Wednesday, March 25, 2015

UQ Holder 4 by Ken Akamatsu

UQ Holder 4 by Ken Akamatsu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Kodansha Comics

UQ Holder (4)

Wow! I've been wishy-washy about this series up to this point and wasn't sure if I was going to continue. However, this volume totally amps up the game! All the members of the team are being focused on, even though Tota is the main character, and their backgrounds are explored a little bit here mostly by telling us in what way each is immortal. My favourite at this point is Ikku. This volume is plot and battle intensive. A new bad guy with a mysterious past connection to Tota is introduced and the whole entire book surrounds his nefarious scheme and the UQ team trying to spot him. A new member of the team is also introduced (look at the cover); she's totally awesome with some very cool powers!

Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection by Kazue Kato

Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection by Kazue Kato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by VIZ Media
(first published in Japan 2011)

I haven't read Kazue Kato before, but Blue Exorcist has been on my tbr list for ages. The art in this collection of shorts is absolutely beautiful. She is a first-rate manga artist. The stories are all dark, depressing or weird; my kind of stuff basically. The first story is pretty dark and I really liked it. About an assassin and the son of a doctor he attacks who become friends in a strange way. The next story has rabbits and the message in the end is we all have to move forward no matter what heartbreak we face along the way; we can't live in the past. Later on a short where mommy beats up daddy, ok.... moving right along a princess wears paper doll clothes with tabs which means she shows up naked from the backside view. Back to being serious with a short but sentimental story of a homeless dad whose daughter almost dies from illness until he starts his own business. ... haunting mysterious sea creature. Then along comes a fantastic story featuring space aliens about the meaning of life and a decidedly strong Christian message. Finally, the book ends with the first Blue Exorcist one-shot which is totally excellent and now has moved up further on my tbr list.

My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 by Kazune Kawahara

My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 by Kazune Kawahara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 184 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by VIZ Media LLC
(first published in Japan 2012)

My Love Story!! (1)

I'm not rating this 5 stars because it is the best book in the world but more because it thoroughly entertained me, and I can honestly say I truly enjoyed this. And why would this merit 5 stars to me? Because I can not stand romantic shoujo, but there is nothing *not* to like in this quaint, adorable first volume to this series. There are no gimmicks, no cross-dressing, no vampires, nor do we have to wait 18 volumes for the star-crossed pair to tell each their feelings! For Takeo and Yamato it is love-at-first-sight. The glitch? Takeo isn't the kind of boy that girls usually go for, very tall, burly, square-jawed, large nose (and for comedic effect) overly large lips. The story is really cute and sweet. Takeo's friend is the exact type girls fall for but by contrast Takeo is always the gentleman and knows at heart how to treat a lady right; he just hasn't had a chance before. Really adorable story for romantics. I'm usually critical with shoujo but found this one a pure joy to read even quite open to continuing on with the series!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Buzz! by Ananth Panagariya

Buzz! by Ananth Panagariya. Illustrated by Tessa Stone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 169 pages
Published December 17th 2013 by Oni Press

This is a strange little fellow. It's one of those books that take you half-way through till you fall for it. The second half was just so much more entertaining as by then I'd caught up in the story and characters, which are very unusual, to say the least. This is a take on the martial arts battle mangas only here we have spelling bee competitors battling each other with the letters forming into solid shapes and attacking the other person, causing injury. OK, it sounds weird and honestly, I thought what the heck? when I first started it almost not wanting to finish the book. But I'm glad I did because it has a good message of believing in yourself and it turned out to be quite a fun story. I can see myself enjoying this much more as a teen as I was one of those "word nerd" girls. LOL. I liked the art; very manga-like but the use of yellow in the b/w illustrations was not aesthetically pleasing.

Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1: Herr Dr. Tenma

Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1: Herr Dr. Tenma by Naoki Urasawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, VIZ Signature Edition, 221 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by VIZ Media
(first published in Japanese June 1st 1995)

Monster (Vol. 1)

This is fantastic! I absolutely loved it! A crime set in Germany starts off in 1986, then skips ahead to 1995. The twist ending was stunning even though I'd guessed it would turn out the way it did. Lots of medical situations and drama. This would make the perfect starter manga for someone who doesn't like fantasy. I cannot wait to read the next volume! I just have to decide whether to use the library or buy the delicious omnibus editions that are being published now. Hmmm...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Vol. 1 by Yuuto Tsukuda

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Vol. 1 by Yuuto Tsukuda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by VIZ Media LLC
(first published in Japanese, April 4th 2013)

Food Wars! (1)

I really thoroughly enjoyed this. I've never quite read a manga of this type before. It's a straight story, no magic or fantasy and set in the real world of today, but it's hilarious. At first I foud myself thinking how utterly unrealistic the story was, but then laughed because, yeah, all the other manga I read is sooo realistic, right? LOL So I got over that and became totally immersed in the characters and the story. I amazingly really liked this dude! Plus the antics are hilarious. While he is a wonderful chef he also likes to make perfectly horrid dishes like squid and peanut butter and make people eat them. There is no sex but when someone eats something that tastes totally divine they are morphed into a dream where they are naked, in ecstasy, and things are wrapped around the naughty bits, like a snake or clouds or steam. Now, of course, this is usually female nakedness but men do get the same treatment occasionally and there was a nice beefcake illustration [grin]. Anyway, that's why the 16+ publisher rating on this one. I might just continue on with this series as it's so different from anything else I'm reading/have read. I'd only have a few volumes to catch up on to be up-to-date.

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 3 by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 3 by Adachitoka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published January 13th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
(first published in Japanese, February 2012)

Norigami: Stray God (3)

Another great volume! This one concentrates on the discord between Yato and his shinki, Yukine. Everything comes to a head and that story arc is finished off. Meanwhile, Bishamonten is still lurking around looking for Yato to exact her revenge. A new evil shinki is introduced, but there's more to that story I'm sure! and Yato solves one case during all this of a boy at school who is being bullied. I just love Hiyori, I hope she never gets cured!