Tag Archives: Reviews

Krissy's Korner: Mail Order Ninja Volume 1

Mail Order Ninja Volume 1

Story by Joshua Elder; Art by Erich Owen
Publisher: Tokyopop
Age Rating: 8-12 (Youth)
Genre: Comedy, Action
Price: $5.99

Rating: ★★★★☆

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?

Nothing.

Would you recommend the story to kids your age?

Yes.

This Week at Manga Village ** 8/27/08

Summer is nearly gone, kids and college students are going back to school, and Manga Village has more great reviews for you!  Btw, how do you like the full color version of the banner?  Isn’t it great?  Wouldn’t you like something just as great for your blog/website?  Then go check out Kuriosity, Lissa Patillo’s blog and help you with her college costs!

This week Charles Tan starts us out with his take on Gantz Volume 1 from Dark Horse.  I’ve got the penultimate volume of The Cain Saga, with Godchild Volume 7 from Viz.  John Thomas gives us a history lesson not just in manga, but in Japanese history and culture with Barefoot Gen Volume 1 from Last Gasp.  Dan Polley gets his geek on with I, Otaku Volume 1 from Seven Seas Entertainment.

Over in the columns, we have out weekly picks of new releases this week.  It’s a small but good week, with the smaller pubs able to get into the spotlight for a few minutes.    Over at Good Comics For Kids, I’ve also got my All Ages Comics List up, with some picks for boys.  Also check out the article by Eva Volin, school librarian, and see what she has to say about manga for the Tween set.

Digital Review: The Mysterians Volume 1

The Mysterians Volume 1
Story by Jay Antani, Art by Matt Hentshel
Publisher: Tokyopop
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Sci-Fi
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Review: Zombie Powder Volume 1

Zombie Powder Volume 1
By Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
RRP: $7.99

Rating: ★★★★½

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.

Digital Review: Dark Metro Volume 1

Dark Metro Volume 1
Story by Tokyo Calen; Art by Yoshiken
Publisher: Tokyopop
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Horror
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★½☆☆

What lies below Tokyo’s subway system is more frightening than you could have ever imagined…in its subways there exists a boundary between this world and the next–the land of the dead, and the mysterious young man Seiya is its guide. In this collection of bone-chilling shorts, follow the twisted tales of death and hauntings that inhabit this horrifying underworld, where innocent youth fall victim to the ghosts who inhabit Tokyo’s underground.

Dark Metro is a title in a category all it’s own.  It’s not a come-uppance theater title, as the main characters in the stories aren’t bad.  They are just ordinary people experiencing the supernatural in Tokyo’s subways.  But it’s not like the Twilight Zone, as Seiya, the guide to the underworld, doesn’t narrate the stories either.  He possesses the power to decide who lives and who dies in the subway, just appearing somewhere in the story to save the protagonist from whatever horror is after them.  This title falls through the cracks of horror genre and should probably stay there.

Continue reading Digital Review: Dark Metro Volume 1

This Week At Manga Village ** 8/6/08

We’ve made a few changes at Manga Village.  First and foremost, it that you can now enjoy manga and comics reviews M-F!  You will find a new review every day.  And don’t just check the manga.  John’s been busy with some comics reviews.  So check them out while they’re hot!

This weeks starts out with Charles Tan finishing the horror title Gyo Volume 2 from Viz.  I bring some rockin’ Pirate action with One Piece Volume 18 from Viz.  John Thomas is in a daze with Ghost Talker’s Daydream Volume 1 from Dark Horse.  Dan Polley has a seasonal review of Shiki Tsukai Volume 3 from Del Rey.

Over in our columns section, we have our usual picks for the week.  Come see where our money goes.  And then there’s a new monthly feature that we’re calling Manga of the Month.  At the beginning of the month, we will vote on our favorite titles from the top scores of the previous month.  Check out our best of the best!  Then head on over to Good Comics For Kids and check out my picks for week.  It’s an all manga edition, so be there or be square!

Good Witch of the West 5 and Grenadier 5

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

Review: The Palette of 12 Secret Colors

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors
By Nari Kusakawa
Publisher: CMX
Age Rating: E
Genre: Fantasy/slice of life
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★★

On the island of Opal live the world’s most colorful birds.  The birds have attracted a school for aspiring “Palettes” – wizards who have the ability to borrow color from one object and paint its qualities on to another.  Young Cello has the potential to be a great Palette, but she just can’t seem to control her power.  As the end of freshman year approaches, she’s on the verge of failing, so she’s going to need all the help her bird Yoyo can provide.

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors is the sort of book you would want to read on a summer day.  It’s slice of life approach to Cello’s adventures on a tropical island makes for perfect light reading.  It also makes for excellent reading for younger readers.

Continue reading Review: The Palette of 12 Secret Colors

This Week at Manga Village ** Forenight Edition

It’s a double dose of Manga Village reviews this week, since i was so busy with SDCC (and recovering from) that I forgot to post them last week!  SDCC was fun, except for the crowds, which don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.   Some things are still worth fighting the crowds for though.

On to reviews!  Dan Polley gets things started with Kasumi Volume 1 from Del Rey.  John Thomas has some Me and the Devil Blues Volume 1also from Del Rey, and then runs into a Tokyo Zombie from Last Gasp.  Charles Tan checks out Puri Puri Volume 5 from DR Masters and runs for Eyeshield 21 Volume 5 from Viz.  I finally review Nana Volume 10 and 11 from Viz.

We still managed to get our picks in as well, for manga coming out 7/23/08 and 7/30/08.  Not that there was much to pick from.  I guess publishers knew no one would want to spend any money before SDCC, and would have none left after.  And if you think the manga lists are paltry, wait until you see the All Ages Comcs lists for 7/23/08 and 7/30/08.  I still managed to find some picks, but man, was it hard!  Check them out at Good Comics for Kids.

Review: The Kindaichi Case Files: The Magical Express Volume 16


The Kindaichi Case Files, Vol. 16: The Magical Express
Story: Yozaburo Kanari, Art: Fumiya Sato
Publisher: Tokyopop
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Mystery
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★★

Kindaichi is summoned to examine a mysterious note declaring that a train bound for Hokkaido will be transformed into a “magic train of death.”  When Kindaichi boards the train to investigate the threat, he meets members of a magic troupe who perform on the train.  But as the magicians go missing before they can complete their tricks, it’s up to Kindaichi to uncover the identity of “Hell’s Puppeteer” — who has announced that he has planted a bomb aboard the train.  Is this the end of the line for Kindaichi?

What was supposed to be a trip to police headquarters for a commendation turns into another tantalizing mystery from Kindaichi.  A package has arrived at the police station containing a twisted marionette and note promising magic and death on a train to Hokkaido.  Kindaichi, Miyuki, Kenmochi and videographer Saki get on the train, where the Magic & Illusion Troupe perform on the way to Shikotsu-ga-hara to the hotel and theater at the end of the line.  The first murder happens on the train.  The Troupe’s leader, Gentle Yamagami is found dead, and just as quickly his body magically disappears, only to reappear in the hotel.  Soon after, other Troupe members are murdered.  Who is responsible, and why is he/she doing it?

Continue reading Review: The Kindaichi Case Files: The Magical Express Volume 16

This Week at Manga Village ** 7/9/08

We’ve been hard at work at Manga Village, bringing you another great round of reviews.  Dan Polley masters the creepy-crawlies with Mushishi Volume 4 from Del Rey.  Charles Tan is spiking Eyeshield 21Volume 4 from Viz Media.  John Thomas checks out some stomach turning sci-fi with Gantz Volume 1 from Dark Horse.  And I’ve got some historical shojo with Kaze Hikaru Volume 9 from Viz Media.

We’ve also got our weekly picks up in the columns section, as well as a special announcement in Manga Village News.  Webcomic creators should take special notice!  And for the kids, there’s a new All Ages Comics list for this week up at Good Comics for Kids.  So start making with the clickee!

Review: Phantom Volume 4

Phantom Volume 4

By Ki-Hoon Lee/Seung-Yup Cho
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: 13+
Genre: Sci-Fi
RRP: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★☆

Eric, Athena’s sniper, rescues the beautiful female cyborg from extermination, he holes up until he can get the evidence of Iron Corporation’s dirtiest secret, the genetically-engineered cyborgs, back to Athena’s base.  Unbeknownst to him, however, the worst is yet to come as Iron unleashes their human-reptilian attack beasts to take back their lost cyborg or kill her.  Unfortunately for them, Eric has rigged the whole place with traps and even though he’s badly injured in the process, manages to kill the two alpha beasts.

Continue reading Review: Phantom Volume 4