Sunday, 4 November 2007

Manga Sunday!

Yen Press very kindly sent me three of their new releases, which I received yesterday. I fancied a change, from what I’ve been reading recently, so thought I’d have a ‘Manga Weekend’… All three books are fairly short so, as a result, you’ll be getting three short reviews! Starting with the best first…

‘Zombie Loan’ (Peach Pit)

A weak willed schoolgirl, who can’t say no to her friends, finds herself not being able to say no when two of her classmates enlist her in a battle against the undead. Only she can see the markings that distinguish the undead from the living. Her two classmates have a debt to pay and several schoolchildren have gone missing from their school… A Japanese version of ‘Buffy’ with a couple of neat twists. I forgot to start at the back of the book and managed to spoil the ending for myself… I liked the artwork but found myself with a strange desire to add some colour, the ‘balck and white thing didn’t quite work for me here. It was still a good read though and I think this could become one of the better series from Yen.

Seven out of Ten

‘Black God’ (Dall-Young Lim)

Keita Ibuki stops off for takeaway (on his way home) and finds himself caught in a cosmic battle between a sinister looking man and a girl with very long legs… There’s a whole philosophy behind this story that I didn’t quite get. Suffice it to say that there’s a cosmic balance that needs to be maintained. Because of the battle scenes (of which there were lots) this book seemed rather rushed (and rather like an episode of Pokemon)but, again, the seeds for some promising storylines were sown for the future. With this book I found that if you flick the pages really quickly then sometimes the pictures move!

Six out of Ten

‘Spiral’ (Kyo Shirodaira)

Have you started reading a book where you hate the main character so much that you can’t keep reading? Well, that’s what happened to me here… There’s supposed to be some serious philosophical underpinnings to this story but I never got far enough in to find out what they were. All I can really tell you is that a girl dies at school and our hero is the main suspect (his sister in law is the investigating detective). Ayumu (our hero) is far too cocky for his own good and while there’s a whole load of talk nothing actually happens.
I’m not going to rate this book as I never finished it, I think you could probably guess what the score would be though.

Well, two out of the three books (from Yen) got a decent score so things bode well for future books. I’ll be interested to see what they come out with next. In the meantime I’m getting a taste for Manga, can anyone recommend a good read?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My first forays into Manga were "Bleach" (Viz), "Fruits Basket" (TokyoPop) and "Death Note" (Viz). Apart from "Naruto" (haven't read) these are the most popular long-running series at a large establishment on the high-street I won't name. All offer something different, but I'd recommend "Death Note" for the following:

1. Morality - how does one deal with power over death?

Ryuk a Shinigami death-God is bored. Unlike most Shinigamis' he has a curious nature and comes down to the human world for adventure ... and more important, entertainment. He purposefully drops his Death-Note, so a human will acquire it and gain his power ... chaos ensues

2. It's investigative - and a battle of wits.

3. Artwork is detailed - even emotions are clear.

4. Story kept me reading all 12 volumes back-to-back - a first for manga. I think it's the unravelling of 'the rules' of how to use the Death-Note that is an interesting plot feature. And, through to the end you are unsure if you are rooting for the right characters.

5. Simply more thoughtful than the little manga I've read so far, and highly entertaining!