Posted on 9 December 2016 with categories: New Manga Spotlights

Yakusoku no Neverland [The Promised Neverland]

Emma and her friends have a pretty good life at the orphanage they grew up in. Though the rules may be strict, the caretaker is kind. But why are the children forbidden from ever leaving…?

As you have likely have guessed, the Orphanage isn’t quite what it seems to be but as to why that might be I will avoid spoiling. It will be difficult to really go into detail as that would ruin the surprise(Though it isn’t all that surprising but regardless) but the rundown is that these kids need to escape the Orphanage. So what we have here is a kind of Great escape story where the kids formulate a plan while avoiding attracting the suspicions of the caretaker. It’s pretty tense and the artist really know how to make some unnerving imagery. I can really see this becoming an anime in the future and if so it could be really something. Highly recommend this.

Maou-jou de Oyasumi [Sleeping in Devil’s Castle]

The time when humans and demons once existed. A demon king, the existence that throws off that balance of perfect stability, kidnapped a human princess and confined her in his own castle.
People raged, and sent a hero on a journey to rescue the princess to the castle she was confined in. She was supposed to be weeping, despairing, and waiting for a rescue, but… Having so much spare time, aside from sleeping she has nothing else to do.
Now, the “imprisoned princess” does as she likes in the demon king’s castle in a seek of a quiet sleep!
This is a sleeping short comedy!!

The hero and demon king routine has become rather stale a premise in regards to anime but this manga is different in just who it decides to focus on. This a about a captured princess who loves to sleep but is constantly finding problems coming up which prevent her from getting her precious nap times. So this tale is about her overcoming such problems no matter what gets in her way, even if she has to make a bed monster hunter style. The story is pretty simple and there really isn’t much more to it than that but the humor just really works. The stories are short and sweet while never failing to bring a smile to my face.

Uratarou

As a child, Princess Taira Chiyo escaped from being captured by the Minamoto army due to the the sacrifice of her mother. Now at the age of 15, she travels the land searching for immortality. Following the rumors about an immortal named Kijin-sama, Chiyo actually finds him! But all he wants is to die?

Clearly based on the legend of Momotarou, this manga isn’t really what I would call a masterpiece. But it remains a pretty fun shounen adventure regardless with a decently original hook. It does show dangers of becoming a rather generic shounen battle manga but at this point in time I don’t see any harm in recommending it. Plus I really like a one shot the mangaka made called Zombie Maria and his artstyle is really great for detailing gory fight scenes. In fact the artwork is pretty great in general as you can likely see from the above.

 

Other Notable New works

Red Sprite (Sadly this one was recently axed but it’s still a nice read.)

Marry Me!(Yuuki Miku)

Murenase! Shiiton Gakuen

Rike ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumeishitemita

Gendai Majo no Shuushoku Jijou

Shitei Bouryoku Shoujo Shiomi-chan

Amalgam of Distortion

Posted on 6 August 2016 with categories: New Manga Spotlights

Happy Sugar Life

High-schooler Matsuzaka Satou has a reputation for being easy, but one day her lifestyle of sleeping with one boy after another comes to an end. It happens when she meets the child Shio, for whom she is convinced she feels true love for the first time. Satou may seem sweet and innocent, but there is nothing she won’t do to protect their life together, including committing murder. But from where did she acquire the little girl, and how long can their “Happy Sugar Life” together last?

This is a story about love. But not in the sense of “Let’s get married and live our lives together” but more along the lines of “I will stalk you and watch you as you sleep at night, breathing heavily.” This story is about Yanderes and it certainly has them of all kinds and sizes. What you are going to get out of this depends on whether you like dark stories like myself. In this case everyone in this story is messed up in some way or another and it brings some great twists to the table. If you watched Mirai Nikki and thought that it would have been more interesting if it focused primarily on Yuno then this is the manga for you. Admittedly the main characters preaching on other characters “Love” is somewhat grating and this does depend a lot on it’s shock value. Still I think it has merit in that there are so few of these kinds of stories pulled off this well.

 

Jigokukoi; Death Life

Another series by the author of Jigokuren ~Love in Hell~. Set in the same world as Love in Hell but with all new characters.

A love comedy in hell you say? Well this isn’t necessarily a new title as the author has used this setting before in a similarly titled manga. But damn if it isn’t an interesting setting. Basically our protagonist dies and goes to hell. Hell in this universe happens to be everything you expect it to be besides the cute demon girls as it is their job to torture their subject in order to gain some level of status and money. Oh and by torture I really mean that in every sense of the word. If you are not a fan of gore you would do better to stay away from this as it does not hold back with it’s artwork. There’s people getting skinned alive, having their intestines nailed to a wall and even chopping off…yeah that’s too painful for me to even type. Regardless of the damage inflicted, once a person dies they just revert back to their old selves and thus the torture can begin anew. Despite how dark the subject material sounds this is actually more of a dark comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I would recommend reading the prequel to this as I am not too fond of the new characters dynamic. The best comparison i could make for this is that it’s like Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan.

 

Niehime to Kemono no Ou

Saliphie, the 99th sacrifice to the terrifying demon king, learns two secrets about the king: The first, that he has been letting the sacrifices go in secret. The second, that half of his blood is that of a human. She gets to know the king’s kindness and sorrow, and then it’s announced that the king has taken Saliphie, who wishes to become a source of energy for the king, as his queen, and…?

Well it’s beauty and the beast without the stockholm syndrome. This is an odd choice for me as I generally don’t go for these kinds of stories. However I must admit that their is something rather charming about this one. Maybe I just like the Dynamic between the king and the sacrifice girl as he tends to act menacingly while the girl just sees right through him. Plus i really love the design of the king and the setting of the monster kingdom. Of course there may be those of you being put off by the fact that the King is a lion and that this story looks like beastitly. Don’t worry, the king has a human form and their relationship is not sexual. I am not exactly crazy about this one but I admit that I rather enjoy reading it. It’s a very warm and fuzzy love story.

 

Canaria-tachi no Fune

Yuri is just a normal girl in high school: she loves hanging out with her friends, she has dreams, and she has worries. But one day, she wakes up in a strange forest she’s never seen before beside a man named Chihiro. As the two of them learn more about the place they suddenly find themselves in, and the oddly real dream they had of being abducted by aliens, the dark secret of where they are and what has happened to them will begin to unfold.

A man and a girl find themselves on an Alien planet without any real knowledge of why they are there. Once again this is a pretty dark story as the two come to terms with their alien surroundings. Artwork is great and so far the story has had some interesting turns. Might need a bit more time to show where it really is going but the general mental breakdown of the protagonists is enough to keep me intrigued.

 

Kangoku Jikken

Eyama Aito, a high school student, is the victim of daily bullying. One day a strange letter arrives inviting him to a “captivity game.” He may choose one person to hold captive for one month with a chance at winning a large amount of money. He chooses the ringleader of his bullies, Aya Kirishima, and the only rule of the game is to not kill her. Everything else is fair game. Eyama’s revenge begins!

Another dark concept to add to the mix. The bully and bullied which places when a boy enters the girl that torments him in a game. The rules of the game are simple, enter a name and that person will be abducted and held in a facility for one month. In that one month the one who entered the name can do absolutely anything to the victim. As long as it doesn’t kill the victim or remove their ability to speak then anything is fair game. However at the end of each week the victim is given an opportunity to guess the name of their capturer. If they guess right they get 10 million yen paid by capturers pocket. If they fail to guess the name in that month then the victim pay the capturer 10 million yen. What makes this one interesting is that their are others in the game as well who take part for different reasons.Our protagonist looks to be someone who is a potential sadist and has at least some degree of intelligence. I am hoping it doesn’t pull the rape card as that would be cheap however so far it looks like it’s sticking to just physical and psychological abuse. It might need some time before we can really see where it goes but for now I am rather fascinated.

 

Other Notable New works

Goblin Slayer

Shinyaku Marchen

Wombs

Bokura no Fushidara

Unbalance School Life

Kami-sama, Ki-sama o Koroshitai

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

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, New Manga Spotlights

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, New Manga Spotlights

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.

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