Hotel – Ch.04: Wow. I think I understand now why this manga by Boichi was recommended to me. Here this story starts out similarly to the second chapter with a sick girl who turns out to be pregnant, and from there on it changes… oh boy, it changes. This one took me completely by surprise and I spent about a minute with my mouth open. Good stuff. Hotel would make a fantastic anime with the right people working on it, by the way.
Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.02-03: One thing that I did notice now that I’m checking out multiple chapters at a time is that with some series, I find it very difficult to remain interested. Before starting these chapters I told myself to read up till chapter 4, but during chapter 3 I already noticed that I was trying to force myself through it. The art for all of the giants in this manga is really impressive, and the creators made this interesting world where they’re basically running humanity into extinction, but I dunno: I don’t really get the same urge to check out what comes next. I know it’s all build-up, but at this point none of the characters really stands out as interesting.
Coelacanth – Ch.02-03: And this one did manage to keep my attention, and I wonder why. I mean, it’s not the best I’ve read during this experiment, and it suffered here and there from being too vague with its dialogue (something I’ve been noticing with a number of other shoujo manga as well), but still: its murder mystery half turned out to be a little darker than expected with hints of pedophilia for more things to come, and the romance half felt surprisingly dark.
That alone however probably isn’t enough to really get my attention, so what did this episode have as well? I guess that it kept me guessing: these two chapters were being really vague in where they actually wanted to go to, and the twists kept it fresh. Oh, and the dialogue that was clear was very straight to the point, and very un-shoujo like, for something with so many shoujo elements.
A Lollipop or a Bullet – Ch.04-06: This manga really has a knack for drama: it loves the saying “a picture says more than a thousand words”, and it loves to casually hint to the disturbing stories of its characters. Only very few panels actually show the darkness of this story. On top of that, the faces in this manga are also really expressive: they show exactly how the characters feel.
Dengeki Daisy – Ch.01: In the preparation of next season’s surprisingly huge batch of shoujo romances, I ended up checking a critically acclaimed shoujo manga: Dengeki Daisy. Unlike the other shoujo I’ve checked out for this experiment, this one was fairly typical in its set-up: it’s just a school life story and nothing beyond that, with a mysterious guy watching over the lead female. This however did feel rather refreshing for a shoujo romance, in that both the guy and the girl had a personality, the drawings were dynamic and energetic and it could be funny when it wanted to. Still, what worries me is that the build-up to the good parts is going to be too long again.
Takemitsu Zamurai – Ch.01: This one is a samurai story, with a very distinctive art style. Everything looks crude and messy, but there is actually movement between the panels. The story and set-up don’t say much yet after only the first chapter, and it mostly dealt with an eccentric ronin who moved into a new village with a lot of hints at murder, but it did give a good description of how these people lived, including small details like the focus on a kid’s hands or an octopus salesman.
Suiiki – Ch.01: From the author of Mushishi, here is a story about a girl who enters this strangely nostalgic dream-world, filled with slice of life. I really like the background art for this one: it is crude at points and looks a lot like rough pencil sketches, but in those sketches the artist stuffed a ton of details. Beyond that, this was just a really charming chapter. Great characterization and very down to earth and believable characters.