37 of 37 chapters read
Overall (9/10) - This manga is worth reading for the solid plot and amazing, memorable characters. It's mostly the art and some minor cliches with the story that keep this from being a full 10.
Story (8/10) - To some it up, the story is pretty much a modern Korean Romeo & Juliet with a very strong 'us against the world' feel. The plot is however, much, much more complicated than Romeo & Juliet since it involves some very violent & depressing back-stories and plenty of lies/deceit. Unfortunately there's also the stereotypical love triangles and antagonists trying to break the main couple up, but luckily the plot eventually moves past those in order to reach a proper conclusion. On the other hand there is also a bit of drama between Jang Ha-Da and Oh Ko-Mo which ends up being funny and cute, but believable since these two characters struggle with their feelings throughout the series.
There's also a few plot twists and some comic relief (mostly provided by Jin Sun-Mi, Jang Ha-Da, and Oh Ko-Mo) in between so you don't get too tired of the heavy drama. The fashion world also comes into play and since some of the characters are extremely affluent, they show it through their... rather unique sense of style. The story is also rather realistic except for in some of the scenes it feels like the characters are a little bit over dramatic and being unnecessarily angry at each other. The epilogue is nice but the ending itself is a little bit ridiculous because it feels as if you are suddenly watching of those very fake dramas on TV.
Art (7/10) - Art style is kind of meh, but is consistent at least and clean so it works out okay. Also you get to see some rather strange fashions which keeps the manga quirky and interesting.
Character (10/10) - This is where the manga reaaalllly excels. The characters are all rather unique with the exception of Jin Sun-Mi who is the stereotypical I'm-going-to-steal-your-boyfriend type of girl who is often found in shoujo manga, but even she is given some depth and character development. The characters are super memorable, and even years later you will remember what exactly they were like. Because you get to know a lot about the characters, you develop an attachment so in the last few volumes where it is reaching a climax, you are genuinely interested to see what will happen to them.
Enjoyment (10/10) - I definitely really liked this manga and was sad to see it finish. The balance between the heavy drama and comic relief was exceptional. The plot was solid enough and the characters super interesting so it is one of those series that you can't just stop half way because you want to know the ending. read more
11 of 11 chapters read
FYI - despite this being only 1 volume long, it is veerryy long (especially because there is a lot of text) and takes a few hours to read
Overall (10/10) - If you're an avid Ghost in the Shell fan looking for more, this is a must read to see where it all began since this is the manga that inspired the movies and anime. Even though the art style looks dated and a lot of the content is the same as from the movies and anime series, it is still worth reading. Despite some flaws with the character depth and the overlap between this original manga and the rest of this series, I give it a 9.
Story (9/10) - The Puppeteer arc is in this, as well as some stand-alones from Stand Alone Complex (SAC), and some stand-alones that weren't in SAC. The Puppeteer arc is a bit different than in the movie, which makes it refreshing enough to read again, especially if you haven't seen the movie in a while. It is a lot less philosophical than the movie too, and since this is a manga you don't get the benefit of the beautiful, mysterious soundtrack so it lacks a bit of the atmosphere.
Art (8/10) - This was published from 1989 to 1991, so it's not surprising the art style looks old. However, the art is rather well done despite it's age, with a good amount of detail so you can appreciate the story. The artist seems to have some consistency problems though.. Motoko's hair looks a bit different in some scenes which is a bit weird, plus if you notice carefully in some scenes there are problems with body proportion ratios being inconsistent.
Character (7/10) - Even though this manga has some stand-alones, the stand-alones do not tell much about the characters' pasts so you don't have the opportunity to get attached to the whole team. Batou, Togusa, and Arakawa are the same as the anime and movies. Motoko's personality is super strange though. She is more like Naruto or Ranma (from Ranma 1/2), rather than the serious, witty, philosophical Motoko we see in the anime and movies. The manga also features the Fuchikoma, which are a predecessor to the Tachikoma and have a similar personality and functionality but a less complex AI.
Enjoyment (10/10) - I ended up reading this because I came across it and I looove Ghost in the Shell. It is a very high-quality manga, and with such good material, it is not surprising it ended up becoming a huge franchise. read more
7 of 7 chapters read
If you have never read his works before, this might be a good one to start with. It's creepy but not as gross as a lot of his other works (Gyo, Uzumaki, and many of his short stories), so I would say it is a good introduction.
Story (9/10) - The plot is much more developed and exciting compared to a lot of this mangaka's other works - it seems like Uzumaki is his only other story to top this one. The story is rather mysterious since the whole time you are wondering what is up with this strange so-called hellstar, and exciting because Remina has to do a whole lot of escaping from the other very panicked people.
The pacing is perfect. Somehow he manages to cram in quite a bit into one volume.
Hellstar Remina also is super unique plot-wise, as all of Itou's works tend to be. But it does get a little too ridiculous and unbelievable near the end, which stops it from being a full 10/10.
Art (9/10) - His art style here is consistent with his other works and adds to the atmosphere. However, it is by no means the best art in the world nor the most detailed.
Character (7/10) - Ito's horror tends to be more on the gross-out side, which doesn't at all require you to develop the character. That being said, you do become rather sympathetic of and worried about Remina, which is pretty good considering it's a mere volume in length.
Enjoyment (8/10) - I found it to be a good, fun read that was definitely worth the hour or so it took to read it, but mind you, I enjoy horror and have read most of this mangaka's works, so that did have some effect on my enjoyment. I think someone who is not into horror so much but is looking for something off the wall, this would be a good fit. read more
1 of 6 chapters read
Story (6/10) - Story was cliche throughout and some might even find it predictable. The plot could also be described as 'shallow'.
One thing that readers might find strange is that there isn't much explanation with why all the characters are into guys in the first place.. perhaps they are all bisexual or something but the story kind of leaves that string hanging. I have not read any of this mangaka's other works so I'm not sure if it's her style or what or if this is what most yaoi anime/manga are like.. but I expected one of the main characters to react like "what? you want to have a relationship?! but we're both guys!" and then be all tsundere but that didn't happen.
Art (5/10) - Didn't like the style at all and it wasn't exactly commendable. It just did what it needed to and that's it.
Character (8/10) - By far the best part about this series. The characters are developed rather well considering this is just a oneshot, and left you wanting more. But the mediocrity of the story really ends up flattening the characters.
Enjoyment (7/10) - Nothing too great but leaves you with a 'aww yeaa yaoi!' feeling, which maybe that is exactly what it was intending to do, but that's not exactly going to win this oneshot any awards. read more
37 of 37 chapters read
Story (8/10) - Post-apocalyptic with a bit of sci-fi and psychological and a tiiiiny dab of horror. Plot was interesting enough to keep you reading and wondering what would happen next, but the ending felt rather rushed, unsatisfying, and confusing. It has it's shining moments, but at the same time there are certain scenes that seem very fake and unbelievable (for example, the characters are surprised by something happening but the reader would not be surprised at all).
Art (7/10) - It is rather consistent, but not exactly a masterpiece. Monster designs are okay but not very varied.
Character (7/10) - The characters are developed enough that you can decide on who your favorite characters are. They are by no means flat, and you do get to find out a decent amount of back story so that you are given context for who they are as people. However, they are not so interesting or well-developed that you would put them for sure in your favorite list.
Enjoyment (7/10) - It was pretty good, but I was disappointed that there was no over-arching theme or idea to this. I felt it had the foundation to be something very epic and say some profound things, but it ended up being more playtime rather than 'let's discuss philosophy' time. read more