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review 2018-03-18 22:43
Yukarism (manga, vol. 2) by Chika Shiomi, translated by John Werry
Yukarism, Vol. 2 - Chika Shiomi

Katsuhiko Satomi has arrived at Yukari's house in order to take over the housekeeping duties while his aunt is waiting for her back to heal. Yukari immediately notices that he seems familiar and figures that he knew him in his past life. But who was he? Takamura, the man who may have killed Yumurasaki? Or perhaps someone else?

The question continues to plague Yukari as he is once again transported into the past. This time around, he witnesses new sides to Takamura and Kazuma that make him wonder about everything he's assumed so far. Meanwhile, Satomi and Mahoro struggle against their past selves, who hate each other intensely.

This volume was definitely better than the first. The way Mahoro and Satomi kept being taken over by their past selves was a bit odd and over-the-top, but I loved the various revelations about their identities.

Yukari continued to be somewhat bland, but it was revealed that this blandness was connected to the way his past life had mixed with his current one. He held himself aloof from everyone because a part of him still approached life the way Yumurasaki had. I thought that aspect was interesting.

Considering how menacing Takamura was in the first volume, I was more than a little surprised by the way he was suddenly presented, in this volume, as more of a romantic figure, amusingly lovesick over Yumurasaki. He still had that edge of menace from time to time, but this time around it was never directed towards Yumurasaki, but rather always towards those who might hurt her. While I enjoyed the scene where Yumurasaki turned down his offer to buy her freedom, it was a reminder that, if he'd really wanted to push things, she probably wouldn't have had much of a choice.

Two more volumes to go before the end of the series. The past has already happened and presumably can't be changed - Yumurasaki is going to die in a fire, potentially after some kind of battle. The question, now, is who was responsible for her death, and will the events of the past lead to people in the present killing each other?


Several author sidebars about the time Shiomi hurt her back, and two pages of translator's notes.


Rating Note:


My gut-level rating, the first time I finished this, was 4 stars. Then I waited several weeks before reviewing it and realized I'd already forgotten a lot of it. Upon rereading it, I downgraded my rating to 3.5 stars.


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

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review 2018-02-06 06:55
Yukarism (manga, vol. 1) by Chika Shiomi, translated by John Werry
Yukarism, Vol. 1 - Chika Shiomi

At his birth, Yukari was declared to have retained memories of his past life. In the series' present, seventeen-year-old Yukari is a prolific author of books set in the Edo period. He doesn't particularly like writing and he never does any research, but his memories of his past life compel him to write.

His lackluster attitude towards writing dismays Mahoro, a student at Yukari's school who happens to be a huge fan of his work. Yukari feels a connection to Mahoro, which he immediately realizes is due to the fact that they knew each other in the past - Yukari's past self was cut down by a sword and died in a fire, and it seems that Mahoro's past self died right beside him.

It'd merely be an interesting discovery, except that Yukari suddenly finds himself drawn into the past and deposited into the body of his former self, Yumurasaki, a popular oiran (according to the translator's notes, a class of courtesan). For some unknown reason, Yukari keeps getting pulled backward and forward in time, meeting people in his present who are reincarnations of people he knew when he was Yumurasaki.

I didn't realize until I started looking up more info about the meaning of "oiran" that I had probably mistaken this series for Sakuran, another series starring an oiran. Whoops. Well, I can try to hunt that series down later.

Yukarism wasn't exactly bad, but it left me feeling very underwhelmed. Yukari's reaction to being transported into the body of his past self seemed extremely muted considering that 1) his past self was female, 2) sex was very likely to come up at some point, and 3) it was possible he could end up experiencing his past self's death. Oh, and he had no idea whether his actions in the past might have some effect on the future - although he inhabited the body of his past self, his mind was very much that of his current self.

In this first volume, Yukari met three people he knew in his past life: Mahoro, who was once Kazuma, Yumurasaki's (male) bodyguard; Emi, who was once Hitoha, Yumurasaki's apprentice; and a young man who once Takamura, a good-looking but menacing client of Yumurasaki's. Everyone seems to be at least a little affected by their past lives, even though most of them have no memories of their past selves. From the look of things, the series is going to be focused on the mystery of how Yumurasaki died, and whether history will end up repeating itself.

Since the series is only four volumes long, I plan on continuing on. I hope it improves, though. The premise is interesting enough, but the execution is a little weak. At least the artwork is decent.


  • A couple pages of translator's notes.
  • Author sidebars. Writing/illustrating a historical manga was very much outside the author's comfort zone.


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

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review 2016-06-15 12:23
One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 - ONE,Yusuke Murata,John Werry

This will be a general review for the first 5 volumes.

Normally I am not one for shounen, the endless battles, the boring training, it is just not for me. Or at least, not any more. I know when I started reading manga/watching anime that I didn't mind some shounen. Still I wanted to try this manga as I heard a lot about it, and I saw an AMV at the AMV competition at Animecon.

And I am so glad I did try this one out, because while it is shounen, the battles are pretty short (because of our MC), there is almost no training, and it is just so random, and it has such dry humour that I can't help but fly through this series and love it to bits.

Saitama is just a delightful, silly, wth character who wants to be hero, but totally doesn't care if the crowd doesn't like him (though I strongly suspect he does want some love, after all he does save the world on a regular basis). He is at times a bit disappointed that he can fell a baddie with just one punch (which made me laugh).
His dry humour, and at times just silly expressions make me laugh so much. The way he is bluffing through quite a few things is just brilliant (especially when it concerns Genos).
I also love how, mid-battle, he suddenly remembers that he needed to go to the grocery store for special deals. There is a time and place for everything, this is not the time. :P

I just hope he will get some recognition soon, and not the continuous stuff about him being a fake, or that he is cheating. While it is magical that he can fell a high level monster/threat with one punch, I still would like him to get the recognition he deserves. He certainly doesn't deserve all the crap he gets. Come on, this guy just saved the world and you treat him like this?

The art is also just hilarious, Saitama often looks so out of place with his silly expressions. Everyone around him is in dead-serious-mode, and then there is Saitama. :D Of course even he can go to dead-serious-mode, but more often than not he is just standing there, looking silly/bored.
Even in battles, he just doesn't take it serious (or at least it seems like that, look at the training (yes, one time we had one) between Genos and Saitama. I just laughed my butt off at how serious Genos was, while Saitama was just frolicking around (and being super-strong)).

As the story continues we meet new villains, new monsters, but also new heroes. Some heroes just make one appearance, but others come back quite a few times.

I also like the idea of a ranking system in the Heroes department, and it is fun to see the stuff they have to do in each of the ranking. For instance C guys have to tackle a monster/baddie each week, otherwise they are kicked out. Which, for a guy like Saitama is quite a bit of stress, especially since his town is so quiet.

The art is terrific and I just love how it goes from serious, to not-serious in just mere seconds. I also really love how Saitama stands out from everything and everyone. You would have a simple drawn Saitama, and then details all around him.

I read these 5 volumes at the Mangakissa at Animecon, but when I got home I immediately ordered book 6 and pre-ordered 7, and I will be getting the other 5 volumes soon. Because I need to know how this one continues, and I will also be checking out the anime, hopefully it is just as good as the manga.

If you are looking for a fun, hilarious, WTH manga, then be sure to check this one out.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2016-02-07 23:19
One-Punch Man (manga, vol. 2) story by ONE, art by Yusuke Murata, translated by John Werry
One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 - Yusuke Murata,John Werry,ONE

In the first half of this volume, Saitama and Genos learn more about the House of Evolution, the group behind the genetically modified beings they battled in the previous volume. The House of Evolution was founded by an evil genius who believes that humanity's continued evolution should be artificially assisted. Genos and Saitama battle the evil doctor's most powerful and least emotionally stable being, Carnage Kabuto.

In the second half of the volume, a terrorist group that believes that nobody should have to work decides to go after the richest man in town. The man's bodyguard, a ninja named Speed-O'-Sound Sonic, battles them – and also Saitama, who he mistakes for a terrorist because Saitama and the terrorists are all bald.

Since I liked the first volume of this series, I decided to pick up volumes 2-4 when I spotted them at my local Walmart. Unfortunately, this volume wasn't quite as good as the first one. Either there were fewer jokes, or what jokes the volume had weren't as funny. I did enjoy the moment, near the end of Saitama and Carnage Kabuto's battle, when it looked like Saitama had finally managed to feel horrified about the damage that a monster like Carnage Kabuto could do. As usual, what he was actually freaking about was something much less heroic. I also enjoyed everyone's complete refusal to believe the secret behind Saitama's amazing strength and invincibility. Even hero-worshiping Genos thought Saitama was lying.

The second half of the volume barely had Saitama in it, much less Genos. I imagine it was more about establishing a one-sided rivalry between Sonic and Saitama. It's possible that Sonic could become another one of Saitama's eager followers, like Genos, but his positively evil grin screams “villain” more than “future hero wannabe.” But we'll see.

It looks like the next volume will be at least partially about Saitama and Genos getting themselves into the Hero Registry. Amusingly, although it's likely that Saitama saving that annoying little boy three years ago probably inspired the creation of the Hero Registry, no one ever thought to ask him to register or even seemed to remember that he existed.

Here's my favorite bit about the Hero Registry: “What the world refers to as heroes are those professional heroes listed in the registry. Any unlisted individual claiming to be a hero, no matter how active, is viewed askance and considered nothing more than a pervy freak who spouts irresponsible nonsense.” (182) I have a feeling that getting into the registry will be more difficult than Saitama expects.

This wasn't quite as much fun as the first volume, but I still have high hopes for the next couple and don't regret having bought them already.


A 14-page prequel comic featuring Saitama back when he was still in training and had all his hair. Also, one page of translator's notes, one of which is important for understanding one of the volume's jokes.


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

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review 2015-12-27 21:14
One-Punch Man (vol. 1) story by ONE, art by Yusuke Murata, translated by John Werry
One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 - ONE,Yusuke Murata,John Werry

This was an impulse buy – I happened to see it while grocery shopping, and I vaguely remembered hearing good things about it. It turned out to be pretty funny.

As far as the premise goes, I'll just quote the bit on the table of contents page: “My name is Saitama. I am a hero. I got too strong. And that makes me sad. I can defeat any enemy with one blow. I lost my hair. And I lost all feeling. I want to feel the rush of battle. I would like to meet an incredibly strong enemy. And I would like to defeat it with one blow. That's because I am One-Punch Man.”

Although that's somewhat incorrect, because what Saitama would really like is an enemy that takes a bit more to defeat than one punch. Someone who could get his adrenaline flowing, even just a little bit.

In this volume, we learn One-Punch Man's origins. He was jobless, had just failed his most recent job interview, and happened to come across a guy who turned into a crab monster after eating too many crabs. Saitama didn't really have anything better to do, and becoming a powerful hero seemed like a nice hobby.

This series is ridiculous, and the writer and artist fully embrace that. Everything is a joke, from the hero, to the villains, to the people being attacked by the villains (my favorite was the crying little girl wearing a shirt that said “School Child”). The writer even pokes fun at some of the usual action manga conventions, like the tendency of characters to shout out their attack names – one of Saitama's attacks was “consecutive normal punches.”

Although Saitama is strong enough to defeat villains many times larger than himself with only a single punch, he still has to worry about ordinary things, like the cost of getting his roof fixed and being able to afford groceries. He fights for the adrenaline rush and because property damage is annoying, not because he's actually worried about the people around him. I laughed when he announced he was saving one particular kid because “With the birthrate so low, I can't let you kill [him].”

Halfway through the volume, another hero enters the scene, a cyborg who'd probably be the main character if he were in a different series. Unlike Saitama, he does have a typical hero motive and origin story, and I'll be interested to see how the series handles him and Saitama together.

I'll wrap this up with a couple notes. One, in case the premise didn't make it clear, this is fairly violent. There's blood, and Saitama rips out eyeballs a few times. And two, the series is light on female characters, and the one who does pop up is...typical. Mosquito Girl's design is basically Barbie doll nudity with some black-and-white markings, and one panel was weirdly sexual (she got her power from blood that real mosquitoes brought her, so at one point she called for all the power she could get: “Come to me! Pour into me the juice you have stored up!”).

All in all, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading more. It's a simple premise, but there seems to be plenty of comedy potential.


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

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