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Jun 27, 2020
We are taught to equate power with the freedom of violence and with aggression, but there’s also great power in being yourself in the best way you can. Majo to Neko no Hanashi is essentially that and about that. About growing through interactions with other creatures. And about cute little witches, cats, cakes, and flowers – the four things the author obviously loves. Majo to Neko no Hanashi is simply what it wants to be – unabashedly magical, unabashedly feminine, and unabashedly good.

It’s one volume of greatness structured sort of like anthology, but also framed. Most chapters share the pattern though – one of the read more
Jun 24, 2020
Preliminary
This manga starts with all the parts necessary for a good postapocalyptic thriller, but fails to develop them in time, while fanservice slowly piles up. The main secret stimulates curiosity though, and robust art makes reading pleasant.

Tengoku Daimakyou conceptually is a polyphonic narrative – each chapter is named after the leading character in it, but in practice there’re two main plotlines. The first is a “Yakusoku no Neverland”-like slow burn mystery inside a very special orphanage, where we follow a group of kids and try to understand what’s brewing. The other is “The Road”-like journey across a calamity-ravaged Japan, riddled with picturesque debris, suspicious ramshackle read more
Jun 9, 2020
Preliminary
A stunning example of writing failure, so much more surprising because Naruto nailed the initial emotional turmoil, an unusual case of masterful tech designs being a detriment to enjoyment of reading, Samurai 8 Hachimaru Den is seriously stunted.

Samurai 8, most likely, was supposed to be a lighter, more upbeat story, separating itself from Narutoverse by going into a techy spacefaring future and swapping ninjas for samurai. A space fantasy with magic-like consistently designed technology, with interstellar travel, mysticism and cyber superhuman warriors … A more contemporary hero, initially frail and disabled, gaining powers through his parent’s sacrifice and gaming… What could go wrong?

Turns out almost read more
Feb 17, 2020
Preliminary
In its best moments Kusuriya no Hitorigoto is a historical royal court detective with a competent quirky girl pharmacist protag – the very sound of it is like a balm for my soul, I have waited for a plot like this for years! Unfortunately, it is still not free of side effects – one or another toxic substance is always present in the narrative and hurts the otherwise enjoyable read.

The premise is perfect. A young female pharmacist from a red light district ends up by chance becoming a harem maid, and quickly gets entangled in intrigue as a willing food-tester, occasional medic, and a detective read more
Jan 29, 2020
Oh, Ten Count. I stumble on it in every second list, and seeing it always reminds me of my disappointment. It made me feel lost. Why build such an enticing premise only to dissolve it in stereotypes later? Truly, the thing that is the most violated in this manga is probably not uke’s ass, but the hope for good story built in the early chapters.

But first I’ll get over the art quick. You see the amazing covers? Elegant, clean and enticing, these images indeed sell. But the manga itself isn’t like that. Sure, airy and emotional, its art has personality and shines in sex scenes. read more
Jan 21, 2020
Preliminary
To the credit of this manga’s art and worldbuilding, it takes a while for the thought to settle – but it’s actually just immature and dumb. This is my second attempt at a review of Beastars, because the first one was a detailed analysis it didn’t deserve. After my nerves had calmed down, after the dust had settled, I understood that I was essentially arguing philosophy with a loud tween, just dressed in a fancy suit and with a list of hot twitter hashtags of the year on a crumpled paper in the sweaty palm.

I am pretty sure that the author uses the protagonist of read more
Jan 12, 2020
Preliminary
This manga has gotten me thinking about shoujo again. I was amazed with its cultural scope and geographical ambition – because it’s an incredibly rich stylish adventure hopping from one major location to another set in the Golden Twenties. “Why wouldn’t more shoujo be like this?” – I asked hundreds of times, espcially at the beginning. And then when the focus has shifted to the love story and melodrama amped up, I was “Oh, that’s why”.

The misleading covers are a pity. Like a lot of covers for shoujo they show only people in pretty clothes, which makes you expect the frequent introverted focus on close-ups read more
Jan 9, 2020
This is a work of unbelievable quality: a proper confessionary bildungsroman in plot, a masterpiece in art, blossoming with loving depiction of Japanese motorcycles – in motion, no less, at night, in city lights, running, growling, flowing. Personally, I think Tsutomu Takahashi usually bites more than he can chew with his concepts, but in Bakuon Rettou he truly overdelivers. It’s a mature work of a mature mangaka, who draws from years lived and pages drawn – and emerges in unimaginable power.

The story is autobiographic. The author himself was a part of a biker gang, of bosozoku – a subculture drawing its last breaths in 80-s read more
Jan 2, 2020
Act-age (Manga) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
After multiple recommendations I expected so much more. Now, a level of immaturity is ok and it can even be endearing in shounen, but in characters, not in the plot. And that’s what is reversed here – the main character is shown as unrealistically proficient, and the narrative is annoyingly juvenile in tone.

The idea is great – by god, I want more more shounen not about hitting people in the face and shounen with female leads. The world of a budding actress seems to be an exciting setting for a manga. Talent agencies, auditions, TV, cinema, theater, musicals, their energy, color, variety, beauty, and the read more
Dec 27, 2019
MADK (Manga) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
MADK is essentially a lonely woman masturbation material done in exquisite art with perfect fantasy anatomy (as you would expect from Suzuri Ryo, who specializes in it). Cannibalism, sexual sadistic disorder, defying god, defying family, demonic intrigues, coercive sex, coercive prostitution, patricide, homicide, demon-i-cide, rape, lots of spilling innards... It’s dirty, dark, and twisted. It does picture abuse and violence. I was and still am reluctant to read it on most days. I am amazed by it and happy it exists. Because while most of its themes aren’t healthy and few of the fetishes click with me, it’s an honest, raw and generous part of read more