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Aug 10, 2013
I like horror manga; I generally always do. So it should come as no surprise that I avidly read works by Itou Junji and Kazuo Umezu (the latter of which I will be focusing on), two well-known masters at the horror genre. Works such as Orochi (by Kazuo Umezu) may have an “out-there” kind of premise but the way it seems so natural and tangibly believable is what really scares us. I mean, if the characters act in a similar way we would in a situation (and things go horribly wrong) then we can’t help but feel vulnerable to that fact. The reality of the read more
Feb 17, 2013
During the Vietnam War in 1973, an American solider goes insane and starts gunning down his allies and friends. After killing off a majority, we see that he has gained a form of dementia, and keeps repeating one line, over and over: “banana fish”. This manga was created by Akimi Yoshida (who also made Kisshō Tennyo) back in 1985, and it's the most manly shoujo to date. In fact, Frederik Schodt, popular translator (whose works include Phoenix, and Rose Of Versailles) remarks that it's “...one of the few girls' manga [a]...male adult could admit to reading without blushing.” The series, Banana Fish –which ran until read more
Jan 19, 2013
Preliminary
I had originally planned to review this manga once it was over (which would’ve been in a a couple of volumes), but I re-decided because of the relatively small fan-base Gakuen Alice has conjured up in the past few years. I feel as if I should step in and give this manga some recognition it deserves. But first (before I get into the details), imagine that you’re a kid again. Except that in this new childhood, you’re given super powers (called "alices"), money, toys, and guess what? You never have to see your parents. It does sound enticing, let’s be honest, and even more so read more
Dec 28, 2012
Preliminary
“In my first time listening...it struck me in the depths of my heart. And it instantly, completely, captured my soul.”

I’m sitting here, writing a review for this manga I just so happened to stumble upon (and actually surprised by the quality of it too). Piano No Mori, aka. The Perfect World Of Kai, is like a painting; beautifully raw, and yet, framed by some crude, seriously harsh reality. Looking back on the story, I don’t think it could be explained any other way.

The story is set in a rural town somewhere in the late 90’s. We’ve got this one boy who is, maybe not “rich”, read more
Dec 24, 2012
Preliminary
Nearly 40 years ago, the manga industry changed when a bunch of women known as the Forty-Niners (or the Year 24 Group) practically revolutionized shoujo manga. The works of these women incorporated many different sub-genres (including the first BL) and are now considered epic classics. The most famous of them was Hagio Moto, who is one of the most adored and admired mangaka of all time.

They Were 11 was created in 1975, and is Hagio's longer one-shots. It's technically labeled 'shoujo', but this manga shows how much they really revolutionized the genre, and why the Year 24 Group is well-known for creating those classics. They read more
Dec 15, 2012
Wana is a normal girl, with a normal job, who has a fairly normal (but bland) love life. In fact, her love life consists of a mere crush who comes to her work every so often to order a hamburger with no onions. It isn’t until she’s hit by a truck that she’s able to talk with him. Suddenly, the blank tarot card she drew the week before makes sense; there is “no future”. She’s almost dead on impact.

Then Wana wakes up.

Vampire Girl (aka. Omae Ga Sekai O Kowashitai Nara, aka. If You Wanna Break This World, but henceforth known as Vampire Girl) is often read more
Dec 8, 2012
Sakamichi No Apollon (also known as Kids On The Slope) is a josei manga which can get some catchy jazz song in your head, and manage to keep it there all day. At first, you'd catch yourself tapping your fingers or toes to some melody, and after some time, you just can't stop. The musical style of jazz is off-beat, nonrhythmic, and often improvises the melodies. It's very different, but often in a good way.

That definition also best describes Sakamichi No Apollon.

As the winner of the 57th Shogakukan Manga Award for General Manga, I don't think you could really expect anything sub-par. Kaoru, a stotic, read more
Nov 23, 2012
Seyoung is easy on the eyes, but she isn’t a knockout. She’s logical, but she doesn’t always get the best grades. And she’s skilled, but not overly talented. Seyoung is a person, to say so in the least, but throughout the series it becomes clear that she never wants the word “normal” in front of it. If there is a future that cannot be known, how could you say an individual is “normal”? If there are endless amounts of possibilities and futures in this world, then how do you know you wouldn’t be “different”? In the eyes of Seyoung, an existentialism-angsty teenager, she faces the read more
Nov 6, 2012
“The history of mankind has been one of wars. Race, religion, philosophy --the causes are untold. The combatants have their own justifications, but on occasion, some create a volatile situation that threatens to destroy the world. Ultimate Blue. An organization shrouded in complete secrecy. Also known as ‘the other United Nations’. Nobody knows where it was created. Nobody knows where it is based. The blue of the seas. The blue of the skies. The blue of the Earth. The last line of defense against chaos.”

Oh yes, Musashi #9. One of the few reverse gender-role mangas actually done right. Yes, it is indeed a shoujo --despite read more
Oct 14, 2012
Preliminary
Note: At the time of my initial review, there was about 11 chapters released. I understand that MUCH has changed within that time, and I have made necessary adjustments. I hope that this review is much more faithful and reflects what Ran To Haiiro No Sekai has become.

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Ran To Haiiro No Sekai is hands down probably the best manga in a long, long time. If that's all you needed to hear, then close MAL and go read it.

I think this is a little redundant to say (as the title translates to Ran and the Ashen World), but this is a story about Ran. It is read more