Archive for Manga

Manga Review: Chi’s Sweet Home (vol. 1)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home is a story about as simple as a story can be. When a gray-striped kitten is separated from his mother, he is discovered by a family with a young son, Yohei. The problem is that Yohei’s family lives in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets, so they secretly keep the kitty around as they search for a permanent home for her. But after a while, Yohei, mama, and papa eventually grow attached to the kitten, and they even name her Chi. It becomes obvious that they are never going to give away the kitty as she has quickly become a part of their happy household.

It is no secret that I love Chi, and it certainly ranks up there as one of my all time favorite series. I already own most of the comics in Japanese, and the anime earned the #2 position on my Top Anime of 2009 list last year. So I am expecting a lot out of this title when Vertical releases it later this month. In fact, I have never anticipated a comic’s English release more than I have with Chi’s Sweet Home.

And so I am thrilled to report that Vertical’s release is very, very well done.

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Manga Review: My Darling, Miss Bancho! (vol. 1)

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

In order to relieve her recently divorced mother of tuition cost, the young Souka decides to transfer from a private high school to the local vocational school. However, when she shows up to her first day of classes, she is shocked to find out that she is the only girl enrolled there!

There’s a reason why all the girls had dropped out of this tech school. The boys are very tough and fights often break out between the different classes. But amid all this chaos, there is one unwritten law that all the boys abide by, and that is the role of the bancho, or gang leader. Simply put, there is one bancho who rules over the entire student body, and in order to dethrone the leader and take his place at the top of this pecking order, you must knock the crap out of him in a fight.

Needless to say, the poor innocent Souka wants nothing to do with the feuding between the classes or power struggle of the bancho. However, because she is the only girl in school, all of the boys go out of their way to make her feel warm and welcomed. So she decides to stick around the school and eventually becomes friends with the cool Katou-kun. But one day, she accidentally knocks out the school’s current bancho, which means that she takes over as the new gang leader. Can the sweet girl actually rule over this student body of thugs and riffraffs?

My Darling, Miss Bancho is the first (and so far only) comic by shojo artist Mayu Fujikata. While her inexperience is evident on every page of this volume, it ultimately ends up being her greatest strength as CMX Manga releases another winner in this shojo title.

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Manga Review: Stolen Hearts (vol. 1)

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Measuring in at well over six feet tall, 17-year-old Miharu is one intimidating dude. In fact, his entire high school class is absolutely afraid of him. So when the shy Shinobu accidentally spills milk on his bag of expensive Japanese clothing, she figured that her life was all but done for.

But rather than beating the life out of the girl, Miharu demands that Shinobu works off her debt to him by taking up a part time job at his grandmother’s kimono shop. And as the two work together passing out flyers for the shop, Shinobu begins to realize that Miharu isn’t actually as mean and intimidating as he looks. In fact, he’s actually quite a sweetheart.

Stolen Hearts is the American debut of shojo artist Miku Sakamoto, whose Nadeshiko Club will also be coming out later this year from CMX. While the art might seem like a bit of a turn off, Sakamoto fully redeems herself with one of the sweetest and most heartwarming romantic comedies I’ve ever read in manga form.

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Manga Review: The World I Create

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

In order to be a “Projectionist,” you must be able to create worlds and objects using only your imagination and a magical lantern. It is a unique talent that very few possess, but those that can do it well can become famous and make a fortune out of “projecting” in front of a paying audience.

But you gotta learn how to do it first, so students hone their craft in the Projectionist Department at their regular high schools. The World I Create is a series of short stories about these type of magical high school students. They find love and friendship with each other while still trying their best to make the grade and pass their classes.

The World I Create is a one-volume shonen title out of the CMX / Flex Comic partnership, and it is the first work of artist Ayami Kazayama to be released here in America. And while one might be expecting a whimsical tale about the magic of these projections, all we get is a sappy and overly-generic romantic snoozer instead.

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Manga Review: King of RPGs (vol. 1)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I might call my blog “The Anime Almanac”, but it is not really an almanac, an extensive reference book of general anime information. Such a thing does not really exists in written form, at least not in English. But there actually exists a manga almanac that came out late in 2007. Jason Thompson and a group of manga enthusiasts put together Manga: The Complete Guide, a book containing reviews and information about every single manga series ever released in America at that time. It is one of the most impressive books to have ever hit the American manga industry.

So now the man who (literally) wrote the book on manga in America is entering the genre himself with King of RPGs, the brand new OEL series that Del Rey will be releasing this month.

Shesh loves his MMORPGs. I mean, he really loves his MMORPGs, like dangerously loves them. And after a seven day marathon of “World of Warfare” left him hospitalized with months of therapy, he was forced to give up on his obsession cold turkey.

But on his first day after moving into his college dorm, he and his pal Mike are coaxed into giving tabletop role playing a shot in the school’s gaming club. But after a few rolls of the die, all of those old feelings begin coming back to Shesh. Before you know it, he has turned back into the King of RPGs, an unstoppable (and potentially dangerous) force in all of gaming.

Although I have been around a ton of geeks who play RPGs, I have never gotten into role playing culture myself. I’ve never roll the die in Dungeons & Dragons, played my deck in Magic the Gathering, or do… whatever the hell you do in those Munchkin games.

But that didn’t stop me from absolutely loving this comic.

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