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Jun 29, 2017
ID-0 (Anime) add

The story progresses in a meaningful way, with just enough surprises to keep you interested. As in the best of stories we learn quickly that a number of characters are not who you might think that they are. As is so typical in many Japanese stories, characters are not black and white but shades of gray. Also appealing was the writing. Every time I thought I knew where the story was "finally" going, it didn't. It's hard to surprise me nowadays, so this was a major plus.
The is one of the very rare anime where ...
Jun 20, 2017
Preliminary (20/107 chp)
At first this seems like a dozen other manga stories where a girl is using makeup to hide a plain face and someone helps her out. That's at first. What this really is is a drama that focuses on overcoming self-imposed obstacles. It includes a hefty serving of: "Yes, what you did in the past was horribly wrong, but there are times where you can still make amends and fix the situation. It won't be easy, and may be quite painful, but give it a go."
If you expect light reading, this isn't the story for you. However, ...
Jun 19, 2017
Mixed Feelings
There's absolutely nothing at all wrong with this story. In fact, it's reasonably well paced, and the emotions of the characters are conveyed well too. The only thing is that there's nothing that distinguishes it from at least 40 other stories. It's not the author's fault. I'm sure that the magazine editors still want these repetitious stories for new readers who haven't read all the nearly identical ones that came before.
The best part of the story is how the main characters continue to act like idiots and keep hurting each other's feelings by not talking to each ...
Jun 15, 2017
Pastel (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (132/219 chp)
This is a very strange manga. For one, it went on way too long. The stories became very repetitive around volume 18. By then all that needed to be said had been. A few volumes after the various confessions take place, there isn't a whole lot of meat left in the story.
In general, I feel that this mangaka's best work was his other series "Parallel" which is 4 volumes.
In specific, for reasons unknown, by volume 27 there was a drastic change in the art style, and by chapter 132 it was so bad that I ...
Jun 11, 2017
Preliminary (4/48 chp)
On the verge of peace between two major factions, a demon appears, kills the lords involved, and then erects an impenetrable magic shield. The newly graduated mage Shiruka is on her way to be bound to serve a lord she doesn't know when she is attacked. (That's just the first few pages so I don't consider this a spoiler.)
One thing that the synopsis above doesn't mention is that this manga, while deadly serious overall, has some moments that are truly funny. Frankly I'm tired of all the depressing, dark, demented stories out there. ...
May 30, 2017
Anthologies can be a grab bag, though this one is better than most. It seems that all of the mangakas put in some extra effort with their stories.
Of particular note is the third story, Hole, by Takahashi Rie. It is a classic tear-jerker story and is done in a superior way.
Hole is one of my favorite one-shots of all time. It's worth getting this volume just to read the story. Yes it's that good.
The general thrust of the other stories is romance of one kind or another. They are at times rather ...
May 30, 2017
Like many of the best stories, the beginning of this one doesn't give you many hints as to what is really going on. That sense of certainty is one of the things that is most appealing in this short series.
To read this you need to be prepared for a story that takes a few very dark turns. The art is definitely something that you'll probably tolerate rather than embrace for its difference from what you would ordinarily consider good.
As this is only two volumes, the story overcomes the difficulties that the art presents.
May 29, 2017
Tiara (Manga) add
Preliminary (24/? chp)
There isn't much you need to know about this story other than this: The main character, Pei, is exactly what you'd get if you took Yvienne from Ciel and fed her amphetamines.
Another way of saying it is that Pei appears to have been inspired by Yvienne in all particulars from her attitude to way of speaking and her appearance.
The plot is substantially different, which is the saving grace of this story. The writing is more than a bit disjointed, but, as a friend says, "The story rises above the writing." It's a fun, light ...
May 27, 2017
Kyokou Suiri (Manga) add
Preliminary (8/? chp)
I won't rehash the story. The synopsis covers the basics, though it does have one point wrong. (It is consistent with how it is first presented in the manga though, so I suspect that whomever wrote the synopsis didn't read very far.) As it progresses, this story could be said to touch on low-grade horror. (I've read 4 volumes so far)
This manga is unusual in that it accurately portrays the maturity levels of the characters. The teen acts like one, so do those in their 20s and 30s. Both body language and speech are consistent with their ...
May 23, 2017
Preliminary (8/? chp)
This series begins in a promising way. Big brother who dropped out of school to take care of his little sister has problems at work. He then learns of a high school that he can attend as a part-time student. Some typical discrimination against the "lower classes" shows up immediately.
It's what happens later that makes this totally disgusting. A female character who is hired as a tutor is groped, sexually harassed, verbally abused, then told that the males involved are "just kidding" and it is implied that is it bothers her, it's her fault.
Frankly I ...

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