and Aya end up dating.