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Black Clover vol. 5 by Yuki Tabata (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you love action, humor and a manga series that features a good number of characters (similar to “Shonen Jump” titles such as “Bleach”, “Naruto”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “One Piece”), Yuki Tabata’s “Black Clover” is highly recommended! Featuring an action-packed fifth volume as the Wizard King must take on a group of terrorists responsible for attacking the Magic Knights.

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Image courtesy of © 2015 by Yuki Tabata. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Black Clover vol. 5

STORY AND ART BY: Yuki Tabata

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Shonen Jump

RATED: T for Teen

Available on February 7, 2017


With Asta captured and Fuegoleon defeated, the Clover Kingdom tries to recover from the attack by the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Meanwhile, the greatest mage in the kingdom launches his own counterattack. Can the Wizard King take these terrorists out before they do any more harm?


Asta has been captured by the terrorists of the Eye of the Midnight Sun and Fuegoleon has been defeated.  Can the Wizard King save Asta from the terrorists?

And what happens when Gauche (who has a sister complex for his younger sister Marie) gets jealous of Marie treating Asta so kindly?  Can he overcome his jealousy?

And who has kidnapped all the children from a nearby village?

Find out what happens in vol. 5 of Yuki Tabata’s hit manga series, “Black Clover”!

What is “Black Clover” about?

In 2015, Yuki Tabata made his debut with the manga series “Black Clover”.

Serialized in Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump”, with a total of seven volumes published in Japan (as of August 2016), the first volume is available in the US courtesy of Viz Media.

“Black Clover” revolves around two orphans, Asta and Yuno.

Yuno is the wielder of the four-leaf grimoire and has the power of wind-based magic and has great potential.

Meanwhile, no one sees Asta as one with potential as he has no magic powers at all and he talks about one day becoming the Wizard King, which makes many people laugh.

But Asta uses his fighting prowess and physical strength in order to make him stronger and he is determined. One day, a grimoire shows up for Asta during a battle and he immediately becomes the wielder of the five-leaf clover grimoire.

But because he is not a magic wielder, he is seen as the lowest of the magic knights.

As Yuno becomes a member of the Golden Dawn Squad, Asta is assigned to Yami Sukehiro’s Black Bull Squad, known as the worst squad of the Magic Knights.

How will Asta do on missions with his team of misfits?

In vol. 5, Asta has been kidnapped by the terrorists who have attacked the Magic Knights.  And with many of the powerful knights defeated, especially the powerful Fuegelon, the Wizard King must take on the terrorists alone.

Meanwhile, can Asta and Gauche team up and defeat an enemy who has been luring children to their hideout?  Considering that Gauche goes mad when anyone gets close to his younger sister Marie and thus he hates Asta, these two will need to find a way to work together.


With the fifth volume of “Black Clover”, Asta has been kidnapped by terrorists and with chaos in the village after the attack on the Magic Knights, everyone is starting to rebuild, regroup and recuperate.

But with no one powerful enough to take on the terrorists, the Wizard King decides to take on them alone.

Meanwhile, we get a humorous storyline involving the crazy Gauche, a man with a sister complex.  And sure enough, when his little sister Marie starts hanging out with Asta, Gauche loses it big time!

As children including Marie are taken by an unknown group, can Asta and Gauche work together and rescue Marie and the children?

As far as Tabata’s character designs and artwork for “Black Clover”, Yuki has a pretty cool style of character designs and I found his art style unique, fresh and great to see.

He definitely manages to fit a lot into a panel. And the fact that the art is by him and he writes the stories, it’s going to be interesting to see how far he’ll take this series. Definitely a mangaka with plenty of potential and a series that can really become a long-lasting manga series.

Featuring an action-packed and hilarious fifth volume as we get to see the Wizard King in action and also seeing an unusual collaboration between Asta and Gauche.

Overall, if you love action, humor and a manga series that features a good number of characters (similar to “Shonen Jump” titles such as “Bleach”, “Naruto”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “One Piece”), Yuki Tabata’s “Black Clover” is highly recommended!

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Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma Vol. 16 (Story by Yuto Tsukuda and Art by Shun Saeki) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma” has turned out to be one of my favorite manga releases and with each volume, I always look forward to more and more! Volume 16 is a wonderful volume with multiple entertaining stories that fans will no doubt love!  Recommended!

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© 2012 by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Food Wars – Shokugeki no Soma Vol. 16

STORY AND ART BY: Story by Yuto Tsukuda and Art by Shun Saeki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: February 7, 2017


Food fights and fan service—what more could a fan want?

Day three of the Autumn Moon Festival has begun, and Soma is still trying to recover from ending deep in the red on its first day. Looking to finally overtake Restaurant Kuga in overall profit, Soma unveils his ace in the hole—a new mapo tofu recipe! Will it be enough to push this first-year to victory over a Council of Ten member?


For the Totsuki Institute School Festival coming up, Soma decides to challenge the Eighth Seat Terunori Kuga, a second year high school student known for being a master of Chinese cooking. And to do that, Soma must create an awesome Chinese dish that would rival Kuga’s famous Special Mapo Tofu.

But the first few days, Soma has lost badly and if he doesn’t make money, he will be kicked out of the Academy.  With the festival days coming to a close, can Soma pull out a comeback?

How will Soma prepare this latest challenge?

Also, Soma gets to taste the cooking of the First Seat of Totsuki Academy and what happens when Azami Nakiri, Erina’s father visits the Academy?

All this and more in volume 16 of “Food Wars! -Shokugeki no Soma”!

What is “Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma” about?

In 2012, writer Yuto Tsukuda and artist Shun Saeki created their manga series “Shokugeki no Soma” which continues to be serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump”.

The manga was voted #3 in the Nationwide Bookstore Employees “Recommend Comics of 2014” in Japan and voted #12 in the 2014 “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey and continues to be a popular series in Japan.

With a total of eight tankobon volumes released in the U.S., Viz Media will be releasing the first manga volume titled “Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma” in North America in August 2014.

The series revolves around a young teen named Soma Yukihara who works for his father, chef Joichiro Yukihira, at their local restaurant.

Trained to cook at an early age and known for trying to combine various foods together as experiments, Soma has been known to cook dishes that make people feel they have tasted the best food ever to touch their tastebuds. But his goal is to someday beat his father in cooking.

But with landsharks trying to get control of the land to build condo units where the restaurant is located, one day while returning to the restaurant, everything inside is removed.

While Soma wants to rebuild, his father tells him that he will be closing the restaurant for two or three years to travel and as for Soma, he is enlisted in Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute where the elite of the elite attend and less than 10% of its students ever graduated.

But his father gives Soma a stern message, if he can’t make it at Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, he will never beat him.

Determined to prove to his father that he can graduate as an elite cook, Soma is still looked down by his fellow students and faculty because unlike them, he is not wealthy and his family did not own a four or five star restaurant.

But Soma is determined to prove them wrong.

In volume 15, Soma decides that the only way to get recognized for his cooking is to challenge the best.

And Soma decides to challenge a member of the Council of Ten at the upcoming Totsuki Institute School Festival. A festival in which one must create dishes for thousands of people, have their own booths created and it’s a high level challenge which Soma has never participated in before.

And if one doesn’t make enough money for their booths and run in debt, they will get expelled from the Academy.

But Soma, being a person confident about his cooking, has chosen to take on one of the best when it comes to Chinese cooking….Eighth Seat… Terunori Kuga, a Second Year High School student.

But as no one from the Council of Ten look at the first year students of being any threat, has Soma gotten himself involved in a challenge in which he is now near last place and if he doesn’t make enough sales, can get him kicked out of the Academy.

Can Soma make a comeback and defeat Eighth Seat, Terunori Kuga?


As a big fan of manga series about food and the culinary industry, “Food Wars! -Shokugeki no Soma” is a series that I absolutely enjoy.

For one, you have an antagonist that was cooking since he was young, often experimenting on different foods, even know that all his combinations are not always successful. But he also was brought up in a family restaurant and has to attend a school of elitist who think their food is the greatest and that they are more refined because they are wealthy.

So, it’s pretty awesome to see how far these people will put him down and until they eat his food, their reaction, and probably this may be the best word to describe their reaction to his food as “orgasmic”.

With the 16th volume of “Food Wars! -Shokugeki no Soma”, Yuto Tsukuda and Sun Saeki manages to incorporate three story arcs.  The first primary arc is the conclusion of Soma decides to challenging Eighth Seat… Terunori Kuga, a Second Year High School student.

Behind in the point standing, Soma is must stage a comeback or else get kicked of out the Academy.  Meanwhile, Soma gets to see the First Seat in action.

The third story arc revolves around Azami Nakiri, Erina’s father who comes out of nowhere and does the impossible that will no doubt change the landscape of Totsuki Academy.

For volume 16, the storyline by Yuto Tsukuda has been nothing short of enjoyable. This is a fun manga that left me craving for more and Shun Saeki’s artwork is energetic, fun and the more suggestive artwork that was seen in earlier volumes are not too extreme (in terms of fan service and sexuality).

Overall, “Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma” has turned out to be one of my favorite manga releases and with each volume, I always look forward to more and more! Volume 16 is a wonderful volume with multiple entertaining stories that fans will no doubt love!  Recommended!

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Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 19 by Naoshi Komi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you have been following “Nisekoi: False Love” all this time, what happens when Kirisaki is told that she will be moving back to the United States and will be leaving Raku and her friends.  Will she be able to stay in Japan?  Meanwhile, Onodera and Raku go on their first date and Marika kidnaps Raku.  All this and more in this entertaining 19th volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Highly recommended!

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© 2011 Naoshi Komi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 19

STORY AND ART BY: Naoshi Komi (古味直志)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: January 3, 2017


When the missing pages from the storybook that explain the origin of the keys and pendant surface, it seems like Kosaki might be the girl Raku made a promise with…but is that a sure thing? The answer is still unclear when Haru tricks Raku and Kosaki into going on a Christmas Eve date. And just when things are going well, Raku’s pendant goes missing!


What happens when Onodera and Raku go on a date?  Also, what happens when Marika kidnaps Raku?  And also, the conclusion of whether or not Kirisaki Chitoge will be moving to America or not.

All this and more in Naoshi Komi’s hit manga series, “Nisekoi: False Love” vol. 18!

What is “Nisekoi: False Love”?

Naoshi Komi’s manga work is well-known for readers of Shonen Jump. From “Koi no Kami-sama”, “Williams” and “Double Arts”, Komi’s manga “Nisekoi” (False Love) was created as a one shot for Jump NEXT! in 2011 but then receiving the go-ahead as a weekly manga serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump”.

“Nisekoi” revolves around high school Raku Ichijou. When Ichijou was a kid, he met a girl and he kept a lock, she kept the key and promised each other to get married if they one day find each other.

Since then, Ichijou has kept his promise and has worn the lock around his neck and has been hoping to meet her again.

But Ichijou’s life is a little complicated. While a good-natured individual, unfortunately for him, he is the son of the leader of the Shuei-gumi yakuza syndicate. He has no interested in become part of the yakuza but everyone expects him to be the next one to lead the syndicate in the future.

Meanwhile, while going to school, he sees a foreign girl jumping from a wall and landing on him. He loses the lock on his neck and is very upset of what had transpired. Next thing you know in class, that same girl becomes a new student in his class.

Chitoge Kirisaki just moved from the U.S. to Japan and since her mom is Japanese and her dad is America, she is fluent in both Japanese and English. And suffice to say, when both Ichijou and Kirisaki see each other, they start yelling at each other and she nails him with a hit after he calls her “monkey girl”. People see how tough she is but to make them get along, his teacher puts Ichijou in charge of showing her around school.

He tries his best but the two are like oil and water, they just don’t get along. For the next week of trying to assist her, the two end up arguing and getting in each other’s faces.

If anything, Ichijou focus is more on finding the lock that was lost when Kirisaki landed on him. And he wonders if Kosaki Onodera, the popular girl in school and a person who has treated him with nothing but kindness is the girl that he made the promise with. He hopes it is her.

But just when Ichijou is about to give up, Onodera pleads with him to keep his promise and Ichijou is reminded that a promise is a promise and he intends to keep it. But wants to ask Onodera if there is any chance she may be the girl he made the promise too.

What he doesn’t know is that Onodera does have a key and she has always liked Ichijou but doesn’t have the guts to tell him.

But as Ichijou wonders if Onodera is the girl he made a promise too and excited for the possibility that it might be, when he gets home, his father talks to him about something important.

The problem is that the Shuei-gumi and another rival yakuza gang are in the brink of all-out war that would damage both yakuza gangs, he and the other leader have come up with the plan. Ichijou must pretend to be dating the daughter of the leader of the opposing yakuza gang.

Ichijou doesn’t want to get involved and his father told him that he must forget dating any other girl and focus liking this girl they set him up with.

When the two are introduces, Ichijou is shocked that the girl is Chitoge Kirisaki. And for both of them, they must promise to be boyfriend and girlfriend for three whole years and be convincing to both yakuza gangs that they are truly in love.

Both don’t want to be involved with each other but they have no choice. But now they must find a way to co-exist with each other as both yakuza gangs are suspicious of their relationship especially Kirisaki’s guardian, Claude.

Meanwhile, Ichijou still wants to ask Onodera if she is the girl with the key and Onodera is about to let him know that she is. But before they can, the whole school are told that both Ichijo and Kirasaki are boyfriend and girlfriend.

And now it has made things tough for both Ichijou and Kirisaki, but can they keep this charade of being in love with each other, especially if they despite one another?

And since then, there are a few other complications as not only Chitoge and Onodera have fallen for Raku, but also Chitoge’s bodyguard Tsugumi and Marika Tachibana, who Raku’s father promised Marika’s father that they would marry?

But while Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki are supposed to fake their relationship, Chitoge is starting to realize that with each moment spent with Raku, she is slowly falling in love with him.

For volume 19, Chitoge Kirasaki’s father has told her that she and Raku will no longer need to fake their relationship because she and Tsugumi will be moving back to the United States. This leaves Chitoge to become devastated that she will never ever confess her feelings to Raku and will never be around him and her friends. What last resort will Chitoge and Tsugumi pull in order for them to stay in Japan?

Meanwhile, what happens when Onodera and Raku goes on their first date together during the holidays?  And what happens when Marika kidnaps Raku?


With volume 19 of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”, the manga concludes the story of Kirisaki and Tsugumi trying to find a way to stay in the US.  But when Claude locks her up in her room, can Raku save her?

Meanwhile, more pages of the book from Raku’s past is discovered in Haru’s room.  Meanwhile, Haru asks her sister Kosaki Onodera if she and Raku can go on a date together?  How will their date go?

As for Marika, being jealous that Kirisaki and Onodera gets to spend time with Raku.  She steps things up by kidnapping Raku and taking him to her family’s secluded island.  But when Raku gets a message from her bodyguard that he needs to make a decision and let her know how he feels, because she doesn’t have much time left.  What does that mean?

19 volumes in through the series, I really enjoy this manga series because it’s fresh take on the young promise made by youngsters to marry each other and it also has that similarity to “Ranma 1/2” of two people arranged by their parents to be together, although not to be married but to have this fake romance for three years. And then having multiple young ladies vying for his attention.

But with the introduction of other girls who made promises when they were younger, we clearly don’t know which girl Raku promised to marry when he was younger. But with everyone vying for Raku’s attention (and he being totally oblivious to what’s going on), it makes for a very entertaining storyline and series!

The artwork by Naoshi Komi is well-drawn, the series is full of humor and for the most part quite delightful in capturing their emotions on each page. But Naoshi Komi’s manga series has been nothing but delightful and very entertaining!

If you have been following “Nisekoi: False Love” all this time, what happens when Kirisaki is told that she will be moving back to the United States and will be leaving Raku and her friends.  Will she be able to stay in Japan?  Meanwhile, Onodera and Raku go on their first date and Marika kidnaps Raku.  All this and more in this entertaining 19th volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Highly recommended!

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Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 18 by Naoshi Komi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you have been following “Nisekoi: False Love” all this time, what happens when Kirisaki is told that she will be moving back to the United States and will be leaving Raku and her friends in this entertaining 18th volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Highly recommended!

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© 2011 Naoshi Komi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 18

STORY AND ART BY: Naoshi Komi (古味直志)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2016


It’s day three of the school trip, and Raku visits a temple known to be a power spot. Little does he know that it’s a place famous for magical bows and arrows that have romance-fulfilling properties! With all the girls determined to shoot him down, which huntress will bring down her prey?!


What happens when Kirasaki’s father tells her that she and Raku will no longer need to fake their relationship because she and Tsugumi will be moving back to the United States.  This leaves Chitoge devastated that she will never ever confess her feelings to Raku and will never be around him and her friends.

All this and more in Naoshi Komi’s hit manga series, “Nisekoi: False Love” vol. 18!

What is “Nisekoi: False Love”?

Naoshi Komi’s manga work is well-known for readers of Shonen Jump. From “Koi no Kami-sama”, “Williams” and “Double Arts”, Komi’s manga “Nisekoi” (False Love) was created as a one shot for Jump NEXT! in 2011 but then receiving the go-ahead as a weekly manga serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump”.

It was also one of the first manga to receive an English translation online courtesy of Shueisha and a total of 18 volumes have been released since then.

“Nisekoi” revolves around high school Raku Ichijou. When Ichijou was a kid, he met a girl and he kept a lock, she kept the key and promised each other to get married if they one day find each other.

Since then, Ichijou has kept his promise and has worn the lock around his neck and has been hoping to meet her again.

But Ichijou’s life is a little complicated. While a good-natured individual, unfortunately for him, he is the son of the leader of the Shuei-gumi yakuza syndicate. He has no interested in become part of the yakuza but everyone expects him to be the next one to lead the syndicate in the future.

Meanwhile, while going to school, he sees a foreign girl jumping from a wall and landing on him. He loses the lock on his neck and is very upset of what had transpired. Next thing you know in class, that same girl becomes a new student in his class.

Chitoge Kirisaki just moved from the U.S. to Japan and since her mom is Japanese and her dad is America, she is fluent in both Japanese and English. And suffice to say, when both Ichijou and Kirisaki see each other, they start yelling at each other and she nails him with a hit after he calls her “monkey girl”. People see how tough she is but to make them get along, his teacher puts Ichijou in charge of showing her around school.

He tries his best but the two are like oil and water, they just don’t get along. For the next week of trying to assist her, the two end up arguing and getting in each other’s faces.

If anything, Ichijou focus is more on finding the lock that was lost when Kirisaki landed on him. And he wonders if Kosaki Onodera, the popular girl in school and a person who has treated him with nothing but kindness is the girl that he made the promise with. He hopes it is her.

But just when Ichijou is about to give up, Onodera pleads with him to keep his promise and Ichijou is reminded that a promise is a promise and he intends to keep it. But wants to ask Onodera if there is any chance she may be the girl he made the promise too.

What he doesn’t know is that Onodera does have a key and she has always liked Ichijou but doesn’t have the guts to tell him.

But as Ichijou wonders if Onodera is the girl he made a promise too and excited for the possibility that it might be, when he gets home, his father talks to him about something important.

The problem is that the Shuei-gumi and another rival yakuza gang are in the brink of all-out war that would damage both yakuza gangs, he and the other leader have come up with the plan. Ichijou must pretend to be dating the daughter of the leader of the opposing yakuza gang.

Ichijou doesn’t want to get involved and his father told him that he must forget dating any other girl and focus liking this girl they set him up with.

When the two are introduces, Ichijou is shocked that the girl is Chitoge Kirisaki. And for both of them, they must promise to be boyfriend and girlfriend for three whole years and be convincing to both yakuza gangs that they are truly in love.

Both don’t want to be involved with each other but they have no choice. But now they must find a way to co-exist with each other as both yakuza gangs are suspicious of their relationship especially Kirisaki’s guardian, Claude.

Meanwhile, Ichijou still wants to ask Onodera if she is the girl with the key and Onodera is about to let him know that she is. But before they can, the whole school are told that both Ichijo and Kirasaki are boyfriend and girlfriend.

And now it has made things tough for both Ichijou and Kirisaki, but can they keep this charade of being in love with each other, especially if they despite one another?

And since then, there are a few other complications as not only Chitoge and Onodera have fallen for Raku, but also Chitoge’s bodyguard Tsugumi and Marika Tachibana, who Raku’s father promised Marika’s father that they would marry?

But while Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki are supposed to fake their relationship, Chitoge is starting to realize that with each moment spent with Raku, she is slowly falling in love with him.

For volume 18, Chitoge Kirasaki’s father tells her that she and Raku will no longer need to fake their relationship because she and Tsugumi will be moving back to the United States.  This leaves Chitoge to become devastated that she will never ever confess her feelings to Raku and will never be around him and her friends.  Meanwhile, what happens when the group go on a trip to Kyoto?


With volume 18 of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”, the manga focuses on Kirisaki finding out from her father that the fake relationship between her and Raku is coming to an end as he would like her to move closer to her mother in the United States.

In essence, this means Seishiro Tsugumi and also her rival Paula would be moving as well.

Devastated and trying to find ways to stay in Japan, can Kirisaki find a way to stay with Raku and her friends?  Meanwhile, another storyline features Raku, Chitoge and classmates going on a trip to Kyoto.  Will this trip go smoothly?

18 volumes in through the series, I really enjoy this manga series because it’s fresh take on the young promise made by youngsters to marry each other and it also has that similarity to “Ranma 1/2” of two people arranged by their parents to be together, although not to be married but to have this fake romance for three years. And then having multiple young ladies vying for his attention.

But with the introduction of other girls who made promises when they were younger, we clearly don’t know which girl Raku promised to marry when he was younger. But with everyone vying for Raku’s attention (and he being totally oblivious to what’s going on), it makes for a very entertaining storyline and series!

The artwork by Naoshi Komi is well-drawn, the series is full of humor and for the most part quite delightful in capturing their emotions on each page. But Naoshi Komi’s manga series has been nothing but delightful and very entertaining!

If you have been following “Nisekoi: False Love” all this time, what happens when Kirisaki is told that she will be moving back to the United States and will be leaving Raku and her friends in this entertaining 18th volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Highly recommended!

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Happiness vol. 1 by Shuzo Oshimi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Knowing how Shuzo Oshimi’s manga series tend to have surprises in store for readers, this first volume is merely a setup for big things to come. An enjoyable series thus far and I look forward to reading volume 2!

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Image courtesy of © 2012 by ONE. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Happiness vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Shuzo Oshimi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Kodansha Comics

RATED: M for Mature Audiences

Available on September 27, 2016


Nothing interesting in happening in Makoto Ozaki’s first year of high school. His life is a series of quiet humiliations: low-grade bullies, unreliable friends, and the constant frustration of his adolescent lust. But one night, a pale, thin girl knocks him to the ground in an alley and offers him a choice.

Now everything is different. Daylight is searingly bright. Food tastes awful. And worse than anything is the terrible, consuming thirst. The tiny shames of his old life have been replaced by two towering horrors: the truth of what will slake his awful craving, and high school itself.


From Shuzo Oshimi, the creator of “Drifting Net Cafe” and “The Flowers of Evil”) comes his latest manga series “Happiness”.

With a total of three graphic novels released in Japan since Feb. 2015, “Happiness” is a supernatural manga series that will surely entertain fans of vampire stories.

“Happiness” begins with a murder with a female vampire targeting a man walking out late at night in the Nakano Ward of Tokyo.

The story then shifts to Hokusei High School and features a year 1 student named Makoto Okazaki, a teenager who is often bullied and is forced to buy other students lunch with his own money.

The only person that sympathizes with him is Nunota, a teenager who was previously bullied and forced to buy others lunch.

That night, as Okazaki goes out at night to return a DVD, he is attacked by the female vampire but as his blood is sucked out of him, the female vampire gives him a choice, to die or to be like her.  Okazaki chooses to live and not die.

When Okazaki awakes, he is in the hospital with his family.  Seeing that he was attacked, as the lights are turned on, he can’t stand the light.

When he returns back to school, people have heard of his attack but one again, his bully Yuki try to cause problem when Okazaki tells them that the person that attacked him was a girl.  Laughing hysterically, Yuki tells everyone that Okazaki’s attacker was a girl

Upset, Okazaki instinctively punches the bully and breaks his nose.  With blood gushing from the bully’s nose, he notices that he can smell the scent of one’s blood and desperately wants to lick it.

Immediately, Yuki becomes the laughing stock at school as other bullies descend on him and Yuki becomes the person being bullied.

Meanwhile, Okazaki notices that he is starting to have problems as his body wants to lick blood and is starting to feel sick.  Okazaki starts to wonder what is happening to him?  And why is he so sick?


With a new manga series by Shuzo Oshimi, we have a vampire story about a teenager named Makoto Okazaki who is attacked at night and his blood sucked by a vampire and being given a choice…die or become a vampire.

Okazaki starts to go through withdrawals after his release from the hospital, trying to prevent his urges from getting the best of him but noticing a big change and others are starting to worry about him.

The first volume is pretty much a standard introductory story to the characters and series and while somewhat banal of a person who was normal but bitten by a vampire and turning into one, the first volume focuses on Okazaki’s struggle to contain his urges.

As Okazaki is often getting bullied, the story also focuses on how his bully (Yuki) becomes the person being bullied, after Okazaki, sick of being bullied, breaks Yuki’s nose. And now Yuki starts to become on the receiving end of feeling the brunt of being bullied by other bullies in school.

The other person introduced in the story is Yukiko Gosho, a blunt student who Okazaki slowly starts to get to know.  As his body craves for her blood, it’s still to early to see where this friendship and potential relationship may go later in the series.

But for the most part, as a first volume and and an introduction-driven story of the characters, Shuzo Oshimi’s “Happiness” begins with the obvious, it’s success depends where the series takes off after this first volume and how it avoids the banal vampire storylines that have been created. But I have no doubt in my mind that Oshimi will take this series into a fascinating direction.

The artwork by Oshimi is well-done and the series does have violence and also a sexual scene, thus giving the series its mature rating.

But knowing how Shuzo Oshimi’s manga series tend to have surprises in store for readers, this first volume is merely a setup for big things to come.  An enjoyable series thus far and I look forward to reading volume 2!

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Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign Vol. 11 (Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Another action-packed eleventh volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” as Yuichiro and friends including Mikaela are now planning to take part in a risky battle to fight alongside each other to save Guren.  But first, they must put aside all differences and save the vampire queen Krul Tepes.  Can they do it?

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© 2012 Takaya Kagami, Yamato Yamamoto, Daisuke Furuya. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign Vol. 10

STORY AND ART BY: Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: January 3, 2017


After trumpets of the apocalypse proclaim the fall of humanity, vampires arise from the shadows to rule the earth. Yuichiro wants just one thing—to get revenge by killing each and every vampire.


It was revealed that humans were experimenting on people to create the weapon known as “Seraph of the End” and Guren Ichinose is revealed to be one.  To make things worse, as Yuichiro went full on demon mode in trying to rescue Guren, Yuichiro still sees humanity within Guren and despite the pain and death Guren and the Vampires have inflicted, Yuichiro and his friends and even Mikaela are determined in teaming up.

But what is Ferid Bathroy and Crowley Eusford up too and why did they capture vampire queen Krul Tepes?

All this and more in the eleventh volume of Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto’s “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign”!

What is “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” all about?

In 2012, mangaka Takaya Kagami (“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes”), artist Yamato Yamamoto (“Kure-nai”, “Denpa Tei na Kanojo”) and storyboard artist Daisuke Furuya teamed up to work on the dark fantasy manga series “Owari no Serafu”.

The series which has a total of six tankobon volumes released in Japan, has been released in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media with the title “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign”.

“Seraph of the End” began with an introduction of how an unknown virus brought the world to a sudden end. Only children under 13-years-old survived and those children were enslaved by vampires.

The story introduces us to an impulsive boy named Yuichiro Hyakuya who wants nothing more but to kill vampires. But his friend Mikaela Hyakuya is a boy who is more levelheaded and tries to get his friend to think straight and know they are not powerful enough to defeat them.

For Yuichiro, he wants nothing more but his fellow friends to escape captivity from the underground city of Sanguinem and reach the outside.

And one day, all of them decide to make their escape…but will they be successful?

In volume 2, Yuichiro Hyakuya wants nothing more but to get his revenge on the vampires who killed his friends, especially his best friend, Mikaela Hyakuya, who sacrificed his life in order for Yuichiro to escape.

Fast forward years later and as Yuichiro is wanting to become a member of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, the army responsible for fighting against the vampires, he needs to learn discipline and train for combat. But first he must go through the various tests in school which include being friends with others and being a team player, all are hard for Yuichiro to try and do.

But now is his chance to pass the test to advance, but it means having to partner with another hot-headed teen like himself, who doesn’t mind getting into brawls…Kimizuki.

Will Yuichiro, Kimizuki and Yoichi be ready for their next test?

Meanwhile, what happened to Mikaela Hyakuya after Yuichiro escaped from the Vampire lair has been revealed!

In volume 3, as the team has trained and learned to work together, Yuichiro, Yoichi, Kimizuki and Shinoa Hiragi are assigned a new leader named Mitsuba Sangu. An impulsive girl who is also the rival of Shinoa.

As the team goes on their first major mission to fight vampires in Harajuku, will they be ready or will their impulsiveness get in the way?

In volume 4, the Japanese Imperial Army are fighting in a losing battle against the Vampire nobles, a group that includes Yuichiro’s childhood friend Mika, who was changed into a vampire on that fateful day.

As Yuichiro and friends come to join the Japanese Imperial Army on the front lines, Yuichiro comes into contact with Mika for the first time.

But with Mika now a vampire and Yuichiro a vampire hunter, what will happen when these two friends see each other for the very first time since they were separated?

In volume 5, learning that Mika is alive and has been transformed into a vampire, Yuichiro wants nothing more but to help save his friend. But still, he must go through a interview to find out what happened that day he confronted Mika and if he has the resolution to slaughter vampires. Also, factions within the Japanese Imperial Demon Army want Yuichiro to join their faction.

Meanwhile, Yuichiro and crew learn more about their abilities and whether they are possession or manifestation type.

In volume 6, Yuichiro still trying to learn more about his special abilities, must find a way to get his cursed gear Asumaru to work with him.

Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes, interesting partnerships or rivalries created within the ranks of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and the vampires.

In volume 7, the Japanese Imperial Demon Army plans to launch a sneak attack on the vampire nobles and Yuichiro’s team must be ready to go into battle.

The problem is that they continue to work as individuals rather than a team and are not taking the attack as seriously as they should.

So, will they be ready to partake in this sneak attack?

In volume 8, the Japanese Imperial Demon Army goes on the offensive. And while Yuichiro’s team fared well, the other teams lost many of their soldiers in the war against the nobles.

But in order to make a strong statement of human vs. vampires, they must now launch a battle against the Thirteenth Progenitor vampire Crowley Eusford and nobles, Chess and Horn with whatever soldiers are remaining.

But will they be enough to defeat these powerful vampires?

In volume 9, Lt. Col. Guren Ichinose and Major General Shinya Hiragi were hoping to take down the powerful Thirteenth Progenitor vampire, Crowley Eusford and vampire nobles, Horn and Chess. But they never realized how powerful a vampire he truly is.

And now Guren and Shinya are on the losing end, can Yuichiro save Guren and what bond does Yuichiro have with Guren?

In volume 10, Lt. Col. Guren Ichinose and Major General Shinya Hiragi were hoping to take down the powerful Thirteenth Progenitor vampire, Crowley Eusford and vampire nobles, Horn and Chess. But didn’t realize how powerful he truly is and now Guren has been held captive.

Yuichiro and his team tried to pull off a rescue but Crowley, Horn and Chess showed their true power. In the process, the demon inside Yuichiro came out when he saw his team nearly being decimated.

Now, his family member turned vampire, Mikaela is determined to rescue him from the humans and vampires. But with the Japanese Imperial Army surrounding him, can he save Yuichiro?

And Mikaela reveals the truth of the “Seraph of the End”!

In volume 11, despite the revelation, Yuki wants to save Guren, as he feels that his humanity is still in tact.  Meanwhile, Ferid Bathory and Crowley Eusford are up to something.

Yuki and his friends plus Mikaela must team up as the battle ahead will be deadly.


As Mikaela continues to distrust humans, with Yuichiro convincing him to fight alongside his friends, who will also be his friends and that vampire and humans can co-exist, Yuichiro’s inner-demon is starting to consume him, and while the rescue to save Guren Ichinose didn’t work out as Guren is revealed as a Seraph of the End, Yuichiro is still determined on rescuing family, which he considers Guren to be.

An action-packed volume, the latest eleventh volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign”. The storyline by Takaya Kagami is enjoyable, humorous and it has its dark, violent moments that easily drives up the ratings to “Older Teen” but for the most part, it’s not a horror manga series, nor is it too dark that it’s twisted or scary partly because of the comedy due to its hardheaded protagonist. The artwork by Yamato Yamamoto is well-done and characters are very expressive.

Another action-packed eleventh volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” as Yuichiro and friends including Mikaela are now planning to take part in a risky battle to fight alongside each other to save Guren.  But first, they must put aside all differences and save the vampire queen Krul Tepes.  Can they do it?

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One Punch-Man vol. 10 (Story by ONE and Art by Yusuke Murata) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With this tenth volume, GARO has his sights set on the top fighters…including King, but with the huge fighting tournament taking place, Saitama and the world’s strongest will be taking part. Will GARO be involved in the tournament? If you love action-driven superhero manga series with a a lot of humor, “One-Punch Man” vol. 10 is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2012 by ONE. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: One-Punch Man Vol. 10

STORY BY: ONE

ART BY: Yusuke Murata

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on January 3, 2017


The human monster and hero hunter Garo cranks up the intensity of his destruction. As the damage increases, throwing the hero world into turmoil, Saitama decides it’s the perfect time to develop an interest in martial arts and sneaks into a combat tournament. Meanwhile, the Class-S hero Metal Bat takes an assignment guarding a Hero Association executive and his son, and it isn’t long before trouble appears!


The “Hero Hunter” known as Garo has made his name known of defeating every hero and monster that has come his way.  But what happens when Garo and Saitama come across each other for the first time?

Meanwhile, Saitama prepares for an upcoming fighting tournament which Garo has dominated.

Also, Miss Blizzard gathers a team to take on Saitama’s team in a fighting video game challenge.

All this and more in vol. 10 of “One-Punch Man” by One and Yusuke Murata!

What is “One-Punch Man” all about?

When it comes to success stories of web comics becoming viral, ONE’s “One-Punch Man” is one of the well-known titles that have taken the world by storm.

Created back in 2009 and having surpassed over 7.9 million hits in 2012, “One-Punch Man” would receive a digital manga remake featuring illustrations by Yusuke Murata (best known for his illustrations for the manga series, “Eyeshield 21”) and would be published on the Shueisha’s “Young Jump Web Comics” website.

In September 2015, Viz Media released the graphic novel for “One-Punch Man” in the United States and in October 2015, the anime adaptation for “One-Punch Man” began airing on Japanese television.

“One Punch Man” is set in City Z and monsters have been appearing in the city causing massive destruction.

But standing in their way is a skinny, bald man named Saitama who also happens to be extremely powerful and can defeat monsters with one punch. But because he often wins all the time, Saitama has grown bored and is often trying to find more powerful opponents.

In volume 8, a villain named Tongue Scratcher and a mecha named G4 have arrived on the scene and King, the top Class S superhero happens to be nearby.

But who is King? What is his special fighting power? And what makes him the greatest superhero alive?

In volume 9, we have seen Saitama pretty much kick butt against everyone that has come his way. But is there a super villain that has great power that will put much of a fight against Saitama? Enter Garo, a supervillain who admires monsters and wants to destroy all heroes. Meanwhile, Class B, Rank 1’s Hellish Blizzard has come to invite Saitama to her superhero crew.


With the tenth volume of “One-Punch Man”, GARO is wreaking havoc as he is destroying all heroes and monsters that come his way and he wants to destroy them all.

But what happens when he and and Saitama come across each other?

As for Saitama, it’s tournament time and he wants to take part in the Superfight and challenge the strongest and the winner will take home three million.  But Saitama will be using Mumen Rider’s ticket (as Mumen Rider was injured badly by GARO) and be disguised as him.

Meanwhile, Ms. Blizzard wants another battle with Saitama, so she is doing a team battle…but this time in a fighting video game challenge!

For the most part, I’m really enjoying this series because the protagonist is quite unusual. You think of a strong and charismastic super hero as your main protagonist, but the protagonist of “One-Punch Man” is a skinny baldheaded man named Saitama who doesn’t look menacing at all.

A person who became strong by working out constantly, he then lost all his hair an became super powerful.

And where most heroes are proud of their work, Saitama is somewhat wanting the attention and respect that comes with being a hero, but yet hasn’t received it. So, Saitama is an interesting contrast to the stereotypical hero who is typically a person that is athletically fit, has a remarkable IQ or tremendous skillset, but for Saitama….he looks like a normal guy.

And while Earth has their heroes ranked, Saitama, despite his awesome strength is rated quite low. Will Saitama be able to prove that he is more than a hero?

Having seen ONE’s original “One-Punch Man”, the artwork from the original versus Yusuke Murata’s artwork is night and day. I always enjoyed Murata’s work on “Eyeshield 21” but his work of bringing ONE’s “One-Punch” man to life is fantastic. It was Murata who approached ONE to redo the artwork and if anything, it had helped ONE’s creation become well-known internationally.

So far, I’m enjoying the series, especially its really crazy and outlandish characters. But I like how the series manages to balance humor and fighting violence quite well. And Saitama is so different from your usual protagonist character in a super hero comic, so I am enjoying what I’m reading so far.

With this tenth volume, GARO has his sights set on the top fighters…including King, but with the huge fighting tournament taking place, Saitama and the world’s strongest will be taking part.  Will GARO be involved in the tournament?

If you love action-driven superhero manga series with a a lot of humor, “One-Punch Man” vol. 10 is recommended!

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My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 8 by Takuma Morishige (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

“My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series that I enjoy but because it’s a story that focuses primarily on two characters, often in their desks during class, it’s like reading a comic strip about Toshinari’s antics of the day. It’s great to read a few chapters but it’s a series that can grow a little old because of its limitations.  But it’s an enjoyable and funny manga series taken in small doses!

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Image courtesy of © Takuma Morishige 2011 All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 8

STORY AND ART BY: Takuma Morishige

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Corporation

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

Available on October 4, 2016


The high-school hi-jinks continue in My Neighbor Seki Volume 8 as Seki continues to find new ways to keep himself, and classmate Rumi, distracted from the depths of boredom.


As Rumi continues to be annoyed by Toshinari Seki’s antics in class, what new antics will Seki be up to this time around?

Find out in volume 8 of Takuma Morishige’s “Tonari no Seki-kun” (My Neighbor Seki).

What is “My Neighbor Seki”?

In 2010, a one-shot of “Tonari no Seki-kun” (My Neighbor Seki) was published and months later, the manga would become serialized in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper Magazine.

With a total of nine tankobon volumes printed , a 21-episode anime series having aired in Japan in 2014 and a live-action drama series in 2015, the manga series for “My Neighbor Seki” was released in the U.S. courtesy of Vertical, Inc.

“My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series in which each chapter features an unrelated story about a girl named Rumi Yokoi who is often distracted by the antics of her classmate, Toshinari Seki. No one in class is bothered by him except Rumi, and quite often, she tries to sabotage him and so, she is the one that gets in trouble by the teacher, not Toshinari.

In one chapter, Toshinari is creating a coupon and Rumi is ticked that Toshinari is only offering a one-minute massage to his mother, another chapter features Toshinari playing invisible tops; another chapter features Toshinari experimenting with a box filled with the scent of natto and what happens when Toshinari is pitting Go vs. Shogi during music class?

All this and more in volume 8 of “My Neighbor Seki”.


“My Neighbor Seki” is a fun and entertaining manga series.

A series about a girl named Rumi, who is always distracted by Toshinari’s antics, she is surprised no one else is drawn to his antics but her and she is the one to get in trouble for it.

Toshinari on the other hand is a character that does whatever he wants on his desk and never gets caught.

In some ways, the manga series reminds me of the way “Azumanga Daioh” was created in terms of short stories, many taking place on school campus but so short that you can read a few chapters at a time and enjoy it. But where “Azumanga Daioh” shines is that there is a connection often with each short story and there are many characters that are featured and you watch these characters grow.

In “My Neighbor Seki”, the storyline is contained down to two characters and when you do see another character, it’s brief.

In volume 8, Seki creates a massage coupon for his mother but when Rumi thinks Seki-kun is cool for doing it, when he changes the coupon to one minute, she is shocked and wants him to change it.  But can she get him to do it without disrupting class?

Another chapter has Seki creating a clay block character to play with his toy characters but can a clay and toy character co-exist?

Another chapter features Seki playing invisible tops mystifying Rumi.  Meanwhile, when Rumi spies on Seki going to a birdhouse and changing it, her friend is spying on them and thinks Rumi is jealous of Seki playing with birds.

Another chapter features an airtight box that Seki created but he fills it up with stinky Natto.  Will the vapors escape the box?

Another chapter features Seki giving Maeda (the baseball player that sits in front of Seki) his special baseball glove.  But what tricks does Seki have with this baseball glove?

All this and more of Seki’s antics in this latest volume 8 of “My Neighbor Seki”!

As I said in my previous reviews, while I do enjoy “My Neighbor Seki”, because of how the manga and its stories are constructed, I can only read a little of it each day because so much is restricted to the classroom and the two sitting in their desk, I didn’t want to grow to bored reading it all in one setting too quickly.

It’s almost like a comic strip that you read in the newspaper each Sunday, great to read once a week or a few at a time but in one setting, it can be a bit much and you can easily grow bored of it.

The artwork by Takuma Morishige is good yet simple, relying on character facial expressions for Rumi and for Toshinari, showcasing his crazy antics on his desk. A lot of panels are restricted to the characters without much detail for the backgrounds. Sometimes it’s just a plain white background.

Overall, “My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series that I enjoy but because it’s a story that focuses primarily on two characters, often in their desks during class, it’s like reading a comic strip about Toshinari’s antics of the day. It’s great to read a few chapters but it’s a series that can grow a little old because of its limitations.  But it’s an enjoyable and funny manga series taken in small doses!

Still, an entertaining and hilarious series worth reading, “My Neighbor Seki” is recommended!

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Blue Exorcist Vol. 16 by Kazue Kato (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are a fan of “Blue Exorcist”, definitely read volume 15 as the truth of Renzo Shima involvement with the Illuminati is revealed! Recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2009 by Kazue Kato. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Blue Exorcist Vol. 16 (Ao no Exorcist)

BY Kazue Kato (加藤 和恵)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: For All Ages

RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2016


The surge of demonic activity around the world has the highest levels of the Knights of the True Cross worried. An important meeting at the Vatican will have serious effects on the lives of Rin and his Exwire friends. Back at True Cross Academy, the students get a sense that something is brewing with the arrival of an unexpected and definitely unconventional new instructor! Meanwhile, Yukio struggles to understand the strange fire in his eyes, a fire he has kept secret from everyone. Can he confront the flames inside him alone or will it consume him?


Yukio has grown distant with his brother Rin and his students.  As Yuki tries to discover the source of an unknown power, he must find ways to risk his life in order to bring it out.  But how far will Rin go?

Meanwhile, True Cross Academy is sent a new instructor by the Vatican Headquarters…Lewin, the man known as Lightning.   Also, will Rin reveal his true feelings of Shiemi to her?

Find out in vol. 16 of Kazue Kato’s “Blue Exorcist”!

What is “Blue Exorcist”?

The manga series revolves around a hotheaded teenager named Rin Okumura. Both he and his brother Yukio have been raised by Father Fujimoto at the Cross Academy Town – Southern Cross Boys Monastery. While Yuki shows great intelligence and is attending school at True Cross Academy to become a doctor, Rin is quite the opposite. He tends to get himself in trouble, fights a lot and is continually told by Father Fujimoto to find a job.

Unfortunately for Rin, finding and holding onto a job is difficult. But one day, while working at a supermarket, he sees a monster in a girl’s scarf. He tells Father Fujimoto of what he has seen and Father Fujimoto starts to fear that something is happening. One day, Rin encounters a group of thugs and its leader that he had beaten up earlier and suddenly sees him turn into a demon. The demon tells Rin that satan is waiting for him and immediately, Father Fujimoto is there to save him and exorcise the demon. Fortunately, Father Fujimoto is there to help but it is all revealed to Rin about why he can see monsters.

It’s the fact that he is not truly human. He is the son of a human woman and satan. And the monsters he have seen, it is explained to Rin that in the world, there is Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Both are not supposed to come in contact with each other but they have and as an exorcist, it is his duty to send the demons back to where they belong. And satan wants to reunite with his son.

To protect Rin, Father Fujimoto gives him the Kamkakushi key, so he can hide anything. And he is also given the Koma Sword, a magic sword passed down from generation to generation and a sword where Rin’s powers have been sealed since birth. Rin’s flame resides inside the sword and is sealed by the scabbard. If he draws it, he will assume his demonic nature and will never be able to live as a human again.

One day, he and Father Fujimoto try to prepare for an imminent attack and tells Rin that he must seek shelter where satan can’t get to him but Rin takes it as his father trying to get rid of him forever. In return, Rin said some hurtful things to Father Fujimoto and the pain that Father Fujimoto felt was enough for satan, the demon to possess him.

Satan shows up to claim his son and attacks Father Fujimoto. Satan reveals that he created Rin from a human woman in order to create a container that would be powerful enough to hold him.

But it’s something that Father Fujimoto will not let happen to the boy, he looked at as a son. In order to save Rin, Father Fujimoto risks his own life to keep satan away and is killed in the process.

Now Rin mourns for the one person he knew as his father and when Mephisto Pheles, a friend of Father Fujimoto comes to visit, he tells him that they represent the Knights of the True Cross and they exorcise demons. And Rin has two choices, they will kill him, or he kills the demons. Instead, Rin tells him that he could care less about being human or a demon, he wants to become an exorcist like Father Fujimoto and avenge him and that means defeating his own father.

So, from that point on, Rin must be trained to become an exorcist and will have to follow special rules (which includes not revealing his true nature). But the first thing that he will need to do is enroll at the same school that his brother Yukio attends. When Rin sees his brother, Yukio is in the top of the class and that he is a special leader that people follow at the school and he is no longer the scrawny younger brother he once knew.

As Rin is now a student at the Knights of the True Cross, many of the elders are not too thrilled because Rin is the son of Satan and because Rin tends to be more of a hothead, they are not too sure if he can fit into the Academy. But Rin is determined to make good on his promise to his deceased father and to protect people, but most of all, to kill satan.

The story continues as Rin continues to study along with his classmates and each are trying to be Esquires, in order to take on various missions. But others at the Academy and the higher ups want to test Rin and find out if he is a person that can be taught and eventually fight with the other exorcists in defeating demons and satan himself.

While people question a demon being an exorcist, for Rin, he makes a goal that one day, he will become a Paladin (highest level of exorcism) like his adoptive father, Father Shiro and prove that because he is satan’s son, that having a caring father like Shiro can make a big change in the life of a person, even if they are a demon.

In volume 16, Yukio Omura grows even more distant from his brother and students when he tries to figure out what is happening to his body and why he has seen possibly satan’s power in him, despite being tested and showing no sign of having it.  Desperate to find the truth, Yukio will risk his life to see what it takes to bring the power out of him.

Meanwhile True Cross Academy has a new (powerful) instructor.


“Blue Exorcist” features the following characters:

  • Rin Okamura – The main protagonist. The son of Satan but born from a human mother. He and his brother Yukio are twins but he inherited his father’s powers. Rin’s power was sealed inside a sword by Mephisto Pheles, so he can live a human life. Rin was raised by the priest Shiro Fujimoto as normal humans with compassion and love. Despite getting into a lot of trouble and his abilities tend to be more of fighting or cooking, since discovering his power and identity, he vows to use his power to avenge his adoptive father Shiro Fujimoto’s death and defeat Satan. He vows to attend True Cross Academy and do all it takes to become a Paladin and a “Meister” (Knight). Rin also has taken in a dog demon (Cat Sith) which he names Kuro.
  • Yukio Okamura – The son of Satan but born from a human mother. Unlike Rin he did not inherit Satan’s powers. Known as the intellectual person of the family, unbeknown to Rin was that he has been secretly trained to become an exorcist since the age of seven in order to protect his brother. So, now he is an instructor at True Cross Academy and responsible for looking after his brother. But he harbors a secret…dark spots are starting to appear on his body which Yukio has told no one about, despite being tested daily if Satan’s power is in him.
  • Mephisto Pheles – The Chairman of True Cross Academy. He and Shiro Fujimoto worked together in order to seal Rin’s power and make him human. Mephisto is a powerful exorcist but because he is a demon, many do not believe him while others believe he has proven he is on the side to fight against Satan.
  • Ryuji Suguro – Also known as “Bon” to his classmates. He has a high temper and is often fighting and arguing with Rin. But despite his attitude, he is the best student in the class and dedicated to his studies. Part of his drive is because Satan destroyed his family temple.
  • Shiemi Moriyama – The daughter of a woman who runs an exorcist-only shop. She lacks confidence and she is quite sheltered (having lived with her grandmother and her only friends were plants) but when given the chance to meet and make friends at True Cross Academy, being in school gives her a new lease on life. It appears that both Rin and Yukio may have feelings towards her. Shiemi is a tamer and can summon a greenman spirit to produce herbs and barriers.
  • Izumo Kamiki – She always has a cold attitude and known for her eyebrows. The only friend she is close to is her best friend Paku but slowly (very slowly), she is starting to befriend her classmates. She can summon two Baykko (foxes) to fight.
  • Konkomaru Miwa – Very smart but very shy. He is the strategist and is loyal to his best friend Ryuji and Renzo, since they grew up at the same temple that was destroyed. His parents were killed by Satan.
  • Renzo Shima – Carefee, loves to flirt with girls (especially Paku and Izumi) but has a major phobia of insects. He also grew up with Ryuji and Konekomaru. Renzo carries a K’rik staff to fight.
  • Shura Kirigakure – The carefree, hardly wears anything, loves alcohol, upper first class exorcist who was asked by priest Shiro Fujimoto to train Rin and help him become a “Meister”. She can draw a demon sword from her chest and stomach and is an excellent fighter.
  • Shiro Fujimoto – The priest of Southern Cross Monastery who raised both Yukio and Rin as a loving father. He is a Paladin in the True Cross Order and was the strongest exorcist. Was thought to be the only man who could not be possessed by Satan but after an argument with Rin (and Rin saying some hurtful things) which shocked Shiro, it was enough time for Satan to possess Shiro. In order to protect himself from hurting Rin and Yukio, Shiro sacrificed himself.

We have read of how Yukio Okamura has been troubled with black spots showing up in his body and we have seen how his body was able to generate amazing power when his life was close to death.

And now Yukio wants to know why this is happening and how to tap into that power but the only way, in his mind to make it happen, is by putting his body through huge stress and that is by putting him in the position that would kill him.

As he grows distant from Rin and his students, everyone is starting to see Yukio grow distant.

Meanwhile, Lightning has become the new instructor at True Cross Academy and Ryuji Suguro wants nothing but to be his apprentice.  And as for Rin, what happens when he wants to confess his feelings towards Shiemi?

All this and more in the 16th volume of “Blue Exorcist”!

As for the manga itself, Kazue Kato’s artwork for “Blue Exorcist” is fantastic, the storyline continues to get better with each volume.

“Blue Exorcist” has a good balance of humor, action and an interesting concept in balance with awesome illustration. Because of the darker and more serious tone with the Kamiki family, there is less of the humor, more emotional drama and action this time around. And it’s a very fascinating storyline that is definitely building up for something huge!

If you are a fan of “Blue Exorcist”, definitely read volume 16 as Yukio Okamura puts himself through the most dangerous test of all time to find out more of his mysterious powers! Recommended!

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Sunny Vol. 5 by Taiyo Matsumoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A realistic manga series on the life of a group of orphans struggling with the fact that they have been abandoned or have no family members to take care of them, and their longing for family. A “Slice of life” type manga series, Taiyo Matsumoto’s “Sunny” vol. 4 is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2011 Taiyo Matsumoto. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Sunny Vol. 5

STORY AND ART BY: Taiyou Matsumoto (松本大洋)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2016


The fifth installment of this series focused on the young lives of a group of foster children displays the breathtaking peaks and troubled flatlands of their imaginations.


For the orphans of the Star Kids Home, the children who dream about having a family after being abandoned by their own parents or lost their parents, can only hope that life will become much happier. But for now, all they have is each other.

In volume 5 of “Sunny”, Haruo hangs out with his troublemaker baseball playing friend Tsuda.  What happens when Sei decides to leave the orphanage by stealing a car?  A day in the life of Junsuke who has caught a fever. Also, what happens when Kenji meets a rebellious girl named Haruna?  And what happens when Megumu meets her aunt and uncle for the day?

Read about the lives of these orphans at the Star Kids Home in the fifth volume of Taiyo Matsumoto’s “Sunny”!

What is “Sunny”?

While his work has been released in the U.S., “Sunny” has received the Viz Signature treatment and is printed in hardback.

“Sunny” is a series set during the 1970s and revolves around a group of children and teenagers who live at an orphanage and each chapter deals with a children’s life, with other orphans and also the heartbreak they endure of being left by their parents.

The title of the manga series is derived from a broken down Nissan Sunny 1200 in front of the orphanage which the children use as a getaway vehicle for imaginary adventures, a clubhouse and more.


Another heartfelt volume of “Sunny” as the orphans of Star Kids Home begin to miss their own families and wonder how long they will be stuck at an orphanage.

We have seen rebellious Haruo get into trouble, but this time he sees another person that is slightly older than him but Haruo sees how much trouble he has gotten into.

Another is involving Sei, the orphan who wears glasses, mild-mannered and misses his parents immensely.  And now, he makes his move to leave the orphanage.

Volume 5 also gives us a story around Junsuke, which the cover of vol. 5 depicts the young child with a cold.   Also, a story revolving around Kenji when he meets a rebellious girl named Haruna and he falls for her.

And another intersting story as Makio returns to the orphanage to introduce everyone to his girlfriend Nanako and how everyone reacts to Makio’s return.

If there is one aspect of Japanese culture that many westerners never get to see in manga or anime, it’s life of orphans at a Japanese orphanage.

With Taiyo Matsumoto’s manga “Sunny”, the manga gives readers a chance to read a slice-of-life manga series of various children of different ages living at an orphanage and the challenges they have. May it be in school, with other children and also the feeling of one’s self-worth after being left behind by their family.

What I found very interesting with “Sunny” is that in this volume, we get to see one of the orphans leave the orphanage but will life outside of the orphanage be positive? And we also get to see how orphanage and being left behind by your parents is starting to affect Haruo.

The artwork of Taiyo Matsumoto is always interesting to see. His style is unique and some girls, the way he makes those rosy cheeks look like uneven smudges that change from page to page, but it’s the uniqueness that I have come to appreciate about Matsumoto’s artwork. But of course, it’s his stories that are captivating and while “Sunny” is a slice-of-life manga series, it’s a fresh manga style to have released in the US, something different and unique.

As with the last volume, Viz Media is giving “Sunny” the Viz Signature hardback treatment for each release, thus the series does cost a bit more than a standard manga series.

Overall, “Sunny” is an innocent, real slice-of-life manga series about children at an orphanage and the experiences (happy and sad) that each have to deal with in their young lives. You don’t really find these type of manga in the U.S…. So, for anyone wanting some real, different or unique, then I definitely recommend Taiyo Matsuoto’s “Sunny”.

“Sunny” vol. 5 is recommended!

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