Pages

Friday, September 22, 2017

Manga Review: Bloody Mary, Volume 8, by Akaza Samamiya


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Volumes: 10.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 7. 9.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A blood-pounding tale of an unorthodox alliance between a vampire and an exorcist!
"Bloody" Mary, a vampire with a death wish, has spent the past 400 years chasing down a modern-day exorcist named Maria who is thought to have inherited "The Blood of Maria" and is the only one who can kill Mary. To Mary's dismay, Maria doesn't know how to kill vampires. Desperate to die, Mary agrees to become Maria's bodyguard until Maria can find a way to kill him.
Unable to bear the shocking truth that Maria reveals to him, Mary loses consciousness and locks himself inside while "Mary" comes to the surface to take his place. "Mary" heads out alone while Maria, along with Shinobu and Hydra, confront a trio of vampires. Bathed in blood, "Mary" gradually succumbs to madness...

Review:

We're slowly getting clues as to who exactly “Mary” is. We know that they were twins, but I still feel like there's something more here. I feel like there's some twist as to which one is the real Mary, and I'm wondering where that's going.
Of course, once Maria tries to shake some truth into Mary, he releases “Mary” for real.
During the Mary reveals, we also get to learn what happened with Hydra. And by this, I mean what happened with Hydra and Bloody Eye, the chick we haven't officially met in real time yet. It's an interesting revelation, and I'm intrigued by where that is going, by what happened after that flashback.
I'm also surprised by the new mix of yuri undertones with these yaoi ones. Though I'm seriously feeling the MariaxMary relationship. Especially in the extras after the story. They're so mean sometimes with how cute they are.
This series is messy and complicated and dark, and I rather love it. I can't wait for the next one.


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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 9, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2017
Volumes: 27+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 8. 10.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as "the Little Giant" compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Motivated by their heartbreaking loss to Aoba Johsai, Karasuno now works towards a new goal—the Spring Tournament! The team gears up for a trip to Tokyo for a training camp with some of the top teams in Tokyo, including Nekoma, but there’s something they need to do first…pass their finals! Hinata, Kageyama, Nishinoya and Tanaka are all at risk of not being allowed to go. What are they going to do?!

Review:

We don't get too much actual volleyball in this volume. The team has to prepare for the training camp in Tokyo, but first they have to deal with exams. And there are a good few who do not excel in school. Somewhat surprisingly, Kageyama struggles with school, and unsurprisingly so does Shoyo. They're both awful. But everyone works together to study and memorize and do their best on the coming finals.
During this, we meet a new character. Yachi is a first year, and she's trying out for their manager, since the third-years will be leaving soon. She's very hesitant, but she's smart and crafty. I think she'll fit in rather well. Her and Shoyo are already forming a friendship, unsurprisingly.
Kageyama and Shoyo get to meet the star of Shiratorizawa in this volume, and it's an odd stand-off. It leads to the training camp, where everyone is putting their all into being better. I was surprised that we're not getting too much actual in-game volleyball during this, but more character growth and relationship progression. Shoyo in particular seems to be taking a step forward.
Another new character we meet is Ryunosuke's older sister. She's feisty and a fighter, and I like her. She gives Shoyo a surprising insight into the original “Little Giant”. I didn't actually put much thought into the two meeting at any point, but it seems to be hinted at a couple times here. That should be interesting, even if it doesn't happen for a while.
I'm very into this series by this point. Can't wait to read the next one.


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

Monday, September 18, 2017

Manga Review: Nisekoi: False Love, Volume 22, by Naoshi Komi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: July 2017
Volumes: 25.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 21. 23.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Love triangle! Comedic antics!! Gang warfare?!
Love triangle! Comedic antics!! Gang warfare?! You won t want to miss out on Shonen Jump's laugh-out-loud feel-good manga series!
It's hate at first sight when Raku Ichijo first meets Chitoge Kirisaki. But much to their chagrin, the two are forced into a false love relationship to keep the peace between their feuding gangster families.
Marika has been too sick to come to school lately, but on Valentine s Day she shows up to gift Raku with chocolate and once again declare her love! She presses Raku to reciprocate, but before he can respond, she is whisked away to her family s home in Kyushu because of her failing health. But Raku and the gang won't let her disappear from their lives without a fight!"

Review:

And we get the big blow up over Tachibana. We get to see her rescue, there's a ton of fighting and craziness. Her fiance has a subtle reveal, and it was an odd choice on my part. I think that it seemed to say that even her mother didn't think it was going to go through. (Though part of me really wanted it to be a guy that Tachibana would like. I just want to see her romance work out. Can she get her own spin-off romance, please?)
After the conclusion to that, which is rather sweet, Raku is being pushed to make a choice. Now there are two people urging him to acknowledge his feelings, accept them, and then decide for himself which is better. Kirisaki or Onodera? It definitely seems like Kirisaki to me, and that seems to be where everything is pointing. But, we still have a few volumes until we find out for sure.
This volume was fun. All of the Tachibana craziness was good, and I liked seeing all the sweet moments with her. I liked seeing how everyone was actually on her side. Then, afterward, I liked the overdone date with Chitoge. The cliffhanger is probably leading to a cute scene with them next? We'll see, I suppose.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Manga Review: My Love Story!!, Volume 13, by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A gentle giant with a heart of gold finally stops being a love underdog in this hilarious romantic comedy!

Takeo Goda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!

Yamato initially accepts that she has to move to Spain with her family, but her feelings for Takeo are so strong that she runs away from home! Takeo follows her with the intention of bringing her back, but what will he do when he faces a heartbroken Yamato? And just how will Takeo’s love story end?

Review:

And the series comes to a super sweet close.
Yamato and Takeo accept that she's moving away, and they accept having a long distance relationship. Everyone is surprised by her move, but they all believe they'll make it. Sunakawa tries to help by keeping Takeo distracted, and cheering him up.
But Takeo has Sunakawa. Yamato has her family, but she's struggling more. School is hard, she's not doing great, she misses Takeo, she can't understand anyone around her. It doesn't take much from Takeo to get her to admit this, though, which I liked. She's honest with him about it. Takeo freaks out in an awful way, though, and no one can understand him for it.
One of the best moments of this manga for sure, though, is when Sunakawa knocks some sense into Takeo. Literally. He needs it, and he understands why.
This all leads to a very sweet conclusion, which is no surprise.
I loved everything about this series. I hope we get more from these authors.


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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 8, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2017
Volumes: 27+
Spoilers?: Hinted.
Volume: 1. 7. 9.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as "the Little Giant" compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

The Inter-High match between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai continues. Karasuno has dragged the game into a third set and is struggling to keep up their momentum. In a desperate move, Coach Ukai decides to bring out Tadashi Yamaguchi as a pinch server! Could this be the push Karasuno needs to keep the team’s hopes alive and beat Aoba Johsai?

Review:

We finally get to the end of the Blue Castle game. And it's a real long one. It's hard, and the outcome makes sense. Karasuno needs more practice, they still have a little ways to go. But it's a really close game.
I'm really enjoying seeing the teammate relationships. Everyone is getting to know each other better, getting used to each other, and thus we're getting to see their dynamics. After the big game, we get a little break, where everyone settles back into normal life. We see the third years make the decision whether to play in the last game of the year or not, given that they also need to be focusing on exams and college.
It looks like we might get to see some volleyball camp next? Either way, I'm really enjoying this so far.
I might have to try the anime next.


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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Manga Review: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Volume 2, by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, and Ukyo Kodachi


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

Goodreads Synopsis:

The ninja adventures continue with Naruto’s son, Boruto!

Naruto was a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He achieved his dream to become the greatest ninja in his village, and now his face sits atop the Hokage monument. But this is not his story... A new generation of ninja are ready to take the stage, led by Naruto's own son, Boruto!

Boruto gets through round two of the Chunin Exam and receives praise from his father. But what Naruto doesn’t know is that his son is cheating by using prohibited ninja tools. What will happen to Boruto when the truth is revealed? Meanwhile, darker forces are advancing behind the scenes…

Review:

In the first part of the volume, the competition continues. Boruto does rather well, only to be discovered for cheating. It's quite bad character on his part, and his reaction to being discovered only makes it worse. On the other hand, during this, he seems to be making a step forward in his relationship with his father.
But then that gets interrupted by some people after the animal inside Naruto, and there's some fighting, a kidnapping and rescuing. It all happens rather quickly, honestly. At the end of the volume, we're admidst another big fight scene, in the middle of yet another big reveal by the bad guys.
I don't care much for this series. I didn't care much for the original, though, to be honest. Plus, Boruto is such a whiny kid. Supposedly he grew in this volume, but I don't really see it.


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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Manga Review: Assassination Classroom, Volume 16, by Yusei Matsui


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump Advanced (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 2017
Volumes: 21.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 14. 17.

Goodreads Synopsis:

What does a pathetic class of misfits have in their arsenal to combat their schoolteacher’s alien technology, bizarre powers and...tentacles?!

Ever caught yourself screaming, "I could just kill that teacher"?

What would it take to justify such antisocial behavior and weeks of detention? Especially if he's the best teacher you've ever had? Giving you an "F" on a quiz? Mispronouncing your name during roll call...again? How about blowing up the moon and threatening to do the same to Mother Earth—unless you take him out first?! Plus a reward of a cool 100 million from the Ministry of Defense!

Okay, now that you're committed... How are you going to pull this off? What does your pathetic class of misfits have in their arsenal to combat Teach's alien technology, bizarre powers and...tentacles?!

Koro Sensei tells all: his former profession, his nickname, the mad scientists responsible for his unique cephalopod physiognomy, the love of his life, and why he wants to teach the 3-E students. New light is shed not only on his character, but on the reason he vowed to destroy the Earth in March. Will these revelations change 3-E’s commitment to assassinating their teacher (and saving the planet)?

Review:

Since I haven't read most of this series, this was a perfect volume for me. We jump right into a backstory, and it lasts for most of the volume. We finally get to see what happened to Koro Sensei to get him to this point.
We find out that he was a brilliant assassin who was captured and experimented on. That he controlled most of it, but why his mind changed at the end of these explosions. What happened when he met their previous, sweet and quirky teacher. The ending I saw coming, but it still made me sad. I really liked their relationship, and didn't want it to end.
I do admit that his change in perspective was quite fast—a bit too fast for me. Other than that, the story was good. It was a good backstory. And then we get back to the main story, and the students have to decide what to do about this new information. They now have to take this assassination in a new light, and they have to take it seriously because they have an ending date that could result in destruction if they don't figure out how to stop it.
I really enjoyed this volume. I got sucked into Koro Sensei's back story very easily, and I liked it a lot.


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

Friday, September 8, 2017

Manga Review: Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 27, by Karuho Shiina


Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Volumes: 29+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 26. 28.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sawako Sadako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine for a horror movie.
With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, Sawako Sadako Kuronuma always had trouble fitting in. But her whole life changes when she befriends the most popular boy in class, Shota Kazehaya. Can love trump her cursed life?"

Review:

This series just makes me happy. In the simplest, best of ways, with no wavering.
Sawako gets to visit Kazehaya's family for an evening. She brings them some food, and we get to see Kazehaya's stern father, and how Kazehaya's little brother views them. It's adorable. This leads to a confrontation between Kazehaya and his father, who has always seemed to disapprove of Kazehaya. It's super sweet and adorable seeing how much his father really cares, and seeing them come to an agreement, an understanding that's very fair. They're adorable. I also really love seeing how much his father likes Sawako, as well.
After that, Kazehaya and Sawako decide to go on a date, to go away for a day. They're literally the cutest, the sweetest things. And so innocent, how they get embarrassed just holding hands. I just can't even contain how much I love them.
They're also finally, fully honest with each other. Honest, and accepting. Because even if they're going different places, they want to stay together.
After their big moment, we get a new one with Ayane, because her feelings for Pin have become apparent and not-so-hidden to some people. I'm rooting for them, but I also love seeing the girls get to talk it out and support each other.
This series just gets me going, every time. I love everything about it, and I will always want more.

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

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Manga Review: Don't Be Cruel, Volume 3 & 4, by Yonezou Nekota


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2016
Volumes: 6+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1&2. 5. Akira's Story. Plus+.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Playboy Maya catches studious Nemugasa cheating on a test, and to ensure his silence Maya blackmails Nemugasa into doing whatever he wants!

Maya and Nemugasa are now officially lovers, but it's the summer of their third year of high school, meaning even more studying for college entrance exams. Their relationship is reduced to stealing kisses over lunch recess and the occasional sleepover. Stressed and desperately wanting some alone time, the two wind up having a massive—even dangerous—misunderstanding! Things only get worse when the two eventually end up attending separate colleges, meaning they will no longer see each other every day. How will Nemugasa handle Maya’s continued popularity with the ladies? And can Maya accept Nemugasa making a new college friend?

Review:

In the first volume of this series, we get some more angsting over not getting a lot of time together. We also get some parental drama, because Nemugasa's mom doesn't approve of Maya on first sight. (We don't get any coming-out plot yet, though.) I liked seeing how it was solved, though.
In the mix of all this, there's the underlying theme of both Maya and Nemugasa worrying about their appearance. Maya starts worrying if he looks too much like a thug, taking out his earring at one point, and even going so far as to dye his hair. Later in the book, we get to see Nemugasa worry whether his clothing choices are good enough, and if he should be more stylish, since he's never really thought about it before. It's interesting to see them both wonder and worry, and how they both just want to look good for the other.
In the second volume, they've graduated high school! Suddenly they're in the real world. Maya has a job, and Nemugasa is still in school, though he feels more alone and without friends. Nemugasa makes a gay best friend, but Maya gets jealous. It's super cute, and I actually liked seeing their fight and how they made up.
We also get to stray from the main couple for a bit, to see what Jutta is up to, and how he's tormenting one of his teachers. He gets what he deserves in return, and I hope to see him be put in his place a little more.
I seriously love this series. It's hot and sweet and adorable. I can't wait to read more.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Manga Review: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Volume 19, by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki, and Yuki Morisaki


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump Advanced (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 26+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 18. 20.

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?!
Fighting to save Alice s society from being abolished by the Azami administration, Ryo Kurokiba, battling as her champion, begins his shokugeki with Central elite Kusunoki. The theme is salmon, and both chefs put everything they ve got, including their pride, into their dishes. So what s got Alice so troubled she tells off her own uncle, Dean Nakiri, at the end of the match?!"

Review:

We get to see the end of the Kurokiba and council member shokugeki. It's filled with a lot of salmon-cooking information that I just did not need in my life. But it also ends in a very deserving win. I did like seeing how all of the characters interact with each other, as well.
After that, we get a confrontation between Erina's awful father and Alice. It gives a surprising insight into what happened between Alice and Erina when they were little, and I completely understand Alice's stance on everything—I also quite appreciate how she handles it.
After that, Soma comes face-to-face with the first seat, Eishi. And I seriously love him. He's super hesitant about talking and instructing people, and always wanting to make sure everything is okay. We saw a little bit of it a few volumes ago, but now we get an interaction between him and Soma. And they work really well together in the kitchen. Eishi is also super full of himself. It should be interesting to see how their secret shokugeki turns out. But I'm a fan of this guy, honestly.
I'm going to have to read the next one, I think. I'm really interested, even though I've missed most of this series by this point, and I don't care too much for the over explaining of food. It's just good anyway.

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