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review 2019-07-21 22:26
Neon Genesis Evangelion Complete Series
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1: Includes vols. 1, 2 & 3 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3: Includes vols. 7, 8 & 9 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 4: Includes vols. 10, 11 & 12 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Neon Genesis Evangelion 2-in-1 Edition, ... Neon Genesis Evangelion 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 5: Includes vols. 13 14 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition,... Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 2 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

I didn't know that Neon Genesis Evangelion had a manga adaption until I finished watching the original anime years ago. Initially, I hesitated to read the manga adaption because I thought it would be drastically different and I don't want my memories of the anime to be ruined. I looked up information about the manga one day and saw the manga author was part of the original anime crew. My fears subsided since that would mean the manga would not differ much from the anime. 


It has a been a while since I watched the anime (haven't rewatched it on Netflix yet), so I can't pinpoint a lot of differences. The story is identical to anime, but there were subtle differences in how the plot progressed. One difference is Shinji Ikari. I like how he appeared in the manga because he had the right mix of sad and not sad moments (if that makes sense). Not to mention, I felt like I understand him better because I get to see more of his thoughts. There was little filler material in the manga compared to the anime, which is understandable since manga and anime are different mediums. I'm glad there wasn't a lot of filler in the manga because the pacing would be odd and it would've been boring if it was exactly like the anime. Also, what works in anime doesn't mean it would work out the same in manga and vice versa.


Since the mangaka was involved in anime production as a character designer, the characters and the scenery are just as beautiful as the animation. The Angel battle scenes are just fantastic to look at, but due to the manga being black and white, it becomes hard to tell the EVAs apart during those scenes. I sometimes have to re-read the dialogue to understand which EVA is which. But that is a minor thing for me, and it didn't detract the experience for me. I found it as an excuse to look at all the details in the pictures. 


The five omnibus volumes I owned include bonus materials like interviews and commentary with the staff, which I recommend reading if you're interested in the production of the anime. There is also an index which translates the Japanese SFX that appears in the manga. It's fun to see how much onomatopoeias there are for many objects and actions in Japanese.


That is enough of my gushing of the manga, but whether you watched the series or not, check out this manga.





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review 2019-07-08 23:51
Devils and Realist (Complete Series)
Devils and Realist Vol. 1 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist Vol. 2 - Madoka Takad... Devils and Realist Vol. 2 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist Vol. 3 - Madoka Takad... Devils and Realist Vol. 3 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist Vol. 4 - Madoka Takad... Devils and Realist Vol. 4 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist Vol. 5 - Madoka Takad... Devils and Realist Vol. 5 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist Vol. 6 - Madoka Takad... Devils and Realist Vol. 6 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist, Vol. 7 - Madoka Taka... Devils and Realist, Vol. 7 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist, Vol. 8 - Madoka Taka... Devils and Realist, Vol. 8 - Madoka Takadono
Devils and Realist, Vol. 9 - Madoka Taka... Devils and Realist, Vol. 9 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro
Devils and Realist, Vol. 10 - Madoka Tak... Devils and Realist, Vol. 10 - Madoka Takadono,Utako Yukihiro

Woo-hoo, I completed another manga series. One down and a lot more to go. Here are my thoughts on the entire series.


Six years ago, my first exposure to this series was the anime adaptation. I enjoyed it in a guilty pleasure way. The anime wasn't mind-blowing, but it was enjoyable despite the average animation and artwork. Then, when the manga is going to get an official English translation, I decided to check it out because I wanted more of the story and I thought the manga artwork looked better than the anime adaptation from what I saw.


Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed the original manga than its anime. The artwork was gorgeous, especially if it's in color. I loved how Utako Yukihiro colors her drawings. It's hard to believe she gets it down around two weeks even when she is busy with other projects (Source: I attended the talk show featuring her at Anime Expo 2019). Though, Yukihiro needs improvement on is the male characters' facial design. Sometimes, I had a difficult time telling which character is which during some of the fight scenes. The clothing the characters wear makes it less hard to guess, but when you don't see the clothes, it becomes a challenge.


The story is similar to other fantasy stories, like Black Butler, with the mix of supernatural stuff with some slice of life stuff in the middle. But unlike Black Butler, which includes darker subject matter like serial killers, cults, pedophilia, and slavery, Devils and Realist's tone is a lot lighter. While the series was mostly light and fluffy, it does get serious when it needs to. The series becomes a lot darker during the second half around the time a specific character shows up. I'm not saying who it is due to spoilers, but it was a subtle surprise. Even during the second half, there are a few times dedicated to some silliness.


If you're looking something to read this summer, I highly recommend this title.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-06-08 03:45
Go For It, Nakamura! - Syundei 春泥


I needed something light and fluffy while I was reading The Song of Achilles. I usually read something light-hearted after or during something like TSOA. Go for it, Nakamura fits the former. 


The manga is about Nakamura who has a crush on his classmate, Hirose and his hilarious attempts to get close to him. Nakamura is an easy character to relate to in many ways, and he is adorable when he tries to make small talk. Hirose is also cute as well. I went "aww, so cute" during the aquarium scene. Not only is their interaction entertaining to read, but the other characters' as well. The ending might be off-putting for some people because it ends ambiguously. Nakamura and Hirose become friends, but the conclusion doesn't outright say if they become a couple though it looks like there is a high chance that they upgrade to a couple soon.


The art style reminds me of some the classic 80s and 90s manga I've seen in the past, but with some modern-day flavors. The rounded and soft style goes well with this sweet story of an awkward young man. I wish there were more color pages because the colors go well with the artwork. The artwork still looks vibrant in black and white. 


The author has another work available in English, and I'm hoping it is as good as this one shot.    


(spoiler show)


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review 2019-04-28 03:26
Sakuran: Blossoms Wild - Moyoco Anno

The story presentation was okay. The pacing was odd at certain parts of the books, and the plot is told in a non-linear kind of way. The manga held no punches of what life is like for a courtesan in red-light districts. I strongly remember the lectures the lives of girls sold to brothels (in Japan and abroad) during my Modern Japan class I took last year. The book captures the unglamorous and challenging parts of these women's lives well. Reading about Kiyoha's hardships makes me appreciate that I live in a place where I don't have to go through what she went through and remember the girls who are in Kiyoha's shoes out in today's world.     


The artwork was expressive but it was difficult to tell which character was speaking or doing what. I had to re-read some parts to figure out which one is Kiyoha or Mikumo. I eventually figured it out the characters by looking at their eyes, but sometimes that trick doesn't help me all the time. The layout of the word bubbles in a few spots also makes reading difficult due to not telling which character is speaking. It might not be an issue in Japanese because you can tell the characters apart by the way they speak. But in English, the characters sound identical most of the time. I wouldn't be surprised if there were any other readers like me that double check to make sure they got the character right.


The manga gives an unflinching look at the life of oiran with bold artwork that shows off the characters' emotions well with a few hiccups in the story.   

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