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review 2018-11-03 07:07
The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún (manga, vol. 1) story and art by Nagabe, translated by Adrienne Beck
The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún Vol. 1 (とつくにの少女 #1) - ながべ,Nagabe

My vacation is coming up, which means it's almost time for me to read massive amounts of manga and then write short, spoiler-filled takes for each volume. One of the series I requested is The Girl from the Other Side, despite my suspicion that I'd enjoy it enough to wish I'd just bought the whole thing instead of reading it via the library. A few of the later volumes have come in, but volume 1 is still checked out by somebody, so I decided to read my personal copy prior to going on my trip. (I don't own any of the volumes after this one.)

In this first volume we meet Shiva, a little girl, and the being she calls Teacher. Any day now, Shiva expects her aunt to come pick her up and Teacher, unwilling to make her sad, doesn't tell her that she was abandoned. Her aunt will never come for her and is possibly already dead.

According to humans, Outsiders are cursed beings belonging to the God of Darkness, and anyone who lives outside their walls must, by definition, be an Outsider. Teacher, an Outsider, tells Shiva that she must never touch beings like him (?). If she does, she'll become cursed and will turn into a hideous beast.

This was, for the most part, a gentle and lovely first volume with an edge of darkness and bittersweetness that reminded me of Natsume's Book of Friends. The setup and Teacher's design reminded me of The Ancient Magus' Bride as well, although Teacher and Shiva's relationship was unambiguously that of an adoptive parent and child. Teacher tried to get Shiva to obey rules that were designed to keep her safe from things she didn't even know she needed to fear, and Shiva wanted to have tea parties and make flower crowns while waiting for her aunt. Teacher's manner and clothing made him seem like an awkward and adorable bachelor who wanted to do well at this parenting thing but wasn't always sure what to do. In that respect, I was reminded of Bunny Drop (the anime - let's forget the later parts of the manga ever happened).

Their relationship was sweet, even as I fretted over what might happen if Shiva found out the truth about her aunt or accidentally touched Teacher. As far as the touching went, I suspected that, rather than transforming Shiva, it would kill her. The "curse" seemed to result in an awful lot of dead bodies, like some sort of plague.

I ended the volume with lots of questions about Teacher and who and what he was. If what he said to Shiva was true, he was once human, turned into his current form by the curse. It's also possible that he's just a supernatural being with a soft spot for children. There's evidence that his memory is faulty - when Shiva told him that he'd introduced himself to her as Teacher, he couldn't recall that moment. Then again, Shiva could just have an active imagination.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, but I'm also worried that it's going to break my heart. Here's hoping that Shiva and Teacher both survive whatever this world throws at them.

Additional Comment:

I'm probably one of the few people who noticed this, but someone at Seven Seas messed up and misspelled Nagabe's name ("Nagame") on the last page of the volume. Oops.

Extras:

  • Two four-panel comics starring Teacher and Shiva.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-29 03:01
Book Review : Escape Journey vol 1
Escape Journey vol 1 - Tanaka Ogeretsu

oct 1-1

It’s Naoto’s first day of college, and the last person he expected to see was his high school ex Taichi, whom he’d dumped after a huge argument. Even though years have passed, Naoto finds he’s still steamed over some of the harsh words that were exchanged, but he also recognizes how much Taichi has matured since then and can’t help getting pulled back in. Will the discovery of his friend’s crush on Taichi fray the fragile threads of this mending relationship?


Book Review : I do enjoy Boys love manga but this I didn't really like I had some issues one there was a defiant non consent sex scene it made me uncomfortable and the relationship isn't the healthiest there were some cute scenes not sure if i'm going to continue .

 

 

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text 2018-10-18 15:21
Non-book post: Looking forward to English dub Emma

The Kickstarter for the English dub of Emma: A Victorian Romance is fully funded for both Seasons 1 and 2 (the entire series), which means I'll get to hear an English dub of Hans. When it comes to William vs. Hans, I'm Team Hans, especially in the anime. I think it was more of a toss-up in the manga, but it's been so long since I last read the manga that I can't really remember. I plan to do a reread project in 2019 in order to gear up for an English dub viewing.

 

In the meantime, I might try to catch up on A Bride's Story, another beautiful manga series by Kaoru Mori.

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text 2018-10-02 01:49
Reading progress update: I've read 244 out of 244 pages.
Escape Journey vol 1 - Tanaka Ogeretsu

I liked it 

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review 2018-09-24 14:24
Land of the Lustrous (manga, vol. 4) by Haruko Ichikawa, translated by Alethea Nibley and Athena Nibley
Land Of The Lustrous 4 - Haruko Ichikawa

I wish I had a pile of these volumes to read all in a row. It's too easy to forget details. I may have to break down and start buying this series. Goodness knows where I'll keep the volumes.

If I remember right, the previous volume ended with what looked like a tragic memory loss on Phos's part - Phos gained new arms but appeared to have forgotten who Cinnabar was. This volume begins by telling readers this was a fake-out. Phos merely had a momentary memory glitch.

But that doesn't mean Phos is the same. Whereas Phos was previously childish, weak, and too fearful to engage the Lunarians in battle, they're now strangely competent and useful, to the point that Bort offers to pair up with them. It's an awkward offer. On the one hand, Phos could use Bort's strength and experience, especially since Kongo-sensei has just fallen asleep for who knows how long. On the other hand, Phos knows that there's a rift between Bort and Dia and that accepting Bort's offer may widen it.

Not a whole lot happens in this volume, but there are still some interesting developments. There's Phos's new abilities (highly reshapeable arms, an increased ability to note details during battle with the Lunarians), as well as what appears to be occasional hallucinations (?) on Phos's part. Phos keeps seeing Antarcticite, although all but a small portion Antarc has been captured by the Lunarians. I enjoyed seeing a little more of Bort and Dia and hope that they get to talk things over more (on-page!) soon. And the

Lunarian...puppies...

(spoiler show)

were cute.

This volume also adds another piece to the mystery that's been brewing for a few volumes now: what's Kongo-sensei's connection to the Lunarians? Phos has a plan for finding out more, and I'm worried about how it's going to turn out, since Phos's "plans" tend to boil down to "I'll do this thing and hope everything turns out okay." It's not like Phos has many more pieces of themselves left to lose.

All in all, I continue to be intrigued by this series and plan on reading more. This volume was a bit weak, more setup for whatever Ichikawa has planned than anything, but I'm willing to stick around and see what happens. (Here's hoping Ichikawa really does have a plan...) I do wish that the artwork were clearer during the action scenes. I had no idea, at times, what was going on during the big fight with the new Lunarian. I've now watched enough of the anime to be able to say that, yes, it's much better in that regard. And it seems like there were a few scenes even the poor animators couldn't figure out - if I remember right they didn't even try to animate whatever happened just before the Amethyst twins were attacked (events from the previous volume).

Extras:

A page of translation notes and two pages of four-panel comics. I particularly liked Alexi's efforts to explain how to predict what their reaction to viewing a Lunarian will be.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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