Friday, November 30, 2007
CBG Review: Key to the Kingdom, vol. 1
Key to the Kingdom, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Gakuen Alice, vol. 1
Released in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: A happy, fun-filled tale of an authoritarian government exploiting children for the good of the state and favored corporations.
Mikan's best friend Hotaru has been recruited for the government school for Alices, special geniuses who are educated separately from other students in Tokyo. Just as an aside, they call students Alices, even the boys. Why not call them Alans, let them retain their gender identity at least. Oh wait, I forgot, this is Japan. Never mind. Mikan is depressed and alone in her school, but when discovers that Hotaru went to the Alice school because the payment for her going to the school would keep her and Mikan's old school open. So yeah, the government is now buying kids, nice. Once Mikan learns that, she decides that she has to see Hotaru at the Alice school, and runs away from home to Tokyo to see Hotaru. Once there, one of the teacher's talks to her on the sidewalk outside of the vast walled compound where the Alice live and learn, and invite Mikan to join them. Once he prevents one of the Alices from escaping. Once inside Mikan learns that the Alices are not only geniuses, but many of them have extranormal abilities such as mind reading and pryokinesis. Mikan is normal, so she is mystified on why she was invited to join, but is happy to be reunited with Hotaru. Through a series of challenges laid out by pyrokinetic boy, a fellow student in her class, Mikan discovers that her ability is to be normal, as in to shut down other Alice's powers.
I snark, but there is a sad little subtext running through the title, of kids under the control of the government for their own good, and for the good of the nation. And its economy. I'm not sure what it reveals more of, I or the society of Japan. This title is fairly predictable, I could tell what Mikan's ability within a couple of her pages of her meeting the teacher that admits her. But it is a solid kid's tale, which makes me wonder why it is rated for 13+. No major plot holes that you could drive a bus through, though once again the fact that being a parent is one of the most dangerous jobs in Japan is proven here, because Mikan is living with her grandfather, who doesn't seem to panic too much that his pre-teen daughter has run off to the big city.
Gakuen Alice, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Magical JxR, vol. 1
Published in the US by UDON
Slugline: It is not a good sign when I tell you to skip the first 70 or so pages.
I did for Publisher's Weekly a while back an article on UDON called UDON on the Upswing.
Jay and Aru begin the volume as two magic students in the second grade whose magical style clash wildly. After a bunch of adventures while in second grade that show that they care for each other despite not being very similar, we suddenly jump ahead at least five years, in which Jay andAru turn from chibi children to bishonen (pretty boy) adolescents. They have to complete a year long contract with Cho -Ah, a combative student whose plans to start her life over in a new school and attract a boyfriend is derailed by the appearance ofbishonen Jay and Aru.
As far as I can tell, the stories of Jay and Aru in the second grade doesn't really add anything to the rest of the story. Other than Jay and Aru, the characters in the first half of the book don't really appear in the second half of the book and the theme of Jay and Aru being mismatched does not seem to be touched upon again. In other words, the first half of the book is very skippable. Which was almost, almost a fatal flaw with this book. What pulled it back was some very attractive art spreads and a relatively solid story in the rest of the book, even if it was nothing out of the ordinary. And since I am reviewing this title based on a preview copy, I am not sure how the art will look in the final version (UDON's preview books are printed on 8.5 x 11 paper, so it is hard to judge how the page crease will affect the final version.) And I'd better end this review before I talk myself into lowering its rating even further.
Magical JxR, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Zombie Loan, vol. 1
Released in the US by Yen Press
Slugline: Death has easy financing but the installment payments are a killer.
Michiru's parents have passed away and she lives with her aunt and uncle who barely tolerate her presence. If anything, she barely tolerates her own presence in the world. She allows herself to bullied around, by the girls in her school, and by Chika and Shito, two fellow students that miraculously survived overpass collapse. But Michiru has the ability to see rings around people's necks that show whether or not a person is going to die soon, and they both have solid black rings. It turns out that they are both dead but were allowed to bargain for their lives. They were given a chance to return to life, but to repay their debt they must recover zombies, people who had died but hadn't realized it yet and satisfy their hungers on human flesh. Despite using and bullying her, when Michiru is in danger of dying by a zombie attack, Chika and Shito take on more debt to save her. Bolstered with the knowledge that she didn't want to die, Michiru begins making changes to her life.
For once the timing of the episodes complements the volume, so that one complete story arc is completed in this book. And that makes the story more effective, because we can see the characters' progression without being immediately reminded of any backsliding. The first half of the book I wondering how I was going to make my way through it because Michiru was such a push over, but then she acknowledged that fact and was given a push. But it was merely a push, so the choice to change was still left up to her, which she did make. There is no doubt she is at the very beginning of a very long journey, but it is one that she is taking the very steps on her own. Chika and Shito remain mostly enigmas, but at the moment Michiru's journey is one that is interesting to me, which wasn't at all what I expected when I picked this up.
Zombie Loan, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Gyo, vol.1, 2nd ed.
Published in the
Slugline: A man-made horror story more in the vein of "Godzilla" than"Ringu."
This story starts out well enough, traditionally creepy, then bizarre, and then a good chase sequence. After that, things start to lose momentum a bit and an awkward scientific explanation retroactively drains the tension from the earlier chase scene. The story sticks to its guns, but by the end I was losing interest as the loose ends began to pile up. I was also starting to remember the “Land Shark” skit from SNL, which was distracting. (For people who are too young to remember, here is a Naruto AMV set to the original skit. There is a naughty word on the screen at the very end, so just close your eyes for that bit.)
The characters included a standard-issue girlfriend, a mildly crazy scientist and a guy. The funniest inadvertently funny line came when the girlfriend worried the guy would leave her, when she got sick with The Terrible Disease Humans Invented, because she wasn’t pretty anymore. Yes, dear, your being dead will have nothing to do with it, I’m sure.
Sea critters on legs swarming up the beach is a weird and potent image, but the lack of monster motivations and the sketchy scientific side don’t help at all. There were some good moments, but on the whole this was a mild disappointment. Maybe all will be better explained in the next volume.
Gyo, vol.1, 2nd ed. is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Friday, November 23, 2007
CBG Review: Street Fighter II, vol. 1
Street Fighter II, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
30% off everything sale at Rightstuf.com
Prospero's Manga does take time for us to run, and sales through this RightStuf.com link or any of our other Rightstuf.com links kicks us a percentage, which helps pay for the site. So everyone wins!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Love Attack, vol. 1
Released in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: It is so much harder to come with clever sluglines with competent manga than the sucky ones. I mean, what do you say, "Oh, great foreshadowing there, really. I am not being sarcastic at all....!"
Chiemi has the bad luck of continually getting fights at school, so often that the teacher has promised that Chiemi can only stay in school if she can convince the class hooligan, Hirata, to show up in school more often. After forcefully stating her case why he should attend more often, punctuated with a roundhouse kick, Hirata decides that he likes her, and wants to start dating. Needless to say, this starts a whole line of misunderstandings, but amazingly enough, they manage to settle it and try to start dating, despite the obstacles of needy cousins and Hirata's pressures due to his job.
Okay, I know I have been sorta tough on shoujo, but it feels to me that there is formula that has to be followed, and that in most cases if the couple just sat down and talked with each other for five minutes they would solve 99% of their problems, except for maybe what china patterns they want to receive at their wedding. Here, they at least try to talk about their issues, and don't let it linger too long. Maybe a chapter rather than several books worth. The fact that Chiemi is willing to dish out just as much hurt as Hirata does add a touch of danger to their arguments. It isn't great work, and I think I detect some backsliding in the last chapter, but this is something that I would like to see more of, to see if the title continues to avoid the common pitfalls. I do like the action and there are mostly nice clean action lines that illustrate rather than obfuscate, though I am left wondering why Chiemi needs to be dark haired in the chapter headings and on the cover, while in the rest of the book her hair is light-colored.
Love Attack, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
SERIES UPDATE: Saihoshi the Guardian: Omnibus ed.
Please check out our review for Saihoshi the Guardian, vol. 1.
If you missed picking up Saihoshi before it sold out, there’s good news – Yaoi Press is reprinting both volumes in one book, with the addition of some chibi strips and sketchbook art. I didn’t get to volume 2, so I’m glad I got a review copy of the combined volume. Despite Saihoshi’s silly giant scissors, this is easily one of the most entertaining yaoi stories I’ve read. I’m not saying it’s great literature, but considering the genre standard, it’s not to be missed.
Saihoshi will be available November 26 (2007) and it ought to sell briskly, so if you’re a yaoi fan keep your eyes peeled for it.
Monday, November 19, 2007
S.A., vol. 1
Released in the US by Viz Shojo Beat
Slugline: I haven't seen such a repetitive opening montage since the A-Team.
Hikari Honazono has problem. That problem is Kei Takishima, who has bedeviled her ever since they were little and he defeated her in a wrestling match. Worse yet, he humiliated her afterwards. Since then, she has followed him through school, trying to defeat in him any field that she can but has yet to succeed. But as the result of her hard work and dedication, she is always rated no. 2 in school activities, which has gotten her in the S. A. (or Special A, the top 7 students of the A group of her school, where students are rated into groups A through F) in a tough private school. She is the only middle class student in the S.A., which has been together for several years, so that the other six member of S.A. get to experience her world and she theirs. The volume is made of different episodes of Hikari trying to defeat Kei via various challenges, and the relationship based on respect that they have for each other.
I make the joke about the A-Team in the slugline, but the creator uses the same opening montage to describe the characters and their situation in every episode, so of course it is going to feel pretty episodic. Some of the members of the S.A. I feel aren't very distinct, making it easy for them to blur together, but for the moment the whole purpose of the story revolves around Hikari's competitive nature and her and Kei's relationship that is a minor concern. The fact that Hikari is shown working for her status, rather than the readers just being told that she is that good, and yet still show her weaknesses is interesting. Kei is sort of strawman in that regard since he appears to no. 1 without any effort on his part. Hopefully there is something more interesting ticking under the surface of Kei, otherwise this story is just not going to click together strongly.
S.A., vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
No Posting on Thanksgiving
Friday, November 16, 2007
CBG Review: Portus
Portus is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Star Project Chiro, vol. 1
Released in the US by UDON
Slugline: I think this is the fastest I have ever seen a manga (or manhwa) series fall apart.
Note: UDON seems to prefer using the term manhwa rather than the currently more popular term for manga from Korea, manwha. And this creator has also done the series Bring it On!
Eun-Yo Song has fashion designer brothers who make her fine clothes and the appreciation of most of the boys in school, but cannot make a move on the boy that she is really interested in, Chan-Kyung Woo. But after an accidental confrontation with the pop singer Nan Lee, Eun-Yo's life becomes more than a little crazy. She manages to get into a relationship with Chan-Kyung, but that is challenged when she gains a debt to Nan Lee for burning down his house, mostly by accident.
This started out as a nice little wacky comedy series, but then halfway through the volume things started falling apart. First of all there is a a jump forward in time of a year that I don't really think was necessary, and it jumpstarted some things I think we should have seen, such as the beginning of Eun-Yo's romantic relationship. Several characters seem to be needlessly cruel, and make demands that one would think that any reasonable person will refuse, but because this is a manga/manhwa they will be taken seriously by other characters, to those character's detriment. Plus the debt that makes characters dependent on each other? Hasn't anyone in Korea heard of homeowner's insurance? Or perhaps using banks to schedule payments over time? Sorry, one of these days I would like to see an approach of one of these massive debts in a somewhat reasonable fashion rather than just using them as a poor excuse to keep characters together when there is no other reason to. But there was a good beginning and some effective use ofchibi art throughout the book, so if the creator can resist the urge to go all cliche, she may still pull this off. (At least I believe it to be a woman, my grasp of Korean naming conventions is need of improvement.)
Star Project Chiro, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sale on TokyoPop Books and Manga at Rightstuf.com
Prospero's Manga does take time for us to run, and sales through this RightStuf.com link or any of our other Rightstuf.com links kicks us a percentage, which helps pay for the site. So everyone wins!
Uzumaki, vol. 1, 2nd ed.
Released in the US by Viz
Slugline: At what point do you stop saying it is a trick of the light and run for the hills?
Kurozo-cho is a cursed town, where there are spirals everywhere, attracting the inhabitant's fascination and leading to self-destructive behaviors. Kirie has lived in the town her whole life and has never noticed just how many dust devils and random whirlpools that exist in the water. But her boyfriend Shuichi has started to notice the differences since he started to go to school the next town over. Perhaps it is the awareness of the spirals that cause a rising spate of strangeness and death, each connected to the act or mesmerism of a spiral. Both of Shuichi's parents die haunted by it and Kirie's father, a potter, starts creating pottery that shows it. Spiral related mishaps start claiming Kirie's friends and classmates, culminating at the end of the volume of Kirie only barely escaping a fate that claims another classmate.
I haven't actually read any of the version of the Ring, only watched the original movie, so I do not know how this feels in comparison to it, which is a claim on the back cover blurb. However, at the moment it feels very episodic, much more so than the Ring. Which leads one to the question of the slugline, when do you realize everything you know has gone mad and you run for it? I would like to think the tipping point would have been episode five, when something simply impossible happens in broad daylight and with multiple witnesses. The art is both a strength and weakness, in which horrible things are simply and clearly drawn, with no speed lines or anything else to distract you from the concreteness of the events. But the characters, when they are not facing a horror, seem rather stiff and unresponsive. Still, it does do a good job of creeping you out.
This is the 2nd edition of the manga, and in this version the story has been presented in the original format, unflipped. The previous edition from 2001 seems to have been flipped. And though you can't see it here, there are ghostly images on the cover, in a contrasting shade of black.
Uzumaki, vol. 1, 2nd ed. is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: BSI
Released in the US by Viz
Slugline: I always knew lawyers could make a deal with the devil, but it is just not fair they can use him as an enforcer.
In modern Japan, the increase of supernatural incidents involving ghosts has lead to the creation of magic law, in which ghosts can be found guilty of various crimes and sentenced to ever more bizarre and creative sentences. Muhyo is an executor authorized to use magic law, and despite his small size he is far from being just competent with its use. Roji, on the other hand, is his second clerk (as in rank, not that there is another clerk around the office somewhere) who is far more empathetic with the plights of their clients. The volume is very episodic, each case its own episode, but in one episode showing just a hint of Muhyo's past and a possible long-term antagonist of the series.
The BSI part of the title, which I presume off a play off of CSI, is very apt. Like that series, while the stories here are not spectacular and the main characters are not very detailed, but the stories are still very solid. The main characters show enough depth that they are still interesting, their client's problems are suitably grotesque and the art is solid but also very evocative. My one concern is that the solution to the episode's horror may become a little too rote, that sometimes that there isn't enough of a challenge to it, but for the time being it is just a concern. While this does not aspire to great literature, it is still an entertaining read.
Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: BSI is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Welcome to the NHK
Published in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: Look into the darkness long enough and the darkness may just sit you down and tell you the way of the world.
This is a novel, so I am not going to give it an age rating, but it does have an Parental Advisory for Explicit Content, mostly for drug use and suicide, I suspect. Use your own discretion.
Satou is a hikikomori, the Japanese name for the tendency for people to withdraw from the world and spend most of their time isolated in their homes. While the back cover blurb says that Satou undergoes a hilarious journey out of his shell, the journey is anything but hilarious, filled with pain, confusion and backsliding. I suspect that this is a lot darker than the manga or anime, neither of which I admittedly have see . But it is a very raw look at depression expressed in several different ways, and the stumbling attempts to both survive and get out from underneath it.
I look at this and see that there is a mirror deep within it. Fortunately, I don't see myself in the mirror, but at times in my life I suspect I came uncomfortably close to doing so. Within fandom, there exists the possibility of self-destructive urges. Not that I believe that fandom is the cause of these urges, but by sinking deep enough into fandom one escape from these self-destructive urges merely at the cost of everything else. This can expressed by the stereotypical view of the comic fan as college age person hiding in his mother's basement surrounded by comics. Before the current rise of manga and anime in the US, back in the 1990s, replace the comics with bootleg tapes of anime and porn manga. But it is no more the fault of comics, manga or anime than it is the fault of the NHK. It is simply because people, and the characters in the novel, have become so hurt, so damaged, that no longer have the strength to face the world on its own terms. But even in their apartments trying to face the world on their own terms, surrounded by anime, religion or in the case of Satou nothing at all, the world still bears down. They are not crazy or weak, but they have made the only rational choice that seems available to them.
Read this if for no other reason to get a view into that world, of the people that seem to not have a life, that are willing to debate the fine points of a manga for weeks at a time and realize that there is more going on that you may be willing to realize.
Welcome to the NHK is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Friday, November 09, 2007
CBG Review: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, vol. 1
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Hot Gimmick S
Released in the US by Viz Shojo Beat
Slugline: Thanks to this book, I will now avoid other Hot Gimmick titles.
This is an alternative ending to the Hot Gimmick story, in which Hatsumi chooses to have a relationship, of a kind, with her adopted brother Shinogu rather than Ryoki. The story diverges after Ryoki decides to the leave their apartment complex so that in this version Hatsumi does not meet him in Ryoki's hidden spot at the top of the stairs and so instead is drawn to Shinogu.
The slugline perfectly captures my feeling about this series. The first third of the book is basically a quick condensation of the original series, and while Ryoki may be damaged, and I feel bad for him, but he is also an abusive misanthrope that Hatsumi should have pushed down the stairs. The fact that the implication of the title is that Hatsumi ends up with Ryoki in the original series makes me want to make a long distance call to Japanese Social Services (something I also wanted to do over The Devil Within). Maybe the condensation does not paint a fair picture of Ryoki, but I unless the books fall into my lap, neither am I driven to find out whether or not it is the truth. That is because the condensation of the original series is presented in such a distant, unemotional way that I unengaged with the story. Then there is a flashback to Hatsumi's and Shinogu's mothers about how Shinogu ended up in their house, so by that is finished and the story begins in earnest, almost half of the volume is over. By then it is far too late to care about any of the characters in any but the most superficial of ways. As an intro to the series, it fails to make you care about it, and if you are interested in the series, the first 40 or so pages are just recap.
I understand that they have chosen a difficult path here, but at the same time I think they should realized this needed some more work to be attractive to both fans of the series and new readers. Maybe if you are a major Shinogu fan you can overlook these problems, or a Hot Gimmick completist wanting the 13 new pages of the manga in the back, but otherwise I would say stay away.
Hot Gimmick S is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Aventura, vol. 1
Released in the US by Del Rey Manga
Slugline: A school that teaches kids how to use swords and magic. Yeah, nothing can go wrong here.
The Gaius School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has two tracks, one for magicians and one for swordsman. Of course, since this is a manga the swordsman can cause earthquakes with their swords, but that is besides the point. Lewin has been accepted into the school despite not having any magical ability, so he decided to go into the swordsman track. But he longs to be in the magician track despite his claimed inability, for he can make very small fires even without magic. One day in the library, looking for ways to clean his old and somewhat rusty sword, he makes friends with some students that are on the magician track. They sneak him into the magician side of campus a few times, and during one visit unknowingly release reanimated skeletons into the magician campus, where the neophyte underclass magicians do not have the skills yet to take care of them, leaving Lewin and some of the teachers to deal with them.
Aventura does feel inspired by the Harry Potter books, but it is merely an inspiration and the title does have a definite Japanese twist to it, such as the importance of the swords. The art does have the problem that in the action sequences of being a little too busy, so that all the speed lines serve to slow the comprehension rather than convey the power of the blows, but that is just one of my general problems I tend to have. The story also does itself no favors by claiming that Lewin is without any magical ability, because it is so blatant that he does have some, so that it is hard to give credence to the teacher's and Lewin's own lack of faith in their existence. It only serves to undercut the eventual reveal of his abilities, whenever that will be, because by the time it happens the readers will be anxious to get it over with rather than being in the moment. I also lost the story thread about the elf supporting character, over why some of his actions seem to have a deeper meaning that is what is first apparent, but these are relatively minor flaws in an otherwise satisfactory title.
Aventura, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Tears of a Lamb, vol. 1
Published in the US by CMX Manga
Slugline: I wish they had chosen something other than Anorexia to be the mystery disease du jour
Banri Hidaka has also done I Hate You More Than Anyone, which has also been reviewed here on Prospero's Manga. TokyoPop is going to launch another title by Banri Hidaka, V.B. Rose, and the titles will be cross-promoted.
Kei is determined to get into the new boy at school, Kanzaki's apartment. She lost a ring belonging to the previous owner of the apartment and wants to search it to make sure she did leave it there. Kanzaki has moved away from his old school because of his shame over his growing disability and escape a truly epic choke in his old school's very last basketball game. Kanzaki doesn't want to let Kei into his apartment, because he took the apartment over from his sister and in his mind still looks very girly. Thus the situation is set up for the two to help each other with their problems.
One of the challenges of being a reviewer is knowing when to be offended. In this volume they describe and use anorexia incorrectly. In many science fiction manga, they get the science wrong also, so why should they getting a disease wrong ina drama manga raise any more concerns in me than it would otherwise. Could it be because anorexia is a real disease affecting mostly young women now, rather than some abstract scienctific principle, and young women are among this manga's intended audience? I don't know if it should affect people's decision to read this or not. I have not known anyone with anorexia (that I have been aware of), so I can afford to be intellectual about it, while someone who has may have had a more personal experience with it would not be as forgiving. I am going to just rate it as best as I can, with this disclaimer up front.
Kanzaki's disability is dealt up front rather quickly, which is good, and for once a female's lead problem is one that can't be just solved with a five minute conversation. The problem with the ring, on the other hand, is a lot more thorny. Forgetting where you hid something something you hid deliberately is a little hard to believe. One would think one would remember the act of hiding. I do it all the time, I tell someone for instance, that I am putting keys or something down in a specific place, and so I remember telling the person where I put it. So by spending the time to hide something, something with a high value such as the ring, one would think Kei would never forget where she hid it. Unless, of course, she forgot where she put it on purpose, which opens a whole different can of worms. Other than some basic problems of the underlying situation, the art and storytelling are fairly strong.
Tears of a Lamb, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Just My Luck
Published in the U.S. by Blu
Slugline: More yaoi about confused, lonely boys falling prey… um, I mean, finding true love.
“Just My Luck” is a three-part story and the remainder of the volume is shorter yaoi stories. The main story has its interesting elements, involving Asahi’s bad luck and an anti-jinxing kiss, but does not have time to do much with them while filling out a standard-issue series of events involving a mildly competitive friend and a few past mysteries. “Mechanism of Love”, one of the short stories, also has some interesting elements and gets in more character work even though it’s shorter.
But on the whole there’s nothing exceptional about this volume. All the tops have gigantic shoulders and creepily long fingers. All the bottoms are waifish, lonely, and some have memory problems.
Just My Luck is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Friday, November 02, 2007
CBG Reviews: Pumpkin Scissors, vol. 1
Here is an array of Pumpkin Scissors merchendise
Here is the link for just the manga.
Pumpkin Scissors, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Other Stuff: Small Press Expo and Manga
I have done an overview (with pictures) of the Small Press Expo, one of the alternative comics conventions in the US for TokyoPop Online.
You can find it here.
Heaven!!, v 1
Published in the U.S. by Tokyopop
Slugline: The “god of good times” starts skin-riding the school’s “yankee” and turns him into a bishonen – while the yankee watches from the body of a stuffed monkey. Wackiness ensues!
The story is nominally supposed to be about Rinne, who can whack spirits with her magic paper fan, but she’s really only a prop. It’s Keiju and Uzaki’s story.
When Uzaki gets hit by a truck and dies, Keiju hops into his body and his godly aura makes an instant heartthrob out of the troublemaker. When Uzaki complains about Keiju “ruining his reputation” as a badass, he gets turned into a stuffed monkey. This does not stop the complaining, but it does make it more interesting. Spirits and bodies trade places a few times and everybody’s well on their way to confusion and comedy.
Amusingly, I find the “yankee” version of Uzaki cuter than the bishie version… probably because when I was in high school, guys did their hair that way. Yes, I’m old. Anyway, this book did get some laughs out of me even though the deck was stacked against it – the art is mostly rough and flat, and the dialog is nothing to write home about – so maybe I will look for volume 2
Heaven!!, v 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.