Friday, July 22, 2016

QQ Sweeper, Vol. 3 by Kyousuke Motomi

QQ Sweeper, Vol. 3 by Kyousuke Motomi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: Received a print review copy from the publisher

QQ Sweeper (Vol. 3)

So this is the final volume of a trilogy, though the series does continue with a new title and a new volume 1 but I don't know if it's being translated into English or not. Anyway ... this is a wonderful final volume. It is very intense with its paranormal content, the romance between the main characters, and there is also a theme of friendship and forgiveness. What I really liked about the romance aspect of this series is that the two main characters do like each other and while it's intense there is none of that reading 15 volumes before the characters kiss business that keeps me away from most shojo. The paranormal aspect is a little silly, bugs infecting people, but again it's intense and a villain is centre stage in this volume. The cleaning aspect is actually fun and adds humour to the other dark overtones. The ending isn't finite as the mangaka had to wrap things up quickly but she did a good job of leaving you to imagine the future. But of course, the series does continue under the title "Queens Quality".

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 1 by Izumi Miyazono

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 1 by Izumi Miyazono
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: received a print review copy from the publisher

Either I'm starting to like romance or this is just a well-written manga. I'll go with the latter. This is a grown-up book; the audience is josei and the rating is "M". Nothing mature happened yet but this is the first josei I've read that I've liked. It is pure romance and has the typical hating each other to start off with but by the end of vol. 1 they are dating, so that is not the issue. The issue is that she is looking for marriage and wants to be a homemaker, while he would "rather die than get married" and has been used to having affairs only. But they fall in love and they decide to love the person instead of their ideals and see what happens. I have to admit I liked the interaction. The guy acts like a jerk but isn't one and I really like the pro-woman and -femaleness of the topic. Being a homemaker is defended and while she meets resistance all the time, so far, the book is portraying those types of womanly yearnings as positive. I really liked that. I'd definitely read the next volume!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. 1 by Osamu Takahashi

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. 1 by Osamu Takahashi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Dark Horse Manga
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Neon Genesis Evangelion Universe

Dark Horse is coming out with omnibus editions of this series this summer and I wanted to try it before I pre-ordered. I was aware this was going to be shojo but I am a lot more pleased with it than I thought I would be. Of course, the story is set before the original series and takes many liberties with continuity to present itself as a possible alternate reality to the one that happened. I'm not sure I'd call it shojo at this point as it is a strange mix of shojo and shonen slice of life school stories. Lots of romantic comedy as expected, but lots of teen boy sex talk and hi-jinx too. What really surprised me and won me over was that the science fiction theme is very much there. All the kids' parents work for Eva, Rei is working for them and by the end of this volume everyone has visited the lab. I really enjoyed the characters as I already knew them quite well and even though their history has been changed their personalities are true to form. I must say I look forward to continuing on with this series through the upcoming omnibus editions.

Your Lie in April 8: Interrupted Time by Naoshi Arakawa

Your Lie in April 8: Interrupted Time by Naoshi Arakawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy via Penguin Random House Canada

Your Lie in April (#8)

The story is really taking centre stage now instead of the music. Everything still revolves around music but we are dealing with emotions mostly in this volume. It has left me feeling sad. The last page is a shocker. Otherwise, everyone is dealing with not being accepted by/loved by the person they love. A new character is introduced and she has designs on Kosei but I'm not sure if she hates him or loves him. As always I love the art, the music is shown with line that makes you feel the sounds being made. Some light moments of humour to temper the mostly sombre atmosphere. A lovely manga, I'm really enjoying.

The Seven Deadly Sins 15: The Holy War Begins by Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins 15: The Holy War Begins by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Received a review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#15)

This is an action volume with lots of battle. It is also the start of a new arc. Giants like mountains are attacking and we learn of the return of the evil Ten Commandments and meet the first one: Truth. The story switches narrative between Fairy King and Ban, and the rest of them at Camelot. These new villains look pretty cool and things get pretty violent in the battles. Good start to a new arc.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
Illustrated by Sana Takeda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Image Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Monstress (Vol. 1)

Absolutely awesome! First, the art is just gorgeous! Right from page one the intricate and sublime paintings make you gasp. This story is high fantasy of the greatest quality. Several races are involved and the character development is superb. So much happens in this one book that it was a heart-pounding page-turning read. The world building is magnificent and I was spellbound by this intelligent story where good battles evil and yet there are many grey areas where both are present and certain characters who straddle each side. I'm always a sucker for sidekicks so my favourite character ended up being the little half-breed fox girl who shows much more spunk and bravery than her cute looks show. Wonderful book!

Last Man #5: The Order by Bastien Vivès

Last Man: The Order by Bastien Vivès
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Last Man (#5)

Things have really heated up in this volume. All sorts of politics going on with both sides of the Eternal whatever-it's-called. The modern world has brought vicious killer fighters back from the dead and are going all out to capture Marianne and Adrian. The ancient world has seen a prophecy and the King is reinstating the Guardians. This is all real serious stuff and very intense. But won't make sense unless you've read the other volumes in order. Great book! Can't wait for the next volume!