Archive for Manga

3 Mediums 3 Reviews

I haven’t written for a while, and I haven’t read anything substantial, though I have read and watched a bit, so I decided to give a couple of short reviews all in one post. We’ll see how it goes.

– Book: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Having read a couple of books by Juliet Marillier already, I know she favors a good fairy tale. So when I saw that this book was based on the fairy tales “12 Dancing Princesses” and “Frog Prince”, I wasn’t surprised. It’s about 5 sisters that live in a castle in Transylvania (yes, there are, in fact, vampires) in 1500s. They discover a portal from their room to another world, where they go dancing each full moon by crossing a lake called Deadwash. Deadwash, in fact, is the same lake where their cousin drowned many years ago. Jena, the main character, also has a pet frog with whom she can communicate via her thoughts. They are living quite harmoniously until their father falls ill and goes to another city to get well and their cousin (the younger brother of the drowned one) takes charge of their beloved castle.wildwood dancing

This is a young adult fantasy book, or so I heard, though other than the fact that the story is a bit simpler and shorter than her other books (at least the ones I read) it’s not that babyish. I like the relationship between the sisters, although Jena is sometimes really annoying. I like the cousin, Cezar, and how evil he can be. Also I really enjoy a good love story, and this one is not a bad one. There are also vampires, though they are not called thus but “Night People”, and you know I also enjoy a good vampire story. It also has this small historical vibe, and she even mentions Turks. It’s overall a good story, though I’d prefer her Sevenwaters Trilogy any day.

– Movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I do not exactly run to the theater after a Harry Potter movie has been released (though I was among the first who purchased the books), but when I actually get there, I do enjoy it immensely. Sometimes I find myself to be the only one laughing or crying (not at the same time, hopefully) and attract a couple of weird books. Who cares.

Anyway. As with the books, each movie is a better than the last, and a lot more sophisticated. I don’t even believe I have to talk about the plot at this point. When I had read the book, I had cried my eyes out on the bus, for an hour at least. Thank God I didn’t cry that much, though I cried a little bit, because the ending is the most heartbreaking yet. I believe it’s even worse than the last one. Though it’s been a while since I read the book, I can physically detect the differences between the book and the movie, the most obvious being Harry and Ginny. It was a lot better in the book, as usual. I also don’t remember Dumbledore asking Harry if there was something going on between Harry and Hermione. That just doesn’t sound like something old Dumbledore would do. There is another thing: I heard that in the first script, Dumbledore actually mentioned an old crush on a girl, but J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore couldn’t have a crush on a girl because he’s actually gay. I already knew she had said this, but it’s still funny.harry potter and the half blood prince

I like the flashbacks to Tom Riddle, and I like whoever plays both the child and the teenager. He’s close to the Voldemort I imagined. Especially the way he speaks reeks evil. I adore the scene where Harry visits Hagrid with that Professor Horace, and he’s kind of drunk. I love Ron, as usual, when he eats the love-potion-induced chocolates and is lovesick all over the place. I also like Draco Malfoy, and how he’s finally a center character trapped between good and evil. It’s just so enjoyable. All Harry Potters are enjoyable. Rowling is such a genius. I only have one negative thing to say, and it’s that the ending is a bit rushed, especially the bit with Snape, but I can see that there’s nothing to be done about the short span of a good movie.

– Manga: Constellations on my Palm by Chisako Sakuragi and Yukine Honami

This is one of the lighter yaoi mangas I have encountered. Mizuho is a college student (as these things go) and Enji, his cousin, comes to Tokyo to study and stays with Mizuho’s family. They used to be really close, but something happened in the past, when they were still teeny kids, and Mizuho avoided seeing Enji since. When they meet again, Mizuho sees that Enji barely talks to him, and is cold as ice. He really wants to go back to the way things are, but Enji doesn’t seem to want to. constellations on my palmThe title comes from the fact that they used to watch the sky together, and stare at the stars. In fact, now Enji is studying to be an astronomer and seems mad at Mizuho because he has abandoned his childhood dreams.

The story is pretty straight-forward, and nothing really surprising. But I did enjoy the way the story goes, all calm and deep, and Mizuho’s changing feelings. Enji is especially a nice character, though he seems cold at times. Their chemistry is just right. The misunderstandings go a bit too far, but that’s to be expected. It’s nothing hard core, so it can be a good starting point for the immense world of yaoi. Good stories are hard to come by in yaoi, so this one is a good choice.

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My Favorite Complex

Today I did something I’ve been denying myself for a while. I read Lovely Complex Volume 10. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day, but I couldn’t help myself. 

It was months back, and I was always looking through Amazon’s recommendations to find something to order and read. Lovely Complex by Nakahara Aya kept popping up, but I ignored it because the plot looked so stupid: a tall girl and a short boy. I mean, it sounds so dull. But after a while I decided to give it a go. It was one of my better purchases.lovely complex

Risa Koizumi is the tallest girl in her class. Atsushi Otani is the shortest boy in his class. Thanks to their homeroom teacher, they are known as a comedy duo who keep fighting and bickering each other nonstop. However, they are both very nice people and actually find that they like each other, as friends. They have the same taste in lots of stuff and keep talking in sync. After a while, though, Koizumi finds that her feelings towards Otani, who she affectionately calls “shrimp”, are deeper than friendship…Lovely Complex

The plot is too shojo. Almost cheesy. But their bickering is so funny, you get addicted after a while. The characters are so real and so well portrayed that after a while you think that you are their friend. It’s just impossible not to love Koizumi and Otani, together and apart. The speed the events progress through is also good. What I mean is that they don’t start dating at the second volume and break up the next. It’s just too delicious a story, even though it’s not too full of clever plot twists, it’s still worth a read. I always laugh out loud while reading it, and keep rereading the previous volumes. It’s such a jewel.Lovely Complex Movie

Of course, being a good manga means there will be a good anime afterwards. Though I’m not that into anime myself, the anime of Lovely Complex, at least as much as I watched it, is pretty good. There’s even a movie of it, and though it’s not exactly same as the manga, it’s still pretty much the same thing. I didn’t exactly love it, but it’s still pretty funny. Of course, none of them measure up to the manga. 

When I found out that it finishes at volume 17, I almost cried. But all good things must end. And good it is.

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Parfait Tic

I just realized that I haven’t talked about manga for a while, so I decided to talk about the manga Parfait Tic! by Nanaji Nagamu. Actually, this manga hasn’t been licensed in English yet, so you are free to read it for free through scanlations. It’s been scanlated by various groups, and currently it’s being scanlated by perfect illusions.

parfait tic

So, this manga is a shoujo/romance/school life manga, and doesn’t have something that clearly defines it from others of its kind. Fuuko is a lively girl who likes playing with kids for some reason, and she meets the Shinpo cousins: Ichi and Daigo. They all go to the same school, so they grow closer. Though Daigo is a playboy: very lively, happy, popular kid, Ichi is just his opposite. He’s very smart, quiet, composed and cold. They are equally  handsome, and girls favor both. Of course, this means they actually have fan clubs, since we are talking about the parallel Japan manga world where girls have nothing better to do. Then we have all the shoujo cliches: main character beaten up because she’s too close to the cute guys, confessions, rejections, love triangles, older women, after-school part time jobs etc. We learn that Ichi is not actually a cold guy, but is actually in possession of a heart of gold (of course). Daigo is also pretty nice, and they both support Fuuko who can be over-emotional sometimes. Not that she’s a bad person, but her heart, predictably, goes between the cousins a couple of times. Which, I guess, is normal for a girl her age.  

The art is quite normal, though some of it is quite cute. You may be wondering where the title comes from, but that is an absolute mystery. But you know Japanese mangas sometimes have food for titles, and that’s supposed to make them cute. If it was me, I’d definitely name it something unoriginal like “Triangle”. So I guess “Parfait Tic” is not that bad a choice.



The manga is really, really long, and it’s complete at 22 volumes in japan. So far, the scanlations have progressed to the 17th volume, and I’m crossing my fingers for it not to be licensed before I finish it, because I so don’t want to buy it. So far I read 13, and something interesting happens all the time (not interesting-interesting, just shoujo-interesting). I looked ahead to further volumes when I was at the beginning, to see if the art has changed, and it seems like it got better, though when I’m reading in order, I can’t really see it that much. But generally you can say that the art has gotten more modern.

You should give it a try if you are looking for a relaxed shoujo manga, and cliches won’t bother you. Also watch out for Ichi’s sister, she’s such a cutie. I love it when mangakas draw kids:)


P.S.: I’m not sure if anyone reads this blog, aside from my good friend BB, but check out my fanlistings and my wishlist on the right!

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Slice of Yotsuba

One of my worst habits is that I order all this manga from the internet, I open their huge bulky packages when they arrive, I put them neatly in my big cupboard of manga, and then I don’t read them. You may ask yourself, “why do you buy manga if you don’t read it?” and the reason I don’t read them is this: because when I read them, it takes 15 minutes to finish it, and then I’m deprived of the pleasure of reading it. I am what Penelope Cruz would call in Vanilla Sky a “pleasure delayer”. It’s horrible. I mean, what if I finish until volume 5, and there are no more? Then what would I do??? What a nightmare! I can’t even bear thinking about it. One solution I have for this problem is that I reread the manga. I am not one to “study the drawings” over and over, so I am through each volume in roughly half an hour, so before I start the next volume a few weeks later (or if I’m lucky, months later), I reread the previous one first. Actually, I also do this because I read so much manga that I need a refresher course on the bloody characters. 

One manga I reread over and over and over and over is Yotsuba by Azuma Kiyohiko. I am not a big fan of slice of life manga. I mean, I think something interesting should happen to make the manga worth reading. But I love manga about little kids and stuff. Also there were these amazing reviews, and I was just getting started on manga, so I ordered this, and wow, that was so not a mistake. It is amazing.yotsuba

It is about this little 5-year-old girl called Yotsuba and her father who move into this neighborhood. They have neighbors, a family with three girls. And that’s about it. It’s all about little things that happen to them. The art is really simple, with no clutter whatsoever. It’s really relaxing. I read the first two volumes at least three times. It’s good that I didn’t rush through, since I heard ADV Manga dropped it after the 5th volume, but it’s picked up again by Yen Press again. Why would anyone drop Yotsuba? 

I read somewhere that Yotsuba was actually serialized in a man’s magazine first. It just shows how universally funny she is. The mangaka, also had another series called Azumanga Daioh, which I also own. I didn’t read a lot of it, because it is what you call a four panel manga or something, and frankly, it wasn’t that interesting to me. But Yotsuba is just someone you want with you always, and the best substitute is the manga. In fact, I couldn’t stop myself and picked up volume 3. I am so bad.

I am also presenting you a picture of my manga cupboard, though no one really reads this blog, I still wanted to post a picutre. You can also see Fred and Barney marzipans, (and also Dino, but dad ate its head) an authentic doll who’s carrying a baby, and two Starbucks Bearistas. There was a lot of other crap, but I cleaned them up the other day. I manga

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Cut Boys

Yesterday, my order from Amazon arrived.  I was so happy since it included the second season part 1 one Gossip Girl. Another arrival was Cut by Toko Kawai, which is one of my favorite manga. I had downloaded and read it before it was lisenced, and though I don’t do it often, I bought it in book format also, because it’s very good. cut

It’s yaoi, which is not everyone’s favorite genre, though it is one of mine. It’s about two problematic boys. One of them cuts himself and is masochistic, and does something very perverted with his stepdad. The other one, who lives with his uncle and his wife, is loved, but doesn’t want to burden them. He also features cuts on his arms, but for anoth

er reason entirely. They go to the same school (of course) and meet by chance. The characters develop quite nicely, which is a nice change form your usual yaoi. The sex is not explicit, and the characters are quite beautiful. I think it’s quite a nice introduction to the genre, since I believe it’s one of the best in the genre. I like the mangaka, Toko Kawai, and she has other lisenced stuff, like Bondz and Loveholic, but they are not as good. I wish she drew more.

Also, a good fujoshi blogger reviewed this manga here. Check it out if you want a more in-depth review.

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