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review 2017-08-09 08:00
Pixar Manga: Finding Nemo
Disney Pixar Finding Nemo Manga--Special Collector's Edition (Pixar Manga Collection) - Ryuichi Hoshino

The Finding Nemo Manga, as others in the PopTokyo series, follows the story of the movie quite strict, so it is more of a re-watch than an addition to the movie. For me, it was a nice way to brush up Finding Nemo in time for Finding Dory, the sequel.

At the start there is some extra information on the different characters, but otherwise, expect the movie is manga-form, the art style also resembles that of the movie.

Nice for fans of Finding Nemo and Pixar!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-06-11 23:41
Black Gate (manga, vols. 1-3) by Yukiko Sumiyoshi, translated by Ajani A. Oloye
Black Gate, Vols. 1-3 - Yukiko Sumiyoshi,Ajani A. Oloye

When people die, their souls move on via White Gates. However, there are also such things as Black Gates, Gates that forcibly suck the souls out of living humans, causing mysterious suicides, murders, or massive disasters. People known as Mitedamashi find Black Gates and close them.

Senju is a Mitedamashi taking care of a young boy named Hijiri, the world's only surviving Gatekeeper. In theory, Gatekeepers are even more powerful than Mitedamashi, possessing the power to close all Gates and end death forever, but Hijiri can't even manage to close the smallest Black Gate. This bothers him, but what he doesn't realize is that having his full Gatekeeper powers could put him in the same situation that ultimately led to his father's death.

Although I tend to be drawn to short series (so much less daunting than the ones with volumes in the double digits), it's rare to find good ones. I didn't go into Black Gate expecting much, and for a while it looked it it was going to be an okay but mostly forgettable series. Unfortunately, then it started to become boring and confusing. I slogged through it, hoping that it would get better. It didn't.

The setup was pretty generic, but that would have been fine if the characters had stood out more and been more appealing. Unfortunately, Hijiri was annoying (he reminded me of Naruto at his brashest and loudest), and Senju was boring. The characters introduced later in the series weren't much better. Tsurugi was cheerfully dense, and the way Sumiyoshi wrote about his attachment to his deceased younger sister made their relationship look almost incestuous (Tsurugi's older sister kept telling him to move on and find a girlfriend). Michitate and Michizane's antagonistic relationship was mildly interesting, but they had to fight all the other characters for page-time. While I liked that the rift between them took time to be repaired, the stuff with Michitate's mother was dealt with way too quickly and easily.

Hijiri's father, Yoshitsuna, just confused me. The explanation given for the two wildly different ends of his personality spectrum didn't work for me. Well, it did at first, but then the ending happened. I had trouble believing that Yoshitsuna would have needed to have the exact same epiphany twice.

Then there were the things that just didn't make sense: Hijiri asking Michitate, who he hadn't known for very long, about Michizane's mother even though he knew it was a sore spot; that the truth about Michizane's mother could have been hidden for so long; the stupid reason Michizane hid the truth from Michitate. It didn't help that the series' pacing was weird and jerky. The first volume in the omnibus had Senju and Hijiri dealing with Gate-of-the-week style stories, until the flashback to Senju's past. The next volume had Hijiri meeting and teaming up with his Guardians in order to investigate Mitedamashi deaths. The final volume had magical battles and most of the characters doing things that kept the story moving along but that were out of character for them. The time jumps at the very end felt like the writing equivalent of a face plant.

I can't recommend this series. It was bland, poorly constructed, and sometimes confusing. Even the artwork could have been better.

Extras:

  • Character profiles
  • Author's notes at the end of each volume (the first two are in manga form, while the last one is just text)

 

Rating Note:

 

For a while I thought this manga was going to end up with a 2-star rating. The badly executed ending bumped it down another half star.

 

(Original review, including read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-07-21 00:00
Crest of the Stars 1: Princess of the Empire
Crest of the Stars 1: Princess of the Empire - Hiroyuki Morioka

If you've seen the anime, then this only fills in some tiny gaps with regard to history and some other things the characters were thinking of.
Overall the story is good. I don't quite like how we need a male vessel to tour the story with, but Lafiel is strong in her own right and Jinto just looks like an ass.
Honestly I don't see how this is really "Space Opera" as it really only focuses on a small group of people, and to me a Space Opera, like a Soap Opera, focuses on groups of people.
This book only covers up to about the middle of the Lyuf Klowal part, around episode 6~7.

The only thing I find majorly wrong with this book is the use of Baronh all the time. It's like that one image:


Only the TL note is brief and then you have to glossary hop.

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review 2015-06-02 04:11
Men are beasts
Jyu-Oh-Sei, Volume 1 - Natsumi Itsuki
This manga is terrible. I have no idea how this is some kind of award winning piece.
We are barely introduced to Rai before he's killed... OFF PANEL as if the artist/author had a plan for him and scrapped it.
Women are "" and they are constantly bested by men, and their whole existence is reliant on a man. It's made to seem like they have some kind of power, but really they don't which is why their rings are the exception "FEMALE Sun Ring" etc.
Of course Thor is super good at everything he does, so much he has to save the women. When he shows up, everyone moves over for him.

Really it's a shallow story about violent men fighting each other.
 
 
 
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review 2014-12-05 13:55
Missing (Novel) Volume 1: Spirited Away - Gakuto Coda

Honestly the plot is awesome since it's about creatures of urban myths and folklore and how they connect to each other globally and 'what if..."

However it's when the characters are added to the mix that the book flops. All the men get to do manly things while all the women are regulated to the side and of course at the climax.... well let's just say what happens to the women is par for the course in sexism 101.

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