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text 2017-08-22 17:06
Maybe the anime will be easier to follow?
Land of the Lustrous 1 - Haruko Ichikawa

As far as I can tell, the series stars a bunch of gemstone-based beings that are given life and movement by organisms powered by sunlight. The story's protagonists are these gem-based beings. Their enemies are silent and perfect beings from one of the planet's moons, who come down periodically and try to capture the gems. When they capture them, they break them into pieces and use them as weapons.

 

I picked out a couple sample pages I really liked. You can actually spot this first one in the preview for the anime (panels go from right to left, and the page number is on the bottom left):

 

 

The enemy general (?) has just had their head cut in half, but instead of killing them it only reveals their next weapon: the broken pieces of a captured gem warrior, turned into arrows.

 

This next page shows one of the volume's weirdest battles (that I've seen so far). Cinnabar is a tragic character who can't safely be around the other gems - they (the characters appear to be genderless) can't help but produce a poison that destroys everything around them, including other gems. A few vague statements in the manga and a glance at the Wikipedia page on cinnabar tells me that the poison is probably mercury. Here Cinnabar is literally fighting the enemy by vomiting poison everywhere.

 

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review 2017-08-19 21:36
Lady Mechanika - Vol. 1
Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse - Joe Benitez

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Set in an alternate Victorian (circa 1879) England, this comics deals with Lady Mechanika, a private investigator/adventuress whose limbs are actually mechanical, and who’d like nothing more than to find out who made her like that and where she comes from; all the while being pitted against the sinister Blackpool Armaments Co. and both its shady employer and soldiers. In this arc, Mechanika investigates the death of a mysterious young woman with mechanical arms similar to her own, only to realise that a lot more players are involved, including Commander Winter and a circus full of characters each with their own secrets.

The drawing style itself is, in general, well-balanced and elegant, and the colours match the mood of the various panels and situations. It’s probably a little overkill on the steampunk aesthetics (in that at some point, there’s going to be a lot of leather and corsets and goggles on top hats etc.), so depending on one’s mood about that, it may not be a selling point. On the other hand, there’s a lot of attention to details, which makes it a joy to look for those in panels, and even if they’re of the, well, aesthetic persuasion in spite of usefulness, there’s plenty to keep your eyes busy. (I usually tends to like steampunk aesthetics, so count me in the second category, even though I tend to criticise lightly. ^^)

Not bonus points on the boobs, though, and some of the extreme ‘female body poses’ that I see in a lot of comics. Eye candy and all that, I get it. It’s just... it detracts from the overall badassness of the characters. (And large boobs are seriously not convenient, especially since they easily hurt during stunts. Whatever.)

The characters as a lot were likeable enough: from Mechanika herself, with her doubts but also her resourcefulness and her desire to do what’s right, to Lewis the inventor whose bottle problems hint at dark events in his past. And the little Alexandra, with her gimmick ‘you’re an impostor’atttitude, which made her quibs with Mechanika quite funny—apparently some authors in the comics write stories about M, and the kid thinks these are the truth. There seems to be a current of underlying relationships that beg to be developed in later issues, creating a sense of an over-plot that will be gradually revealed (which I sure hope will happen in later issues because if it doesn’t, I’ll be disappointed). So far I’m not too happy with the two enemy women apparently becoming enemies because of a man (as it’s a pretty boring reason), but it may still turn out to be something slightly different, so we’ll see. I could do with a little less wordiness, though—it doesn’t fare too well in some panels, making pages difficult to focus on—yet I’m also torn about that because some of that dialogue was of the banter kind, and I think this fits well with Victorian/steampunk themes in general.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars, going on 4.Quite an enjoyable comics in spite of the (typical?) eye-candy. I still liked the artwork and additional covers no matter what, as well as the story and its slight cliffhanger/ominous tones at the end.

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review 2017-08-14 04:00
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? #2 by Fumi Yoshinaga
What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 2[WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY V02][Paperback] - FumiYoshinaga

This manga series is my perfect place to hide from the world. I buy a volume whenever I feel I deserve a treat or accomplished a big thing.

 

I loved the recipes in this volume and would like to try a few of them. In this case, I was introduced to Nikujaga (肉じゃが) and I want to have this dish ASAP. It sounds like the ultimate comfort dish for the coming fall nights.

 

I also enjoyed learning more about how Shiro and Kenji met and how they came to live together.

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text 2017-08-10 17:52
Wishlist or future ILL request
My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 - Aruko,Kazune Kawahara

I started watching the anime adaptation of this the other day, and I'll probably give the manga a shot at some point. It starts off with a setup that looks like a typical love triangle: cute girl and a good-looking guy who's friends with a big burly dude (the series' main character). But there's a twist: the cute girl actually likes (really really likes) the big burly dude.

 

The big burly dude, Takeo, falls immediately in love with the cute girl, Yamato, but assumes that she, like all other girls he's crushed on in the past, is really interested in his good-looking friend, Suna. Suna has bluntly rejected every single girl who has ever asked him out, sometimes going as far as to say "I hate you" to their faces...so it looks like there's a good chance Yamato is going to end up hurt. Because Takeo's genuinely a good guy, wants Yamato to be happy, and thinks he's spotted signs that Suna might actually like Yamato back a little, Takeo tries to help Yamato out with Suna. What Takeo doesn't realize is that he has completely misread the situation: Yamato is actually interested in him. (Not exactly a spoiler - this gets revealed pretty early on.)

 

Things I like about the series so far:

 

- Yamato is genuinely attracted to Takeo - this isn't a case of "she fell for his personality first and then the rest came later."

 

- Suna's sister. It looks like she isn't going to be around in the anime much, so I'm hoping she has a larger role in the manga.

 

- Suna and Takeo's friendship. It looks forced, at first, but later developments flesh it out more. I think I'm more interested in how they became and stayed friends than I am in Takeo and Yamato's romance.

 

Things I'm not wild about:

 

- The moments of secondhand embarrassment.

 

- Takeo's practice kiss. This scene was short, but horrifying enough that I could see it ruining the series for some people. I sincerely hope it isn't in the manga. I'm sure it was intended to be funny, but it wasn't. At all.

 

- While Takeo and Yamato's romance is sweet, I feel like Takeo would have happily dated and fallen in love with literally any cute girl in the series. On the plus side, at least his interest in Yamato never wavers.

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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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