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Friday, October 13, 2017

Manga Review: Anonymous Noise, Volume 4, by Ryoko Fukuyama


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Music and longing collide in this ballad of unrequited love!
Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! With music as their common ground and only outlet, how will everyone's unrequited loves play out?
Yuzu thought he'd resigned himself to just being friends with Nino, his "Alice." But now that he's faced with the prospect of losing her voice to Momo, he's having second thoughts--and has resolved to take them to Momo directly! Meanwhile, the feelings that Momo has been hiding for so long seem to have reached a breaking point!

Review:

For a while there, Nino is struggling between Momo and Yuzu. Thakfully Yuzu talks his way out of what he did. In this volume, we pretty much find out that everyone is lying about their true feelings.
Nino gets to hear about the story of In No Hurry's creation. How they all met as kids, and how they started the band. It connects with Nino herself, of course, which is a surprise to no one but Nino herself. I did like seeing how Haruyoshi grows into himself, too, and his side of everything. We get to know Kuro and Miou a little more, too, which is nice. I feel like I know them better than I did, as well as can see their relationship with each other better now.
I'm still wondering what is up with Yuzu's mother, though.
Aside from that, Nino gets to accept what is going on between her and Momo. She's struggling to find out why she sings anymore, and has to come to terms with what happened and how to move on from it. The competition between the two bands is definitely heating up now, though. They're all trying to prove something to each other and themselves.
It'll be interesting to see what happens in the concert in the next one.


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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Manga Review: Naruto: Chibi Sasuke's Sharingan Legend, Volume 1, by Masashi Kishimoto and Kenji Taira


Rating (Out of 5): ~1.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 3.
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Naruto’s rival, cuter than you’ve ever seen him before!

Uchiha Sasuke, the brooding loner who will do anything to avenge his clan and kill his older brother… Yes, this is his story, but with a hilarious twist! In Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend, the characters and story have been flipped on their heads, all for the sake of comedy! With his Taka teammates Suigetsu, Karin and Jugo, Sasuke travels the land and gets into all kinds of wacky adventures. This is a side of Sasuke you’ve never seen before. One bit of advice: do not mock the Uchiha!

Elite ninja Uchiha Sasuke travels the land with his teammates, searching for his brother Itachi. Pillow fights, video games, Christmas parties… There’s nothing this ninja won’t do to avenge his clan!

Review:

This is a parody of the Naruto verse, featuring Sasuke and his odd gang, and later it even moves into the village with Naruto and the main people.
This volume was rough. I'm sure some people loved it, and I will admit that I didn't read much of the main series. But I just did not find this volume enjoyable.
It's made up of normal-length chapters with short comedic arcs. Sasuke fights a couple people, banters with his friends. He's searching for his brother, and finds him pretty early on. Later, he also goes back to the village and runs into Naruto and the original gang.
This was just not funny. It was more annoying and stupid to me, honestly. I will say that my biggest annoyance was how there was constantly a character pointing out how crazy or dumb something was when it was happening; it just brought me out of the story every time.
This was dumb, honestly. I don't want to read any more of it.


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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Manga Review: Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 13, by Sui Ishida


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 2017
Volumes: 14 (+ Novels and Spin-Off).
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 12. 14.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh.

Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

Investigators from the 20th Ward launch an initiative to take out the Ghoul known as the One-Eyed Owl, who has possible ties to both Akira and Yoshimura. An all-out assault on the Anteiku café, where the Owl is supposedly hiding, results in full-fledged battle.

Review:

At the beginning of the volume, we get a backstory for Suzuya, then some little interludes for the characters. But all of it is leading up to the big, final fight, and it's happening at Anteiku.
In most of this volume, there's a lot of fighting. It gets messy and bloody, and it also gets complicated. I honestly had a hard time following some of it, as there are a lot of different fights happening, and we only get glimpses, and a lot of it is with new characters. Another part of it might be that I just didn't really care about any of these people. I wanted to know what was happening with Touka and Yoshimura and Kaneki's other friends. We only got to see Kaneki near the end of the volume, and the big fight is being held for the next and last volume. I'm really looking forward to seeing the end and how it wraps up, though there feels like a lot left.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Manga Review: Behind the Scenes!!, Volume 4, by Bisco Hatori


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 5+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ranmaru spends his whole life not fitting in, until the oddballs of the Art Squad adopt him as one of their own.

Ranmaru Kurisu comes from a family of hardy, rough-and-tumble fisher folk, and he sticks out at home like a delicate, artistic sore thumb. It’s given him a raging inferiority complex and a permanently pessimistic outlook. Now that he’s in college, he’s hoping to find a sense of belonging. But after a whole life of being left out, does he even know how to fit in?!

Ryoji Goda is everything Ranmaru wishes he could be—self-assured, competent and cool. But when the Art Squad works the final film camp of the summer, Ranmaru gets to see a whole new side to his idol—disappointing son! Goda’s dad seems to criticize everything his son does, and they fight constantly. Finally Ranmaru and Goda have something in common! But the pressure of paternal disapproval pushes Goda to do something shocking that might change the Art Squad forever…

Review:

We get to meet Ranmaru's family at the start of this volume. They're odd, in different ways than him, but understandably so. They set him up and follow him, and then leave rather abruptly. And yet it still makes Ranmaru freak out. After that, we get to meet Goda's father, who has a very different life style and yet is extremely similar. During this, we get to see how well Goda can direct. And, he cuts his hair for a shoot.
In the second half of the volume, we get to know Izumi a bit more. He's forgetful, but everyone loves him. After finding out his back story, I think I love him more than I did before. I love seeing how everyone freaks out about it, though. I like seeing how Soh interacts with him, and how she pushes herself a little to be out there more.
I still love all of the antics and theatre club stories and craziness. But now that we're getting to know each of the characters a bit more, I'm getting more pulled into the story. I really like this crazy bunch.


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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 11, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: May 2017
Volumes: 28+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

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! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Review:

We're in the latter half of the training camp, and the team is still getting used to working together. They're getting the hang of these new techniques, and some of them are even starting to work. But overall, they all need a lot more practice.
I am really starting to love this series. The enthusiasm is infectious, and seeing how excited and pumped up the characters get during a game and when something works right, it makes me excited. I just can't help grinning while reading this series at this point. And I'm not even a sports person! Part of this at times is also the humor. It's just funny, it's so good.
We got to see a lot of the Nekoma team, and the Fukurodani team in this volume. I really love the unique mix of characters, and how they all stand out and get their own personality. Seeing all of the camaraderie in this volume was great.
We'll be starting the spring tourney next, and that should be good. I think they're going up against a new school this time, and we'll get to see what their competition is like next. I seriously cannot wait.


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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Manga Review: Barakamon, Volume 13, by Satsuki Yoshino


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: March 2017
Volumes: 15+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 12. 14.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ya can't see the sunset from here.

Tagging along on Handa-sensei's visit home, Naru finally arrives in Tokyo! Trains, tall buildings, the zoo-the big city's full of amazing first experiences! But what will Handa decide when his dad asks him to come back to Tokyo? Volume 13 promises growth, courage, and farewells!

Review:

So Handa and Naru are heading off to Tokyo, while Kanzaki decides to run away to the island.
Handa is helping out on Kirie's team, and for his fathers next showing. Naru is left hanging out with his mother during most of this, aside from the times that Handa is free and takes her out. We get a surprise meeting with Handa's previous marriage proposal, who turns out to be a super sweet girl, and I really like the relationship that they form. It is funny how very non-sexual Handa can be, though, and how oblivious.
At the same time, Kanzaki is just messing everything up. He's driving Hiroshi crazy, in particular, and is a pain in general.
In the end, though, Handa makes a rather big decision about his future, when he realizes what he really wants to do. It should be nice to see him pursue it back at the village.
This is a very sweet and funny series. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Teaser Tuesday[259]: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

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!


-----------------------------------------------

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA Thriller
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Release Date: September 26, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Excerpt:

She felt her friends staring at them with wide, soap-opera eyes as she emerged from the stupor of confusion. For the first time, Makani realized that Ollie's appearance and demeanor weren't merely acts of rebellion.” (Hardback, pg. 47)

What are you reading?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Manga Review: Platinum End, Volume 3, by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 6+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the creators of Death Note! Mirai may have been saved by an angel, but his battle is just beginning
As his classmates celebrate their middle school graduation, troubled Mirai is mired in darkness. But his battle is just beginning when he receives some salvation from above in the form of an angel. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 other chosen humans with the winner becoming the next god of the world. Mirai may have an angel in his corner, but he may need to become a devil to survive.
With the tragic events at the baseball stadium behind them, Mirai and Saki plan their next move. But can they trust a new god candidate who asks to join their side? And when the god candidate disguised as Metropoliman launches his next attack, Mirai will have to make a difficult choice!"

Review:

I missed a volume, and now we seem to have discovered a couple more of the god candidates. There's one guy who's leading something big and trying to pick off the other candidates, and cause chaos. Then there's Mirai, who's working with Saki and Mukaido, strategizing on how to deal with the other enemy. They're working together, and the other one is just trying to goad them out. And it works.
I feel like there's more behind the angels' motivation than is being shown, that there's something else going on. If there's not, then I really don't understand their motivation and what side they're really on. They don't seem that angelic to me.
The plot in this series seems odd to me, but maybe I just don't really understand this. Then there's that big twist at the end, which went much farther than I expected it to. This series seems rather similar to Death Note, to me. And it's just okay.


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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Manga Review: So Cute It Hurts!!, Volume 13, by Go Ikeyamada


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 2017
Volumes: 15.
Spoilers?: Some/Yes.
Volume: 1. 12. 14.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Kobayashi twins discover that cross-dressing as each other leads to trouble and true love!

The Kobayashi twins, Megumu and Mitsuru, were named after historical figures, but only Megumu has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?

Having a long-distance relationship isn’t the easiest thing for Megumu and Aoi, but after a romantic evening and a standoff with her parents, their relationship is stronger than ever. And now that Mitsuru finally has a life goal (to beat Azusa’s other fiancĂ© in the national pre-exams and win her hand), he’s pouring all his fierce energy into securing their future. But despite how promising their lives seem, the twins are having ominous dreams. Are the nightmares just a symptom of stress, or is something more prophetic going on…?

Review:

We see the conclusion to when Megumu and Aoi have sex. They also get to declare their intentions to marry. On the other side of the story, we see the results from Mitsuru's tests, and the result of Azusa deciding to stand up to her father on his terms. Azusa's decision makes sense to me, though I still don't really care about them.
In the latter half of the volume, we get a real life event. I was a little surprised by the decision to include the tsunami, and at first I was bothered by it. But reading the authors' reasoning at the end of the volume, I'm okay with it. I'm wondering where it's heading next, though I can't really imagine a sad ending for this series.
I really don't care for this series at this point. I don't care for the humor, and all the jumping to marriage plots drive me crazy. It's cheesy and dumb, even. But the twist at the end has me a little curious.
Either way, it looks like I'll be sticking around to the end.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 10, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2017
Volumes: 27+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 9. 11.

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! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Review:

We get some more practice games in at the beginning of the volume, and then there's a little break while they wait for the week long training camp. During this break, everyone on the team has started practicing different moves. They've all decided to improve their skills and they're pushing themselves and each other to do more. Kageyama and Shoyo have a confrontation where Kageyama has to accept what Shoyo is trying to do. We also see Asahi trying to get better, and even the back players are trying some new techniques.
Then the real training camp starts, and they get to try out those new moves with each other in a real game. And... it's not so great. Because they weren't really practicing these things with each other, and now they're all at different levels. It's actually quite funny to watch.
During this, we get to see that Tsukkishima is the odd one out—he doesn't care about volleyball. He doesn't think he's good, and he doesn't see the point in practicing like everyone else is doing. It's interesting to see his backstory, and to see him being pushed to do more.
I'm intrigued by all of the back stories we're seeing, and all of the dots that are being connected to the “Little Giant”s story. I'm wondering where that will go next.
I'm starting to really almost love this series. I can't wait to read the next one.