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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 1 by Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

September 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who haven’t watched the anime series will find “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” to be a deep, complex but also action-packed mecha manga series worth reading.

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© 2011 Sotsu-Sunrise. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 1

STORY BY Katsuyuki Sumizawa

ART by Tomofumi Ogasawara

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Comics

RATED: ALL

RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2017


In the year A.C. (After Colony) 195, humankind had flown its nest, the Earth, to search for new hope while living in space colonies. However, the United Earth Sphere Alliance has used its military might under the guise of “justice and peace” to seize control of some colonies, and those colonies have lost their autonomy and have been forced into silence. But the seeds of resistance have not been entirely crushed. “Operation Meteor” is about to take flight…


It was back in 1995 when an anime series titled “Shin Kido Senki Gundam Wing” aired in Japan.  The sixth installment in the “Gundam” franchise, it was a series that took place in the “After Colony” timeline.

A different setting and an alternate universe than the well-known Universal Century (UC), the AC deals with events primarily “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” and its sequel “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz”.

The series is set in After Colony 195 and humans have colonized space and developed space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points.  On Earth, the nations formed the United Earth Sphere Alliance and this alliance has oppressed the colonies with their powerful military.

The colonies want to be free and scientists have developed a plan for revenge against the alliance with “Operation Meteor” and five teenage boys have been chosen and trained by five scientists and then sent to Earth with advanced mobile suits known as “Gundams” made from Gundanium alloy designed by each scientist.

The manga introduces us to these five teenage boys with the protagonist being Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei.

As the United Earth Sphere Alliance are aware of the attacks on Alliance soldiers, the Organization of the Zodiac (OZ) has their ace mobile suit pilot, Zechs Merquise to find the enemy.

We are also introduced to Relena Darlian, daughter of the Alliance’s Vice Foreign Minister.  We learn how she found Heero Yuy, who had washed ashore on the beach neaer the spaceport and she had always wanted to learn more about him, despite him always threatening to kill her.  But for Heero, he is more intent to destroy his Gundam before anyone in OZ can get to it and learn the technology.

As Heero points a gun at Relena, she is saved by Duo Maxwell and as for Heero, he is held captive by the Alliance military.

But before they could get any answers from Heero, Duo breaks Heero out and the two escape.

Meanwhile, OZ is planning to unleash their mobile suit, the Epyon.


With the release of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”, readers who are not familiar with the storyline, may find it a different situation from the UC “Mobile Suit Gundam” storylines, especially if they have only read “Gundam Origin”.

The role has been reversed in the AC universe as Earth’s alliance are the aggressors and the colony who want to be free are the ones with specialized Gundam mecha suits.

The first volume primarily focuses on Heero Yuy, while the other characters are featured are in the manga series but will no doubt be focused on in the next issues.

While I enjoy many Gundam manga adaptations that are derived from anime series, it’s important to note that Katsuyuki Sumizawa remains on-point with what happened in the anime series, while Tomofumi Ogasawara does well of capturing the characters but it seems more emphasis are put in the action sequences and Ogasawara blowing things up.

For those jumping in, with no familiarity with the series, may be confused right off the bat.  Wondering who these characters are and what Operation Meteor is all about.

The characters may confuse people but fortunately the book brings everything back to Heero Yuy and allows for character development with him, his belligerent attitude towards Relena Darlian but also bringing in Duo Maxwell.

But it’ll be interesting how the other manga will be and if they manage to give more character building stories with the other characters and showcase their origin, because the introduction to the manga literally throws everyone in battle and unlike the anime series which is colored, some characters may look similar as the manga is of course, black and white.

But for the most part, for those who haven’t watched the anime series will find “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” to be a deep, complex but also action-packed mecha manga series worth reading.

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She and Her Cat – Story by Makoto Shinkai and Art by Tsubasa Yamaguchi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

September 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I feel that “She and Her Cat” will resonate for many manga readers who own pets.  It’s a simple and enjoyable story that people of all ages can enjoy.  And it’s a manga that I can easily recommend!

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© 2016 Makoto Shinkai/CWF-S&HC EF FILM PARTNERS/Tsubasa Yamaguchi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: She and Her Cat

STORY BY Makoto Shinkai 

ART by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Comics

RATED: ALL

RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017


“It was the start of spring. It was raining. That was the day that she brought me home.”

This is the story of Miyu, a woman who lives alone with her cat, Chobi. As Miyu navigates the world of adulthood, she discovers both the freedom and loneliness that come with living independently, and Chobi learns of the outside world through her actions. Time drifts slowly for Miyu and her cat, but the harsh realities of the world soon catch up…


Just the mere mention of Makoto Shinkai’s name and fans of his work go crazy.

The former Falcom graphic designer, who took the anime industry by storm back in 2001 when he released his anime OVA titled “Voices of a Distant Star”, which he created on his Power Mac G4 and using several software and voice acted by he and his wife Miko and music provided by his friend Tenmon.

The OVA inspired many for the fact it was independent, created on a small budget but looked significantly better than some major anime series by well-known animation studios.

Suffice to say, the person who grew up inspired by Miyazaki films was now given a chance to create more animated films and he would eventually achieve success with “The Place Promised in Our Early Days” (2004), “5 Centimeters Per Second” (2007) and in 2011, he directed, wrote and produced “Children Who Chase Lost Voices (“Hoshi o Ou Kodomo”), “The Garden of Words” (2013) and his most successful and critically acclaimed work, “Your Name” (2016) which became the fourth highest grossing film of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing anime film of all time, surpassing Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 film, “Spirited Away”.

But before Makoto Shinkai created these critically acclaimed works, he would create shorts and in 1999, he created the short “Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko” (She and Her Cat).

The short would receive a four-episode anime adaptation in 2016 as well as a one-shot manga adaptation by Tsubasa Yamaguchi.

And now that manga adaptation has been released in the United States courtesy of Vertical Comics.

The manga series revolves around a cat named Chobi (and viewed through Chobi’s perspective), brought in to the home of his female owner and the cat looks as the owner as kind, caring and beautiful.

While Chobi would find a female cat named Mimi that loves him, Chobi refuses to be with Mimi because he likes his human owner.  And through Chobi’s perspective, we see the emotional moments which his owner goes through.

From having struggles with her job, having troubles in the dating scene, the feelings of loneliness and going through sad emotions and even bouts with depression.

Chobi doesn’t know what is wrong with his human owner but he wants to stand by her and comfort her during her time of need.


Are you a caring pet owner?  And do you know how that feeling that whether your sad, depressed, angry or whatever, that loving pet just wants to be near you, no matter how you feel, during the good times and the bad times.

What if there was a story of your pet and their perspective of you as you go through your emotional up and downs?

This is a slice-of-life storyline presented by Makoto Shinkai of a cat named Chobi who is taken in by his human owner, so caring and cheerful.  But within a year, like every human that goes through ups and downs, Chobi observes that and sees his owner going through the rough work week, depression, the feeling of loneliness and wanting to be loved.

He doesn’t understand her but he knows that he just wants to be by her side to support her.

And if anything, for any caring pet owner, that’s why we love having pets.  That no matter what we are feeling, they are by our side.

And as a pet owner who has had several dogs (not cats) that lived long lives but we treated each with love and affection, I can easily say that each pet I have had, they were like family members.  I’ve taken care of these dogs since they were small and was there to see them through the end of their lives and many times when I have went through tough times, got angry, got sad, got depressed, those dogs were always there for me.

And that’s why I feel that “She and Her Cat” will resonate for many manga readers who own pets.  It’s a simple and enjoyable story that people of all ages can enjoy.  And it’s a manga that I can easily recommend!

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Case Closed! vol. 63 by Gosho Aoyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

caseclosed-54

“Case Closed!” volume 54 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon. If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

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Image courtesy of © 1994 Gosho Aoyama. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Case Closed! Vol. 63

STORY AND ART BY: Gosho Aoyama (青山 剛昌)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on July 11, 2017


At a revolving sushi restaurant, a food critic is poisoned. Who slipped cyanide into the buffet? Something’s fishy about this crime, but Conan is on hand to serve up justice!

Then a man dies at a strange contest for men who share the same last name…and the chief suspect is George’s dad! And Conan joins the hunt for a drag racer called the Silver Witch who literally drives people to their deaths…


Anita Hailey (Ai Habara in the Japanese version) is the creator of APTX 4869, the pill that shrunk Jimmy Kudo and her to a child.  While both she and Jimmy retain their memories despite a new body, the former Black Organization operative is on the run and working with Professor Agasa.

She has developed a new pill that could give her and Jimmy at least four hours of time to have their original body before it shrinks to a child again.

And in this latest volume, Jimmy and Harly Hartwell (Hattori Heiji in the Japanese manga) are trying to solve a murder case involving a street racer.  With three people who last saw the victim, were either of them responsible for murdering the man?

In another case, Professor Agasa takes the Junior Detectives out to a revolving sushi restaurant.  But after they finished eating and were about to leave, a rude, yet famous food critic dies inside the restaurant.  Who is responsible for killing him?

In the third case, Nichiuri TV is having a major contest and George (of the Junior Detective) is telling everyone of how is father is going on television to compete in hopes to win a hanging scroll drawn by Sankyu and worth a lot of money.

In actuality, the contest is a front for a millionaire who owns Kaminski Department Stores and Railroads, who has had his two of his three scrolls stolen and now looking to find the thief responsible and hoping the contest will bring the thief out to the public.  But when Kaminski confronts someone about the stolen scrolls, not long after, the millionaire is found dead.  Who is responsible for the murder?

Read about the thrilling mystery adventures of Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo in a thrilling 63rd volume of “Case Closed!”.

What is “Case Closed!”?

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Conan” (“Case Closed” in the U.S.) has been one of the longest running manga and anime series in Japan.

Written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama and featured in Weekly Shonen Sunday since 1994, a total of 82 volumes have been released in Japan.the anime series which started back in 1996 is well-nearing 870-episodes and 21 movies have been released in Japan.

For those not familiar with “Case Closed”, the TV series focuses on a popular high school detective named Jimmy Kudo (Shinichi Kudo). One day while going to an amusement park with his friend Rachel Moore (Ran Mohri), Jimmy saw two men, one man from the Black Organization suspiciously dealing something in the dark.

Unbeknownst to Jimmy, a man behind him had spotted him and hit him with a bat and forced him to ingest a poison capsule. Jimmy survived but the capsule somehow shrunk him to a child. If these thugs found out that Jimmy is still alive, they may hurt the people around him. So, his good friend Dr. Agasa (who helps Jimmy by building him gadgets which include a stun-gun wrist watch, voice changing bow-tie, solar powered skateboard and powerful shoes) suggested he wear a disguise. When Ran began asking who his name was, Jimmy replied Conan Edogawa.

So, in order to find out who the men are, he wound up living with Ran and her detective father, Richard Moore (Kogoro Mori). Only five people know Conan’s true identity: Dr. Agasa, both of Jimmy’s parents, Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorn (Shiho Miyano), a former member of the Black Organization who betrays the criminal group after the member Gin kills her older sister.

Together with some friends, Jimmy as Conan continues to take down criminals with his detective skills.


He’s the amazing boy detective….Conan Edogawa, the shrunken version of famous teenage detective, Shinichi Kudo.

Wanting to find a way to get back to his original size thanks to the Black Organization, for now, Shinichi must use his superior detective skills to help investigators as Conan Edogawa.

But trying make sure that no one suspects him of being anyone else.

And for nearly 25-years, the adventures of Conan Edogawa in “Cased Closed!” (Meitantei Conan) have entertained readers and viewers in many cases which showcase him utilizing his fantastic investigative skills but doing all he can to make sure that his team or the investigators help solve the case, not to give away his true identity.

For those wanting to enjoy Gosho Aoyama’s popular manga series “Case Closed!”, the good news is that aside from the first volume (which introduces the primary characters), anyone can pick up the series and begin reading at any volume because each graphic novel features an independent storyline.

For the 63rd volume of “Case Closed!”, Conan who has taken a new pill that allows him to be Jimmy for four hours, is on a murder case with Harley.  As the two work together along with detectives to find out who is responsible, Jimmy starts to feel sick and worries that he may revert back to Conan.  Knowing he solve this case immediately before people find out his secret.

Another case revolves around a murder at a revolving sushi restaurant (kaitenzushi) but the junior detectives must find out how the person was murdered and who at the restaurant was responsible.

And third case revolving the death of a millionaire who was hosting a competition for an expensive wall scroll on public TV.  But one of the contestants is George’s father.  Was he involved in the millionaire’s death?

As always, Gosho Aoyama’s work is amazing with his unique character design but it’s the story telling and the thought process that goes into solving each case, is what has made the series a fan favorite for 20-years.

Overall, “Case Closed!” volume 63 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon.

If anything, we are fortunate that Jimmy can revert back to his true form for a short while, to help those around them feel at ease when they wonder why Jimmy is hardly around.  But the pill is not yet perfected and is experimental.  Hartley worries that his body will find a way to fight off the pills effect of changing him to normal but Jimmy worries why the pill is not as effective and the four hour window may have shortened.

If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

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One Punch-Man vol. 12 (Story by ONE and Art by Yusuke Murata) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

How will Saitama do in the second rout of the tournament and how will Genos do against the many monsters making their way towards the tournament? If you love action-driven superhero manga series with a a lot of humor, “One-Punch Man” vol. 12 is recommended!

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


MANGA TITLE: One-Punch Man Vol. 12

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 September 5, 2017


Life gets pretty boring when you beat the snot out of every villain with just one punch.

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on!


As the first round of the martial arts tournament has completed, Saitama (using the guise of “Charanko”) must take on the two-time champ, Bakuzan.  And as Suiryu who also has been taking out competition with one hit/kick, monsters are descending towards the martial arts tournament from all sides.  This leaves Genos to go out and take them on.

All this and more in vol. 12 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 12, the martial arts tournament has completed and the first round is done.  Saitama has moved on to the next round and now he must take on the champ for the last two years, Bakuzan.

And as others are getting ready for their second round of competition, ruthless monsters have descened towards the martial arts tournament area, leaving various superheroes trying their best to defend the location and protect people.

But what happens when Genos and Blizzard are trying to fight against these monsters?  Can they outlast and defeat them?


With the twelfth volume of “One-Punch Man”, it’s martial arts tournament time as the group who survived the first round now must be ready to take on their challengers for the second round.

And so far, people are surprised by the one punch of Saitama (going with the name “Charanko”) and the one on kick Suiryu, what happens when Saitama is pit to go against the champion of the last two years, Bakuzan.

Also, as everyone is watching and being entertained by these one-on-one battles, monsters are descending to the area and the heroes but due all what’s possible to stop them.

And Garos and Blizzard must take on enemies that come their way.  Meanwhile, Garo ends up seeing one of the more popular heroes, Watchdog Man, keeping watch.  Will Garos take him on?

Also, included is a backup manga featuring King who has people watching him at the cafe.

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.

How will Saitama do in the second rout of the tournament and how will Genos do against the many monsters making their way towards the tournament?

If you love action-driven superhero manga series with a a lot of humor, “One-Punch Man” vol. 12 is recommended!

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Naruto Chibi Sasasuke’s Sharingan Legend vol. 1 by Kenji Taira (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Naruto Chibi Sasasuke’s Sharingan Legend” is a gag manga that is not meant to be taken seriously.  If anything, it takes the setting during the Team Taka storyline and add a lot of hilarious situations involving the team and their interactions with Itachi or Naruto and friends.  A fun gag manga volume for the hardcore “Naruto”, especially Sasuke fans.

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Image courtesy of © 2014 by Masashi Kishimoto, Kenji Taira. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Naruto Chibi Sasasuke’s Sharingan Legend vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY Kenji Taira

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Sunday

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017


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!


While Masashi Kishimoto’s “Naruto” series has concluded and the next generation featuring Naruto’s son Boruto and even Sasuke’s daughter Sarada are the ongoing story.

What best to have fun with the previous story than to make a chibi gag story involving Sasuke written and drawn by Kenji Taira.

For those not familiar with “chibi”, these are the super-deformed or smaller versions of the characters.

Set during the time when Sasuke is wanting revenge against his oldest brother Itachi for the slaughter of the Uchiha clan and has formed Team Taka along with often jealous Suigetsu Hozuki, Karin (who is obsessed with Sasuke) and the stoic and very angry Jugo.

This is not a chibi version of a story that many people are familiar with.  In this case, Team Taka goes to search for Adachi but engage in pillow fights, using dog poop to fight back against their enemies, the enjoyment of kotatsu during Christmas time and more.

But what happens when Sasuke finally catches up with his brother Itachi?  Let’s just say it’s not a battle of power, but one can expect a battle of wits… in Whack-a-mole and other shenanigans.

Also, what happens when Naruto, Sakura and Sai come across with Sasuke and Team Taka?

 


For those who are open for fun parodies and are fans of the “Naruto” manga or anime series, will find “Naruto Chibi Sasasuke’s Sharingan Legend” to be their cup of tea.

Personally, with each chapter dealing with many gag situations, I found it best enjoy the manga series in small doses.

While most stories are entertaining and fun, you have some that hilarious and some that tend to drag.  Towards the end you have more of promotional for the Naruto Art Exhibit that was held in Roppongi Hills and also the crew visiting Jump Festa 2015 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Kenji Taira’s cute chibi depictions of all characters including nine-tails will surely entertain all fans.

But if anything, these are self-contained stories to be enjoyed in small doses or one can read the whole manga volume one quickly.

Overall, “Naruto Chibi Sasasuke’s Sharingan Legend” is a gag manga that is not meant to be taken seriously.  If anything, it takes the setting during the Team Taka storyline and add a lot of hilarious situations involving the team and their interactions with Itachi or Naruto and friends.  A fun gag manga volume for the hardcore “Naruto”, especially Sasuke fans.

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Land of the Lustrous vol. 1 by Haruka Ichikawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If anything, I want to see how this series develops overtime as vol. 1 gave us a taste of the jewel people and the daily dangers they must confront each day. But it will be interesting to see where Haruka Ichiwakawa takes the characters in upcoming stories and adventures. Overall, “Land of the Lustrous” is a manga series worth checking out!

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Image courtesy of © 2013 Haruka Ichikawa. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Land of the Lustrous vol. 1

Story and Art by Haruka Ichikawa

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Kodansha Comics

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2017


In a world inhabited by crystalline lifeforms called The Lustrous, every unique gem must fight for their way of life against the threat of lunarians who would turn them into decorations. Phosphophyllite, the most fragile and brittle of gems, longs to join the battle. When Phos is instead assigned to complete a natural history of their world, it sounds like a dull and pointless task. But this new job brings Phos into contact with Cinnabar, a gem forced to live in isolation. Can Phos’s seemingly mundane assignment lead both Phos and Cinnabar to the fulfillment they desire?


In 2012, Haruko Ichikawa created her manga series “Houseki no Kuni” (which translates to “Country of Jewels”) and was published by Kodansha for “Monthly Afteroon” Magazine.

With a total of five graphic novel volumes published, the first volume will be released by Kodansha USA under the title “Land of the Lustrous”.

Set in a world where there are people made of jewels (of various different grades of jewels), some who are tough as diamond, some who are not as durable but have great fighting power, protecting their land from the Lunarians, who want to take the jewels and make them into decorations.

The main character is Phos (Phosphophylite) who is a female jewel that is trying to find her path in life.

She wants to find true meaning and each time she encounters the other jewels, they find her to be annoying and clumsy.

Unfortunately for Phos, who wants to fight, she is grade 3.5 and she is the most fragile of all jewels.  So, she is given a job, to complete a natural history of their world.

While she finds the new job dull, she is told to talk to Cinnabar, a jewel who only fights during the nighttime and when Phos goes out to meet her, we learn that Cinnabar is quite bored with her life because she can only fight during the night and there are no Lunarian attacks at night.

But as Phos tries to explore for her studies on natural history, she talks with her fellow Lustrous and learns that they are also trying to find meaning in their lives.

But what happens when a huge slug comes out of nowhere?


Haruka Ichikawa’s manga “Land of the Lustrous” is an interesting concept.  Taking the various types of jewels and making them people, but yet people with abilities and are defending themselves against the Lunarians who want to break them and take their jewels to make jewelry.

The story is somewhat banal that you have one clumsy and bumbling character that tends to annoy everyone (as they think the main character, Phos is useless) but yet somehow, her kind heart opens them up and challenges them to think about their path in life.

The manga series will probably show us how Phos will become stronger, despite being a fragile jewel but I would like to see how Haruka Ichikawa takes this story and make it different from similar storylines.

For the most part, the first volume is no doubt introductory to the various characters in the manga series and it does have issues where certain characters look too close to each other that you get confused who is who.

But the manga series does pickup as we start to see the various jewel people, some who are durable, some who are warriors and some who are not fighters.

The character designs are good and things are looking up for Haruka Ichikawa’s series as it is set for an anime adaptation for debut in October 2017.  If anything, I want to see how this series develops overtime as vol. 1 gave us a taste of the jewel people and the daily dangers they must confront each day.

But it will be interesting to see where Haruka Ichiwakawa takes the characters in upcoming stories and adventures.

Overall, “Land of the Lustrous” is a manga series worth checking out!

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Boruto – Naruto Next Generations – vol. 2 – Story by Ukyo Kodachi and Art by Mikio Ikemoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you enjoyed “Naruto”, you’ll find “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations -” to be entertaining and a lot of fun to read! The Chunin Exam has begun and Boruto must prepare for the one-on-one battles, but will he resort to using the forbidden chakra device and cheat during the exam?

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Image courtesy of © 2016 Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Boruto – Naruto Next Generations – vol. 2

Creator/Supervisor: Masashi Kishimoto

Story by Ukyo Kodachi and Art by Mikio Ikemoto

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shueisha Inc., Tokyo

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017


Boruto gets through round two of the Chunin Exam and receives praise from his father. But what Naruto doesn’t know is that his son is cheating by using prohibited ninja tools. What will happen to Boruto when the truth is revealed? Meanwhile, darker forces are advancing behind the scenes.


As the groups get ready for their Chunin Exam to see who will become a ninja, round three will be in front of a public audience.

Will Boruto uses the bracelet to cheat and best his opponent?

What is “Boruto” all about?

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In 2014, Kishimoto wrapped up the “Naruto” manga and in the final chapter (featured in volume 72), Naruto would eventually become the Hokage of the Leaf Village and he and his wife Hinata would have two children, Boruto and Himawari.

Meanwhile, Sasuke and Sakura would have a daughter named Sarada, Shikamaru Nara and Temari would have a son named Shikadai, Sai and Ino would have a son named Inojin and Choji Akimichi and Karui would have a daughter named Chocho.

Everyone has grown up and Naruto is busy as the new Hokage at the village, this causes resentment from Naruto’s son Boruto who feels that his father was never there for him or the family.

This leads us to the new manga series “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations” which is created and supervised by Masashi Kishimoto but is now written by Ukyo Kodachi and artwork is by Mikio Ikemoto.

The manga begins with Boruto telling his story and him and his team partners, Sarada and Mitsuki being trained by Master Konohamaru. A lot has changed in terms of ninja skills and technology.

Now, a jutsu can be contained in a mini-seal and put into a bracelet which gives anyone, ninja or not, the power to use a jutsu. No chakra is even needed to use the new technology.

With the next Chunin exams coming up, Sarada and Mitsuki want to take the exam but Boruto, he has no desire. He doesn’t want to be like his father and that means not wanting to be Hokage. But for Sarada, she wants to be Hokage and tries to get Boruto to take part in the Chunin exam to let his father know he could do it.

Meanwhile, Sasuke Uchiha returns to the village and Boruto, not wanting to be anything like his father, goes to Sasuke to take him in as a pupil. But Sasuke will only agree if Boruto can learn the Sharingan jutsu.

We also get to learn about Mitsuki and find out who his parent(s) may be.

In vol. 2, as the groups get ready for their Chunin Exam to see who will become a ninja, round three will be in front of a public audience. During a battle Boruto uses the bracelet to best his opponent, but for Naruto, he is disappointed that his son resorted to such a tactic and disqualifies his son from the Chunin exam and also taking away his ninja bandana as punishment.

But just when Naruto is discussing this with his son, a new evil has shown up to the Leaf Village and kidnaps Naruto.


Reading “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations”, I can’t help but be entertained by the fact that the series focuses on the children of the characters that many of us grew up reading/watching for 15 years.

“Naruto” having lasted so long was a big part of the lives of manga/anime fans of the series that we watched “Naruto” grow from a child, to a teenager and a young adult. Seeing how his heart and his passion would inspire so many but also seeing him determined to defeat those who threatened the village or his friends.

With Naruto, he is a student that felt he had to prove himself through hardwork and determination.

So, it’s fascinating to see how Boruto is much different than his father. Naruto, who had always said he would become Hokage is now the new Hokage of the Leaf Village but this new role means being busy with work and unfortunately, that means no time spent with the family.

Hinata is literally taking care of both children and you can see how Boruto is upset at his father for neglecting them, but he harbors a bit of anger for his father not being there for him.

What’s even more interesting is that Boruto is not too aware of his father’s past and how he grew up, so he is not aware of the challenges or difficulties his father grew up with.

And because of his feelings towards his father, he asks his dad’s rival, Sasuke Uchiha to become his master.

The second volume  features the start of the one-on-one battles of the Chunin exam and Boruto tries to prove to his father that he has what it takes to become a ninja.  But with a battle against Nara Shikadai, what happens when Boruto uses a device and literally cheat during the Chunin Exam?  Suffice to say, his father Naruto is not pleased.

But as father admonishes his son, someone attacks the arena where the Chunin Exam is taking place and Naruto is kidnapped by those responsible.

This is a new beginning, a new chapter and not sure if this will last for another 15 years but this is a tremendous task and also honor that “Naruto” creator Masashi Kishimoto had bestowed upon writer Ukyo Kodachi and artist Mikio Ikemoto.

The story and artwork is well-done and for the most part, I just enjoy reading this latest volume because this storyline is literally a passing of the torch to a new generation of characters in the Leaf Village.

And having read and enjoyed the “Naruto” manga (I enjoyed the anime series but the plethora of filler episodes made things drag out way too long for me), it’s great to read a story focused on the 7th Hokage’s son.

If you enjoyed “Naruto”, you’ll find “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations -” to be entertaining and a lot of fun to read!

Will father and son ever get along?  Find out in the second volume of “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations -“!

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Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt vol. 4 – Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Prepare for a new threat to both Federation and also Zeon…the Nanyang Alliance in vol. 4 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”.

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© 2012 by Yasuo Ohtagaki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 4

STORY AND ART BY: Yasuo Ohtagaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Signature

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2017


The fleets of the Earth Federation’s Moore Brotherhood and the Republic of Zeon have shattered each other in a bloody battle for the Thunderbolt Sector. Mirroring the greater struggle, the ferocious duel between Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz leaves both the Full Armor Gundam and the Psycho Zaku heavily damaged and Io a prisoner of war. The Zeon space habitat A Baoa Qu now becomes the final battleground of the One Year War.


Both the Federation and the Principality of Zeon had suffered significant losses but both Io Fleming and Zeon Sniper Daryl Lorenz survived, despite their mecha suffering significant damage.

As Federation backups arrive, many Zeon are able to escape and land somewhere on Earth, but the Federation was able to secure Zaku technology during a raid.

Meanwhile, another group known as the Nanyang Alliance, a faction of the Federation who are able to capture and secure a scientist who worked with Doctor Mitchum and has details on the P. Device, the core of next-gen MS Piloting Systems.

Fastforward a year later, as the Federation and Zeon sign an armistice, but what are both sides planning during this time of peace?  And is a new battle brewing?

What is “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” about?

Back in 2012, mangaka Yasuo Ohtagaki wrote and illustrated the manga “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”.

With eight volumes published, the series would receive a 4-episode ONA anime adaptation and a second season is slated for adaptation.

The manga is set during the One Year War (U.C. 0079) and the Earth Federation’s Brotherhood and the Principality of Zeon’s Living Dead Division are in battle in the Thunderbolt Section, a zone that is littered with debris from the destruction of space colonies and because the area has numerous electrical discharging.

Fighting for the Earth Federation is Ace pilot, Io Fleming and for the Principality of Zeon, Zeon’s best sniper, Daryl Lorenz is focused on killing Fleming.

As Io won the first meeting between the two, this time around, both the Federation and Zeon plan to escalate the battle as the Federation plans to send the Gundam in one more time to finish the job, but leading the Gundam are young recruits. Meanwhile, Zeon follows Daryl Lorenz piloting the new Psycho Zaku.

And with a sneak attack, they are able to decimate the Federation. With only a few survivors of the Federation, what happens when Earth Federation’s Moore Brotherhood enters a Zeon ship?

Also, the Federation’s Io Fleming and his Gundam takes on Zeon’s Daryl Lorenz and his new Psycho Zaku for control of the Thunderbolt Sector and significant losses are taken in by both sides, until Federation forces come to back the decimated group, thus capturing Zaku technology, while Lorenz and other remnants manage to hide on Earth.

But a new faction has showed up and manages to secure technology that can prove to be dangerous against the Federation and Zeon.  How will both sides deal with this issue?

And a year later, what is on the mind of Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz?  Will these two meet in battle once again?


When it comes to the Universal Century Gundam stories, they are my favorite. And while many of us have been entertained by stories involving Amuro Ray, there have been a variety of stories that have taken place in the Universal Century, some more deeper than the others and others just focusing on the action.

“Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” may seem like the latter because of the action focusing on Earth Federation vs. the Principality of Zeon but once the manga goes into character development, the storyline focuses on how people are growing tired of the war. People sick of seeing deaths of friends and loved ones.

Io Fleming is a man born from a wealthy family and he and his friends are thrusted into war. Fleming is secretly dating Captain Claudia Peer, a captain who is sick and tired of war and that the Earth Federation keeps sending teenage pilots as reinforcements and always depressed and tense when Fleming, the Beehive’s best pilot goes to fight against the Principality of Zeon. Along with Fleming and another childhood friend, engineer Cornelius Kaka, all three were born in privilege and are now assigned to the Beehive.

Fleming is an excellent pilot and surprises the Principality of Zeon when he shows up and takes many of them out with his Gundam and always playing his jazz music through a pilot radio station.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end are the Living Dead Division of the Principality of Zeon. A group that is put together of people who have been significantly injured or maimed and are still fighting with prosthetics.

Their best fighter, Zeon Chief Petty Officer Daryl Lorenz, is an excellent sniper and wants revenge against Fleming for killing his teammates. He has lost his legs in battle and carries a retro-style radio that he listens to in battle.

We see the other side as those who feel they are wronged and want revenge against the Earth Federation for the death of their loved ones.

Zeon scientist Karla Mitchum is responsible for giving the soldiers prosthetics but when her loved one is killed, she wants Daryl to rid of the Earth Federation, especially the man responsible, Io Fleming.

But we see how the grass is definitely not greener on the other side and how difficult life was for children growing up in the Principality of Zeon and in order to make sure their families were taken care of, they had to join the military at a young age.

The fourth volume focuses on the post-war as both Federation and Zeon are at a time of peace but a new threat arrives when a faction of the Federation manages to capture a Zeon scientist who has data on the technology of the creation of the Psycho Zaku.

Meanwhile, Io Fleming gets a new Gundam and Daryl Lorenz and his Psycho Zaku also gets an upgrade.

The character designs, artwork and storyline by Yasuo Ohtagaki are wonderful and I really like how the emotion of the characters are depicted. The story has been action-driven, detail of the artwork has been excellent and for mecha fans, “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” vol. 4 gives readers a balance of war but also peace.

Prepare for a new threat to both Federation and also Zeon…the Nanyang Alliance.

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Terra Formars Vol. 18 (Story by Yu Sasuga, Art by Ken-Ichi Tachibana) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Terraformars” is an exciting, violent but addictive series that I am always looking forward to! But I admit that I was a little disappointed about this new direction that writer Yu Sasuga has taken the series  and characters for vol. 18 and not giving a storyline to wrap up the Mars expedition. The abrupt change was not what I was expecting, so for the most part, we have a new storyline and for anyone wanting to jump in, can do so with this volume.

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Image courtesy of © 2011 by Ken-Ichi Tachibana, Yu Sasuga/SHUEISHA Inc. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Terra Formars Vol. 18

STORY BY: Yu Sasuga

ART BY: Ken-Ichi Tachibana

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on July 18, 2017


A year has passed since the survivors of the Annex mission to Mars returned to Earth. But the war with the Terraformars is far from over! The struggle continues in secret, deep beneath the streets of Tokyo. Akari, now working for a private security firm, looks for dangerous new ways to seek out and destroy the Terraformars before the world is overwhelmed by the alien cockroaches from Mars!


The story has immediately shift later in the future as the crew of the Annex Mission have returned to Earth and many have gone on with their lives but to find out that Terraformars are now on the planet, killing humans but secretly living in spaces…multiplying at a rapid rate and now have an army.

But while there have been many deaths, the question is what are these Terraformars up to and will their army strike?

All this and more in vol. 18 of “Terra Formars”!

What is “Terra Formars”?

In 2011, writer Yu Sasuga and artist Kenichi Tachibana would create “Terra Formars”, a manga series that would become a major hit in Japan.

First serialized in Shueisha’s “Weekly Young Jump” and an OVA and anime series slated later this year, “Terra Formars” was ranked #1 in the 2013 “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey.

With nine tankobon volumes published in Japan, “Terra Formars” vol. 1 will be released in the United States in July 2014 courtesy of Viz Media (on the Viz Signature imprint).

With Earth looking to colonize Mars which is undergoing its final stages of Terraforming and now becoming a green planet, a group of 15 men and women have been sent to Mars to check on the Terraformation of the planet.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the planet is falling into ruin due to environmental destruction and energy shortages, so Mars has been the focus by scientists.

Scientists have used moss and a black organism to darken the surface of the planet and causing it to absorb more sunlight, increase temperatures and melting the carbon dioxide.

The black organism used by scientists were cockroaches.

As the 15 men and women of BUGS 2 arrive on the planet on their mission to evaluate the planet but also to find out what happened to the first crew (BUGS 1) that landed on the planet.

The team discover that the Terraforming has succeeded but to their shock, the cockroaches have mutated with human bodies.

As the Japanese members, Shokichi Komachi and his childhood friend Nanao Akita try to make contact with one of the beings, the humanoid cockroach snaps Nanao’s neck.

And now the humans have become the hunted.

Because the cockroaches exhibit all abilities of a cockroach, it was learned that scientists embedded human DNA in them and their mutation has made them beings that would not just survive in Mars but also exhibiting human characteristics and a hatred towards humanity (as humanity has had a hatred towards cockroaches).

But humanity also has found a way for humans to counteract the cockroaches by using injections of insects on humans that will briefly give them insect powers. But is it enough for the humans to survive in Mars as they are now considered the pests for the planet in which the humanoid cockroaches are the primary species?

In volume 18, Akari Hizamaru and others are working for Ichi Security Co., Ltd.  Their primary duty, to eradicate the Terraformars on Earth.  The technology is able to read bit frames from the brains of the Terraformars who were killed but it is grave importance to find their hideout.

When Akari visits a sewer area in Sumida Ward, what will he discover?


I have to admit that I was shocked and surprised by the fastforwarding of the storyline to Earth.  Having followed the series and seeing everyone trying to survive the onslaught on Mars, immediately the story is fastforwarded to the Annex crew having already escaped from Mars and successfully making it to back to Earth.

It does leave me feeling a bit disappointed because Yu Sasuga did not choose to finish the Mars storyline and decides to immediately skip the storyline during a time which many readers have invested money and time reading to crew having reached Earth.

There are short tidbits of what happened to a few of the crew who have made it back but I felt this took the continuity out of whack and in essence, you get a new storyline, a few returning characters, some new characters and a setting on Earth and with the same enemy.

The storyline focuses on Akari Shimizu who is now working for Ichi Security Co., Ltd. and his job along with his partners are to eradicate the Terraformars on Earth.

The company pinpoints an image taken from a brain scan of one of the diseased Terraformars leading to the sewers in Sumida and thinking that homeless humans are being killed and slaughtered by the Terraformars, he is shocked to discover that it’s the other way around.

Akari sees an old acquaintance named Saito who has been killing Terraformars (which he calls Subterraneans) and they are selling parts of these Terraformars for a price.  But as Akari offers his old friend money because the government would need these bodies, Saito is not so welcoming and a fight ensues between the two.

Meanwhile, we start to learn more about the plans of the Terraformars and what their goal of the army is.  How high their intelligence is and their abilities to graft parts to wild animals such as bears.

And we are introduced to new characters who will be the primary focus of this new arc as humans vs. Terraformars continue but this time…on Earth.

The artwork by Ken-Ichi Tachibana is magnificent. Characters are well-detailed, artwork is just pleasing and the action is well-featured. And of course, the writing and research done by Yu Sasuga has really made “Terraformars” a fascinating and captivating series.

Overall, “Terraformars” is an exciting, violent but addictive series that I am always looking forward to! But I admit that I was a little disappointed about this new direction that writer Yu Sasuga has taken the series  and characters for vol. 18 and not giving a storyline to wrap up the Mars expedition. The abrupt change was not what I was expecting, so for the most part, we have a new storyline and for anyone wanting to jump in, can do so with this volume.

What are the true plans of the Terraformars on Earth?  And can the humans stop them?  Find out what happens in Vol. 18 of “Terra Formars”!

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Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 22 by Naoshi Komi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Will Raku accept Marika? And what happens as Raku and friends try to prevent the forced marriage of Marika. All this and more in this entertaining 22nd volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Recommended!

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© 2011 Naoshi Komi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 22

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: July 4, 2017


Marika has been too sick to come to school lately, but on Valentine’s Day she shows up to gift Raku with chocolate and once again declare her love! She presses Raku to reciprocate, but before he can respond, she is whisked away to her family’s home in Kyushu because of her failing health. But Raku and the gang won’t let her disappear from their lives without a fight!


Marika’s mother is forcing her to get married and with Raku and friends trying to protect and save their friend from getting into a forced marriage, her mother wants to make the wedding happen immediately.

Will Raku and friends be able to get to Marika in time?

All this and more in Naoshi Komi’s hit manga series, “Nisekoi: False Love” vol. 22!

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?

For volume 22, Marika’s wedding is to take place.  Forcing her daughter to wed a man she doesn’t love and wanting to have the marriage take place much earlier than planned, Raku, Chitoge and friends try to get to her and prevent the wedding from happening.


With volume 22 of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”, the manga is now heading towards its final volumes.

As we have read many volumes and seeing women who have fallen for Raku, I think we are now starting to see the storylines start to narrow down which girl Raku would end up with.

With this storyline, this volume completes Marika’s storyline and what a fascinating way to properly do a sendoff for the character.

As Marika is arranged to wed another man and forced by her mother to follow her strict rules, Raku and the others know she doesn’t like the forced marriage but also know that when it comes to her mother, Marika is not a person to go against her mother.  With the wedding security on heightened alert and are prepared for Raku and friends to interfere, will Raku and friends get to her in time?

But what happens when Raku and Marika finally get to talk.  Will he accept her or reject her?

22 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!  But now that we are nearing the finish line, we have seen how Raku starts to pair things down with the ladies who fallen for him.

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!

Will Raku accept Marika? And what happens as Raku and friends try to prevent the forced marriage of Marika. All this and more in this entertaining 22nd volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Recommended!

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