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.
Continue reading “Manga Review: The Rose of Versailles”
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.
Continue reading “Copellion Manga – Why I Dropped It”
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.
Continue reading “Silent Mobius Vol. 6-8: Manga Review”
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)”
I’ve been getting back into reading Blade of the Immortal with the new Amazon anime series adapting the manga – which will still be airing as this goes up. Thus far I’ve read the first 8 volumes of the manga (using the US order), and have some thoughts on the work.
Continue reading “Blade of the Immortal Vol. 1-8 (US): Manga Review”
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.
Continue reading “Genshiken Second Season – Vol. 1-8: Manga Review”
So, at last I’ve now gotten caught up on Hayate the Combat Butler – at least the official English release of the manga, so I might as well get through these last 5 volumes at one big whack!
Continue reading “Hayate the Combat Butler Vol. 30-34: Manga Review”
I’ve read several of Tsutomu Nihei’s previous series and reviewed them for Bureau42, and in part here – Biomega and Blame, and I’d reviewed a couple of volumes of Knights of Sidonia at the Bureau, but I might as well get up to speed here.
Continue reading “Knights of Sidonia Vol. 1-7: Manga Review”
A while back I reviewed the anime adaptation of the manga Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family. At that time the video review went out, the first volume of the manga had come out, and I’d read it and enjoyed it, and since then two more volumes of the manga have come out since then, so it’s time to give this a proper review.
Continue reading “Today’s Menu for Emiya Family Vol. 1-3: Manga Review”
The first four volumes of the Ultraman manga were bookended by the sentence “This is the beginning of a new age.” Volume 5 starts with that sentence, but ends with the sentence fading from the page – and that says a lot about where this volume of the manga ends.
Continue reading “Ultraman Vol. 5: 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.
Continue reading “Laid Back Camp: Vol. 1 – Manga Review”
When last we left the worlds most unlucky butler, he had unintentionally deceived idol singer Ruka into thinking that he was a girl, due to having been roped into crossplay. Meanwhile, Nagi has decided to get back into manga – but she needs her muse…
Continue reading “Hayate The Combat Butler – Vol. 29: Manga Review”
In the last couple volumes of Hayate the Combat Butler, we got something of a new status quo for the characters as a whole, while not really setting up what the next arc for Nagi was going to be. Volume 28 introduces a couple of new characters (sort of) while setting up Nagi’s next arc.
Continue reading “Hayate The Combat Butler Vol. 28: 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.
Continue reading “20th Century Boys: Manga Review”
After Hayate the Combat Butler Vol. 25, 26 and 27 serve as something of a bridge arc. They don’t tell a complete story in their own right, but instead sort of continue in the shift in the status quo started by Volume 25.
Continue reading “Hayate the Combat Butler Vol. 26-27: Manga Review”
Over the past few years off and on, I’ve read the first 13 volumes of Oh! My Goddess, and I’ve written about them on various other places (including Bureau42), but never on my blog. Having finished the 13th volume of the manga, now is as good a time as any to give some general thoughts about the series.
Continue reading “Oh! My Goddess – Thoughts on the first 13 Volumes”