Sunday, July 31, 2016

Manga Review: Barakamon, Volume 5, by Satsuki Yoshino

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: June 2015
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

This is the most realistic Tarzan make-believe I’ve ever seen……

Gaining tremendous inspiration from nature, handsome young (and bug-hating) calligrapher Seishuu Handa makes strides in his creative endeavors. But while anguishing over the individuality of his calligraphy, he receives a phone call from Tokyo, and…?!! The tale of bumbling Sensei, who doesn’t even hold back against children, and his warm island neighbors trundles into the last days of summer, which bring with them bittersweet memories!


This series is definitely growing on me. To the point where I’m looking forward to the next one.
The main characters are definitely Handa and Naru. They get the most attention, and their relationship is important to the series. But there are so many other characters, and I like that they all get enough attention. I like Miwa, who enjoys teasing Handa, and has a crush on Hiro. I think Hiro’s a fun character—he’s his own guy, and he’s cool with that. He’s a teenage guy, growing up, and I like his friendship with Handa. There’s Tama, with her yaoi imagination, even if she doesn’t realize it.
Handa has grown close to everyone there, for a reason. They’re all pretty much an extended family. There’s a lot of comedic one-chapters here; Naru’s birthday comes, Handa gets lost in the woods, Naru gets picked on and Handa and Hiro end up having a rivalry with the middle-schoolers, there’s another festival. And then there’s the cliffhanger.
When something significant and important happens, when we get real development, it’s subtle. What with all the comedy, I think it works well. And given the way this volume ends, I imagine we’ll get something in the next volume, subtle but meaningful. I’m looking forward to it.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Manga Review: Everyone's Getting Married, Volume 1, by Izumi Miyazono

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Volumes: 5+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Successful career woman Asuka Takanashi has an old-fashioned dream of getting married and becoming a housewife. After her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her to pursue his own career goals, she encounters Ryu Nanami, the popular newscaster at PTV. Asuka and Ryu get along well, but the last thing he wants is to ever get married. This levelheaded pair who want the opposite things in life should never get involved, except...


Josei books tend to be a hit or miss for me, but I’m always hopeful. This one turned out surprising in how much I enjoyed it.
Asuka is a successful business woman, but all she wants is to get married and be a homemaker. It’s her dream, but most people don’t understand that anymore. Ryu, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be in a relationship, he in fact never wants to get married.
We get both perspectives here, and I like how understanding both of them are. Ryu isn’t some domineering alpha, he’s genuinely a nice guy and a hard worker, and even though he wants the opposite of Asuka, he never puts down her wants and even understands her dreams.
They’re both very likeable characters, and it’s clear that their friendship forms fast and honest. They have a nice first meeting, and then keep running into each other. They have nice meetings afterward, they defend each other even when they have disagreements, and they keep going back to hang out.
Much like their friends, in the same position as them and just starting to date, they decide to give it a try. There’s no over exaggerating at the littlest touch, and it’s sweet when they do kiss.
I was really impressed with this volume, it was relatable and enjoyable. I’m really looking forward to the next one.

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Novel Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary, Cancer, Script
Publisher: Amulet (Abrams)
Release Date: 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

The Cover:

I actually quite like the cover above, and even most of the other ones I've seen for this book. They're simple and perfectly fitting for the book, showing the important characters.


This was a very fast, and funny book. The wit is very easy to read, and aside from a few more crude things than I like but most people would probably enjoy more, I quite enjoyed it. There are scripts, and bullet points, several neat ways of listing things and conversing throughout the book. It made it fun to read.
Greg is not especially likeable. Not even counting all the ways that he hates on himself, he’s also rather superficial, but he is a pretty typical guy in several ways. Then there’s Earl, who is crude and angry, but surprisingly realistic and smart. I was honestly more interested in Earl’s relationship with Rachel than Greg’s. I did like Rachel, she seemed like a normal girl who was dealt a crappy hand. She handled it in the way that she could.
There wasn’t really romance in this book, and I’m kind of left empty after how small the book ended. There wasn’t a bang at the end, we know what’s going to happen with Rachel from the very beginning. But I suppose it was realistic.
I enjoyed this book, it was a very fun read though sad at times, but the ending left me a little underwhelmed. I do want to read his next book, though.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wishlist Thursday[170]: Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi

Yona of the Dawn 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi

Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Volumes: 21+

Goodreads Synopsis:

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, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father's murder!


I’m not usually a fan of historical stories, but I read her other series from Tokyopop, and I really enjoyed them. I was excited to hear more of her stuff being published, and I’m really looking forward to read this one, especially since it’s a newer release.

Special Mention:
Maid-Sama! 9 & 10 by Hiro Fujiwara from Shojo Beat (VIZ Media) out on August 2, 2016—It’s finally caught up with where Tokyopop ended! Which means that there’s all new stuff from here on out, and I am excited. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series, finally.

What’s on your list?