Monday, November 30, 2015

Manga Review: My Neighbor Seki, Volume 3, by Takuma Morishige

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Release Date: July 2015
Volumes: 7+
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A Quiet Storm

After putting up with so many distractions from her classroom neighbor Seki, Rumi Yokoi quietly begins to assert her will on a number of Seki's games.


This series is so fun.
Seki is, of course, continuing his game antics in class. He creates more in-depth war games with chess pieces, tries palm-reading, goes fossil and gold hunting in his desk. He tries driving a car on his desk, even making detailed licenses; has a tea ceremony; makes a soundtrack to a book he made. We see the robot family that Yokoi is protective of.
Now more people are getting dragged into it. One of their classmates still thinks him and Yokoi are in a serious relationship. Then a classmate inadvertently barges in and ruins something Seki had made. They get in trouble by the teacher.
They’re doing more things outside class, too. They have a fight in the snow, where Yokoi protects a bunny Seki made. And Yokoi meets Seki’s little sister, who wants his attention. His little sister is going to turn out just like him, too, clearly.
This is a very light-hearted, episodic school-life comedy. It’s fun to read, and I enjoy finding out what Seki is coming up with in each episode. The amount of work he puts in his classroom shenanigans are impressive.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Manga Review: Orange Planet, Volume 2, by Haruka Fukushima

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: 2009
Volumes: 5
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble.
Volume: 1. 3-4-5.

Goodreads Synopsis:


Rui has many boys interested in her–including Taro, the cute guy who’s always loved her; Eisuke, the gorgeous teaching intern; and of course, Kaoru, the one she really has a crush on. But then word spreads that Rui and Eisuke are roommates, and the school is none too happy about the coed living arrangement. Rui says it’s innocent. Will scandal destroy Rui’s love life forever?


Why do I keep reading this authors books? I honestly don’t even know any more. I guess I liked it when I was younger, but now I just get annoyed.
I don’t like Rui. She’s exaggerated and freaks out over everything and she just gets on my nerves. Having her freak out over every kind of sexual situation and hate on Tachibana for his playboy ways was so cliché. Most of the plot and the characters are so cliché, none of it is new or exciting for me. The humor is too exaggerated and over-the-top.
In the first volume, having Tachibana move in with her made no sense, mostly just convenient. Having someone find out and freak out about it also seemed convenient for dramas sake. Same with having Rui’s parents pass away and her move in with her aunt, then live on her own. Though I guess since that’s changed, maybe that’ll be good for her?
I was annoyed with them changing Nakamura be gay. If that had been a thing, maybe for awareness or actual characterization, then okay. But it was simply to throw a twist in. Completely changing the end of the first volume for it to work pissed me off, but it also didn’t make sense with everything he did with Rui, unless it was to make Taro jealous. Only none of that was given any development.
Then we skip ahead two years, and Rui thinks she’s found the guy who gave her the bear, and (surprise!) he’s a jerk. I was already convinced it was Tachibana, since the boy is supposed to be significantly older than her.
Why am I even contemplating picking up the final three-in-one, even if it is only one book? Ugh. This was annoying and so not my style anymore, but I do hate giving up on a series so close to the end. I don’t know if I’ll finish it or not.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Manga Review: Library Wars: Love & War, Volume 13, by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2015
Volumes: 15
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 12. 14.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces!

The Media Betterment Committee has silenced a famous writer, and Library Forces member Iku Kasahara and her supervisor and secret crush, Dojo, must fight to protect his right to speak…and live! As the Library Forces wage a fierce battle against censorship, Iku and Dojo’s burgeoning relationship provides the team with a welcome distraction, and—unfortunately for them—some comic relief!


There’s a lot of serious stuff happening right now. The library force is hiding an author, trying to keep him safe and figure out what to do about the big problem regarding him, in which Iku has a brilliant idea. Shibazaki has another behind-the-scenes talk with Tezuka’s brother.
But mostly, it’s all the character and romance stuff that I love about this series.
Shibazaki and Tezuka are in a bit of a middle-ground, mostly with Tezuka unsure of her real feelings. It’s cute. Dojo and Iku have a few moments in this volume, including a bit of hand-holding. It’s adorable and really hinting at more soon. It makes me so happy and I can’t wait. And finally, Komaki and Marie get a chapter where they go on a date, in which Marie is too afraid to ask for more, and Komaki is feeling a little possessive. It’s so sweet and heartwarming, and I love them. I love how mature they are. I just savor every bit we get of them together.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Ugh, this series makes me so ridiculously happy!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Novel Review: Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1) by Rebecca Maizel

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2010
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you... no one.”

Those were some of Rhode’s last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.

It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.

Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.

I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn’t Rhode.

But Justin was... daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.

I never expected to be sixteen again... then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...

The Cover:

I do not like this cover at all. The close up on the face to show the eyes, the angle, the colors, the font, it all just turns me off.


After reading Maizel’s Between Us and the Moon, I was hoping I would like this more.
Firstly, Lenah got on my nerves. I do think it was purposeful, what with her living over five hundred years and being a vampire. But she was still so full of herself, narcissistic and condescending. At the same time, she let the other teenage girls make fun of her, without putting up much of a fight. That drove me crazy.
Secondly, the writing did not work for me. It just made me bored, and droned on throughout the whole book. It made me want to put the book down. It made me feel disconnected from Lenah and the romance, so I didn’t really care for either of them. I also had to constantly remind myself that the characters were teenagers in high school, because they acted like college kids, and the school set up reminded me of a college campus.
I did like the idea behind the plot, though. Having Lenah turn back human after five hundred years a vampire was a really neat idea. Her use of the vampires, too, having them innately evil because of the constant pain they feel, as well as their inability to feel touch or taste. Very neat idea.
I also did enjoy some of the characters, and the development of them. Tony was a great friend to Lenah, and I don’t like what happened with him in the end. There was also a surprising twist thrown in at the end.
Overall, this book fell average to me. The writing and the main character is what did it for me, so I won’t be picking up the next one.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wishlist Thursday[135]: Bloody Mary by Akaza Samamiya & Noragami: Stray Stories by Adachitoka

Bloody Mary 1 by Akaza Samamiya
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Volumes: 6+

Goodreads Synopsis:

“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.

Mary is not your typical vampire. He can withstand sunlight, holds a reflection in mirrors, refuses to drink blood—and he wants 17-year-old high school student-slash-priest Maria to kill him. In order to do so, Maria must uncover the Power of Exorcism, which is supposed to have been passed down through his bloodline. But while searching for insight into the Power, Maria suspects someone might be sabotaging his efforts.


This is a new series from Shojo Beat, so of course I’m all over it. It looks like it’s going to be darker than their normal, which can be nice. The cover reminds me a little of Aya Kanno’s, which is also nice. I’m intrigued.


Noragami: Stray Stories 1 by Adachitoka

Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Volumes: 1+

RightStuf Synopsis:

Volume 1 of Noragami: Stray Stories features bonus comedic stories following fan-favorite characters from the main series!
As a god with few followers, Yato looks to build his wealth and reputation by taking on jobs to help folks in need. Someday Yato hopes to be worshipped by hordes of people and have spectacular shrines built in his honor. But for now, he simply needs to find some work and save up enough money to build his first shrine. No job is too small for Yato, the god-for-hire.


I’m not surprised that this was licensed, given how popular Noragami has grown, but I hadn’t heard of it until the license announcement. I’ve been really enjoying Noragami, though, more every volume, so of course this is on my list. It should be a fun side series.