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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Manga Review: My Hero Academia, Volume 9, by Kohei Horikoshi


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 18+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 8. 10.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

It’s off to summer camp for Midoriya and the U.A. students! But this is no ordinary vacation—it’s high-impact training where the students are expected to develop their Quirks even further! The teachers have set up some tough challenges, but none will be as difficult and as life changing as the threat a new group of enemies poses. What’s even worse is who the villains’ target is and why…

Review:

The class is on their test and endurance trip, training hard to get better and going through some hard trials. They start on a test in the woods, when the villains attack. There are several villains and they spread out, with a few different intentions and main victims. There's a lot of violence here, a lot of odd quirks and each hero trainee is pushing themselves to the limit.
Midoriya goes to save the kid, and we get to see the meaning of a real hero. We discover at least one person the villains are after—which ends in a not-so-good cliffhanger. We get to see an interesting challenge for Uraraka, and the teacher faces off with one villain.
I like to see each hero and villain using their quirks, the odd ones there are, and how they use them against each other. Some of the villains are truly awful, though. Midoriya also tends to push himself past the point of believable, but I'm trying to look past that.
This is at a really interesting point, with high stakes, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Manga Review: Forget Me Not, Volume 5, by Mag Hsu and Nao Emoto


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 2016
Volumes: 7.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

COMING OF AGE
Still not fully healed from the wound of breaking up with Tsukushi and the shock of seeing Nobuta again, Serizawa starts an internship at a law firm. Through a mix-up over the phone, he becomes acquainted with a certain someone--a woman who otherwise wouldn't be in his reach! Will this chance encounter start Serizawa on the path to his first truly adult relationship?

Review:

In the first part of this volume, Serizawa is clearly floundering. He's recovering badly from the breakup, and when he tries to go out with friends and meet people, he ends up screwing that up quite badly. And so he turns to school, and starts studying seriously.
While interning, he meets an older woman, and she seems mature but is also just getting out of a bad relationship. She uses him, he uses her, and he ends up getting caught up in it more than he probably should. It seems to be going downhill, but then that cliffhanger gives mixed signals. Either way, I don't see this one lasting any more than the others.
This series is actually kind of hard to read at times. Serizawa makes some painfully bad decisions at times, and he's hard to take. He doesn't even mean to be hurtful or dumb about it, though, so at least he doesn't have bad intentions, most of the time.
I do want to see how this series end, and I want to see it wrap up. So I'm still reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 20, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2018
Volumes: 31+
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 19. 21.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?


Review:

Karasuno is going into the final round against Shiratorizawa. They're giving it their all, still throwing some new moves in and trying to throw each other off. It's getting very intense.
We get some insight into Ushijima's background during this volume, as well as the other characters' motivation. We see how Tsukishima calculates everything, and then he gets briefly hurt. Shoyo uses his face to deflect a ball at one point, and his competition with Ushijima grows more intense.
This whole volume was very intense and vigorous. They're fighting hard against each other, and trying not to give an inch.
This game will be going into the next volume, but probably not longer than that. I'm really excited to see how this one ends, because it's very close.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Manga Review: Queen's Quality, Volume 3, by Kyousuke Motomi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 2018
Volumes: 6+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The adventures of mind "Sweepers" continue in this supernatural romance!

Fumi Nishioka lives with Kyutaro Horikita and his family of "Sweepers," people who specialize in cleaning the minds of those overcome by negative energy and harmful spirits. Fumi has always displayed mysterious abilities, but will those powers be used for evil when she begins to truly awaken as a Queen?

Fumi finds out that she has both a White Queen and a Black Queen inside of her, and she must train both her mind and body in order to be the true Queen. Kyutaro vows to protect Fumi, but will he be able to do anything when other gatekeepers go after her power?

Review:

They fill Fumi in on some more of what they know about the Queens. And it turns out, that they don't really know much, and this might be an even more rare case than they expected—meaning they're only going on speculation and rumor.
Fumi gets to face up against another sweeper clan, this one that isn't fond of the Queen, or at least thinks the dark queen is a threat. It starts off pretty bad, but Fumi gets to decide within herself what to do, how to deal with the Queens in order to save everyone.
I really like how Fumi decides to accept herself, all the parts of herself, even those she can't control and those that are ugly. I'm intrigued by where the plot line is going with that, and I honestly think that her accepting herself is going to lead to the last (I believe) Queen. I really appreciate the way that Fumi is forced to see all the angles of herself, her feelings and reactions and other parts of her person, and doesn't get upset or defensive, but just takes it and moves forward, deciding to love all of herself. This is an ideal that I really believe in, and I'm really happy to see it handled so well here.
The connection between Fumi and Kyu is also very apparent here; I must admit that I like seeing how the other Queens love him as well, that they realize how important he is to Fumi. I think it just proves how Fumi and the Queens really are the same person, just different parts. Seeing how Kyu goes to Fumi after everything to comfort her, for them both to decompress after something so big, is also utterly heartwarming. I love it.
I can't wait to read the next.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Manga Review: 7th Garden, Volume 7, by Mitsu Izumi


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2018
Volumes: 8 (Hiatus)
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The high-pitched battle is on between powerful angels, sexy demons and innocent humans to dominate a world rife with political intrigue…and to win the heart of one hapless male!

Awyn Gardner will do anything to protect the beautiful mistress of the equally beautiful estate gardens he lovingly tends—even enslave himself to an also beautiful demon bent on world domination! The high-pitched battle is on between powerful angels, sexy demons and innocent people to dominate a world rife with political intrigue…and to win the heart of one hapless human man!

After a fierce battle with Angel Levi, Maria travels to another world, and the secret of 7thGARDEN is fully revealed. Can this realm of gnomes, angels and demons solve humanity’s problems? Or is it just a game board for powerful elites to exploit everyone else? Either way, why are the most tragic historical events being reenacted there…? Will we never learn from history?

Review:

The first half of the volume is the continuation of the fight. We see Iola and Liz giving it their all to finish the fight, and it's very straining to both sides. It's also extremely destructive to the town. Awyn jumps in to help at the end, because he's always been close to them in their other forms. He's got almost too much loyalty, honestly, but it works out well.
But then... In the latter half of the volume, we get to see the angel and demons' real forms. And it utterly confuses me.
Where the series goes next is odd and confusing, and didn't make any sense. When they were just angels and sent back to their terrestrial realm to recoup, I was okay with that. But now it seems that they're actually just playing some interactive game? Which Vyrde is trying to take over from the people who are running it and betrayed her? And yet there are still two versions of Vyrde? I'm just utterly confused, and that makes me wonder if Awyn and the village are really just made up.
I'm not sure how to feel about this, and I'm wondering where the series ends off at.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Manga Review: The Ancient Magus' Bride, Volume 7, by Kore Yamazaki


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: July 2017
Volumes: 9+
Spoilers?: Some.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lullaby, and Good Night...

After mistakenly putting Elias under a sleeping spell, Chise can't find a way to wake him up! She turns to Angie for help, and brews a potion meant to undo the spell--but the process is so exhausting, Chise ends up falling asleep herself. Upon entering a dream world, she crosses paths with the person she least expected: Cartaphilus. But something's off--the amoral alchemist seems to have lost his threatening edge. Meanwhile, in the outside world, trouble is brewing...on a dragon-sized scale!

Review:

The first part of the volume, we get to see the downfall of the turmoil between Chise and Elias. Elias is internalizing having Chise grow and know other people. Chise then gets to see that some of her powers might be unintentionally spreading, and she has to deal with accidentally putting a sleeping spell on Elias.
After that, they get approached to help a university find some stolen dragons. Chise wants to help, and even as she's being told she needs to take things easier, she continues to push herself. There's a point made here that Chise has made quite a lot of connections, and it's true. She knows a lot of people, and it's actually becoming quite easy for her to find someone to answer a question when she needs something.
At the same time, it's obvious that she's using a lot of herself all the time. She's exhausting herself easily, often, and she doesn't have that much to give. This point is made at least two times in this volume, and then we get the cliffhanger. It should be interesting to see what happens with that, and with this new development.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Manga Review: The Young Master's Revenge, Volume 1, by Meca Tanaka


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Volumes: 4.
Spoilers?: As much as the description.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Love's revenge can be sweet.

When Leo was a young boy, he had his pride torn to shreds by Tenma, a girl from a wealthy background who was always getting him into trouble. Now, years after his father's successful clothing business has made him the heir to a fortune, he searches out Tenma to enact a dastardly plan--he'll get his revenge by making her fall in love with him!

Review:

Now that Leo has grown up and achieved success—through his parents' business—he moves back to Japan in order to enact his revenge on the girl that “tormented” him. Only, Tenma didn't really torment him—she dragged him into her crazy adventures, she was generally careless and often got them in trouble or into embarrassing situations, but she also thought she was his friend. Back then, she was the rich girl he was forced to befriend.
But now, she's poor and struggling to even find a place to stay, and has seemingly endless enthusiasm and naivety. So Leo takes her in, instead. Supposedly because he decides that he doesn't want anyone else using her or tormenting her, because she's going to fall in love with him and he's going to break her heart.
It's quite a weak plan, honestly, given how much he does to help Tenma instead. I do appreciate that, when Tenma realizes what's happening, she doesn't get upset, she only wants to work harder to be his friend. It's quite sweet, really.
The plot reminds me of Komomo Confisserie, a little bit, only the male protagonist here is much sweeter, and doesn't really bully the main girl at all. But in both series, it's still obvious he actually likes her.
This was a really fun first volume, and I liked the way things have developed and progressed already. Tenma is a lot of fun, and I really like her optimism and determination. I'm looking forward to reading more.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 19, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2018
Volumes: 30+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 18. 20.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Review:

Karasuno is giving it their all against Shiratorizawa. I forgot for a period that these games are longer; and they really are. The players should be exhausted, but every time you think they'll get discouraged, they only get more determined and play harder.
We see Tsukki subtly calculating everything and taking what he can; Nishi is also getting the hang of Ushijima, and the team is learning how to maneuver his playing to their advantage. Even Shoyo starts something new over halfway through the game, when he gets angry and pumped and decides to block hard. It's fun seeing the team work around Shoyo's crazy, fierce playing, so that he can do it. The team works together so well, and brings all of them higher.
Every time I start a volume of this series, it only gets better and reminds me why I love it so much. The teams' enthusiasm is contagious, and it makes me excited and worked up with them. It's probably even more so in the anime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Manga Review: Nisekoi: False Love, Volume 25, by Naoshi Komi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2018
Volumes: 25.
Spoilers?: Yes, to the girl chosen.
Volume: 1. 24.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Love triangle! Comedic antics!! Gang warfare?!

Love triangle! Comedic antics!! Gang warfare?! You won’t want to miss out on Shonen Jump's laugh-out-loud feel-good manga series! It's hate at first sight when Raku Ichijo first meets Chitoge Kirisaki. But much to their chagrin, the two are forced into a false love relationship to keep the peace between their feuding gangster families.

When Chitoge heads to Tenku Meadowland, Raku, Kosaki, Marika, and Tsugumi all show up to look for her. Little by little, they begin to remember the past… Will they finally get to the bottom of the mysterious promise? Whose love will become real in the end between Raku, Kosaki, and Chitoge?

Review:

And so it all draws to a close.
I think it was pretty obvious who was going to win, who Raku was going to end up with. And it was who I wanted, so I'm happy with that. I'm also glad that it wasn't such a cookie-cutter ending, either—that the girl who had the key, and who Raku liked from the beginning and as a little kid, wasn't who he chose for himself later. Those two waited so long, that I think it was more an ideal than an actual possibility, and instead Chitoge moved her way in.
I'm happy with the way everything wrapped up with the rest of the characters, as well. Ruri and Shu finally cleared things up, and there was finally a misunderstanding cleared between Tsugumi and Claude. We get to see what really happened when they were all kids, and it honestly makes a lot of sense. The friendship between the girls, and particularly Chitoge and Kosaki, really shine here.
I will admit that the only thing about the ending that makes no sense to me, is how long Raku and Chitoge apparently wait. I understand it was long distance, but given how much time has passed, I don't think they should be so embarrassed with each other still.
Aside from that, I'm really happy with the ending. This was a very long, but fun series. A very good harem, with a likable main guy character; I love most of the girls, and I really appreciated their friendship with each other—it was almost more important, honestly.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Teaser Tuesday[269]: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Genre: YA Supernatural
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:


Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Excerpt:

'I was coming out to check on the trees,' he says. 'Make sure they didn't reignite in the last couple hours.'” (Hardback, pg. 113)

What are you reading?