20 of 20 chapters read
In the first few chapters of Necromancer, one would feel like that he is reading a bunch of one-shots, with the only connection being related to the charming, mysterious, and powerful necromancer, Asutsuo. The set-up in each chapter feels programmed. It always start with a helpless victim who just lost his beloved person finding the devil-like Asutsuo. Then, a deal is made, in which the dead person was revived in exchange for something vital to the contractor. By the end, the same results would occur (I am not going to spoil here), and Asutsuo would say some wise words as a monologue and the chapter would end there. For the first part of the manga, the story feels impersonal. It is a little bit interesting, but not enough to ignite a spark.
If this is indeed all Necromancer has to offer, I would stop with a 5/10 right here without anything further to say.
Fortunately, this is not all Necromancer is. In fact, a major plot twist happens, and MC's motives are explained, and events are logically linked together. Drama ensures, and a satisfactory ending comes as the result. Overall, despite the lackluster story progression in the first half of the story, if one is able to sit through those, a rewarding conclusion is given to all those who persevere.
The art is actually pretty good. Character design is anywhere from satisfactory to excellent, depending on personal preference. This kind of art quality stays consistent throughout the manga. The only drawback in art is the simple background, though it can also be argued that not elaborate background help readers to focus on the characters.
Surprisingly well-done, for the MCs anyways. In the manga, Atsutsuo is at first portrayed as an apathetic, mysterious, partial practitioner of dark magic. It comes as a huge shock when he undergoes a huge metamorphosis into almost another kind of person, but with no character inconsistency what-so-ever. Furthermore, a few characters who seem unrelated or even irrelevant is actually central to the plot, a fact that is apparent in the end. In general, the mangaka uses the "surprise" factor really well.
On the other hand, most supporting characters seem stereotypical, flat, and uninteresting.
Honestly, the only reason I read the first part of the manga is because I was bored, and feel like reading a short manga. It only just has reaches the minimum requirement for me to not drop it. However, it turns out to be really interesting in the second part, and a lot of repetitiveness before is well-explained. Finally, a good conclusion, though somewhat cliched and typical, is given to the readers.
Would recommend this to readers who are interesting in anything related to myths, melodrama, supernatural, and/or necromancers!
298 of 298 chapters read
~ Exemplary Shounen-ness ~
First of all, Rave Master is Shounen. There is no dispute about it. It is also a good Shounen, and that means that every once in a while, readers starts to feel blood rushing into their heads. Or, as I would like to put it, it is epic. In this regard, it is on par with Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc. As we will soon see, though, Shounen is definitely not the only strength it possesses.
~ Amalgam of Genres ~
Another noteworthy trait about Rave Master is that expands its territories to encompass more elements than what a standard battle Shounen would include. Of course, all topnotch (popular) Shounen has shown this characteristic to some extent, but rave master has done this especially well. Other than action, fantasy, and comedy, RM puts a heavy emphasis on adventure (much like One Piece), drama, and even romance. Granted, the romance aspect is nowhere as explored as it is in romance-oriented manga. It is still a respectable amount of other elements added to this epic Shounen saga without ruining the Shounen aspect of it.
Moreover, while RM has more in variety, it cuts down on fan-service. This is a fantastic news to most of the readers who are tired of freakishly common occurrence of boobs on manga pages, but maybe bad news for those of you who find an excessive fan-service enjoyable. Nevertheless, the romance in RM makes up for a lack of fan-service.
~ World Construction ~
It is among some of the best world construction pieces ever found in fantasy manga, probably because the mangaka is a huge fan of Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece. Readers who appreciate a frequent change of setting throughout the narration of a story will surely love this.
~ Art ~
Depending on how much the readers like the art in One Piece, or a more direct comparison, Fairy Tail, there will be different opinions on the quality of art. Personally, I found this kind of a style quite different from a majority of other manga, in a refreshing and enjoyable way.
~ Character ~
Instead of talking about the entire character cast, I will only talk about the male lead, Haru Glory, which is, again, what sets this manga apart from all other Shounen.
Typically, male lead (in Shounen) is a bold, determined, adventurous, righteous individual in the manliest way. Obviously, there is an underlying flaw to this setup. It requires the male lead to be also a bit slow in the head and sometimes an EQ way below that of an average person. If I have to state one reason that a lot of people hate Shounen, this is why.
Fortunately, Haru Glory defies this rule. Sure, he has the typical boldness, an adventurous spirit, and determination, but in moderation. On the other hand, he is thoughtful, sensitive, and knows when to give up. Somehow, he seems like more like a person one can relate to instead of just an icon of justice (like Naruto).
~ Story ~
Where this manga truly shines. I said in previous posts that Psyren is a case of good brain-storming. Then, RM must be an incidence of phenomenal overall planning.
Let me remind you of another illness that befall most popular Shounen, the story will slow down between different arcs, and will almost come to a halt before the grand finale. For the most parts, this doesn’t apply to RM.
I will give you a succinct flow chart summary of my experience reading this manga:
Slow Start –> Gradual intensifying plot –> Epicness –> building up intensity –> Epicness
… … (repeats cycle)
(A few slowdown in between)
… … (repeats cycle)
FLASHBACK -> MIND-FUCKED in an amazing way
--> Grand Finale Battle --> Epic Ending!
Overall, Rave Master is a manga that contain most of the shounen epicness as well as tropes and cliches, but also worked around it so that these cliches are not so annoying anymore. It has a typical yet more likable male lead. Its story does not feel disjointed with the construction of different arcs. It has a good balance of different categories, and a comfortable pacing. Ultimately, perhaps most importantly of all, it is completed, so that readers will not agonize over one chapter per week.
66 of 66 chapters read
Legend of Tyr is a manhwa that has humongous potential, but much of it is not realized. The setting of this manhwa is one that every fantasy-adventure fans would love: a world full of magic, mercenaries, and monsters. In the beginning, the manhwa starts off with a mysterious element: the disappearance of MC's brother. Thus, MC sets sail to explore the unknown world of magic. Amidst his adventures, he finds himself entangled in a dark conspiracy.
For the first half of the story, the quality of writing is simply amazing. However, it is quickly evident that this manhwa suffers from a case of poor overall planning. As a result, the ending arc totally subverts everything good about the first half of the story. The conspiracy is hurriedly and unconvincingly resolved, and mysteries are uncovered in the most unsatisfying way. The manhwa feels abruptly cut off, and an shabby ending is crudely pasted onto the story.
MC in this manhwa is somewhat flat, with other characters even flatter. That being said, in an adventure story, quality of characters are not as important.
The art is somewhere between good and average. If you like the artist's artstyle, you might even call it nice art.
Overall, Legend of Tyr is a manhwa that has potential to be better than it is, but does not achieve its full potential mainly because of a bad case of overall story planning.
Overall: 6 read more
28 of 28 chapters read
Having completed this manga, I don't blame the English translators for abandoning this manga. Not one bit.
Granted. This manga starts with an amazing set up. A class of high-school students receive mysterious instructions to participate in the King's Game. If somebody does not do as told, he will die a gruesome death. Until chapter 10, everything looks great. The artwork is cutesy, the characters seem fine, but most of all, readers are entranced by the marvelous story.
Then, everything took a downward-spiral. Soon, it became apparent that the author did not plan ahead. Plot holes appear here and there, as well as widening in magnitude. It gets to a point where I want to just quickly finish the manga and see the ending, whether good or not, for myself. Readers get the bad feelings that the mangaka will never come up with a plausible conclusion for the unnatural event that are occurring.
AND guess what, we are right. The manga ends in a spectacular failure. It comes up with the most ridiculous explanation. It was truly a "in your face" moment for me.
All in all, it is a wise decision to not continuing with the English translation.
note: if we only reads the first 10 chapters, I might even give it a 8-9/10.
1 of ? chapters read
What do you get when the world famous Disney studio cooperates with an upstart Japanese mangaka, you get the amazing result, High School Musical (HSM) the manga!
Probably the shortest manga I've seen to date, but what a glorious journey! Not only did the manga achieve in telling a coherent and touching story with only 10 pages, it also vividly portray various school themes, including sport games, relationships, party, and pondering about the future.
A solid 10/10
10 pages might not be long enough to judge the artistic ability of a mangaka. However, based on the existing pages, the art receives a 10/10 because of some of the hottest characters to ever exist in manga.
Before reading this manga, I foolishly thought that it is impossible to establish a solid and rich character in an extremely short narrative. How wrong I was! This mangaka clearly follows the philosophy, "less is more". In practice, he may just outdo even O. Henry's best short stories, such as "The Gift of Magi".. 10/10.
Are you kidding? This manga has made me appreciate what a wonderful medium manga is. 10/10.
If you ever find yourself bored, depressed, out of manga, or simply no longer want to read any more manga, READ HSM. It will solve all your sorrows.
[/sarcasm] read more
185 of 185 chapters read
Of course, that was when this manga only have 40 chapters and during a period when I was fond of an overabundance of fan-service.
4 years later, I have become a much more mature person, one that is able to critically judge the merits and weaknesses of a story. I again picked up Eden no Ori, finishing it in one swoop. I hope I can write a somewhat objective review on this title.
Eden no Ori is a shounen manga that tires to encompass too many genres and themes in its story. I don't want to spoil the story, so I want go into any details. Suffice to say that it dabbles in Action, Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Psychological, and Ecchi categories. Now, was it successful? The answer is maybe, depending on how seriously readers want to take it.
The art is by far the best thing about this manga. It is impeccable. The character designs was excellent, with much varieties. The background was drawn beautifully in a consistent manner.
The only drawback that I would contribute to this section is not the art itself, but the amount of fan-service it has. Normally, I wouldn't mind an appropriate bit of "healthy" fan-service, but it is clearly too much in this manga. It is getting to a point that it distracts the readers from the main plot. Thus, I have decided to take the liberty of docking two points from the otherwise perfect score.
In a sci-fi, adventure story with so little based on our real society, it is difficult to write a solid story without any plot holes, if not impossible. Thus, the goal is to create a story that involves as little illogical elements as possible (in the context of the story). In this respect, Eden no Ori did not achieve a convincing success, neither did it fail. I could identify several gaping plot holes, and/or clues that were not followed up on in the story, not to mention the numerous small unreasonable parts of story development. However, Eden no Ori does not have a bad script by any means. I was able to enjoy the richly creative story till the conclusion, with my critical thinking organs half turned-on. This opinion is strongly supported by the satisfying ending. Even though it does not achieve the mind-blowing conclusion that some manga did, neither did it seem unbelievably stupid, like so many more other manga.
In the end, if you aren't nick-picky about minuscule details in Eden no Ori, you would find yourself a overall satisfying story.
In terms of shounen male lead, Akira Sengoku is an interesting character who is resourceful, genuinely compassionate, charismatic in his own way, and not endowed with an overpowered ability that is so typical of shounen. Likewise, many other members of MC's entourage show interesting characteristics that feel very refreshing to the readers. For example, we have Mariya the genius nerd, Miina the cute little kid, and Yarai the badass fighter.
On the negative side, while some members of the huge female cast are actually useful (to the story as well as to the team), other members are simply there to be fan-service for the readers. I know that I have already docked the point for fan-service, but I will do it again here because it is such a big problem in this manga. Perhaps ultimately, us readers are to be blamed for our idiosyncratic taste in panty shots and G-cup boobs. After all, mangaka has to draw what the readers demand in order to keep up the sales of their manga.
Enjoyable enough that I was able to read from chapter 100 to 185 once I have decided to read it again. It is richly imaginative, vividly sketched out, and a story that does not disappoint the readers in a major way.
For fans of adventure-shounen and/or mystery-adventure and/or psychological-mystery-action manga, I would highly recommend it.
8/10 read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Before we begin. I must stress that this show is not for everyone. If you absolutely can't watch an anime with the following characteristics, you might not want to watch this show.
1) No comic relief
2) Slow-Paced in the narration of its story, with the only exception at a few high points of the story
3) Homosexual theme, being relevant to the story (light shounen-ai and light shoujo-ai only happen in 1 episode)
Now, let's begin.
- - - Story - - -
With minimal fan-service and without any comic relief, audiences are left with no choice but to take the show very seriously. In that sense, SY (Shinsekai Yori) does not disappoint. Overall, it has a fascinating and remarkably solid story line, one that examines the irregularities of human society in details, from various perspectives. Everything that occurs in earlier episodes happens in order to set up for the conclusion.
It might be shocking to say this, for such a convoluted fantasy, psychological story, it has virtually no plot hole.
However, the slow-paced, no-comic-relief nature of SY might put a lot of people (including me) off. I am serious. There are points in this anime that I almost considered on dropping, but narrowly avoided that by a conviction to finish this anime. Fortunately, I was rewarded with a dramatic and immensely satisfying ending.
9/10 (not perfect score because of pacing)
- - - Art - - -
Character design for main characters is decent, but there are severe distortion of characters' faces at different moments. The background is beautiful, but often repetitively used. The weakest link is the animation, which is average at best.
- - - Sound - - -
There is no OP in this anime, and there are 2 EDs for 25 eps. I don't mind the fact that there is no OP, and the EDs are enjoyable to listen to.
Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that the soundtracks used, while appropriate, is endlessly repetitive. There were times when I wished that they would add more soundtracks, but in the end, they were adequate and appropriate for the story being told.
- - - Character - - -
While characters are praised for being "realistic", viewers can't really attach to them on an emotional level. Also, characters are not memorable either.
That being said, a huge plus is that this anime tells different stories throughout main characters life from 12 to 26 years old. I was relieved when our main characters don't always "stay a child", as with most other anime.
- - - Enjoyment - - -
Slow-pacing, lack of comic relief, and not-the-best-characters on the negative side.
Great story, fascinating social commentary, and extraordinary ending on the plus side.
- - - Overall - - -
I can understand why this anime is ranked so high on MAL. This is a very dark, mature work that stands defiantly against popular trends in anime.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Suisei no Gargantia (or Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) is a show that starts with an interesting set up. Using one sentence to summarize, it is the story of Ledo, a soldier from an advanced, war-dehumanized society, who is stranded in the technologically backward world of Earth, where the "original" humans live.
- - - Sound - - -
The sound is not bad, but no aspect of it really stands out. It receives an average score of 7/10.
- - - Art - - -
The background artwork is quite amazing. The character design is good. When there is mecha action, the animation is satisfying. On the other hand, it is animated in an uninspiring fashion. I found the animation itself boring especially during the first half of the anime.
Receives a score of 8/10.
- - - Story - - -
The first half of anime essentially depicts how Ledo learns about Earth, dealing with various cultural shocks in a daily basis. The lack of humor, static animation, and cliched characters make it really hard for me to watch through these episodes. Fortunately, there are two good characters during this time period, Ledo and Amy.
The second half of anime improves drastically in my opinion. This is where all the plot twists happen. I won't spoil anything here, but I personally liked the twists. Furthermore, it delves into some moral and philosophical questions. Although I won't be calling them deep by any means, it does not seem overly childish nor seem inappropriate in its context.
Like some other reviewers said, Suisei no Gargantia suffers from a bad case of identity crisis. The themes in first and latter halves of anime are different. The failure in first half (although it is necessary to the plot) prevented it from being a greater work than it is.
Thus, even with an excellent ending, it can only receive a score of 7.5/10 from me.
- - - Character - - -
While the character cast as a whole really sucks, there are a few characters who really shine. Amy was decently portrayed, even though she could use much more screen time. Pinion transformed from a stereotypical character to a more interesting character by the end of story. Ledo, the protagonist, undoubtedly shows the most growth throughout the story. However, there is one individual that rise above all others and become so mother-fucking bad-ass cool and was as entertaining as hell to watch, that he alone saves the show from being (below) average.
And he is not even human?!
You've guessed it. It's the Ledo's support interface system, Chamber.
Why, you may ask?
His off-handed, machine-like analysis of human society is (arguably) the only source of comic relief in the entire anime, and it is actually well done.
He shows just about as much growth (strangely enough for a machine) as Ledo, if not even more. This is symbolically illustrated in the end by his self-less sacrifice, when he willingly defies the first rule of support interface system. Here are his final words:
"He (Ledo) needs no support. There is no room for more enlightenment. Now, after I eliminate the barriar that blocks his road ahead, my mission will be completed.
Go to Hell. Tin Can!"
Epic. Just Epic. Chamber will forever go down as one of the coolest machine character in anime ever.
After balancing the goods from the bads, Character section receives a 8/10.
- - - Enjoyment - - -
I was able to really enjoy this anime in the last 5 episodes, where the pacing and mood drastically changes. I thoroughly disliked the few episodes in the middle.
- - - Overall - - -
7.5/10 would be the most fitting score from me, but if I had to round this number off, it would be 7/10.
206 of 206 chapters read
I was so-ooo wrong.
At first, it seems like the main protagonist of this story would be a high school student, a norm for manga and manhwa alike. However, only after a few chapters, the narration switches to a middle-aged married man, which captured my attention immediately. The story only gets better from there. Readers slowly gather bits and pieces along with our confused main protagonists, information that helped our middle-aged father to make a daring rescue plan.
Things only get more surprising from there. Then, comes our (secret) 3rd main character, a man whom readers would previously dislike. Somehow, with the magical power of Korean drama, this arc is turned into an extremely emotion-rich, tears-filled episode. By the end of the arc, I guarantee that readers love this character.
If all this still doesn’t convince you to read this, consider the genres I tagged Trace with: Action, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi, Superpower, and Supernatural. How can any one piece of work fits all these genres and still manage to produce a respectale work? And I tell you, the author did in fact do that, and managed to weave a fantastic multi-perspective story full of twists that mind-f*cks your brain.
So yes, if you are the type of reader that enjoys complexity of characters and plot, this should be reason enough for an all-nighter.
Finally, I should comment a little bit about the art. I have read in people’s reviews that they loved the art. Personally, I dislike the art in Trace. As I read it more and more, though, my problem with its art gradually fades out. My best attempt at describing the art style would be that the author draw lines thick and hard. For example, the face is drawn with straighter lines than usual. Another feature is that people are drawn more appropriate to real life (i.e. a middle-aged person would have wrinkles on his face).
Like other reviewers of Trace, I give it a well-deserved 10/10.
46 of 46 chapters read
In my defense, I would like to argue a few points:
1. I don’t usually read any gender bender work, I really don’t. However, this work is not strictly classified as gender-bender since the main characters possess the one another’ body, or known as soul swapping (unlike numerous manga where a boy dresses up as a girl). Furthermore, this is a pure romance story, containing no “extra” stuff.
2. This is definitely not a typical shoujo plot that bores male audience to death. I guarantee that both male and female readers can find satisfaction in reading this.
3. Once conditions 1 & 2 are satisfied, the Korean-drama-fever just grabs one’s emotions once in a while (even for a male reader)!
4. There are only 46 chapters to this romance story, and it is completed. It is neither repetitive, nor does the story feel rushed.
Now that the main points are said, I'll just briefly comment on each category.
Don't remember the fine details of the story, since I've read this a few years ago. What I can tell is that any plot in Korean drama becomes godly plot once you are sucked in.
Must have been quite damn good art if a guy like me can read its shoujo styled art and not being tempted to exit the browser.
Where this manhwa shines. The entire character cast mainly consist of two people (guess who?), but the development of relationship between our main male and female protagonist is something of a master piece.
Enough said. Just read it.
~Note about author: Hwang Mi Ri isn’t a person. It’s a pseudonym created to published numerous Korean Shoujo works under one name.
original posted at my blog:
http://bunny1ov3r.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/57/ read more