Pages

Friday, June 22, 2018

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring, Volume 4, by Anashin


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: January 2018
Volumes: 9+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

HOOP DREAMS The preliminary games begin, and Towa and the squad are all fired up! Mitsuki’s childhood best friend, Aya-chan, is also at the arena playing his best, and the stakes are high. As Mitsuki and Reina cheer on the Seiryo team, Mitsuki sees the boys sweep the floor and is inspired to work hard, too! But when a ref’s whistle cuts through the air, a close friend lies injured on the court…

Review:

The group starts their game, and it doesn't go how they all expect. Mitsuki and Asakura want to show up Aya-chan, but Aya-chan is older and better.
Afterward, they all deal with it differently. Some work harder to do better next time, there's some hurt feelings to get over, and one person even tries to punish himself by giving up the thing he loves. I do like the point being made that not everyone on their team is a good player, nor do they all work together as well as they should. While the four do work together amazingly, not everyone else works as well with them, and they cannot carry a whole team.
And near the end, we finally get a fun trip for the whole group. It's some fun anguish as Mitsuki has to decide where to go for it, and then they're out. There's some fun harem drama, mostly as the other guys get to tease Mitsuki—I'm glad that there isn't more than one of them falling for her (at least so far), it's appreciated. And hopefully we'll get to see Mitsuki take a stand, or make a move, soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Manga Review: Golden Kamuy, Volume 4, by Satoru Noda


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 2018
Volumes: 14+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 5.
 
Goodreads Synopsis:

A tale of high adventure and survival!

In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto searches the wilderness of Hokkaido for a hoard of hidden gold. With only a cryptic map and a native Ainu girl to help him, Saichi must also deal with every murderous cutthroat, bandit and rogue who knows about the treasure!

Tetsuzo Nihei, the legendary Bear Killer, is determined to become the hunter who kills Retar, the last remaining Ezo wolf. Asirpa will never allow this, and she and Immortal Sugimoto race to stop his bloodthirsty quest. Meanwhile, in the port city of Otaru, Hijikata, the relentless head of the reborn Shinsengumi, leads a band of death row inmates against Lt. Tsurumi and his 7th Division. In this clash of iron resolve, only the strongest will survive.

Review:

There's even more blood and death and awfulness in this volume. I will admit, though, that the wolf attack was very well-deserved.
I also didn't really understand what they were all fighting over until this volume. Now I understand the whole gold-search thing, and it even makes sense why exactly there's so much brutality. It's still awful, but I get it.
We get a backstory for some characters, and then we meet a new, truly terrifying character.
The use of humor, and food, mixed with all of the fighting and history is admittedly well-placed. And I don't mind these volumes, but I do think they aren't really for me.


 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Manga Review: My Hero Academia, Volume 11, by Kohei Horikoshi


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2018
Volumes: 18+
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Bakugo’s abduction by the League of Villains was a carefully calculated move designed to draw out the Heroes—All Might in particular—and destroy them. Midoriya and his friends set out on a rescue mission that eventually pulls in not only All Might but also several other heroes! The casualties mount, until at last the mastermind of the plot appears—the only villain powerful enough to go head-to-head with All Might and possibly win…All For One!

Review:

All Might shows up to fight All For One, and it goes pretty bad. A lot of people show up, a lot of people get hurt. In a surprising turn of events, All Might's secret is revealed, and this means a change for Midoriya.
All of these attacks on the school have caused some issues, too, what with parents not wanting their children in danger--Understandable. Some security measures are taken, and now they want the students living in dorms, though the parents have to agree.
Midoriya has a really good mom, and it's nice to see how protective and caring she is here, as she struggles with allowing him to go back to the school where he keeps getting hurt.
There's a little fun chapter at the end, where the students get to hang out in their new dorms and see each other's rooms. This will definitely be starting an interesting arc next.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Manga Review: The Water Dragon's Bride, Volume 5, by Rei Toma


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2018
Volumes: 9+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A modern-day girl gets whisked away to a strange land where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god!

In the blink of an eye, a modern-day girl named Asahi is whisked away from her warm and happy home and stranded in a strange and mysterious world where she meets a water dragon god!

Asahi is in danger because people want to use her to get the water dragon god’s power. She doesn’t want anyone to be hurt because of her, so she goes with the water dragon god and Subaru to pay a visit to the emperor. However, in exchange for his protection, the emperor makes an unexpected demand!

Review:

At the beginning of the volume, Asahi is introduced to the real idea of a romance. She has several men around her, but she's never really considered any of them romantically. But when she accidentally sees several of the villagers in compromising positions, her eyes are opened.
Not that that leads to much, of course. She's just starting to realize what the men around her could be.
Tsukihiko truly is a sweetheart. We see that as he attempts to sacrifice himself to free Asahi, only it doesn't work when Asahi realizes what he's done and won't let him go through with it. It's a really sweet moment, honestly, as Asahi interrupts and stands up to and for Tsukihiko. She has no qualms about interrupting his declaration and not feeling trapped into it, which I appreciated.
And then Asahi goes to the little emperor, who wants her to marry him in exchange for protecting her. This only makes Asahi think about the prospect in general even more. During all of this, Subaru is put on his own mission.
The interactions between Asahi and the Water Dragon God are very subtle and quiet, not usually much talking, only eye-contact and reactions. It's an interesting show of their connection. It's also a contrast to her and Subaru, which are familiar and warm and a little heartbreaking, cause you're not sure if they're leading to good or bad things.
I'm quite infatuated with this series. I want more of these relationships, and I want to know where they're going.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Manga Review: Rin-Ne, Volume 26, by Rumiko Takahashi


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Sunday (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 2018
Volumes: 40.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 24. 27.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Manga legend Rumiko Takahashi’s lighthearted tale of a girl who can see ghosts and a boy from beyond.

After a mysterious encounter in her childhood, Sakura Mamiya gained the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! Then one day she meets Rinne Rokudo, a boy who is far more than what he seems.

The haunted hijinks continue as spooky summer days turn to fall. Masato, everyone’s favorite demon, accidentally wins the favor of an angel and ends up with wings and a knack for good deeds, no matter how hard he tries to be bad! Can Rinne revert him to his normal self?

Review:

There is definitely no real story progress happening here. I'm not sure if there's really supposed to be, though. This is just fun, crazy magical antics.
We see a young boy who makes a voodoo doll of sorts, who starts causing havoc while he's asleep. A guy with an unrequited crush has a ghost following him. This witch starts haunting their teacher.
I will admit that the stories featuring craziness surrounding their teacher are probably my favorite. She's an interesting character. I like seeing Renge, too, and seeing what Rinne will do for money.
This series is fun and light and easy. Not much to say, though.


 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Manga Review: Platinum End, Volume 4, by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 2017
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the creators of Death Note! Mirai may have been saved by an angel, but his battle is just beginning…

As his classmates celebrate their middle school graduation, troubled Mirai is mired in darkness. But his battle is just beginning when he receives some salvation from above in the form of an angel. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 other chosen humans in a battle in which the winner becomes the next god of the world. Mirai has an angel in his corner, but he may need to become a devil to survive.

Mirai and and the merciless Metropoliman face off for the first time. In order to achieve his goals, Mirai will have to kill his rival. But does he have it in him? Meanwhile, Saki battles her own demons…

Review:

The first part of the volume continues the fight with the god killer. He's brutal and has more up his sleeve than they even think. It gets dangerous and bad at one point, and Mirai gets a glimpse of who he is. Even that isn't much to go on, though.
It's reinforced to Mirai here, that he doesn't want to fight. He feels weak for it, but he's a pacifist; he doesn't want anyone to get hurt and he doesn't want to hurt anyone. It's a difficult stance to take in this kind of fight.
The latter half of the volume is focused on Saki. We find out what led her to being a candidate for this, and what thoughts are still going through her head. Mirai takes a good route at making her deal with her suicidal thoughts here; a bit dramatic, but it works.
I'm not a big fan of this series, but I don't mind it. It's interesting, though I still have a hard time believing in the god plot line they're working toward.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Manga Review: The Prince in His Dark Days, Volume 1, by Hico Yamanaka


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 2016
Volumes: 4.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Atsuko's father is a drunk, and she's shunned by her classmates as "the poor kid." Walking the streets in a dark fog of despair, Atsuko cons perverts out of their money to survive. Then, one day, she meets Itaru, the heir to a wealthy family, who happens to look exactly like her. Itaru hatches a plan: Atsuko will live his tedious public life for him, and she will get a taste of the luxuries enjoyed by the 1%. Everybody's (finally) happy. Right?

Review:

I was actually quite interested in this series when I first heard of it. But, after starting it, I'm a bit unsure. Plus, I heard that it was ended early, which makes me wary—it is short, though, so easy to get through.
Atsuko has a useless father, and no one at school likes her. She's not old enough to get a job, so she does what she can to pay the bills. When she bumps into the rich Itaru, he kidnaps her, and they discover there's a surprising similarity in their looks. When Itaru goes missing, his helpers go to Atsuko first, wanting her to be his double.
I don't really care for Atsuko. She's weak, gets extremely happy when she's thanked because no one has ever said it to her before. Itaru seems to have possibly been holding a secret life, or at least secret desires. It's not until the second half of the volume, when we get to see Ryo's past and they celebrate his birthday, that I really enjoyed the volume. I like the relationship developing between Ryo and Atsuko, and I do like seeing Atsuko get stronger and dedicated to doing something. Shibusawa is a good character, too.
I'm iffy about this series. I liked some parts, and didn't like others. The artwork was just okay, and the beginning was rough. But it is a short series, and I kind of want to see where these plot threads go.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Manga Review: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Volume 23, by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki, and Yuki Morisaki


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump Advanced (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2018
Volumes: 29+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 22. 24.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed, saucy food comedy featuring one boy's determination to be top chef!

Soma Yukihira's old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town. Aiming to one day surpass his father's culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school! Can Soma really cut it in a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?!

Dropping all pretense of being fair, the Azami administration has now declared that to pass the third stage of the advancement exam, Soma and the members of the resistance must each defeat a Council of Ten member. And what will everyone think when it comes to light that Dean Azami's real motivation for overthrowing the institute is Soma's own father, Joichiro?!

Review:

So the fight with Akira ends, with possibly-not surprising results. After that, we learn who actually won their shokugeki, and who didn't. The results are not great, and so they decide to confront the headmaster. And so does Soma's dad.
Afterward, we get to see what happened when they were kids and going to school there, Erina and Soma's dads. What happened when they were in school to make them what they are now. They both took very different paths, and Soma gets to see a new side of his dad, and why Soma is the way he is now because of it.
I really like Soma's dad, and I think it's fun when the adults all show up and get together. The next challenge will definitely be a difficult one, and it should be interesting.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn, Volume 11, by Mizuho Kusanagi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2018
Volumes: 26+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom... Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona and her friends head out in search of a crop that can grow in barren land. On their travels, Hak becomes filled with grim determination while training Yona in swordsmanship. Yona notices that he's acting differently and tries to cheer him up, but what Hak does next leaves her stunned!

Review:

Before the group moves on to their next adventure, we get a little flashback featuring our main three. It's a cute little story where Yona first gets to see outside the palace, and Hak got to see a new side of Su-Won, even as a kid. It shows the first glimpses of how he could handle people even way back then, before all of it. Even if we want him to be awful, he is smart about what he's doing and how he's convincing people to be on his side. On the bright side, we get some cuteness of the friendship between Yona and Hak as kids.
In present time, they're on the hunt to find crops to grow in Yun's village. It's tricky, but they arrive at a village that shows some promise. During it all, Hak is struggling with his want of the Princess, along with his want to protect her and help her do as she wants. She's working hard to learn how to use a sword.
It's becoming apparent that Hak is starting to struggle to hide his feelings for Yona. He wants her, and he likes teasing her, but she's so naive towards him that that's only making it harder. And when he teases a little too much, it's starting to look like he's awakening some confusing feelings in her now too. Feelings that are only more complicated since the only guy she's ever liked betrayed her by killing her father.
This volume was so good. Yona is going through so much, and still trying to process it and grow past it all. She's matured so much, and is still pushing herself. I love seeing her with Hak, but I am also a big fan of the rest of the group, and it's nice seeing their bromance growing.
I cannot get enough of this series.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Manga Review: Requiem of the Rose King, Volume 6, by Aya Kanno


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 2017
Volumes: 9+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 5. 7.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The intrigue and royal conspiracy in Shakepeare’s Richard III is given a dark manga twist that will appeal to aficionados of both comics and the classics.

Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil.

Review:

So the volume opens with Henry and Richard separating. They have to go their own ways again, but Henry wants them to be together again, without realizing Richard doesn't think that will be able to happen. It's sweet and sad.
Richard goes off to fight, with full intent of getting revenge on Henry for killing his father. Not realizing that both Henry's are the same. And Henry not realizing who Richard actually is.
A lot of this is building up to the cliffhanger in this volume. We've all been waiting for the big reveal, really. There have been hints all over the place, even some characters keeping quiet or trying to point it out. And it's not going to be good.
I feel bad for Henry, most of all. He really doesn't want any of this, he hates fighting and he doesn't want to rule. But he's been forced into this position, and he can't seem to get out of it. I just want him to be able to live out in the middle of nowhere with some farm animals. That would be so great.