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What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

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  • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

    It's been a while since I've done one of these.

    After four months of no manga from the library other than Air Gear Vol. 25 from November to February, a flood of new releases came in during March. I'm still trying to catch up with everything, since my library is more diligent in buying new titles as they are released.

    - Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 6-8 [END]:

    Wow, did they rush the R2 portion of the storyline or what! Three volumes span R2.

    The most important details and plotlines have been kept. It feels somewhat rushed, but despite having seen R2 before reading the manga, it didn't bother me all that much.

    - Pita-Ten Vol. 1-4

    A cute little series about a motherless Gr. 6 boy and his new next door neighbour who's trying to become an angel.

    The "su" speech pattern annoys the hell out of me. I can imagine how she sounded like in Japanese, but translating the dialogue so she says "su" in English + making her sound all cutesy wutesy is too much. The nerd kid with the bad haircut annoys, too.

    Shia's great, and the budding romantic dynamic that's forming intrigues. There are also some touching moments that make up for some of the misgivings.

    - One Piece Vol. 65-66:

    I'm going to miss Shirahoshi. The Fish Man Island arc doesn't have as much impact as earlier arcs, but it's hard to top the best arcs. Still very enjoyable.

    This new Fire/Ice island sounds neat. I'm curious as to how long this will take.

    - D.Gray-man Vol. 23:

    Still fairly confusing to me, but it's not as bad as earlier. A search party is now after Allen, with some amusing misadventures along the way. He resurfaces in a subtle but grand way.

    The art is quite pretty now, albeit a tad confusing at times.

    - Pokemon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl Platinum Vol. 7 (Pokemon Adventures Vol. 36):

    I'm getting pumped now that the final gym leader and the Mt. Coronet showdown is coming.

    To some degree, a failure on all fronts. But hope remains, and we all know how these stories end!

    The fights on the lakes were great, because it really shows how outclassed the protagonists are at times against Team Galactic.

    - 21st Century Boys Vol. 1:

    I didn't expect this last turn in the storyline.

    This penultimate volume doesn't disappoint, but I don't remember hearing good things about the finale, so I remain a little wary.

    - Skip Beat! Vol. 30:

    As much as I love Skip Beat!, I can feel the story dragging. Please move along faster!

    - Vampire Knight Vol. 15-16:

    I like this new direction that the story is going: with Kaname gone, Yuki tries to take matters into her own hands and reinstates the Night School component of Cross Academy.

    This also leads to some angsty Yuki/Zero moments, which I much prefer over ther Yuki/Kaname segments.

    - The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame

    Because the Master of Bara is coming to Toronto Comic Arts Fest this weekend, I was curious enough to buy his book in order to have it autographed & find an opportunity to meet the man. As a straight male, I am not part of the intended demographic that this material targets. At the same time, having heard about him through the Anime World Order podcast, I was still intrigued. After all, whether I wind up liking his work or not, when will I ever have an opportunity to meet such a creator again?

    I began flipping through the book once I arrived home, and found myself reading through the whole thing in one sitting.

    And wow. I was blown away.

    A couple of the hardcore S&M/torture stories did turn me off. Even in straight hentai works, I've never been a fan of the "downward spiral to depravity" storyline. Yet I still appreciate those stories in the sense that Tagame spares his characters no relief (well, in terms of subjugation) in most cases.

    On the occasional times that I've delved into BL & yaoi for curiosity's sake, I've found the works I've read not as explicit as I'd want them to be. (I'm under the assumption that most BL & yaoi is not meant to be explicit most of the time, but I digress.) The explicit nature of this work is welcome, and a change of pace from what I've read in the past.

    My favourite stories are the one involving the cop and the last story about the teacher & the student. The one with the doctor in the village wasn't bad either.
    Avatar: The dashing Shizuku Kanzaki, from The Drops of God.

    May it rest in peace.

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    • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

      Psyren volume 10 - Like the way the story arc ended but Nemesis Q's creator is kind of a bitch. lol
      Also I have to say I like how they are doing some of the covers being half of a bigger picture when you put the books side by side.

      Fairy Tail volume 7-10 - Wow this series has taken a somewhat dark turn.

      Limit volume 1-3 - Nothing too original but so far though the halfway point it's a good series. I plan to finish it and volume 3 ended on a nice cliffhanger.

      Doubt omnibus volume 1 - Feels like it took some cues from Battle Royale. So far I find it interesting and thankfully it's only two volumes long.

      Higurashi When They Cry omnibus volume 21 - Probably the most disturbing volume to date. Was fairly tame til the last two chapters when it I felt really uncomfortable with

      Spoiler ->showing Rika's gruesome demise and the slaughter of the villagers.

      I'm really sort of dreading the next story arc that goes into Takano's back story cause I remember it from the anime and I can just imagine how detail oriented they plan to be in the manga version.

      Neon Genesis Evangalion omnibus volume 3 - I liked Kaoru's introduction in the manga better, having him as an antagonist for Shinji is a nice change of pace from the anime. Loved how Asuka's battle with her inner demons was handled, mainly the flashbacks with her mother. The whole part with Shinji and Yui felt really awkward and creepy but I sorta understand the meaning behind it. The part with Ritsuko and Rei during the checkup was wild.
      Last edited by Orihimes_Boyfriend; 06-08-2013, 02:48 PM.
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      • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

        - Air Gear Vol. 26-27:

        So how are they fighting on top of fighter planes?

        Oh wait, this is Air Gear. Never mind.

        Though Sora reinforces his status as douchebag with his newfound hostage. A new development!

        - Bleach Vol. 50-55:

        Aaaaaaaand that’s the Fullbring arc.

        This arc felt like a transition arc of sorts. While I guess it is a little underwhelming, it does set the storyline for what is to come. I guess.

        However, it was nice to see the gang back in Karakura Town. I always liked the first arc, and this arc reminded me of that given how it took place there.

        Also, Orihime in thigh-highs. Mmmmmmmmmm.

        - Bakuman Vol. 16-18:

        This battle between the two best-selling manga continues to heat up!

        Interesting to see the one true antagonist of the series make one last comeback, too. Though I think that process could actually work in real life.

        - Naruto Vol. 59-60:

        So many beasts in this current part of the manga! Lots of action, and a lot of trust between Naruto and the tailed beasts along the way.

        - Kekkaishi Vol. 35 [END]:

        Just like the series has been all this time, it ends in a strong, yet subtle way. Excellent series overall.

        - Claymore Vol. 21:

        A nice, quick read, as always. More setbacks continue to befall what’s left of our protagonists.

        - Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Vol. 16-17:

        My favourite line (& scene, for that matter) involves the line “but this is my first time doing anal!”

        - Itsuwaribito Vol. 7-8:

        Looks like we’ve finally come across our main antagonist. His appearance proved to be a little surprising.

        This new objective of these sacred items feels really tacked on, and there is still a general lack of backgrounds. However, I like the characters enough to not let the detractors bother me too much.

        - Black Bird Vol. 15:

        And then the bombshell drops.

        I don’t see this series ending well, with the big twist revealed.

        - Bunny Drop Vol. 7:

        Some interesting developments in this latest chapter. The family registry stuff is the first step into finding out Rin’s family roots!

        - Dawn of the Arcana Vol. 5-8:

        While I’m a little concerned with where the story’s going at the moment, Nakaba and Caesar aren’t annoying me too much!

        Loki’s secretive nature shall be revealed soon enough! I’m looking forward to that, at least. I also like how fast I’m reading through it; it helps when one has so many library manga to read.

        - Higurashi: When They Cry Massacre Arc Vol. 2-3, Vol. 20-21 omnibus (Series Vol. 21-24) [END]:

        An excellent end to what was otherwise a gruesome and despairing arc. After all, there still was one person who didn’t believe.

        But there is hope at the end of the tunnel! I can’t wait to experience the final arc once again.

        - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 14:

        Honestly, I find myself confused as to what’s going on in this arc. What do all of these random tasks aim to accomplish?

        ~

        Still slogging through new library material. I'm not reading these as fast as they're coming out! My library has also purchased the Daniel X & Maximum Ride GN adaptations, so those are now on the queue too!
        Avatar: The dashing Shizuku Kanzaki, from The Drops of God.

        May it rest in peace.

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        • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

          Oh My Goddess! Vol. 7 (Complete)-Mara's back & this time she's got a henchman in Senbei who's not really that much of a help against the Goddesses. Skuld's robot Banpei also makes his debut in this volume & he loves Belldandy too. Good stuff.

          Sailor Moon Vol. 4 (Complete)-Exit the Dark Kingdom & enter Chibi-Usa plus new enemies from the Dark Moon! Still loving this series with every page.

          Magic Knight Rayearth II Omnibus (Vols. 1 & 2)-Hikaru, Umi & Fuu are called back to Cephiro to save it from three invading countries that want the pillar system for their own. Unlike the anime version there's no Nova & IMO the story seems to move a lot better without her in the mix. Good read overall.
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          • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

            Originally posted by Jimmie M View Post
            Oh My Goddess! Vol. 7 (Complete)-Mara's back & this time she's got a henchman in Senbei who's not really that much of a help against the Goddesses. Skuld's robot Banpei also makes his debut in this volume & he loves Belldandy too. Good stuff.
            In a similar vein, I just read Vol. 11, where the lovely Peorth makes her debut!
            Avatar: The dashing Shizuku Kanzaki, from The Drops of God.

            May it rest in peace.

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            • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

              Originally posted by Buster Blader 126 View Post
              Originally posted by Jimmie M View Post
              Oh My Goddess! Vol. 7 (Complete)-Mara's back & this time she's got a henchman in Senbei who's not really that much of a help against the Goddesses. Skuld's robot Banpei also makes his debut in this volume & he loves Belldandy too. Good stuff.
              In a similar vein, I just read Vol. 11, where the lovely Peorth makes her debut!
              Vol. 11, eh? I'm looking forward to that!
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              • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                I picked up a bunch of stuff while at Anime Boston, trying to fill gaps in my collection and such. I've been reading my way through a rather large backlog between review stuffs.

                Umineko: When They Cry Vol.s 1 & 2, the Legend of the Golden Witch arc.
                I haven't read Higurashi, but the premise of the island murder mystery for Umineko sounded more interesting. Kinda neat that the series starts with the 'bad end' first and appears to be about to work it's way forward. It's game roots are certainly showing, but it's a horrific ride and I really like Battler as a lead. Aside from his white suit though, they don't really play up the 80's angle of the setting. Pity.

                07-Ghost Vols. #4 & 5:
                The series that sunk GoComi. Okay, it was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The beginning of this series is a bit of a mess, throwing around a lot of terminology and situations, and when I originally read the first three volumes I remember feeling a bit lost. When I reread them before going into 4 and 5 things made a lot more sense. The series slows down during 4 and 5, although the bishop test moves about five times faster than a weekly shonen publication would. I actually like the series a lot, I just wish the fight scenes were a bit clearer. I also miss the color pages, I wish Viz wasn't so stingy on color pages.

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                • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                  Magic Knight Rayearth II Omnibus (Complete)-It all came down to either Eagle or Hikaru becoming the new Pillar & I have to say that I liked the ending here a bit better than how it was done in the anime series. Also, Nova's absence was more than made up IMO by Mokona's revealing who & what he really was near the end (And no, I'm not telling-You'll have to read the manga for yourself to find out ). As I said previously this was a good read overall & up next in the queue for me is some more magical girl goodness with the Tokyo Mew Mew Omnibus.
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                  • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                    Just a couple of quick observations about something I got in the mail: I was surprised to see Seven Seas' new release of the first volume of The Sacred Blacksmith come in a larger trade dress size. Somehow I'd missed that detail. I'm happy to see the color pages were included, but I was disappointed to discover that with this release and others from this month that I'd ordered that Seven Seas had at some recent point switched to much cheaper newsprint-esque paper. It's even worse in The Sacred Blacksmith's case because the color pages are printed on some of the most absurdly hefty glossy paper I've ever seen used in manga; it's almost thick enough to be used for cover stock. So, it just highlights how poor the quality of the paper used for the bulk of the book actually is. Not that I don't understand the reasons for trying to save on materials costs, but it's still a darn shame.
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                    • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                      - Sailor Moon Vol. 8-10:

                      A pretty good conclusion to the SuperS arc. It was good to see the outer planet guardians back in action - I felt that they wouldn’t be gone for too long.

                      - Suzuka Vol. 5-6:

                      I almost forgot how frustrating this series was. It’s the supporting cast and the drama that kept me in this series, and it still holds true when I read the manga.

                      - Oh My Goddess! Vol. 10-11:

                      A little existential crisis (of sorts?) happens with Urd. The scene where they were able to tell which one wasn’t the evil one was great.

                      And the lovely Peorth makes her debut!

                      - Library Wars: Love & War Vol. 9:

                      I’m still enjoying this series, but I start to wonder about its purpose: there doesn’t seem to be an overarching plot right now. Maybe I shouldn’t expect this?

                      - Kaoru Mori: Anything and Something:

                      My favourite short stories involved the boy who stumbles into the mansion without a master, and the woman who works at a gentleman’s club.

                      The notes about her short stories and her existing titles were a nice touch.

                      - Rosario + Vampire Season II Vol. 10-11:

                      Hmm, I wonder how they’re going to get out of this one.

                      Infiltration into the base seemed too easy, too.
                      Avatar: The dashing Shizuku Kanzaki, from The Drops of God.

                      May it rest in peace.

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                      • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                        Umineko When They Cry omnibus volume 3 (Turn of the Golden Witch volume 1) - A good first half for the new story arc. However, the commentary by Battler and Beatrice takes me out of the story somewhat. Oh and Beatrice wearing the same outfit as Maria , kinda creepy.

                        Fairly Tail volume 11-12 - I liked how the Erza story arc ended, although it was cliche as hell.
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                        • Gunsmith Cats (unflipped)

                          Been reading GSC, the unflipped version, for the first time. Awesome! Scary! Funny! Sick! So many emotions each story (I wish there was more anime).

                          The situations are as real today, maybe more so than when it was written. Easy to swap the villains used with more contemporary types.

                          Would Rally still prefer her favourite guns to more modern types? Would she still stick with a GT500 Shelby Cobra?

                          Kenichi Sonada was one of the first manga/anime names & styles that hooked me when my fandom first started. I'm being partly born again reading GSC.

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                          • Re: Gunsmith Cats (unflipped)

                            Originally posted by Njr Resurrection View Post
                            Been reading GSC, the unflipped version, for the first time. Awesome! Scary! Funny! Sick! So many emotions each story (I wish there was more anime).
                            Yeah, having more anime episodes would work for me too-Preferably an adaptation of the manga itself (Which I will be re-reading sometime soon myself). Gunsmith Cats Burst continues the story & is just as good as the original so be sure to get into that once you finish GSC. How much of it have you read so far?

                            Would Rally still prefer her favourite guns to more modern types? Would she still stick with a GT500 Shelby Cobra?
                            I can't imagine Rally without her favorite sidearm (The Czech CZ-75-Original version) or her sweet ride TBH. In chapter 6 she lays out for Roy some specs on the CZ-75 that pretty much explains why it's her weapon of choice. And as for her Shelby Cobra-Who WOULDN'T want that car? Classic American muscle car all the way baby! She might get the newer model but not a different car IMO.
                            Last edited by Jimmie M; 06-23-2013, 04:47 PM.
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                            • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                              - Pokemon Adventures Vol. 15:

                              The characterizations of the main protagonists were surprising: Ruby is narcissistic, while Sapphire (May/Haruka in the anime) is feisty, almost feral in fact. (She also has fangs!)

                              They take different paths - Ruby partakes in contests, while Sapphire is attempting to enter the Pokemon League - and they didn’t get along at first, but I can imagine them partnering up at some point to thwart whatever evil comes their way. I’m curious as to how this storyline will turn out, with all the other Pokemon Adventures arcs being impressive.

                              - 21st Century Boys Vol. 2 [END]:

                              The “final” confrontation felt a little underwhelming in comparison to how 20th Century Boys ended.

                              It wasn’t as bad as I imagined, but given the scope of this entire series, 20th Century Boys Vol. 22 had that extra oomph.

                              - Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Vol. 2:

                              The antagonist’s reasons for collecting the Numbers Cards is understandable, yet the setup still feels lame.

                              Astral proves to be a little amusing. He’s taking in all these new experiences with a sense of wonder, a side of him that I didn’t expect when the series first introduces him.

                              - Hunter x Hunter Vol. 29:

                              And the cat and mouse game continues.

                              The power levels in this series have now gone all out of whack. Gon is too ridiculously strong now, and what he has transformed into is ridiculous onto itself. Maybe if this happened at the end of the series, I can buy it. But it’s not.

                              This particular section of the Chimera Ant arc has gone too long. I’m glad to finally see this arc end soon - I have Vol. 30 on hand - but I just can’t see where this series is going to go next. Neither does Togashi, from the looks of it.

                              - Excel Saga Vol. 24-25:

                              There’s more action and “discoveries” made, but I feel like the story is still going around in circles, with nothing being resolved.

                              The whole Excel/Ropponmatsu I body switch aspect is starting to leave me all confused.

                              - Bunny Drop Vol. 8:

                              Ladies and gentlemen, the bomb has dropped.

                              I’m only slightly bothered by it, and that’s because of how it developed, rather than it existing at all.

                              - Maximum Ride Vol. 1-6:

                              My first foray into this popular teen fiction franchise ended up being through the manga, and I like it! The plot and character setup reeks of teen/young adult conventions, but the characters are likable.

                              - Daniel X Vol. 1-3:

                              Between the two, I’m more a fan of Daniel X. I like the characters moreso in this franchise than Maximum Ride, and the stereotypical conventions don’t bother me as much here. The plot doesn’t feel as grand as Maximum Ride’s, either.

                              Though I think Yen Press is only making three volumes of this. Either that, or they’ve caught up with the source material. A shame.

                              - Negima! Vol. 36-38 [END]:

                              I don’t mind how it ended, but I can certainly see why others were not happy with it.

                              It’s been a LONG, bumpy ride with Negima!, but I loved it all the same. Here’s hoping Akamatsu returns to this franchise one day.

                              - We Were There Vol. 15:

                              Stay classy, Akiko. You’ll forever be one of my favourite characters in this series.

                              We finally see Yuri be at peace with her folks, and learn what’s up with Motoharu relationship-wise. With only one volume left, I can see the end in sight, but it’s still foggy up ahead.

                              - Kiss x Sis Vol. 11:

                              Who would’ve thought that things would’ve turned out they way they did?...

                              - Case Closed (Detective Conan) Vol. 46:

                              My favourite case in the book involves the musical family and the curse of the Strav.

                              - Bleach Vol. 56:

                              To think that the Quincies would play such a huge part in this final arc. Wow.

                              The Soul Society’s current predicament looks really dicey. With the cliffhanger at the end of this volume, I can’t see how they’re going to get out of it.

                              - Naruto Vol. 61:

                              A Sasuke+Itachi vs. Kabuto fight? Sounds good. It’s nice to see the two brothers work together for a change.

                              - Dawn of the Arcana Vol. 9:

                              I’m just waiting for Loki to do something drastic. I feel like it’s only a matter of time.

                              I also feel for the snake Ajin. To be completely and utterly used like that, yet feel no anger...

                              - Arisa Vol. 10:

                              Still waiting for the two sisters to really work together here.

                              Also, some backstory behind the whole King game process. Who would’ve thought that the current king was this much of a straight-shooter?

                              - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 15:

                              A couple of new characters show up, and they don’t give a good vibe. This arc seems to be the beginning of something huge!

                              I was expecting a little more out of this arc’s conclusion, but I did enjoy how it turned out.

                              - Oh My Goddess! Vol. 12-19:

                              A decent mix of character development between characters new and recurring, fun antics and a dash of serious storylines makes for some fun reading.

                              I almost forgot about Chihiro, and having her in the manga nowadays is great! Though she’s replaced Megumi in my mind, given how we barely see her nowadays.

                              - Otomen Vol. 15:

                              Great fun all around, laced with a hint of seriousness.

                              Looks like Asuka’s mom is in full suspicion mode now, and may even know!

                              - Claymore Vol. 22:

                              FINALLY, some headway into their combat against Awakened Ones.

                              A bit convenient story-wise to have two of them duke it out against each other, though...
                              Avatar: The dashing Shizuku Kanzaki, from The Drops of God.

                              May it rest in peace.

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                              • Re: What are you reading? Impressions & discussions!

                                Originally posted by Orihimes_Boyfriend View Post
                                Umineko When They Cry omnibus volume 3 (Turn of the Golden Witch volume 1) - A good first half for the new story arc. However, the commentary by Battler and Beatrice takes me out of the story somewhat. Oh and Beatrice wearing the same outfit as Maria , kinda creepy.
                                Ah, Umineko is one of my favorite series ever! I don't want to spoil things too mucc, so I'll just say that the commentary scenes start making more sense, and are better integrated. It is a very meta-fictional story, though. Keep in mind, Beatrice is like a "gamemaster" for all the events on Rokkenjima (just as a gamemaster in a pen and paper RPG), She's weaving the stories herself, for her fight with Battler.

                                And don't worry, Beatrice isn't actually wearing the same outfit as Maria. I guess it's just harder to distinguish them in the manga, since there's no color. Here's how they look in the VN for comparison:

                                Maria
                                Beatrice

                                (Remember that Rosa has a fashion design company? IIRC, Maria's wearing one of her mom's designs.)

                                I was actually disappointed myself how the first volume's cover (with Battler and Maria) had a lolicon feel. The story's not about that at all. But I guess that's just marketing for the Japanese audience.
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                                Avatar: Ange Ushiromiya of Umineko no Naku Koro ni (When the Seagulls Cry).

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