IMG752Photo taken by me of my own copy. Strangely there aren’t many high resolution images of covers floating around anymore. Oh well. As you can see, I lucked out this time and this used copy is in terrific condition. I wish they could all look this good. I got some former library books with all the stickers and it is not pretty. ; w ; The cover art itself is quite nice. I definitely like the summer theme going on.

Summary


 

Shigeru, Tsukasa’s fiancee, declares that she is willing to marry him and aggressively begins to pursue him. Tsukushi tells herself she doesn’t care, while Tsukasa tries to explain. This all culminates in Tsukushi telling Tsukasa that Shigeru is better for him because she’s from a good family. This pushes Tsukasa over the edge and he slaps Tsukushi. Things fall apart from there as Tsukasa slowly realizes that he’s done something terrible again. (more…)

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sailor v2This is the final volume of the two part omnibus edition of Codename: Sailor V. Like with volume 1, this manga features a few colour pages at the beginning. There is also a section of Translation Notes at the back, like with most of Kodansha’s releases.

Also warning, do not read past the summary if you haven’t finished the manga. I talk major spoilers!

Summary


Minako continues her job as the warrior of love and justice Sailor V against the Dark Agency, but a mysterious man now joins her, Phantom Ace. He seems to be a popular up and coming idol and Minako instantly becomes a huge fan. But Artemis isn’t sure whether he is truly friend or foe. But this doesn’t stop Minako when she wins the audition to be Ace’s leading lady in a movie about a Chinese Princess. However things start to go in an entirely different direction at the set and Minako finally learns the truth about her destiny as Sailor V. (more…)

sailor v 1Sailor Moon is pretty big in North America and strangely it’s taken this long for someone to bring over the prequel, Codename: Sailor V. I’ve always been curious about it, so it’s nice to finally see just what happened with Minako before she joined the others in Sailor Moon.

Summary


Minako Aino was just a regular girl until a talking white cat named Artemis revealed to her that she is the chosen one to become Sailor V, champion of love and justice. While Minako isn’t quite thrilled with her new responsibility, she does a good job as Sailor V. Taking down agents of the Dark Agency by herself with only her athletic skills and crescent moon compact.

Artemis alludes that there is much more to the enemy which Minako fights, but neither he nor “Boss”, the voice from the transformation pen she is given, tell her much beyond that this group is alien and intends to invade Earth by brainwashing its people. So Minako continues to fight as Sailor V, earning herself a name and the notice of the police, all the while going to school and playing video games. (more…)

So I was reading older blog posts that I have neglected due to being super busy and I came across one about a Mayu Shinjou manga called Demon Love Spell that mentioned that the heroine was actually competent. Making a comment stating my shock given my experience with Shinjou’s manga, the author brought up another manga, Ai Ore. Curious, I checked out the MAL profile which stated that it was about a boy-ish looking girl in a band and a very girl-ish looking guy. Well with a premise like that, how could I not take a peek at this manga? I’m a terribly curious person after all. I’ve tried many manga and anime just because I heard horrible things about them and given Ms.Shinjou’s track record, I could not believe she would be capable of writing a manga that wasn’t horrible.

Guess who is the guy and who is the girl.

Typical sexy cover for a Mayu Shinjou manga, but not so typical is the gender of each character on the cover.

But she did! I never thought I would be saying this, but I actually enjoyed a Mayu Shinjou manga! It’s definitely far from perfect, but I did like how the heroine, Mizuki, did actually look like a guy; and Akira, the hero, looked like a girl. Now outside their appearances, Mizuki wasn’t very masculine. She was super innocent and naive about love, and she definitely had the Mayu Shinjou touch even if she’s a bit more interesting than most of Shinjou’s heroines. Although what makes her interesting is that even if at her core she is very feminine, and even quite passive, like the typical Mayu Shinjou heroine; Shinjou actually wrote the story and Mizuki in a way that allowed her to have assertive moments and a life beyond just her man. The stark contrast between her outer appearance and her inner self was also another aspect of what I found so compelling about Mizuki. I’m always happy to see manga questioning appearance/gender assumptions. This is true for Akira too. He’s tough and cool even if he’s short and very girl-like.

But I think the most shocking aspect of Ai Ore is that Akira is actually a kind person. He does actually love Mizuki and is very considerate of her; often asking her opinion and backing off when she feels uncomfortable. Not to mention the manga actually makes it a point through Akira’s own words, to show that one’s outer gendered appearance is meaningless. What matters is what gender you feel you are. Mizuki stumbles with this more, but ultimately she arrives at the same conclusion. She lets go of her insecurity caused by the stares and comments she and Akira garner walking hand in hand. These comments are basically people trying to decide what gender she and Akira are, and in turn whether they are a gay couple. It was a rather nice message and one I did not think I would find in a Mayu Shinjou manga. I mean Shinjou tends to write the most traditionally masculine guys and feminine ladies, on top of quite problematic things. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. (more…)

limit vol.1I read a review of the first volume of Limit on another blog, but I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was. But it was that review that piqued my interest in the manga. Not enough to go out and buy myself a copy, but enough to borrow the first volume from a local library when I saw it. This is also going to mark the start of me dropping the Impression moniker from the title since I already mark my impressions via the category. So it’s a bit redundant to put it into the title as well. This also allows me to make the titles a bit more interesting. Format will remain the same for the time being, but I am considering tweaking it as well.

Summary

In Mizuki Konno’s school, Sakura Himezura is the most popular and powerful girl. Thankfully Konno numbers as one of her close friends, and she enjoys an easy and fun life at school as a result. However, this is all turned on its head when the majority of her class, Sakura included, dies in a car crash on the way to camp. Only she and 4 other girls survive. Out of the survivors, one is a member of her circle of friends, one is just a regular classmate, one is somewhat of an oddball, and one is the bullied outcast Arisa Morishige. To make matters worse, there is no reception and the girls are surrounded by cliffs and can do nothing but wait for help to come. (more…)

IMG617Finally got my hands on a used copy of Forbidden Dance 4. It’s not that it’s rare, but something else always took priority. Thankfully the used copy’s condition isn’t too bad and it wasn’t expensive. It’s also good to finally finish collecting another of my many in-progress manga.

Summary


The anniversary performance for COOL is a day away, but Akira is not back yet. Aya becomes distressed after receiving a cryptic call from Diana, but Tetsuya manages to calm her down. Aya then decides she has to protect COOL for Akira and cuts her hair short to pass as a boy. And since Akira isn’t back for the performance, the members go with this alternative and have Aya dance as one of the guys. Unfortunately, the audience and their sponsor notice Akira is missing and become annoyed, but the COOL members keep dancing hoping to show their talent through their hard work and sweat. Seems it pays off and Akira shows up not long after too! He apologizes and tells Aya to get ready for their solo. Aya is shocked because the solo was suppose to have been removed as the sponsor did not want her dancing with the other COOL members. The solo becomes rather popular and the press announces that COOL has taken their first female member to great success. Bringing the main story to a finish. (more…)

tonariTrigger warning. Also mild spoilers for the anime Hana Yori Dango and Rose of Versailles.

So back in 2012, the manga Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun got an anime adaptation and the anime blogosphere raised hell (or maybe it was a select few sites I happened upon). A few managa bloggers also chimed in with their outrage. The main point of contention was the threat of rape that happens in the very first episode (and chapter) of Tonari. A little later, I had decided to run a feature that looked at the worst the shoujo manga demographic had to offer, and deconstruct, through snark, why it was so harmful and problematic. Given the hell that was raised around Tonari, I thought it would be a great candidate for the feature. However having finished the first 5 chapters for my feature, I have to say that most of the criticisms levelled at Tonari missed the big picture about rape acceptance in manga and anime. (more…)

IMG243 Picture to the left was taken with my phone, so I hope it’s not too bad. I decided to give the 3-in-1 edition a go with Skip Beat and my experience with this edition is mostly positive. It definitely took awhile to get through the thing as it’s pretty long being really 3 volumes. But I loved the story, so it was definitely a good thing to have more of it in a single volume.

Summary


At first glance Kyoko Mogami seems to be an average girl, but she has a secret. Her special prince charming is none other than the famous raising star in the Japanese music scene, Sho Fuwa. Kyoko has been deeply in love with Sho since a child and did not hesitate to follow him to Tokyo to help him achieve his dreams by working part time jobs to support the both of them.

However, now that Sho has gotten a big break, he seems oddly distance and moody. In an effort to cheer him up, Kyoko decides to bring him some food from her part time job. In the process, she overhears him bragging about how he brought her along as a maid and nothing else. He even declares to send her packing if his manager promises to “take care” of him (in other words, let him live with her and be bed partners). Surprisingly, instead of crying her eyes out, Kyoko snaps and vows revenge on Sho. Sho only sneers saying she can only have her revenge if she makes it into show biz (since a regular person can’t touch a star); but he is confidence she will be unable to make it. (more…)