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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Manga Review: One-Punch Man, Volume 11, by One and Yusuke Murata


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 2017
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 8. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Life gets pretty boring when you beat the snot out of every villain with just one punch.

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on!

Review:

I really wish that I was keeping up with this series. I know I would really like it, but I just haven't had the time, and I'm quickly falling behind.
I've missed a couple of volumes, and suddenly there's a huge monster attacking a city, with several other powerful villains/demons attacking throughout the city, and heroes are trying and not-quite-succeeding at defeating them. Meanwhile, Saitama is entered into a hero competition, under a different name and wearing an afro.
We get a lot of fighting from random villains and heroes all over the city, in between scenes of the competition. It's a little all over the place, but that might be because I haven't been following it and I don't know who any of them are.
The hero competition has only just begun in the second half of the volume, but I must confess—seeing Saitama defeat a guy who underestimated him with only a face slap was extremely satisfying. I really want to see more of that, honestly. They needed to include at least one of those moments in this volume.

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teaser Tuesday[245]: Tokyo Ghoul: Past by Sui Ishida and Shin Towada

 
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

---------------------------------------------------------

Tokyo Ghoul: Past by Sui Ishida and Shin Towada
Genre: Light Novel.
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2017
Add on Goodreads.

RightStuf  Synopsis:

The third and final volume in the Tokyo Ghoul novels series is written by Shin Towada.
Explore the world of Tokyo Ghoul with these prose fiction spin-offs!
Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way --except their craving for human flesh.
Before the steel frame incident in the 20th Ward, there were reports of Ghouls lurking among the masses in Tokyo, carefully stalking their prey. This novel covers the events that occurred before the opening act of Tokyo Ghoul: a time when Kaneki was still human, the Kirishimas still lived together, and Rize enjoyed her feasts.

Excerpt:

'Banjo, if you say anything else, I'll report you to Hagi,' Usu said in a low voice. Banjo said nothing else.” (Paperback, Femme Fatale, pg. 74)

What are you reading?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Manga Review: Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 10, by Sui Ishida


Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 2016
Volumes: 14.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 9. 11.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh.

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

While Kaneki and his friends tangle with Ghouls from the Aogiri Tree organization, the Commission of Counter Ghoul’s ongoing investigations bring them dangerously close to discovering Kaneki’s secret.

Review:

Violence. This series is so very violent.
Ken is making progress with his search; he's finding out who might have been in charge of what happened to him, and where to find him. But, at the same time as he discovers the doctor's possible location—so do the ghoul hunters.
There's three teams here. Ken's group, who are helping Ken and trying to find out what happened to Rize and why this happened to him. There are the other ghouls, who contain Naki and Shachi, who are pretty much after Ken, it seems. It also seems they're trying to beat Ken to his goal, though I'm unsure whether they're working with the other bad ghouls or not. Then there are the ghoul hunters—Amon and Mado, and the insane Juzo. I actually rather like Amon and Shinohara, and am intrigued by Mado. I think that Ken could work with them, if possible. 
A lot of fighting happens between these three--a lot of brutality and blood and awfulness.
Near the end of the volume, we finally get to see the fourth group, who are possibly part of Aogiri's team. It's hard to tell who's part of what at this point—because so many different people only know pieces. Ken even gets an interesting clue here, and I'm very intrigued. Then there was that surprising cliffhanger.
This is such an interesting series. I will be reading the next one very soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Manga Review: My Love Story!!, Volume 12, by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 11. 13.

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!

Review:

The first half of this volume, we get to see what happens with Tanaka. When Takeo figures it out, he becomes determined to make friends with the guy. But this leads to another glimpse of just how brutal Sunakawa can be. And just how great of a guy Takeo can be; he sees to the inner good in everyone, even when they're lying.
After that, there's some real drama with Yamato. This is another point for proving just how mature they are, but at the same time, reminding us that they are still teenagers. Yamato tries to do her best to make her parents happy, but at one point, it's just too much.
This plot reaction reminds me a bit of Kodocha, of which I think is a very nice comparison.
I won't spoil what actually happens, but I love the reaction. It proves how great a guy Takeo is, and how perfect him and Yamato are for each other. He knows just what to do for her, that even their parents aren't worried. It also says something that I don't doubt they'll be okay, and not because that's expected but because it makes sense. They really do have a strong, solid relationship. And then that cliffhanger...
I think the next volume is the last. Which is awful, but I am so excited to read it.

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manga Review: That Wolf-Boy is Mine!, Volume 4, by Yoko Nogiri


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: March 2017
Volumes: 4.
Spoilers?: No.
Volumes: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Komugi's not sure what to expect when her family moves to the remote northern island of Hokkaido, and she starts at a new high school. But she certainly didn't expect a boy to come up to her and say, "Gee... you smell good, somehow!" That boy is Yu Ogami, and Komugi finds herself strangely drawn to him. But when she sees him in an unguarded moment, she discovers he's a werewolf! Now she has a choice to make: to keep his secret, or to ask for help and risk angering a wolf-boy?

Review:

Finally, we get some answers. We find out what happened when they were kids, what happened with Yu's mother. I like that Kuro, while he is the one who was wrong in the beginning, doesn't end on a bad note. He was mistaken, but he doesn't fight being wrong. Rin lets his feelings be pushed aside in the end. The plot between Komugi and Yu, the romance, ends rather nicely in my opinion.
This series was enjoyable, though I do think that it was a little under-developed. Plots and characters weren't as complex as they could have been. But I'm still happy with how it all wrapped up. I also liked the bonus chapter, as it showed us why Senri is the way he is, why he's so indifferent.
This was a very short, and enjoyable series.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Manga Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Volume 1, by Akira Himekawa


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 2017
Volumes: 3+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Once upon a time, wizards tried to conquer the Sacred Realm of Hyrule. The Spirits of Light sealed the wizards' power within the Shadow Crystal and banished them to the Twilight Realm beyond the Mirror of Twilight. Now, an evil menace is trying to find Midna, princess of the Twilight Realm, and the fragments of the Shadow Crystal to gain the power to rule over both the Twilight Realm and the World of Light.

Review:

I know next to nothing about Zelda, and particularly about this plot line, since I've never played the games, nor have I watched anyone else play them. Thankfully, you don't need to know anything to read this volume, as it explains things as it goes.
The story line is a little muddled to me, and I'm not really sure where it's going or how it started. It's mostly the start of the volume where I was a little lost. But then we get to really meet Link and where he is and why he's there. He has some tragic backstory, and I'm sure we'll see more of what it means soon. There's also some hints of him seeing Princess Zelda, and their relation. Then near the end we see Link's relation to the wolf, and the people who are after his village.
This was a little slow, and I wasn't too sure where it was going. I have to admit it didn't really pull me in, and I didn't really get a big feel for Link's character—or at least I didn't grow attached.
I'm a little intrigued, but this might just not be my genre of story.

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Manga Review: The Water Dragon's Bride, Volume 1, by Rei Toma


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2017
Volumes: 5+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

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 is sacrificed to a water dragon god! What plans are in store for her, and what will happen when she comes face to face with this god?

A young boy named Subaru comes to Asahi’s aid, but despite his help, Asahi must endure a test of survival! Will she be able to make it out alive or will she end up being sacrificed?

Review:

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this volume. I stopped reading Dawn of the Arcana early on, because I wasn't really enjoying it. But I was quite impressed with this volume, actually.
We meet Asahi, who has a happy family life. Her parents love her, she's a happy kid. Then she gets transported through water, and finds a small village. She meets a little boy her age, and he tries to help her, even though the village people don't like that she's different. From there, she meets the dragon god, who is heartless. He doesn't understand people, and he watches them for enjoyment, and does nothing to help them.
I won't spoil what happens to her here, but it's harsh and a very hard and fast reality check for her. It breaks her, in a way. It's very harsh to see, what happens to her and the little boy.
I'm not sure where this is going to go from here—if they're going to stay as kids or grow older, and how they're going to react to the horrible things and people around them. I definitely want to read more, though.

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Manga Review: So Cute It Hurts!!, Volume 11, by Go Ikeyamada


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2017
Volumes: 15.
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Kobayashi twins discover that cross-dressing as each other leads to trouble and true love!

The Kobayashi twins, Megumu and Mitsuru, were named after historical figures, but only Megumu has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?

Azusa Tokugawa was a horrible bully until Mitsuru Kobayashi helped her tame her rage. Now her tender feelings for him have left her vulnerable to the turmoil in her parents’ crumbling relationship. Will the Kobayashis’ offer of safe harbor be enough to give her the strength to stand against her father’s plans for her?

Review: 

Firstly, we get to see what happens between Azusa and her parents, and thus between Azusa and Mitsuru. We get to see here how great a bride she could be for Mitsuru. Near the end of the plot, Azusa moves away for a while, and there's a period when Mitsuru doesn't hear from her for months. Then she shows up, and there's going to be Drama, because her parents are loveless and strict and care about the Family Name.
I honestly don't care for either of these characters. Not at all, really.
For pretty much a chapter, we focus on Megumu and Aoi. Aoi is going away for college, and so they're going to be long distance. There's a very sweet, intense goodbye between them, and apparently things might get sexual in the next volume. We also get to see that Megumu is possibly getting further along in her manga-making goals.
Bleh. I'm not a huge fan of this series; it has some ups and downs. But apparently I'm in this till the end.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Manga Review: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Volume 1, by Ark Performance


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: 2014
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

HUMANITY’S LAST HOPE

It’s been seventeen long years since the Fleet of Fog—a mysterious, unmanned fleet of powerful vessels that appeared out of nowhere—took control of the oceans, barring humanity from traveling between continents or islands. During those years, people the world over have dreamed of a revolt that would let them take back the seas, but there’s been no hope—until now.

A weapon powerful enough to damage the Fog’s vessels has finally been invented, and there’s just one way of getting the critical information and prototypes from Japan to America, where the weapon can produced! The submarine I-401, with its humanoid avatar—a “mental model” named Iona, who’s taken the shape of a young girl—was once part of the Fleet of Fog, but has chosen to side with humanity.

Now captained by Chihaya Gunzo and his crew, the I-401 is the only ship under human control that can move freely through the seas. But she answers only to her captain, and he answers to no one.

Review:

I was intrigued by this series, but after reading it, I just feel meh.
I think maybe the sci-fi series, particularly when there are some kind of mechanics involved, just aren’t for me. It’s not to my interest.
We get introduced to an odd group of characters. They’re in a different world, and the group is living in a submarine, running from the government. There’s fighting, we meet a girl who’s a robot and they’re not sure how much she really knows and has access to.
Mostly, I was bored. I don’t care for all the tech talk or mechanics. I don’t think I’ll be reading more.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Manga Review: Missions of Love, Volume 13, by Ema Toyama


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: October 2016
Volumes: 19.
Spoilers?: Some.
Volume: 1. 12. 14

Goodreads Synopsis:

The delightfully risquĂ© high-school rom-com continues! "Can a typical school romance about a mismatched boy and girl turn out to be insanely good? It can if it’s Missions of Love." – Anime News Network "Leaves me thinking ‘I’d like to read more of that, please’." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Manga Worth Reading

Review:

For some reason, they're really trying to make us like Hisame. And, honestly, it's not working. Maybe he has his nice moments, and his reasons for his actions are because he really likes Mami—but it's all crap. He's still rather awful.
There's now two triangles happening, and I'm getting rather sick of it. Both girls are getting mixed up between the same three guys. It's ridiculous. Yukina starts some kind of understanding with Hisame, and she's supposed to be going out with Akira, but now she's wondering if she even has a heart. Shigure tries talking sense to her, but Hisame is only getting her more confused.
Mami, on the other hand, is still being pressured by Hisame, and pretty much ignored by Akira. Akira is too caught up in Yukina. Shigure is trying to work, but getting distracted by Yukina. Hisame is, in a way, also clinging to Yukina, when Mami pushes him away.
It's a mess. And normally I would be enjoying it more. But right now, I would like some semblance of a good decision being made.
These releases are still way too far apart, sadly.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Manga Review: My Love Story!!, Volume 11, by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2017
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10. 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!

Lately, Yamato has been making Takeo’s heart race more than usual, so Takeo tries to train himself to be more stoic. But when their respective schools take them on a trip to Hokkaido, Takeo and Yamato keep getting thrown into close contact! Looks like Takeo is in for a rough challenge…

Review:

These two are literally just the cutest.
The classes go on their school trips. Takeo is freaking out about wanting too much from Yamato, whereas she finds it flattering that he wants more. Seeing them finally talk about it is just adorable. Things don't get very intimate or anything, but seeing them talk so openly is so nice. Their mature attitudes are much appreciated.
After that, Yamato decides that she wants to get stronger; she wants to be able to take care of herself, given how strong Takeo is always catching her. Finding this out, Takeo offers to train her. He's super harsh, and it's super cute seeing how much she loves it. She loves how he yells at her, and she works hard to get better, too. I like that she doesn't want him to go easy on her, and so he doesn't. They're seriously perfect together.
The last chapter shows a guy moving in on Sunakawa, and I'm intrigued. Sunakawa doesn't seem the type to be easily mislead, but it's weird how he's acting around Takeo.
This series is utterly cute. I love it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Manga Review: Nisekoi: False Love, Volume 21, by Naoshi Komi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Volumes: 25.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 20. 22.

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 is ill but comes to school on Valentine’s Day just to bring Raku a gift of chocolate! Once again, she presses him to respond to her feelings… When her illness reaches a limit, she is forced to return to her family’s home in Kyushu. Unwilling to accept the loss of their friend, Raku and the gang take action!

Review:

This volume is full of Marika drama. We finally get to see what is going on with Marika, why she's been acting so weird.
We don't actually get to find out what's wrong with her, if she's really sick—that's still only hinted at. But we find out what her family situation is like. What her mother expects of her, and how un-moving she is in that. We also find out what is behind Marika's bodyguards actions, as well.
One thing of note with this volume, though: the humor seemed a little off. At times it felt more forced to break up the seriousness of the plot, and I don't feel that was necessary. I understand why, because it is a comedy series and it doesn't want to get sad and realistic, but it still broke up a few moments that I thought didn't need it.
I like how close the whole group is. When Marika leaves without telling anyone, they all freak out, and they work together to figure out what to do, how to save Marika from what's happening. Even though Raku isn't interested in her romantically, he still loves her like a best friend or like family. I love their relationship, and all of the girls friendships with each other, even if they all love the same guy.
Marika is one of my favorites. Marika is unapologetic in her love, in her affection and her feelings, and yet she hides her own weaknesses. I really like her as a character.
This volume ends on a cliffhanger, with the gang going out on their mission to save Marika. I quite enjoy this plot line so far, and am interested to see what the conclusion is. I'm wary of how cheesy it might be, though, and if Marika's big secret is going to be a letdown or not. Either way, I'm 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!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Manga Review: That Wolf-Boy is Mine!, Volume 3, by Yoko Nogiri


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: January 2017
Volumes: 4.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Komugi's not sure what to expect when her family moves to the remote northern island of Hokkaido, and she starts at a new high school. But she certainly didn't expect a boy to come up to her and say, "Gee... you smell good, somehow!" That boy is Yu Ogami, and Komugi finds herself strangely drawn to him. But when she sees him in an unguarded moment, she discovers he's a werewolf! Now she has a choice to make: to keep his secret, or to ask for help and risk angering a wolf-boy?

Review:

This volume was a bit better than the previous ones. I was feeling a little iffy, but now I want the next one.
Komugi has decided to move on from Yu, because she realizes ignoring it won't work. This makes Yu conflicted, because he's realizing his own feelings. Fushimi, on the other hand, is attempting to step in the way if he needs to. I think Fushimi and Komugi have an interesting relationship, an understanding of where they stand, mostly.
I like the reveal that we get in this volume, what Komugi figures out about her and Yu's past, and how it's intertwined. It leads to the cliffhanger, and we see how awful Yata might really be, unless we get a reason in the next volume. I'm intrigued to see where this goes next, how this wraps up.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Manga Review: Horimiya, Volume 7, by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara


Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5-5
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Volumes: 10+
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The unbelievably attractive Akane Yanagi takes the stage...and maybe the lead from Miyamura?! The high school lives of the usual Kiri High suspects grow even livelier, as Hori abruptly starts demanding violence from Miyamura, the student council trio gets unusually flustered, and the sports festival arrives!

Review:

I don't think I could love this series any more than I do.
There's still the ongoing drama between the triangle—Yuki, Tooru, and Kouno. Tooru is still rather oblivious, even though Miyamura has hinted. Kouno starts worrying about giving Tooru baked goods. Yuki, on the other, has ended up with her own admirer in the form of a super cute classmate. It looks like the new guy might be sticking around, and he's super sweet and clutzy; I'm a fan.
Then the school sports festival is coming up, and there are two main teams. It starts getting a little competitive, and everyone is working hard to do their best, even in sports they don't like.
Of course, I love all of the humorous moments amongst all of this. This series is hilarious. The sweet moments between Hori and Miyamura, though, get me just as good. There's a cute moment of jealousy between them. In a surprising development, we find out that Hori likes seeing Miyamura get angry, and she wants him to yell at her. This is funny from an outsider perspective, and Miyamura is trying to do it for her, because Hori loves it and begs for it. Miyamura feels bad and weird, though. It's also comedic given that Hori is significantly more scary than Miyamura is; he's also always been very careful around her. I really appreciate the casual introduction of a consensual kink, especially with a couple that hasn't gotten too intimate, and with no shame or worry involved.
I absolutely love this series, and cannot get enough.