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review 2017-09-02 12:09
Three Samurai Cats by Eric A. Kimmel
Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan - Eric A Kimmel,Mordicai Gerstein

Genre:  Japan / Animals / Trickery / Folktale / Peace


Year Published: 2003


Year Read:  2008

Publisher: Holiday House

 

Source:  Library

 

 

Three

“Three Samurai Cats” is an ancient Japanese folktale about how three samurai cats come to the Daimyo’s castle to defeat a savage rat with the last samurai cat giving the rat a taste of his own medicine. Eric A. Kimmel’s hilarious retelling and Mordicai Gerstein’s colorful drawings combine greatly to make a great and funny story from ancient Japan. 

Eric A. Kimmel’s humorous storytelling of an ancient Japanese folktale is extremely inventive and witty as the last samurai cat uses a nonviolent stragety to defeat the rat at the end of the book. I found the part where the rat kicks the fierce samurai cat across the room to be extremely funny since the samurai cat looked funny when he crashed to the ground. Mordicai Gerstein’s illustrations are colorful yet scratchy, giving the story a humourous edge. One of the illustrations that really stood out the most for me was the image of Neko Roshi giving an intense look after he had just woken up when the rat yelled out “help!” when he was stuck in the rice ball. Neko Roshi’s eyes look huge like when a cat sees something that terrifies it and his hair also stood on its end. 

Three

“Three Samurai Cats” is an excellent story about how violence does not always solve the problem and how clear thinking can always win the battle if you allow the right moment to come. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the younger children might not understand the Japanese vocabulary, such as daimyo and docho.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 00:50
Food Wars! Volume 1 by Yuto Tsukuda
Food Wars!, Vol. 1: Shokugeki no Soma - Yuto Tsukuda,Shun Saeki

Genre: Action / Cooking / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2012


Year Read: 2017


Series: Food Wars! #1



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

 

Food


Now, I have been a huge fan of anime that deals with cooking and I had decided that I wanted to try my hand into a manga series that deals with food! What luck I had when I picked up this popular manga series called “Food Wars! Volume One” by Yuto Tsukuda along with artwork by Shun Saeki and I was quite impressed with the bizarre creativity of this manga!

The story starts off with a young teenage boy named Soma Yukihira who works at his father’s family restaurant in a poor part of town and yet, the family restaurant is well known for their extremely tasty dishes. One day however, Soma’s father decided to sell the family restaurant and send Soma to a classy culinary school. At first, Soma is skeptical about all this since his major goal in life is to surpass his father in cooking. But, when Soma’s father mentions that if he passes this school, then Soma might have a chance at surpassing him, Soma decides to give this high class culinary school a chance!

Can Soma graduate from this high class culinary school?

Read this volume to find out!
 


Wow! I have to admit that this was one of the most unusual yet creative manga that I had read that dealt with cooking! Yuto Tsukuda had done a great job at writing this story as I found myself being immersed with the bizarre cooking world established in this volume and how each character treats graduating from this high class culinary school as serious business. I also loved the fact that we get some kind of “Toriko” vibe here as this series may not be as action heavy as “Toriko,” but it still treats the cooking scenes as scenes you would get out of an action movie!
I really loved the way that Yuto Tsukuda wrote each character, especially Soma Yukihira, who is probably one of the most interesting characters in this story! Even though Soma can be a little rude towards other people at times, he is always determined to make the best dishes no matter how much the odds are stacked up against him and I always enjoyed this determined attiude that Soma possesses since it makes him a really likable character. Shun Saeki’s artwork is fantastic to look at as the characters are gorgeously drawn and I loved seeing some of the lighting around the characters as it makes them glow on the pages. I also enjoyed seeing the various tasty dishes that are shown in this volume, such as the image of Soma making a bacon wrapped potato dish, which looked quite tasty and unique!

Food

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because of the sexual imagery that came up whenever the characters are experiencing Soma’s cooking and you can see images of the characters imagining themselves halfway naked whenever they are describing the taste of the foods they sampled. Now, I usually don’t mind seeing sexual imagery depending on whether or not the story is a romance or something of the sort, but because this is a series about cooking, it just felt a bit too out of place in this setting and I sometimes cringed a bit whenever the sexual images come up in the story.

Overall, “Food Wars! Volume One” is a fun volume for anyone who loves manga that deals with cooking and action and I am definitely going to try to check out the next volume in this series!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-06-01 07:26
Rin-Ne Volume 15 by Rumiko Takahashi
RIN-NE, Vol. 15 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #15



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

Ever since Renge Shima has been introduced into this series, the series has certainly changed up its game with all the characters involved. “Rin-Ne Volume Fifteen” is one extraordinary volume that puts a lot of focus on Renge and her relationship with Rinne and the gang that will be enjoyable for “Rin-Ne” fans!

Renge Shima has moved in next door to Rinne (much to Rinne’s chagrin) and has already started causing trouble for everybody again when she decided to give away lucky cell phone charm straps to various people for free. The problem with this is that it causes Rinne’s spirit hunting business to go downhill as more people get help from Renge instead of Rinne and Rinne must find out a way to put an end to Renge’s trickery before he is out of the business!

Rumiko Takahashi has done it again with her witty and hilarious writing for these unique characters and their crazy situations! I loved the fact that this volume actually focuses more on Renge Shima and her relationship with the other characters as it made her character stand out more and it was interesting seeing that Renge actually knew most of the characters since childhood and has been a pain in the neck to them for all those years. I also liked the fact that we get to see what kind of relationship Renge has with Kain (as it seems like they have so much in common, except for the fact that Renge is working for the Damashigami Company) and I would like to see more stories unfold between Kain and Renge and whether or not Kain will discover Renge’s secret. I was also impressed with the storyline where Ageha and Renge knew each other when they were children and it was interesting seeing them still maintain their rivalry even when they got older as it was pretty comical to watch! Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is as always, great to look at as all the characters are drawn in both an adorable and creative way and I also loved the way that the action sequences with the characters fighting each other are all detailed in action.

Overall, “Rin-Ne Volume 15” is a great volume that focuses on Renge Shima that fans of the “Rin-Ne” series will enjoy for a long time!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-05-19 21:24
Rin-Ne Volume 14 by Rumiko Takahashi
[ Rin-Ne, Volume 14 BY Takahashi, Rumiko ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #14



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

Rinne

Ever since I’ve been reading “Rin-Ne,” I have been wondering if they are building up a possible story arc for the Damashigami Company plot regarding Rinne’s father Sabato and it seems that in “Rin-Ne Volume Fourteen,” we see even more plot twists from the Damashigami Company that will change everything regarding this series!

In this volume, we are introduced to Renge Shima, a transfer student who immediately gets the attention of all the boys at school. Unfortunately, it turns out that Renge has a Marilyn Monroe look-alike spirit hovering over her that is making the boys become attracted to her, but is Renge harboring a dark secret that could turn the tides for Rinne and the gang? Other stories in this volume involve Rokumon meeting up with the Black Cat Elder, Rinne meeting up with a Nine-Tailed Fox that possesses Tsubasa and a demon that tries to steal beans from a bean throwing ceremony.

Wow! Rumiko Takahashi never ceases to amaze me with her unique writing style in her works! Even though this volume has even more filler story arcs than the previous volumes, there were some stories that also contributed a bit to the main story line regarding the Damashigami Company. Now, I have seen so many new characters being added to this series already, but Renge Shima was an interesting case as she seems to be the most serious character introduced in the series so far besides Kain and it makes me wonder (hopefully) if the series is actually going to get to an actual story arc sometime after this volume. I also enjoyed the side story about Tsubasa getting possessed by a Nine-Tailed Fox since it focused on Tsubasa and it was a pretty hilarious story to read! Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is a treat to see as the demons shown in this volume are both scary and hilarious to look at and I really loved the artwork of the evil dragon spirit at the beginning of this volume as it was a cross between being frightening when it first arrived to being humorous after it got all the negative emotions it needed.

For anyone who does not like images of demons and other scary characters, this volume has a bit of scary imagery of demons that might scare some people such as the dragon spirit that feeds on negative emotions at the beginning of the volume.

Overall, “Rin-ne Volume Fourteen” is a great volume for fans of “Rin-ne” and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this series in the future!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-04-17 23:53
Rin-Ne Volume 13 by Rumiko Takahashi
RIN-NE, Vol. 13 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #13



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

 

Once again, Rumiko Takahashi has created another hilarious volume that introduces more crazy characters into the universe of “Rin-Ne” and I was just as impressed with the thirteenth volume as I was with the previous volumes!

 

In this volume, Rinne’s scythe ends up getting damaged during battle and he tries to find a scythe smith that could fix his scythe (for a cheap price of course).  So, he ends up meeting the rabbit-eared twins Right and Left, who offer to fix his scythe for free.  Unfortunately, Rinne will soon learn that Right and Left’s craftsmanship on his scythe might not be what he wanted and he might want his refund back!

            

Rumiko Takahashi’s writing is as usual fantastic to read as the humor and the action sequences are well woven together and makes the story extremely creative!  I enjoyed the introduction of Right and Left as scythe smiths as I did wondered about whether or not there are people in the Shinigami world who repairs scythes and even though I liked seeing that side of the universe, I personally was thinking about what can Right and Left really bring to the story and how their presence would affect the characters in the future.  I also enjoyed some of the other stories in this volume which included a ghost causing mayhem at a dessert buffet and Rinne and the gang being trapped inside a haunted house during Christmas Eve as they were hilarious and interesting to read.  Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is as usual fantastic to look at as the characters are drawn in a cute and effective way and I really enjoyed the appearances of Right and Left as they look like cute human characters that have rabbit ears, which make them look unique.

 

Overall, “Rin-Ne Volume Thirteen” is a fantastic volume that fans of “Rin-Ne” will enjoy and I definitely cannot wait to check out the later volumes in this series!

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

 

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