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review 2015-03-30 02:46
Emotions Emotions Emotions + the Wratched Realm of Fan Service
Aria, Volume 1 - Kozue Amano
Ghost Talker's Daydream, Volume 1 - Saki Okuse;Sankichi Meguro
Claymore, Vol. 01: Silver-eyed Slayer - Norihiro Yagi
Ral & Grad, Volume 1 - Tsuneo Takano

In spite of personal shit that makes me feel all


I managed to get some serious manga reading done of late.  So, yay? 


Anyway, yeah, onwards and... upwards.


Aria: Volume 1


Light, happy and free of all of the disappointing disgusting fan service that every other manga I have read lately has - even the ones I liked.  It felt like I was coming home when I read this - it was light, and, dare I say, "airy" to read.  I felt like I was watching Hayao Miyazaki or walking down a forest path and just watching the river beyond the line of trees.   Read if you need a pick-me-up, like I did. some of the beautiful imagery and the sense of relaxed happiness made me feel like everything was going to be okay and lovely.


Ghost Talker's Daydream, Vol. 1


Um, yeah, about that "fan-service".  This is a prime example of how over-sexualizing a character who does not want to be over-sexualized (she repeatedly talks about how she hates aspects of being a BDSM "master" repeatedly and continuously gets into situations wherein she becomes inexplicably nude to others.  It's pretty damn gross.  And it detracts from the strengths of the story itself - this is an interesting premise and it doesn't flinch from the depictions of death and the monster-of-the-week styled stories feel fresh and interesting.  Too bad, really.


Claymore, Vol. 1


Out of all of the ones that did have fan service, at least this one was classily handled.  A woman who seems to have little in the way of a human soul and a whole lot of demon-enhanced abilities is the star of this series.  Fascinating and dark, this killing machine of a person seems to be learning more about her human side as the story goes on as she continued down a path that is promised to take that very humanity away.


Ral & Grad, Vol. 1


And then we get into the wratched realm, where we have a woman agreeing to being sexually used by a fifteen year old boy and then we see grown women in the aftermath of having sex.  With a minor.  Oh god why Japan why.


After having read a lot of manga lately, can I just request that Japanese authors explain to me the need for exposition dumps?  It's not necessary, if you have skill as a writer.  Jeez.

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review 2014-03-06 00:11
All about the boobies!
Ral & Grad, Volume 1 - Tsuneo Takano

I would do a Ral Grad drinking game, but all you need is to take a small sip when they say boobies...


Oh, no!   Everyone who's read any issue of Ral Grad ever died of alcohol poisoning!   


The sad thing is that I thought it was funny a couple years ago, and the sadder thing is that the fantasy parts - the dragons, the shadows, and the fight between the Shadow Queen and Ral/Grad and others like him?   It fascinates me!  I really like this world and the way the fantasy elements were built up. 


I didn't like the focus on tits. 







It was realistic.   Grad takes Ral as his host because he believes Ral's father won't imprison his own son.   Except that Ral does get imprisoned for the first fifteen years of his life, and his teacher, Miss Mio, didn't think Ral would need to know about women, or the difference between men and women.   So they play off his naiveté and hormones for laughs, which is realistic, but also overplayed to the point where I was rolling my eyes. 


There are other issues, like if the Dragon ws so dangerous, why did they keep him alive in Ral?   Sure, he came in useful later, but they weren't sure he could control the dragon.   That's a lot of risk, especially considering that if they could let him out so easily, someone else could as well.   There just weren't enough safeguards, in my opinion. 


Or how about how Ral is a natural fighter - as opposed to Grad - but he hasn't been outside in fifteen years?   How can he be in the sun for days on end, how did he survive the vitamin D deprivation, and how is he so buff?   


Yeah, there were some pretty major plotholes.  I wish someone had worked on those instead of coming up with tit jokes. 



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text 2014-03-05 23:24
What now?
Ral & Grad, Volume 1 - Tsuneo Takano

Ral: "All men want to squeeze boobies.  You're just trying to look cool by pretending you're above all that."




Look, I know Ral was imprisoned at birth because he was taken over by a Shadow and that he doesn't know about girls, and at fifteen, he's just discovered the glorious joy of the titties.   Still?   That quote above.  


I was going, 'hey, this is funny, and those days when you're tired, cranky, cold, and crying? Those call for this.'  (Look, I hate to do the 'boobies' thing, but if you got 'em, you know what I'm talking about, right?   Riding the crimson wave, just so there's no confusion.)   I was all like 'nostalgia, and I wonder why I didn't get the second volume and beyond...'   


Boom.   There you go.   Still that quote above.   Also, all the men?   Even the gay ones?   Even the asexual ones?   Even the ones who are technosexual to the degree I am?   Really, author?   Really?   All the men?   Are you sure that's what you want to go with?   


Okay then...

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review 2011-06-30 00:00
Ral Grad, Vol. 1 (v. 1)
Ral & Grad, Volume 1 - Tsuneo Takano This was an "ok" read as the stars show. The book itself was not bad. In fact, I found the premise and basic story pretty good. It is the story of a young teen discovering his powers and that he has a destiny to save the world from darkness. Some of the art is a bit overloaded, but it is good overall. While I get this is geared to teens, specifically teen boys, and I like the female form as much as the next healthy male, the gag of Ral's obsession with boobs does get a bit old or grinding after a while. Overall, if I come across the next volume in the series, I may read it, but I won't actively seek it out.
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