Posted on 7 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Manga Experiment

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience.

1. Kumo desu ga, nani ka?

1. Kumo desu ga, nani ka?

A girl is mysteriously taken from her classroom and is reincarnated as a spider in an RPG-like fantasy world. Now at the bottom of the food chain, she needs to adapt to the current situation with willpower in order to live. Adapted from a novel, it only has a handful of chapters out so far but as far as I can tell the release schedule isn’t too bad and the art suits the comedic narrative. It’s about a spider willing to do whatever she can to survive. That’s the extent of the story but it’s fun to read. I can see the premise becoming overly gimmicky later down the line, but I’d still give this a shot.

2. Katsute Kami Datta Kemonotachi

2. Katsute Kami Datta Kemonotachi

During a war, a handful soldiers volunteer to undergo experiments to become beasts to serve their country. When the war is over, they find that the country they served no longer has a place for them back home and it’s about the daughter of one of these monsters who wants to avenge her father. Great action, good art, but it’s let down by its pretty weak narrative and overly fast pacing. Despite that, its story isn’t all that difficult to follow and the characters are interesting, I especially like the background story into the war. That being said, I can see the story working better as an anime adaptation.

3. Kanojo wa Rokurokubi

3. Kanojo wa Rokurokubi

A story about a long-necked girl’s love life: Kanoi Natsuki, a Japanese traditional long-necked creature Rokurokubi, and her childhood friend Itsuki, visit the same school and there seems to be more between them besides friendship. This is undoubtedly much more interesting than most other manga of this type. It’s supposedly by a hentai artist, but it’s really pleasant to see so little fan service. This is an all around fluff-comedic twist on japanese horror that’s yet another nice, slow-paced series from the looks of it so far.

4. Sumikko no Sora-san

1. Kumo desu ga, nani ka?

About a philosophizing tortoise named Plato who, after moving to the countryside with his owner, finds a young girl named Sora whom he mistakes for Socrates and goes on adventures with, not much to say about its plot. I’m not big on philosophy but this is a really pleasant series to follow. If you don’t mind a slow, meandering series that doesn’t have an over-arching plot, this is looking good so far.

5. Chikyuu no Houkago

6. Chikyuu no Houkago

In the year 20xx, thousands of mysterious entities called Phantoms appear in cities around the world and people begin to disappear enmasse. Exactly one year later after their initial appearance, a group of students in Japan are seemingly the only people left in the world, and this is about how they go about their lives regardless of the post-apocalypse. This is by far the best of its genre in my opinion, the fan service gets tiresome and irritating at times but that’s just personal. Otherwise there is lots of intrigue around the Phantoms and it hits a soft spot for me as a fan of post-apocalyptic stories.

6. Watari-kun no xx ga Houkai Sunzen

7. Watari-kun no xx ga Houkai Sunzen

Watari Nao’s life revolves around taking care of the only remaining person in his family, his little sister after their parents pass away. This is pretty risky for me to recommend because it’s currently going on a nosedive for me personally as it’s now devolving into a yandere-harem story with an awkward sense of narrative structure, but if you like that genre this is alright I guess. The “little sister” element isn’t much of a problem by the way, it’s frankly annoying at times but at least the writer never uses her for fan-service.

7. Ajin-chan wa Kataritai

8. Ajin-chan wa Kataritai

Succubus, Dullahan and Vampire. They are known as Ajin, or “Demi”s and are slightly different than the average human. They have lived alongside humans for ages under persecution. However, in recent years, they have become accepted as members of society. This manga follows a high school biology teacher who has a great interest in Demis and his interaction with the various Demis in his school, each with their own first-world problems. For a story involving succubi, vampires, etc, there is no fan service at all and this is a really unoffensive slice of life. I highly recommend reading this if you’re into comedies with a great male lead and interesting side characters.

8. Asagao to Kase-san

9. Asagao to Kase-san

Yamada, the Plant Appointee to her high school and responsible for weeding the campus grounds, catches the attention of the school’s track and field star, Kase and this is about two young girls’ romance. This is probably one of the best yuri slice of lifes out of the few I’ve read, the art style is airy and the story itself is great without becoming too angsty at any point. I almost always do not have the patience for a series like this but this one was approachable and easy to follow, thanks to Mike for this recommendation. Even if you’re not into shojo/yuri manga, I’d recommend you give this one a try, it reads more like a shonen along the lines of Horimiya in terms of its target demographic. This series officially ended with issue 14, but it’s still being continued by the writer online but a group has unfortunately yet to pick them up. But the chapters that are currently translated are pretty much good on their own.

9. Exciting Feelings

10. Exciting Feelings

This is currently one of the best yuri stories out there, recommended again by Mike (or was it realjustified, can’t remember) from this site. This follows the story of two college girls, each with their own problems, tired by the drudgery of a typical college romance. The build up to their romance is simply very well paced, the writer has explicitly stated he won’t ever rush the pacing. Support the artist by only reading it from the link above, because it doesn’t cost much to support the author via viewcounts. This link shows you how to read the English translated chapters on Comico. You can try reading a few chapters yourself on Imgur here but again I’d recommend you read this via the link I’ve embedded into the image.

Posted on 6 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Manga Experiment

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne

Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your heart “I want to murder you.” Yes this isn’t some nice little tale about true love but rather something darker. Our protagonist is in love with a girl he’s been friends with for a long time. The love looks to be clearly mutual but he can’t seem to gather the courage to confess. However one night he tries to stop a man assaulting a girl and is infected with some kind of virus. On the plus side he gains immense supernatural strength for short periods. But on the negative side he is now feeling massive urges to kill people and his feelings are directed strongest at the love of his life. He finds himself daydreaming about strangling her with her own intestines and stabbing her to death. It’s still up in the air to where this is going but so far I am liking it. The changes in the protagonist from a demoore cleaning addict to a dangerous psychopath is a good sign and one his classmates are becoming aware of. There are also hints that maybe the girl he loves is infected with the same disease. I am really quite interested to see what happens with our disturbed couple.

 

Shoujo Fujuubun

Two chapters so far with this one. So our protagonist is cycling and happens to spot a terrible car accident which involves preschoolers. However he manages to notice that after the little girls friend gets hit by a truck, she takes special care to save her game on a gameboy she was playing before running over to help her friend or even reacting to it. Unfortunately for him the little girl knew he noticed her odd action and seems to be targeting him. It looked to be hint that this girl is some kind of demon aiming to keep him silent. The end of the second chapter is quite creepy but it is still up in the air about what this story is really about. The artwork is great and we have a college student in the lead instead of a high school student. It looks like these two are going to have some kind of partnership which will likely involve this little girl creature harvesting souls. But that’s just me spitballing here. Besides we have Niso Issin here, author of the monogatari series whose heavy on dialogue and light on sense. Perhaps this may turn out to be a back and forth talking battle between a weird little girl and an aspiring author.

 

Shimanami Tasogare

After recently moving to Onomichi, Hiroshima, high school student Tasuku Kaname is thrown into despair at the possibility that he may have been outed for being gay. Convinced his life is over, his despair turns into shock when he sees a woman jump out of a window of a nearby house. Tasuku races to the house in a panic only to discover that it’s a public meeting lounge owned by the woman he saw before. Tasuku comes face to face with the woman as she walks past him unharmed, but not before she implies that she had been watching him from afar. Confused, Tasuku follows her up to the top of a steep hill where she offers to briefly listen to what’s on his mind. Although Tasuku doesn’t go into too much detail, he later accepts her invitation to come to the lounge to meet others with similar troubles.

So by pure bad luck our protagonist is found out to be gay by his classmates after they search his phone history. The main bulk of the story seems to be about homosexuality and the problems that come with coming out of the closet. Getting ostracised and disowned or even coming to terms with it yourself. I would like to think that homosexuality isn’t quite as discriminated against as it was in the past. Though who knows how its viewed in a traditional heavy society like Japan. The good thing about this series is that it treats how this discrimination works. It’s not some in your face kind of obnoxious level where you have some ignorant jackass practically shouting utter bile at him. Instead it’s a much more subdued and insensitive level. The kind of discrimination you would expect in real life. Our protagonist finds a bit of a safe haven in a lounge that has others with problems like himself and an enigmatic person who may even be somewhat supernatural. The series may go beyond just homosexuality as there do seem to be other residents in this lounge with their own stories to tell. I think it’s nice to see this subject dealt with in a more serious manner rather than the heavy homosexual caricatures present in anime or the blatantly fan pandering nature of BL.

 

Some Quick highlights

 

Good Night World

This has more chapters than usual with about ten chapters out. It’s about a group of players who live as a loving family in a virtual online MMO. They each do this to escape their dysfunctional family but are completely unaware that they are genuine family in real life. So we have a family who ignore each other in real life and focus on playing an MMO so they can play fake family with some other MMO players while all of them being completely unaware that the members of their fake family are in fact their real family in disguise. It’s confusing but you will get it when you read it. It’s strange as these people cannot get along with each other in the real world yet unknowingly are the perfect caring family in the virtual world.

Fire Punch

This is a cautious recommendation as I feel this title is trying a little too hard to be edgy with it’s so far one chapter. It does have it’s interesting points and reminds me of Attack on Titan in both good and bad ways. The idea of a frozen world where the protagonist has control over fire and wishes to take revenge on an oppressive military regime has me somewhat interested.

Criminale!
This is pretty much a harem with some pretty eccentric characters. It gets points for having the girls have genuine negative traits instead of good traits disguised as bad ones. Otherwise it’s pretty standard.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on 10 February 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Platina End

The story tells of a human and an angel, and centers around Mirai Kakehashi, a boy who “does not seek out hope in order to live.”

From the creators of death note and Bakuman we have Platina end. You can certainly see parallels to death note straight away. A supernatural being gives power to a high school student which happens to operate under certain rules. It’s not quite the same however as this leads into a battle royale scenario between people with different powers. The powers have interesting uses, such as an arrow that makes someone fall in love with you for 33 days. This does come up short when compared to death note however, mainly in the protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist did have an interesting contrast to Light as he’s someone who desires a normal life when Light was bored with normal life but other than that he’s rather bland and boring. Even more so after a rather drastic change in motivation. The antagonist is a bit too silly and lacks the charisma of L.  One particular aspect I like is the angel who wishes for the protagonists happiness by any means necessary. So she’s often encouraging him to abuse his power for his own benefit and disregards morality entirely. This story has the potential to go somewhere quite interesting but I admit that right now it’s a bit of a poor man’s Death Note.

 

LIttLE 13

Only one chapter so far and not even a synopsis. This story involves a girl in a middle age era who disguises herself as a boy so she can work as a servant for a strange couple. While there she finds an odd man in a pig mask in the basement and befriends him. In exchange the man saves her from a terrible fate by essentially killing people who intended her harm. As it turns out this odd man possesses supernatural powers and claims to be a demon. It a bit soon to see where this story is going but I love the mature feel of it and the character of Jack looks to be an interesting one. The artstyle is brilliant as you can see from the cover above. What I am most interested in this story is how this odd person called jack interacts with our protagonist as he seems to have a highly abnormal morality.

 

Somali to Mori no Kami-sama

A golem discovers an abandoned child one day in the forest. Together the pair set out to find more humans while travelling across a strange fantasy world.

Two chapters so far. This is a very heartwarming tale as a forest golem helps a little girl get back together with humans in a world filled with monsters. The thing is that this world is very dangerous for a human as the monsters are all fairly interested in eating humans so the wood golem needs to prevent others from finding out she is human while searching for humans. The girl is fairly navie and innocent and what really sells the story is her interaction with the stoic wood golem. There is a sweet feeling when the normally overly logical golem let’s out his emotions and shows he cares for the little girl. The art is also fantastic, dealing with various imaginative character designs and environments. It has the potential to be a really great read.

 

Mahou Shoujo Suzune Magica

A middle-schooler who gallantly sleeps in, Suzune. Though she always goes about with a bright smile, there’s another side to her. That is, she’s a magical girl assassin. What will be the fate of the four magical girls she ambushes…?! The first chapter of the spinoff that asks about the existence of “magical girls,” and the goodness and evil residing within oneself!

This is hardly the first Madoka spinoff. Plenty have tried to make use of Madoka’s universe to present new stories but none have matched what Madoka put forward. In particular The innocent Malice’s story got so silly that it read like bad fanfiction. However here looks like it’s actually attempting to present something unique with the premise. Suzune is a magical girl whom has taken up the role of assassinating magical girls. For reasons that those of us who have seen the series can likely guess. The best way to explain the story is that it’s like Madoka Magica from Homura’s perspective. We have a group of magical girls whom Suzune has decided to systematically kill and them not understanding Suzunes motives. It’s a story that feels true to its source material in presentation and writing. Of course I am not saying it’s better but if you are itching for more Madoka this might help you scratch it.

 

Shounen Shoujo (AKATSUKI Akira)

A boy sees all names and faces scribbled out, and later finds out that this is a lethal illness. But he is actually happy that it makes him special, because he hates surrounding world which lacks any individuality. But then he finds a girl who has the same condition. And now he needs to kill her in order to remain unique…

Two chapters so far and is from the author of the monogatari series and a artist by the name of Akatsuki Akira. Personally I am not a fan of Nisio Isin but I must admit that he’s got a interesting start with this one. It may be that due to the nature of manga that his usual style of blaring out pointless dialogue has been cut down to a minimum and I see it as a plus. What makes this story is just how messed up the the characters are. Our main protagonist is so desperate to be a unique flower that upon being told he is suffering from a new unknown disease his first reaction is pure joy. Neither him or the female protagonist talk like children but they are pretty interesting in their own messed up ways. However I dislike that the first chapter essentially gave away the ending of this particular story and well Nisio Isin stories always tended to leave me wanting. However I am interested to see how this goes despite knowing the ending.

Posted on 6 January 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Seeing as it’s taking a while for the new season to start up, I thought I might try something new. Like my Manga recommendation corner or video game reviews, don’t expect these to come up often. What we have here is a simple post to highlight some manga that have just started and seem interesting. I say this now, there is no guarantee that any of these will prove to be fantastic but out of what’s presented so far its given me reason to continue reading. I don’t even promise these will be good, merely intriguing.

Gleipnir

Shuichi Kagaya isn’t human. He has an unnatural sense of smell, and can transform into an incredibly powerful beast… of sorts. He does all he can to avoid standing out and being discovered, but no good deed goes unpunished, and his decision to use his power to save a girl spells the end for his quiet life.

Currently at four chapters. The setup of boy meets girl and other elements are rather typical but there are interesting aspects to this. For one the main characters power transforms him into a strange mascot character. Another is the lead female is has a fairly flawed personality as she seems to be blackmailing him into playing her bodyguard. It’s rather refreshing to see a heroine with genuine bad traits and not just bad traits made to look like good ones. It also looks like she will play a much more active role by making use of the mains power. It’s a strong start so far and while the lead male’s personality is a bit too timid and pathetic, the character have enough to differentiate them from the standard stereotypes. Fanservice is also the usual demon to bear here. The story is hitting some same beats but has potential to go somewhere. Keeping an eye on this one.

 

Hatsukoi Zombie

 

According to his childhood friend, Tarou Kurume is not interested in love. One day Tarou is struck on his head by a ball rendering him unconscious. When he wakes up, there’s a girl floating above him.
What has happened to Tarou? Who is this mysterious girl? Find out in this one of a kind romantic comedy series!

Two chapters so far and this one could turn out to turn bad in its next chapters. The zombie in the title isn’t quite what you would think. It mainly refers to the main leads power to see guys mental image of their first love. I am curious as to what the plot of this series will do with the concept. There’s also a good twist at the end of the first chapter with the leads first childhood love transferring into the class and it turns out that…he’s a guy. I was waiting for the old reveal of him being a girl cross dressing but it honestly seems like he is truly a guy. The power is interesting though is surely getting used for fanservice and the main lead seems different from your average Highschool Student. Whether this turns out worthwhile or not depends on what the main plot will be as right now I am having difficulty seeing just where this is going.

 

Kyokou Suiri

 

Meet the cute, smug, cane-wielding 17-year old Iwanaga Kotoko as she aggresively tries to woo the older Sakuragawa Kurou and act as a mediator/problem-solver for the supernatural world.

Currently four chapters with about 80 page length which is fairly chunky by manga standards That synopsis doesn’t really do it justice. The lead male is at least different in that he doesn’t react to woman like one reacts to being sprayed with pesticide. In fact the main joke for the comedy often involves the lead female trying to come on to him and failing miserably. Not because of him being oblivious, he’s fully aware of how she feels, but simply because she’s not his type. I like this girl because unlike most female leads who ditter around waiting for the target of their affections to notice how they feel, she outright spells it out for him at their first meeting. The main story involves them facing supernatural beings with her Natsume book of friends style legion of Youkai minions and the lead males strange body constitution. Its the character interactions that really make this for me as the lead female feels fresh with her overwhelming confidence matched with childish romantic sensibilities toped off witht he fact that she has a false leg and a false eye. And our lead male protagonist breaks conventions by being someone who had a previous romantic relationship. The banter between the two is quite entertaining and newest character introduced looks to be being her own dynamic to the group.

Posted on 27 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

So, after years and years of people asking, I finally started to read some manga at the start of this summer season. I had the time for it, since it was quite a small season, and it seemed like a good moment to finally check up on the medium and explore my tastes. Thirteen weeks later, and I have to say that the experiment succeeded, and I’ve gotten warmed up to reading manga, and I’ve encountered quite a few gems that I’m really glad to have discovered.

So in this experiment, I found that I was most inclined to short manga that were easy to pick up and didn’t take ages to get somewhere. I most noticed this with the shoujo and josei genre, although there were also a number of gems in the seinen genre. It’s the type of stories that combine showing strong emotions with an intriguing and creative storyline that really did it for me.

Some pet peeves that I also found out is that I just cannot enjoy it when a character starts singing. It just feels awkward, and I can’t hear them at all. It may seem weird, but having watched anime for so long I’m just so used to things moving and there being music and audio to back it up that it just feels weird.

Another thing that rather annoyed me was something that a number of shoujo stories were rather guilty of: vague dialogues. It’s this attempt to be poetic by omitting entire sentences. this all makes the story very hard to follow and hard to reach in an attempt to be a bit poetic.Seinen stories on the other hand tended to suffer from being too dull: yeah they were nicely laid out and all, but the lack of emotions or poorly portrayed feelings didn’t catch my interest either.

Overall I am not completely sold on manga, and this blog won’t suddenly get renamed to Star Crossed Manga Blog, but I am going to keep up with the manga that caught my attention and read a bit here and there, because there are definitely awesome stories to be told there. I’m just a multimedia person who likes both visual animation, sound, music, storytelling and everything to come together. On the other hand though, the manga medium is so much easier to tell creative and unconventional storylines, and it’s also harder to screw up because there are fewer people involved in everything.

And finally, I’d like to rank the manga that caught my attention the most over the past season, based on how much I liked them. Perhaps there’s a good recommendation out there. Anyway, I’ve said this before, but next season will be huge, so I’m going to blog 12 series at once. Looking forward to it!

#9: Coelacanth

This is a very short mystery series with a lot of romance. It’s very shoujo, but at the same time it does have well written dialogue and it has quite a few interesting ideas, like a very cynical imaginary sheep that keeps bothering the lead female. The mystery unfolds slowly , but in the end it’s not really worth it in the end. The dialogue is very vague at times, making it hard to follow and because of that the build-up cannot really deliver what it wants to.

#8: With the Light – The Raising of an Autistic Child

With the Light tells the story of raising an autistic child, through a lot of different stages in the kid’s life. The perspective is really from the mother and the challenges she faces, and how to get her child accepted by the people around her. It takes so much work, and his manga’s strength is showing how she deals with them and conquers all this throughout the years (volume 1 already spans like five years). It’s a struggle, but it also shows that the payoff really is quite wonderful.

#7: The Music of Marie

What the Music of Marie did was quite interesting: from scratch, it created this really imaginative world and setting with its own customs, culture, habits, people, religion and folklore. The role of technology in this series is quite unique to watch, and its storyline is very deeply rooted in its own culture. The least interesting part is probably the romance, but the way in which it’s used allows for a lot of details to be able to fleshed out across the setting. The art is also a bit remarkable here: the characters themselves look quite plain and strangely drawn, but the different props, artifacts and backgrounds really are gorgeous and particularly imaginative.

#6: Wish

Wish is a short manga by Clamp, totalling four volumes and takes place in the same world as Kobato. The way it stands out, is how incredibly adorable it is, yet it’s also more than just that. The cast is very diverse and the slice of life is really well-balanced with the storytelling, leading to actually a very good cast emerging from this. The twist at the end is also really well-built up and really charming to watch, although there are a few too many gimmick characters around as well. It also has that singing bug that I mentioned above here.

#5: Shingeki no Kyojin

Shingeki no Kyojin. Oh boy. This one is a real shocker, and while it takes a few chapters to get going, it is just so consistently intense that it just had me in this intense state all throughout reading it. The way in which it portrays the despair of the characters during its fight scenes is much tenser than I could have imagined. The giant art is also something that you need to see for yourself. And then there are the plot twists. These things really make you think afterwards what the hell just happened.

#4: Hito Hitori Futari

Hito Hitori Futari was the first manga to catch my eye in this experiment, and it kept this all the way. It really drew me in where I found myself absorbed in continuing it for as long as possible, more than the other manga on this list in which I always found myself checking how many pages were still left. This is this really unique story about a guardian spirit being tasked to overlook the actual prime minister. Its mood is both really warm, and really cold at the same time, and I really like the way in which the author achieved this. On one hand the characters really sympathize with each other and the main couple fully accepts each other as they grow close together, and yet on the other hand there is so much darkness in this series and there are so many evil spirits present. The art is also just incredible. The facial expressions in particular are just gorgeously drawn.

#3: Hotel

For Hotel, this guy who names himself Boichi sat down with the intent to draw some standalone stories. At worst, these stories were gorgeous art experiments. At best however, holy crap what the hell did I just read. The tuna chapter was just delightful satire with an unbelievable amount of creativity put into it, on top of being very clever, while the pregnant girl story was just a complete mindfuck that was glorious in every single way. It’s all based on these really interesting thought experiments that do what you expect, only to go light-years further than that.

#2: A Lollipop or a Bullet

A Lollipop or a bullet was the kind of story that I hoped to find when starting this experiments. I managed to only find the first eight chapters of the story, but I was completely amazed at what it did there. In just eight chapters it created an amazing main character. Her inner monologues go deep, both into her own character as the character of the other main character. It’s also incredibly subtle: it nearly always just slightly hints at the really sad and pitiful things that happened, but never directly addresses them. The creators really made me sympathize with the cast and if you’re looking for something genuine, then by all means give this gem a chance. I also have a shout-out to the scanlators who brought this amazing series available for English audiences. Good luck with translating the final chapters, and I’ll definitely check them out as soon as possible.

#1: A Million-Pound Love

I am a huge fan of Himitsu ~ The Revelation and this is a collection of short stories from the same author. And really: they’ve got the same brilliance behind it. I mean, these were written by an incredibly talented writer. In Himitsu, what amazed me was how well it bit by bit revealed what was going on. That same style is present here. Bit by bit it develops its plot and it develops its characters like, majorly. It toys around with time and how characters can change in the span of a few years, and it just keeps building plot twist upon plot twist, yet making sure that everything fits once everything ends. On top of that, the art also rocks in how well it’s able to portray the emotions of the characters. I was really swept along with their emotions that just kept going from one scene to the other. There are times in which the twists themselves get a bit far-fetched (there is a lot of science fiction with creative liberties in this manga), but still: this is really is top-notch storytelling.

Posted on with categories: Manga Experiment

Coelacanth – Ch.06-08: This concludes the Coelacanth manga (yes, it’s quite a short mystery story). The culprit is revealed and everything comes to a climax quite nicely. I like how subtle the climax was and the way in which the author did the romance, but it also suffered from that vague dialogue that has been bothering me in a lot of other shoujo manga. Because of that this just jumps from one place to the other without much flow and becomes hard to read and follow.

Hito Hitori Futari – Ch.16-19: The prime minister is such an interesting character: he has this strange glow of ambition around him that the art manages to portray wonderfully. Chapter 19 also was a big surprise in how it brought Rihon back to her old life, leading to a very emotional scene. The art still is top-notch here by the way.

The Music of Marie Ch.07-08: This is where everything really starts going crazy after all of the build-up and world building of the previous chapters, and I must say that with the amount of meaning that was put into chapter 8, it definitely delivered a very intriguing cliff-hanger. It used all of the build-up quite well and took off using it as a jump-start, making great use of the two lead characters.

Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.09-10: Oh my god, I nearly forgot how intense this series is to read, and this episode went even further. Perhaps the twists it delivered weren’t the most shocking, but the state of mind of the main character, and the despair and utter confusion he was in were incredibly well portrayed. I mean heck, waking up after all THAT. I’d be confused as heck too. Mikasa also rocked.

Posted on 23 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

So while I was flying and waiting in busses and stuff during my holidays, I had the Manga Wish to read and finish. It really ended up being the first multi-volumed manga that I ever finished, and with only four volumes it’s a very concise story. This week I’want to have a stab at reviewing a full fledged manga.

So as the people who watched Kobato might know, that series is a bit of a combination between Wish and Kobato. The story for Wish is completely different, though. It takes place in the same setting, and there are some concepts that are also important here, but the story of Wish happens much more around the core of the setting, while the characters in Kobato have no idea about the inner workings of how their world and ideas work. So yeah, if you’re a fan of Kobato this is a great read for the extra background information that the Wish manga gives.

And really, this was such an incredibly adorable manga. Clamp are masters of creating diverse, versatile and likable characters, and they did it again here. The thing that sets Wish apart from other manga that try to be as cute as possible is this diverse cast. We have the lovable angel Kohaku who spends half of her time in chibi-form and the elegant angel Hisui, who are always drawn with lots of frills and stuff, and yet on the other hand the series is also full of devils, the lead character is very stoic and plain (not to mention 28 years old), and his grandfather is also a very prominent character. The cast consists out of idiots and smart people, brash ones and calm ones. The personality of everyone here is completely different, very balanced out and the contrast worked really well.

As for the plot progression, four volumes turned out to be a great length for this series. It’s short and very easy to just pick up, especially for someone who is new to manga like myself, but it does have enough time to flesh out its cast. There is a lot of slice of life in this series, as it likes to toy with the “I’m going to live with you”-trope. Seriously, like half the cast of this series ends up living with the male lead at some point; male or female, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, this build-up is great for showing off the different characters. And then that ending comes. Let’s just say… that this is Clamp. Rather than ending with something conventional, the ending definitely surprised me and I quite liked that.

The short length and relatively large cast does have its disadvantage: there are a bunch of one-dimensional side-characters, and some side-characters depend on their gimmick a bit too much. There also is this side-story about this schizophrenic cat that doesn’t really go anywhere. Oh, and it also has singing. I’m not sure whether this is because I’m new to manga, perhaps I’m just too much of a fan of multimedia, but drawing someone who sings just does not work for me. It looks awkward, even though the singing panels are often drawn with a lot of detail in this manga.

Anyway, Wish. Great read, although I think that I do prefer the Kobato anime. It had more time to develop its cast and I do prefer Kobato over Kohaku: Kobato’s story has this tragic side to it. Wish is definitely more concise and doesn’t have a first half of random episodes to wade through. If I’d rate this as an anime, it’d probably get somewhere like 84/100. I still haven’t quite figured out how I should review and rate manga, but that’s something for later.

Posted on 14 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

Okay, this is a bit of a weird entry. The thing is, that this will be the last entry for a few days. Tomorrow I’ll be on a holiday and I won’t return until upcoming friday. I do have internet connection starting tuesday, which I’ll probably use to submit a few entries, but expect some huge delays here.

Because of that, this week’s manga experiment is a bit different, because I’ve been busy packing my stuff and having a real life for a proper entry. I did visit a local manga library, at which I read a bit more of With the Light. Plus, I got a friend to loan me some manga that I can read while in the plane (all four volumes of Clamp’s wish to be exact, of which I already managed to finish the first chapter). But yeah, I can’t make any screenshots out of those, so no images for this entry.

With the Light – Vol.1: I finally managed to finish the first volume (which is like, triple the size of a regular manga volume), and I continued some of the steps in the life of the family while the titular autistic child Hikaru was in elementary school. A huge focus was on getting him to interact with “normal” people, instead of sending him to a place that only has autistic people, and I really liked that despite how hard it could be on him, that he’s improving slightly and slightly. The character-development here is top notch. At the same time, the author also takes her time to show some other problems of society, like domestic abuse, which is quite neatly woven into the rest of the story and used to relate back to the main characters. Quite well done.

Wish – Ch.01: I’ll have enough time to read this one while in my plane, but my first impressions of this are very favorable. I was a very big fan of Kobato’s last half, but so far the characters introduced here are completely different. And I like them a lot, especially the lead guy is likable and down to earth (not to mention in his twenties). This has got charm, of the same kind that made me such a big fan of Kobato.

And now for something completely random: what series would you like to see me blog next season? This is no thing definitive or anything, but I might use these results as a guide line.

What series would you like to see me blog?
  
pollcode.com free polls 
Posted on 7 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

Regarding next season: I am not going to continue this experiment there, and instead I’m going to take a more laid-back approach and focus more on finishing longer manga. The poll I ran last season really showed three things that stood above the others of possible things that I can cover: manga, some extra series, and recommendation posts. Next season I’m going to focus on the second one, and blog 12 series at once again (so no Kaleidoscope either). As for the recommendation posts… I’ll start on them as soon as I finish my to-watch list of Ghost in the Shell, Planetes, Texholnyze and Twin Spica.

With the Light – The Raising of an Autistic Child – Ch.01-??: When this was recommended, I searched for it online a lot, however I couldn’t find it anywhere. But then, a few days ago I was at a local manga library, and thankfully I managed to run into it. I don’t recall exactly what chapter I reached (probably around chapter 03), but this was definitely an interesting and realistic look at what it means to raise a child with autism. These first chapters only delved into the time when the kid is 2.5 years old and the first signs of autism start to change, but I especially loved the depiction of the stress that this can cause to the mother.

Hito Hitori Futari – Ch.14-15: These two chapters really exemplified the strengths of this series: it’s a very dark, yet also very warm story, and the two are combining more and more seamlessly here, especially in chapter 15 in which we see a more human side of that mysterious antagonist. I can see that the author loves to draw this guy, because there are a ton of stunning panels featuring him.

Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.08-09: Holy crap! I mean, there are twists, but this really came as a shocker. And don’t get me wrong, the next chapters have a lot of explaining to do, but still this is something that I did not see coming, and it was made even better by the intense style in which this manga is drawn. The author really likes to abuse speedlines, but the intense effect that this has is really working with these kinds of twists.

Posted on 1 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

Hotel – Ch.05: The fifth and for as far as I know last chapter of Hotel is only 16 pages long, and unlike the other chapters seems just like a place in which Boichi wanted to tell a short joke (comprising the first two pages) and draw some really pretty images (the other fourteen pages). The latter in particular are done in full-color and they are stuffed with eye candy. The storyline itself is nothing noteworthy, but it definitely looks nice.

Coelacanth – Ch.04-05: These two chapters form the middle part of Coelacanth (unless the manga is still on-going). The two main murder mysteries are now introduced, and these chapters mostly consisted out of character-development and hints that link the two together, albeit quite subtly. The author likes to weave contrasts together: the two seemingly unrelated murders, combining mystery with romance, involving both teenagers and adults. And then there is that sheep.

Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.06-07: Holy crap this is intense. However, while reading these two chapters, there was something that bugged me: this series is about total despair, and then there is a character like Mikasa. Level-headed, the top of her class, and just about the only one who can consistently kill giants without putting in effort. She was too perfect and needed flaws, which thankfully sowed up at the end of chapter 7, followed by one heck of a plot twist that shows that things haven’t even begun yet.

A Lollipop or a Bullet – Ch.07-08: These two chapters continued this series’ streak of amazing chapters. Seriously, this is some haunting look on child abuse and neglect and I’m really quite shocked at the events here. And the great thing is that this wasn’t because of some plot twist, but rather because of the things we learned about the characters: realizing the terrible situations they’re in and how they’re trying to sustain themselves and trying to cope with it. Oh my god please tell me that the rest of this manga can be found translated somewhere.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 09:40 PM)
    @afgm, positive. DS2 relies too much on mobbing your character and the bosses are terribly unimaginative. DS3 has faster combat that DS1 but I still think DS1 one bosses are better and DS3 had less interesting level design than DS1. Plus DS3 also focuses a bit too much on Mobbing and referencing DS1 instead of making it’s own lore.
  • afgm
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 07:49 PM)
    @Aidan are you sure you aren’t looking back on DS1 with rose-tinted glasses?
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:39 PM)
    Other wise I’d have recommended Life and Limit by Keiko Suenobu or maybe something like Mars. Although I don’t think Mars ages very well
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:33 PM)
    @kaiser Shoujo don’t tend to be as twilight zone-y as Partner, plus it’s only 3 volumes. There are shoujo that deals with heavy subject matters like bullying or forbidden love, but i don’t know if that’s what the person is asking for
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:27 PM)
    @Wicked: That was a decent enough manga, that Partner series, I like a good dark shojo and it was well enough in that regard within what its genre/demographic could get away with and its story fit comfortably its three volume run.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:14 PM)
    @K-Off, DSII was a disappointment somewhat salvaged by the DLC. DSIII is much better but still doesn’t top DSI.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:05 PM)
    @K-off: sorry I’m actually in your (former) neck of the woods about 50 miles north of Orange, working at a music festival called lightning in a Bottle. You’ll love Dark Souls III if you’re patient enough. So much of it is a direct homage/copy of the original that it feels like a shelved fanfic at times, but there is polish and some ingenuity behind some of the deeper nuances of the game.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:24 AM)
    @Bam Finally going to start DSIII this monday, I’ll have to see what’s so special about this one since I wasn’t the biggest fan of DSII.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:17 AM)
    Pretty pleased with my Vita so far, finished Danganronpa 2 and completed 100% of Ray Gigant this week. June looks like a pretty good month for the Vita, currently deciding whether or not I should purchase Odin Sphere or Grand Kingdom when they release. Of course I really should repair my WiiU gamepad before Mirage Sessions comes out.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 08:11 PM)

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