Saturday, 24 December 2011

25 Days of Manga: December 21st - 24th

December 21st
Eien no With (1 Vol Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: I'd already had this on my want to read list when someone requested it for 25 Days, so reading this kind of felt like killing two birds with one stone. At its heart, this is about the relationship between a young girl (Hitomi) and a dog (Eye); except the canine in question is a guide dog in training and is only staying with Hitomi for a year. The manga spans from the year the two spent together, in which time Eye completely changed Hitomi's life, and then skips forward to when Eye is too old to continue working and returs to live out her years with Hitomi. I won't go into too much detail, but this was a genuinely heart-wrenching manga that had me in tears by the end. I certainly enjoyed it way more than I had anticipated, and if anyone has even a passing interest in this, then I'd urge them to read it.

Rating: 4.5/5

December 22nd
Old Boy (8 Vols Complete)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: I've never seen the film of Oldboy, though I've wanted to for a while, so seeing this requested felt like an ideal oportunity to see the origins of the hit Korean film. Already, I'm fidning this quite engaging. a man has been imprisoned for the last decade with no idea why or by whom. Now he's been freed and he wants to find out who was behind it and get his revenge. Should be interesting to continue reading this one and as an already completed manga at least I won't have to wait for the tale's conclusion.

Rating: 4/5

December 23rd
A Bride's Story (4+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 2 Volumes

Impressions: I love Kaoru Mori. Undoubtedly her artwork is some of the most exquisite that I've ever seen. Naturally, I was overjoyed when I saw a request for one her titles came up and I've not been disappointed. Mori's strength lies in slice of life period pieces that are romantic in nature and this series is no different, except instead of being set in Victorian England it focuses on a mid-Asian tribe near the Casian Sea. I love this type of manga and I genuinely had to restrain myself from devouring the rest of what's available so that I could continue on with the rest of the titles.

Rating: 4.5/5

December 24th
Coo no Sekai (2 Vols Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: This manga was... odd. Not bad, but a bit odd. The story follows Renei, a young girl just entering middle school who continues to mourn for her beloved, deceased brother. The night before her entrance ceremony, Renei falls asleep and ends up in a bizarre dream world where she meets her dead brother, except he calls himself Coo and has no idea who she is. The first volume covers her travelling this bizarre land full of odd customs and fantastical creatures as she tries to find her way home, except it's not so simple as that. The world of Coo, is more than it seems (all of which becomes clearer in the second installment), and Renei's time there is more about her learning more about her brother, acceptiing his death andgenerally growing up. It's definitely an interesting read and if you like the idea of a sort of coming of age tale with a fantastical twist, then it's worth reading this.

Rating: 3.5/5

7 Billion Needles (4 Vols Complete)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: In an odd sort of way, I don't really know what to say about this. I'm enjoying it, I know that much. The concept is rather intriguing and I'm looking forward to see where it goes. Shame that the final volume isn't yet scanlated.

Rating: 3.5/5

Acid Town  (3+ Vols Ongoing)

Status: Stalled at 16 Chapters

Impressions: This was a different sort of shounen-ai series than I've ever read before, mainly because the boy love aspect isn't quite so prevalent. More than anything I'm intrigued by the storyline. There's plenty of intrigue, mafia, and troubled pasts. Looking forward to seeing where it all goes, but at the moment the boy love part seems a bit... tacked on. Hopefully it won't take over, but if it does take centre stage a bit more, it really should be a natural inclusion.

Rating: 3.5/5

Majo (2 Vols Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: Majo is a two-volume manga consisting of several separate stories about witches during a period where the world has converted to mainstream religion and has abandoned the old ways of magic. It's an interesting read and if one of the tales doesn't tickle your fancy, then the others may well do. Though the overall tone of the manga is generally the sort of thing that I tend to like, this manga never quite gelled with me. I enjoyed parts of it, but I wasn't bowled over.

Rating: 3/5

Drifters (2+ Vols Onoing)
Status: Dropped at 1 Volume

Impressions: This was an odd sort of manga. Take a whole bunch of historical figures and plonk them in some alternate world with elves, magic and all sorts of other stuff. Can you tell I wasn't all that fussed about this? It wasn't horrible, but the story throws a whole heap of things at you all at once and I struggled to get into it. Won't particularly miss reading this one.

Rating: 2.5/5

Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas (25 Vols Complete)
Status: Dropped at 2 Volumes

Impressions: When the request for this came in, it was bigged-up as an epic tale. Unfortunately, I just never quite got into this. In the end I just read what I needed to in order to get a decent synopsis out of it. It wasn't a terrible manga, I could see certain aspects that would make for a compelling story, but the whole thing just didn't strike the right chord with me.

Rating: 2.5/5

Vagabond (33+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 4 Volumes

Impressions: I wasn't sure what to expect with this manga. I purposely left it til last as there was a chance that I'd have to read more than the standard volume or two in order to get a decent synopsis. If I'm brutally honest, I didn't expect to like it. Luckily, this was another of those occasions where I was pleasantly surprised. While explicit violence isn't normally my thing, I can't explain, but in this case I kind of liked it. Luckily, with it being a fairly long series, I have plenty more to read, and I can't wait to get stuck in to it!

Rating: 4/5

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