Naoki Urasawa’s Master Keaton is fascinating to read alongside his later series Monster. If Monster is an HBO prestige television series, Master Keaton feels much more like a syndicated TV series. Both are mysteries, but Monster pushes forward on a tightly plotted course toward its conclusion. At the same time, Master Keaton is willing to tell a collection of more episodic stories, often moving back to a particular status quo at the end of each episode. That’s not bad, it’s just a different approach.
Continue reading “Manga Review: Master Keaton”
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster was the series that got him on my radar when I learned (10 years ago) that Guillermo Del Toro was trying to get a live-action adaptation of the series made for HBO (which ultimately fell through). That was enough to get me to hunt down the manga and slowly, over time, read it through my local library system (impacted by books falling out of and then back into print). Well, at long last, I’ve finished reading it.
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Shojo manga has, historically, been underserved by American manga publishers – and when we have gotten shojo series, they have tended to be more conventional romance series – and not necessarily works in other genres (whether fantasy, science fiction, or historical fiction). However, some of the more influential works of the genre have fallen overlapped with other genres, and probably few more influential and more high profile than Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles. It’s also a manga that until fairly recently, hasn’t been available (legally) in its entirety in English.
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Ken Akamatsu’s most recent (and likely last for a while) shonen battle manga, UQ Holder, has come to a conclusion. So, having previously discussed it the last time I got caught up, now is a good time to give my thoughts on the series.
Continue reading “UQ Holder: Complete Manga Review”
I started going to anime conventions during peak Haruhi-ism. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime had first aired – fans were debating in which viewing order was the “right” one to watch it in, conventions had panels about how to do the Hare Hare Yukai, it was a wonderful time. As the years have gone, and in the wake of Endless Eight, and a general lack of Haruhi content, the visibility of the series has kind of faded to the background. However, the novels and the manga were still out there, so I came to the decision that if I wasn’t able to see the whole story animated, I’d read it in manga form and see how it all played out.
Continue reading “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Manga Review”
It’s been a while since I dropped a manga, and much as when I reviewed Night Head 2041 after having dropped it, it feels appropriate to discuss Copellion for the same reason – particularly since I made it over halfway through the series (with under 100 chapters to go before finishing it) before I had enough.
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I’ve finally gotten caught up on the My Hero Academia Manga in the Shonen Jump app, and want to give my thoughts on where the manga is now. As a warning – this post will contain spoilers for content after the conclusion of season 5, up to where the manga is now and will include speculation on what will be covered in Season 6. Spoilers will begin below the cut.
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Maison Ikkoku is, like a fair number of Rumiko Takahashi’s manga from this period (including Urusei Yatsura and Ranma 1/2) – very sitcom esque. It finds a status quo, will venture away from it at the start of an arc, and will generally will return to whence it came at the end, with some forward movement, but not necessarily a lot. Such is the case with the second and third volumes of the manga, where after introducing the cast in the first volume, it’s starting to find its rhythm.
Continue reading “Maison Ikkoku, Collector’s Edition Vol. 2-3: Manga Review”
The last 4 volumes of the Silent Mobius Manga are, in a lot of respects, representative of everything about the manga that works, and everything that really doesn’t. We have some truly spectacular action in these volumes, but also a reiteration of some of the more considerably cringy elements of the series. There will be spoilers for the ending below the cut.
Continue reading “Silent Mobius Vol. 9-12: Manga Review”
It’s interesting looking at Knights of Sidonia’s ending on context of the endings of Blame and Biomega, and the tones of those series overall. Blame and Biomega were stories with a generally small cast. Blame with one person, later 3 people. Biomega with 3 people. Those stories were also generally travelogues, with the protagonists traveling the Megastructure or the World (respectively) to find a solution. Knights of Sidonia on the other hand, has the story more (generally) locked down to a location, and has a much larger cast. So, the question becomes how does the ending pan out. There will be spoilers in this post.
Continue reading “Knights of Sidonia Volumes 14 & 15: Manga Review”
Negima, Ken Akamatsu’s previous manga, was one that Akamatsu wanted to make as a battle manga, his publisher wanted to make as a fanservice-heavy rom-com, and ended up being both. UQ Holder, Akamatsu’s current manga, starts as a battle manga and has, to date, stayed that way, with plenty of fanservice and some rom-com hi-jinks scattered through the series.
Continue reading “UQ Holder Vol. 1-17 Manga Review”
If you were expecting the Manga Contest to come to some sort of a head this volume, expect disappointment.
Continue reading “Hayate the Combat Butler Vol. 37 Review”
These volumes of Knights of Sidonia are the lead-in for the big climax of the story. Tanijiro picks his romantic interest in these volumes, and the Sidonia gets ready for their big final assault on the Greater Cluster Ship, only for a new wrinkle to potentially ruin their plans – and the ship.
Continue reading “Knights of Sidonia Vol. 12-13 Manga Review”
Volumes 6 through 8 of Silent Mobius is where the shit really hits the fan. For the past 5 volumes, the fight between the AMP and the Lucifer Hawk has been pretty conventional. The Lucifer Hawk launch a terror mission, AMP fights back. Starting lightly with volume 5, but more predominantly with 6-8, the Lucifer Hawks start directly taking the fight to AMP.
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Volumes 8-11 of Knights of Sidonia are where Nihei steps firmly into New Battlestar Galactica Territory. We had a bit of that in the earlier volumes, but here there’s the level of internal political dissension I associate with that show.
Continue reading “Knights of Sidonia Vol. 8-11: Manga Review”
As part of this COVID-19 world, I’ve been trying to get through some of the manga titles on my reading list. One of the ones I’ve been working on is Kia Asamiya’s urban fantasy Cyberpunk opus, Silent Mobius.
(Note: For the purposes of this review I am reading the Viz Media release – the Udon release is incomplete, and the Manga Planet release hasn’t come out yet).
Continue reading “Silent Mobius Vol. 1-5: Manga Review”
In what feels like decades since the last release of Maison Ikkoku, Viz is re-releasing the manga, using the 10-volume format that the series received in Japan, instead of the 15-volume release they used for the previous version, and with a new translation. Since I didn’t get particularly far in the manga with the previous release, I figured now is a pretty good time to start over from scratch.
Continue reading “Manga Review: Maison Ikkoku Vol. 1 (Re-Release)”
The manga Shinji Ikari Raising Project does a lot with a pretty simple concept – what if we take the small slice-of-life rom-com anime vignette from the last episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and expand on that to its own series? Generally, it succeeds at that concept, with some solid humor, though with some missteps later in the series that gets things kind of awkward.
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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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When we last got caught up with Hayate, Father Radiostar and Isumi discovered a coffin in a space in the attic. Is related to that happening this volume? No!
Continue reading “Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. 35: Manga Review”
Well, it all comes down to this – the final decision of who Madarame is going to date. I will be spoiling who that person is below the cut, so head’s up.
Continue reading “Genshiken Second Season Vol. 12: Manga Review”
When we last left off on Genshiken, we had eliminated about two possible candidates from Madarame’s Harem, as well as establishing a possible romantic interest between Hato and Mirei Yajima. Two candidates in the Harem remain, Sue and Hato.
Continue reading “Genshiken Second Season Vol. 11: Manga Review”