Hayate the Combat Butler Volume 36: Manga Review

So, remember that creepy coffin in the attic? Neither does this volume. It does, however, remember Ruka and Nagi’s challenge.

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Oreimo: Kuroneko: Manga Review

Oreimo is a manga which starts well – high school boy Kyousuke discovers his fashionable (as in fashion model) and popular younger sister Kirino is secretly an otaku who is really into games with moe little sisters and decides to bond with her through her fandom while also covering for her with their parents – and then hits an ending where the brother ends up in an incestuous relationship where he ends up marrying that sister. One of the supporting characters in that work is Kuroneko – one of Kirino’s friends in otakudom, who also has a romantic interest in Kyousuke. Now, Oreimo Kuroneko dares to ask the question – what if instead of boning his sister, Kyousuke decides to court his sister’s classmate who is also into him instead.

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Battle Angel Alita – Last Order (1st Half): Manga Review

Cover of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Omnibus 1

Battle Angel Alita ended – sort of – on an interesting note. Due to health issues, the mangaka, Yukito Kishiro, somewhat rushed the manga’s conclusion, quickly moving the story into the floating city of Zalem, before blitzing through the city coping with the revelation that everyone in the city has computer brains – and Alita ultimately ending up in control of the city. The sequel, Last Order, starts there, before going into an oddly different direction.

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Genshiken Second Season – Vol. 1-8: Manga Review

Cover of Genshiken Second Season vol. 1

When a creator revisits an old creation, it can be interesting from a reader’s perspective, as we see how changes with time influence that work, whether it’s the Eva Rebuild movies, or Chris Clairmont returning to the X-Men, Timothy Zahn returning to Star Wars, or what have you. With the revival of Genshiken – Genshiken Second Season – the manga elects not to pick up right where the old manga did, and instead skips forward, to a new generation of otaku and a look at how fandom has changed with time, with some interesting results.

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Laid Back Camp: Vol. 1 – Manga Review

I enjoyed Laid Back Camp a lot. Between its informative depictions of going camping in Japan, it’s interesting travelogue sequences, and it’s generally chill tone, it ended up being one of my favorite anime, and one where I was kind of sad to see it end, and glad to see the show get a second season. After hearing that the manga had been getting an English release, I decided to check out the first volume of the manga.

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20th Century Boys: Manga Review

If I was going to describe 20th Century Boys in a high concept manner to someone in an elevator, I’d describe it as It meets The Stand. It’s a story that takes place over a vast scope of time, almost 30-40 years, with multiple time skips, and an apocalypse in-between, with a fundamental premise of a group of childhood friends being forced to face a great evil as adults. The difference is, the evil in It is a clearly supernatural, unearthly evil. The evil in 20th Century Boys is very, very human.

There are some spoilers below the cut.

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Food Wars Vol. 1: Manga Review

Cropped cover of Food Wars Vol. 1

When I reviewed Today’s Menu for Emiya Family, I was impressed not just by the charm of the story, but how well the anime depicted the act of cooking – how well it showed its work. It was a manga about family meals. This wasn’t just represented by the choices of food prepared in the work, but on how the series depicted eating. However, Food Wars Volume 1, which I’m reviewing today, kicked off a sort of boom of cooking anime and manga that lead to series like Emiya Family, and Food Wars could not be more different.

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Ultraman (Manga): Thoughts on Vol. 1-4

Ultraman cover art from volumes 1 & 12

If you think about it, superheroes have been a part of Japanese pop-culture ever since the post-war period, and in particular the 60s and 70s. Astro Boy is Pinocchio with Super-Powers. Characters like Shotaro Ishinomori’s Android Kikaider and Kamen Rider featured protagonists fighting a supervillain organizations and their superpowered minions, and so on. And, of course, there is the tokusatsu classic – Ultraman from Tsuburaya Productions.

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