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review 2017-02-02 14:01
When An Outcast Became a Hero At The Beginning of a Zombie Outbreak!
I am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1 - Kengo Hanzawa

There are so many 'zombie' related novels, comics and even mangas, its unsure which one is really good to pick up. Yes, The Walking Dead is a much favorite comic book series so far with other numerous other zombies that many felt pale to its comparison. Mangas are only a handful of titles that either work or fair well to some readers. It was then I stumble upon a movie trailer of 2016's I Am A Hero that got me curious to pick up this manga title... and boy, Kengo Hanazawa has shown true potential what a storyteller and artist he can be with this title.


Let's start off with what makes this different than most zombie titles - Hideo Suzuki is a lowly assistant manga artist for a long time. He's an outcast thirty-five years old and still has no hit on any of his proposal that he was popular to be made into serial in Japan. Daydreamer occasionally that he is not able to see reality of life, he talks to himself most of the time. His girlfriend, on the other hand, used to be a fan of his but he isn't if she still loves him. Slowly as days passes by and always on a deadline, some thing is happening around Hideo that he never notices and thinks its one of his hallucinations... until when some thing freshly dead became a reality in Japan.


How much different is this compare to other 'zombie' related theme novels, comics or mangas is this - told in a sequence of a day to day happening, Kengo Hanazawa took realism into manga form using panel by panel story telling. Its not a fast-reading material, I give you that but the artwork gives any reader a step-by-step eye movement following sequence that really works into your pleasure of reading. I was totally into the manga and I am glad that he took his time building up the suspense in a slow-pacing manner. In truth - the real fun begins after 1/2 of the omnibus (which is after the first collected volume one) and where the attack begins. But won't this affect the fun in reading the manga? No. He has his own reasoning why the build up is slow. That build up introduce the characters of who they are, what they are to the protagonist and how this affects his reality issues of life that he can't comprehend. Namely, the wonders of daydreamers depict really well as a character being told almost accurately how shut-ins live their lives. Throw them into a zombie apocalypse and see what they will do. And that's a fun read.


The artwork itself is the ugly reality of how Japanese life is. And the details given so meticulous in art-form is a beautiful piece you can feel that Kengo Hanazawa paid a lot of good attention to details needed. Yes, blurred lines are used but the splash pages are some thing to behold here. My following eye-movement is one that dictates which will go first and which is important for the intensity of the action and this works really well. Its an acceptable manga to give what manga readers want to enjoy reading and to admire the artwork as well. Nominated and won with some awards and its still ongoing since its first debut its series in Japan in 2009, I am glad I pick up this title on a whim because of the movie trailer. I am hoping that it does not disappoint as the series continue and since the English language version was released last-year, I can wait a little longer to enjoy reading this at a slow-pacing while I work it up with my other readings. This is one zombie related manga that should be read if you want some thing that build's its suspense at the right timing.

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review 2017-01-22 15:58
A Dark Cyberpunk Science Fiction Manga in Master Edition!
BLAME! (Master Edition) Vol.1 - Tsutomu Nihei


Blame! is a cyberpunk H.R. Giger that is dark and violent. What begins is a mystery and ends with still more to go for in this science fiction manga written and drawn by Tsutomu Nihei. In this master edition, its a large format for fans whom missed out the late Tokyopop edition that closed down some years back and finally we get to see in print once again.


While I do have to say that I wasn't quite fond of the artwork, there is some thing dark I like about the manga. For one, there is a mystery of a young man named Kryii on a dark quest to look for a gene terminal in a world filled with mutants and bio-mechanical grotesque beings out of a nightmare. As humans are the last of its kind in this universe, the quest that Kryii is looking for remains unknown. There are more characters that were introduced killed faster than they can survive in the next chapter. Still, this dark post-apocalyptic manga is a fast read with less words to read. The artwork on the other hand, is not really to my standard like how I enjoyed admiring Kishiro Yukito's Battle Angel Alita, another great cyberpunk science fiction. Still, Blame! has its perks and I do not mind reading the next chapter once I get my hands on it.



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review 2017-01-21 04:44
The Elegance of an Immortal Samurai
Blade of the Immortal Omnibus Volume 1 - Hiroaki Samura

I love the romance of the samurai edo era, especially when it comes to Lone Wolf and Cub, where to me to this day is the best ever written and drawn samurai manga ever published. What is an epic tale of revenge and honor in Lone Wolf and Cub and what is romantic meiji swordsman story in Rurouni Kenshin, Blade of the Immortal makes up what little essence of those two into an elegant beautifully drawn manga by Hiroaki Samura. The first time I read it, I did not really enjoy it but some how after more than a decade over, I am drawn by its beauty. Finally - an omnibus edition was recently released and it collects the first three volumes published by Dark Horse. It was the second time around rereading that now, I do appreciate it.


Enter Manji, an immortal samurai that just can't die. Literally he can't. He wanted too (either by poison or decapitate his head) and and so he vowed to kill a thousand men. So he is immortal for years unknown how many and his only sister were killed and he has nothing much left to do. When a sixteen year old girl name Rin hired him to be his bodyguard on a quest of revenge to kill Kagehisa Anotsu and his Itto-Ryu clan, Manji might reached his goal.


Blade of the Immortal has a slow introduction start. We are introduced by the characters in the first volume Blood of a Thousand that followed with second volume Cry of the Worm and finally ends in the third volume of the omnibus Dreamsong, which pretty much sums up a lot about why it has been a popular cult hit among manga readers. For one thing - I am mesmerize by the artwork. The fine lines and tones and speed lines just makes it right for the atmosphere and the following eye movement while reading just makes me comfortable. What was even a beaut is the splash-page kill shot that Samura had take the effort to draw it that can be a good poster pin-up on a wall. With such art, its not wonder manga readers like it.


The story on the other hand isn't much, which there's plenty of dialogue to go through that at times, it can be a hassle. There are moments that it is ambiguous that you need to figure out what it means. Don't expect an all out action or some thing epic from it, but I do understand it is a fitting reasoning why its meant to be told that way and slowly too. While the layers of characters are unfold slowly as the story progress, I can't help but to wonder whether there are side-stories that might just turn up and progressively kills the story mid-way.


Blade of the Immortal is not a bad read and certainly eye-candy when it comes to art. I do not mind now to follow the series until the end (it completed its run) and with an already released anime and now this year's upcoming live action adaptation movie to be release with Takuya Kimura as Manji, Blade of the Immortal will appeal who love elegance and beauty with a slow pace of a good afternoon tea.

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review 2015-01-25 01:33
Manga Review: Black Bird Volume I by Kanoko Sakurakoji
Black Bird, Vol. 1 - Kanoko Sakurakouji

Dear Readers,


Recently, I took a trip to the library for the first time in ages, and kind sorta went nuts in the manga section . . . I just never figured our public library would have such expensive books, but boy was I wrong! They have a huge selection, especially in the adult section. At first I was confused why they had teen books in the adult section, but by the time I finished this one, I totally knew why.

Fifteen-year-old Misao Harada has been able to see demons since she was a child. After her sixteenth birthday the demons whom usually aren’t any more pesky than a playful poltergeist have turned downright deadly and want to consume her for her powers, or force her hand in marriage. Meanwhile, her childhood friend and first love Kyo, has returned to town and has promised to save her from the demons, provided she sleeps with him and agrees to become his bride. It doesn’t help that she didn’t remember much about him from her childhood, such as he’s a tengu demon and leader of his clan.


There is just something so cute and addicting about the characters of Black Bird. I have a huge crush on Kyo and Misao and Kyo’s six-year-old Tengu servant, Taro. If you’ve never seen a baby manga character, you must google them! They are sooooocute! (lol)

Anyways, I really had a blast with this one, guys. I also checked out the second volume, so I’m super excited to start reading it as well! If you are a fan of manga or not, you should definitely check out Black Bird. You will not be disappointed!


Your friendly book addict,

♥ One Curvy Blogger

manga review

Source: onecurvyblogger.com/2015/01/24/black-bird-volume-1-by-kanoko-sakurakoji
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review 2014-01-20 13:50
Nodame Cantabile, Vol. 1 - Tomoko Ninomiya

Review for the whole manga. :)

I finished this series a week or so ago. And wow what a ride it was. Finally I had a chance to read the whole manga, and not just parts of it. I must say, now that I read the manga, that the anime and jdorama did quite a good job. Most we find in the manga is also found in the anime or jdorama.

The first few manga volumes focus on Nodame and Chiaki, how they met, how they grew together and how they both are struggling with various things that life throws at them. This part was ok, it was hard to get through things at times, especially how Chiaki was acting (all mean and harsh) and how Nodame was acting (overly dramatic, stalkerish and in overall I found her just weird at times). But it also had wonderful things happening. Also the side characters were just awesome, I really loved them and their antics.

The second part of the manga focusses on them being Paris, how both are starting with new things. Nodame with school, Chiaki with conducting. How they both are adapting to life in there. Especially in the case of Nodame, who didn't have a chance to learn French (I loved the parts that she learned French by watching anime, or that she was using some strange dictionary and almost got Chiaki in trouble). We also meet various other characters, all living in that house. They are all trying to work hard and try their best.
I loved this part especially since it focusses so much on Chiaki and Nodame, and their relationship. Especially Chiaki, he is more and more getting to love Nodame. You noticed it already, but in these parts it is just all the more obvious, that although Nodame is totally nuts and at times annoying, he truly loves her.

Then we get the part where Chiaki decides to move out, and he gets busier and busier. This was the part where I at times cried. Poor Nodame, he never cared to tell her in advance that he was leaving the apartment. I seriously wanted to smack Chiaki for that, how he treated Nodame. I am sure he could have told her, sure she might have snapped and acted weird, but that is a normal response. Someone you love so dearly leaves you.

The ending... well let's say I was seriously disappointed with it. I expected a lovely ending, where things would finally be finished. Either be a wedding, or a proposal, or something else exciting, instead it ends like how the normal volumes do. With nothing. It is a really disappointment. I went through 23 volumes, cheered and cried, laughed and shouted, and what do I get? A totally crappy ending that doesn't finish or end anything. 
So I am just hoping the mangaka will pick it up again, or at least tries to make a decent ending. 

In overall, I would really recommend this series to everyone.

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