King of Cards Volume 2
By Makoto Tateno
Age Rating: Teen
A lovesick Manami passes out when she sees the object of her affection with another girl. When she wakes up, she finds herself in the world of the cards, where matches aren’t simply imagined: players summon actual monsters and gods to do physical battle! Later, back in the real world, she must take on Japan’s number one Chaos player!
Finally! My long awaited review of this book! At least, I hope someone’s been waiting for it. After much trial and tribulation, I finally got an error free copy of this title, and then after another long time, I finally read it. This volume turns up the romance, though it’s more unrequited love, and it’s only through the Chaos cards can any resolution be found.
Continue reading Review: King of Cards Volume 2
Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President Volume 3
by Kaiji Kawaguchi
Publisher: Viz Comics
Age Rating: Teen+ (16+)
Volume 3 picks up where Volume 2 left off, at the New York debate, with every waiting with baited breath for Yamaoka’s answer to Noah’s accusation of waffling on an environmental issue. It is here that we see how much of a work of fiction this title can be. Yamaoka gives a straightforward and honest answer. He is human and made a mistake. There is no way any politician that was looking to get votes would ever give an answer like this. But, with Yamaoka being our protagonist, he not only gets away with it, but turns the tables on Noah, and wins not just the debate, but the primary. Now the next big hurdle he must overcome is Texas. In order to win in Texas, he must win over Don Taylor, a democrat in charge of a large food corporation who holds sway over most of the farmers and ranchers not just in Texas, but in most of the South. But it won’t be easy, as Taylor doesn’t believe either Yamaoka or Noah has a chance of winning against the prospective Republican candidate, and won’t support either. Yamaoka’s got to change his mind.
Continue reading Eagle: The 2008 Election Edition Volume 3
The August and September issues of Shojo Beat had a lot going on preview-wise. August gave us looks at Mixed Vegetables and Wanted, and we said goodbye to Gaba Kawa. September let us preview Blank Slate and we were introduced to the new series Honey Hunt. I just wanted to make a comments about these.
Continue reading Shojo Beat Aug-Sept 2008
Mail Order Ninja Volume 1
Story by Joshua Elder; Art by Erich Owen
Age Rating: 8-12 (Youth)
Genre: Comedy, Action
What is the story about?
It is about Timmy ordering a ninja from a catalog named Jacques Co. Industries.
What did you like about the story?
I like the drawings. I also like the ninja. And I like the comic ad for Jacques Co. Industries.
What did you dislike about the story?
Would you recommend the story to kids your age?
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Picking up where I left off last post, the OEL/Korean side starts out with lots of ads, mostly for Yen Press and related, as well as some other company ads. Since this is the side that read like normal for Americans, they probably thought they were best placed here.
Continue reading Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 OEL/Korean Manhwa
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
I was excited to hear last year at the Yen Press inaugural panel as SDCC that they would be publishing an anthology. I really like by Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, as they give me an opportunity to sample lots of different manga at an affordable price. At that panel, Kurt Hassler promised the anthology would be ready by the next SDCC. And, low and behold, it was there, Friday, for free! Needless to say, as soon as we got back to the hotel, and for the rest of the weekend, I read it.
First, a few general observations about the anthology. It’s big. If you combined one issue of Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, you would get the approx. size. And it’s almost all manga. There aren’t a lot of filler articles (that I tend to ignore in the other anthologies anyway). There are ads, but they are well done, and put mostly on the OEL/Korean Manhwa side of the anthology. They are mostly for other Yen Press titles, with a few others thrown in (Dark Horse, Right Stuf etc.). This anthology also reads from both sides. The left-to-right side features OEL titles and Korean Manhwa. About half way through the anthology is a divider page, that tells you to flip the anthology. On the other side are the Japanese titles in their right-to-left direction. Tokyopop did this for a while with the manga magazine before they reduced it to just a shadow of it’s former self.
Continue reading Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 Japanese Manga
Warriors: The Rise of Scourge
Written by Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley
Art by Bettina Kurkoski
Publisher: Tokyopop (Harper Collins)
Age Rating: Y (10+)
Tiny, a small kit with a loving mother and two siblings that dislike him, at one point, visited the forest. He was attacked by the patrol from Thunderclan (Tigerstar attacked him) and Bluefur pulled them away. Tiny went to the city in fear of being thrown into a river. He then stuck a dog tooth into his coller, and told a lie, which made him change his name to Scourge.
I liked this side-issue. It completely changed how I thought about Scourge. Before, I thought of him as an ugly cat with hatred but from this manga, I learn that it was his bad past that shaped him and he’s actually kind of cute.
Did I like it:
100% sure. I definitely like it, Scourge is cute, but his past shaped him into what he had become. He may be small, but he proved his littermates wrong. He killed Tigerstar nine times over and Tigerstar deserved it.
Could there be anything changed:
Nothing, not from my eyes. The manga is as good as perfect, from what I see.
Is this for children:
There is a bit of death, and some blood. As far as I’m concerned, it might be for children if they can handle cats dying.
The Mysterians Volume 1
Story by Jay Antani, Art by Matt Hentshel
Age Rating: Older Teen
My name is Vox. I am the last surviving member of an underground resistance. Our mission: Expose and destroy a vast and sinister plot to take over planet Earth. Aliens have infiltrated the Earth’s entire political, industrial, military and socio-industrial complex. They are determined to extinguish life on our planet. Since birth, the five of you were fated to receive this message. You are possessed of extraordinary abilities… Logan, you have superior strength and superhuman intuition. Leelee, no Olympian has ever had your level of agility. Jenna and Jamie, your parents knew of your telekinesis and ESP when you were still children. Tony, your intellect is off the charts. The entire world needs you. You must use your talents to join together and stop this invasion…And in doing so, the five of you will become…The Mysterians!
Science Fiction doesn’t get nearly as much love in manga as it should, but this title seems to be trying to make up for lost time, and does a pretty good job of it! Even with the fairly generic plot of “5 strangers from all walks of life coming together to save the world”, rich character development makes the difference.
Continue reading Digital Review: The Mysterians Volume 1
Zombie Powder Volume 1
By Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Somewhere in the desert are the 12 Rings of the Dead. Anyone who can find all 12 can have the mysterious Zombie Powder, a substance that can raise the dead or give eternal life. Those who seek the rings are called Powder Hunters. One of these hunters is named Gamma Akutabi, a man with a metal hand, a 6-foot chainsaw and a price on his head. He rolls into Blue Note seeking information on the rings when he runs into Elwood, a young down-on-his-luck pickpocket who is desperately trying to earn money to cure his sister’s heart condition. Together, they set out to find the mysterious Rings of the Dead that can either give new life to Elwood’s sister, or make Gamma absolutely invincible.
This is the first manga series by the man that would later go on to give us Bleach, so you pretty much know what you’re in for. He’s very clear about it at the beginning of the manga when he says “Mainly it’s all battles. It’s completely OK to just read through it without thinking about anything.” That’s a decent description, at least in part, but it’s not just battles, there’s a lot of great humor involved as well. As soon as Gamma gets off the train in Blue Note, everyone comments at the fancy, well-dressed man… who gets his coat stuck in the door and gets dragged behind the train. The story is no great shakes, it’s your generic quest story that’s been done to death in shonen stories. Find the 12 Rings. Find the Dragonballs. You get the drift. What makes it fun is all the comedy, especially the physical comedy, done to Gamma. In their first meeting, Elwood slams Gamma’s head into the bar as he picks his pocket. When Gamma stands up, there’s a fork stuck in his forehead that apparently, he doesn’t notice right away, although everyone else does. That kind of sets the tone throughout the series.
If you’re looking for something that’s not too taxing mentally, but is still a fun roller coaster ride, give Zombie Powder a shot. The story does get more interesting as you go on, but it’s the visual humor that really makes the ride worthwhile.
AS I promised, here are a few reviews of some Tokyopop titles. There won’t be too many more though, as they keep canceling my favorite titles. I’m down at least three titles so far, and the bad news just keeps coming… Oh well, I’ll just have to enjoy what I’ve for as long as it lasts.
Continue reading Good Witch of the West 5 and Grenadier 5