Yomimono / Reading


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I haven’t read that much manga and what I have read so far has been mostly unfinished series or a few volumes long. I say that as a disclaimer – maybe there are many great long manga series out there and the heaps of praise I intend to write for Battle Royale would be an expression of my relative inexperience as a manga reader. But I can’t help it, this manga has affected me too much, so I have to write down my impressions.

The premise of Battle Royale is simple, if extremely brutal and disturbing. In a totalitian ruled Japan the greatest entertainment show is simply called The Program. Every year a random (or not so random as it turns out) school class is picked, delivered to a certain location and told the rules of the game. Every student receives a random weapon, they are all in a restricted area and they have three days to win the game. How does one win? By being the last man standing. Literally. So the choice is kill or be killed. And if they don’t want to fight – they all die. So we have 42 ninth-graders (or third year middle school students if you want the Japanese system) battling it out to the death, TV ratings soaring with each juicy murder or rape attempt, plot twists are in abundance – treacheries, alliances, plans, detailed action scenes with their own twists – it’s not easy to guess what comes next, even for people like me, obsessed with guessing exactly that. And now I know why the final third of Mai-HiME is so often compared with Battle Royale and as much as I love Mai-HiME, I think Battle Royale is better, not least because it doesn’t have the an ending that ruins everything but also because it is even more brutal to its characters. (more…)

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Iono the Fanatics, along with Strawberry Shake, is in my not so humble opinion the best manga I have read from the sadly not so popular genre of yuri comedy (not including some rather fun oneshots). It’s so hilarious that I suspect it even might just appeal to the poor souls who dislike yuri. And unlike the Strawberry Panic manga, so far it has not taken a nose dive in quality, nor does it have annoyingly childish characters. In fact, the only kid character is probably more mature than most of the SP characters…not that this is that big of an achievement. (more…)

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What is cotton? A kind of fabric? A plant often asscociated with the the south areas of the USA? All true but it’s also the title of the manga I am going to write about. It’s sweet but not damned cheesy or childish, short (just four chapters) and without filler, it has gorgeous looking characters who are also interesting and get quite a lot of development. And (shock and horror!) it doesn’t go over the top with the amount of angst. What’s not to like? Wait, did I mention the yuri undertones? (more…)

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The chapter starts with Shuurei waking up to find her royal husband lying on her and of course they are seen, but we know this from the anime. What is different in the manga however is the breakfast after that not so memorable first wedding night.

Shuurei is not sure what happened and desperately wants to hear that nothing took place, but Ryuuki acts nasty and … (more…)

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Ok, I have not seen it done on another blog (which doesn't mean it has not happened, just that I am not aware of it), but that would hardly be a reason why I shouldn't do it, so I decided for now to try blogging the chapters of Saiunkoku Monogatari manga. I know that most people would blog episodes or just say a few words about a volume of manga or even the whole manga, but since I like Saiunkoku too much for the time being I'll do it like this. (more…)

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Just a few words on the Saiunkoku Monogatari manga. Yesterday was provided the first chapter by one of the scanlating groups and I grabbed it right off.* (more…)