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Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign Vol. 13 (Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Another action-packed thirteenth volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” as vampires from another region have come to confront Ferid but also Krul Tepes.  Meanwhile, what secret is lurking within Yoichi?  All this and more!

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


MANGA TITLE: Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign Vol. 13

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: November 7, 2017


Ferid has successfully coerced Shinoa Squad and Mika into joining him and Crowley on a field trip to Osaka. According to Ferid, the purpose of the trip is to see the truth behind the calamity that ended the word—ground zero of the apocalypse. But not all is as it seems, as vampire nobles from across the world are also converging on Osaka!


Ferid Bathroy and Crowley Eusford have coerced Shinoa Squad to come with them to Osaka.  As they go on a bathroom break, the group discusses their options and whether they have a chance to mount attack or go on with Ferid and Crowley’s plans.

Meanwhile, vampire queen Krul Tepes has been captured and hung up to try by Ferid and has not eaten and can turn into a demon, but what happens when someone from her past comes to visit her?

All this and more in the thirteenth 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, Yuichiro wants to save Guren, as he feels that his humanity is still in tact. Meanwhile, Ferid Bathory and Crowley Eusford are up to something.

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

In volume 13, Ferid is up to something in Osaka and Yuichiro and friends are not sure what they should do.

Meanwhile, Lord Karr and 2nd Progenitor Urd Geales arrive to Japan, but what are their plans?  And more of Yoichi’s past is revealed and finds out that his sister’s killer is back.


As Yuichiro and friends are pretty much having to accompany Ferid and Crowley to Osaka, why does Ferid want them to come along?

Meanwhile, the captured Krul Tepes may turn into a demon if she doesn’t eat.  Why did Ferid capture her and leave her hanging to dry?  Meanwhile, Lord Karr and 2nd Progenitor Urd Geales arrives to see Krul but also to meet up with Ferid.

And what happens when Yuichiro sees his sister’s killer?  And what secrets does Yuichiro keep from his friends?

Featuring more characters and a storyline that gets even darker, an action-packed volume, the latest thirteenth volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” is fantastic.

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 thirteenth volume of “Seraph of the End – Vampire Reign” as vampires from another region have come to confront Ferid but also Krul Tepes.  Meanwhile, what secret is lurking within Yoichi?  All this and more!

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Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano vol. 3 – Story by KOHSKE, Art by Syuhei Kamo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are reading KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.”, then “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano” vol. 3 is a no-brainer. Violent, action-packed and an origin story worth reading!

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Image courtesy of © GANGSTA. Kohske 2015. Syuhei Kamo 2015. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano Vol. 2

STORY BY: KOHSKE

ART BY: Syuhei Kamo

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shinchosha Publishing Co.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Viz Signature

RATED: M for Mature

Available on October 10, 2017


After making the fateful decision to defy his fellow Hunters and save a young girl’s life, Spas finds himself caught between the worlds of the Normals and the Twilights. Branded a traitor by the Hunters, yet still considered an enemy by all the other factions, he’s on the run and desperately trying to find his way through the carnage and chaos that surround him.

In this spin-off series from the hit manga Gangsta, Gangsta Cursed, tells the backstory of Marco Adriano.


In the city of Ergastulum, the area is full of thieves, whores and murderers. And as for the police, they are corrupted and chaos is king.

This is the setting for the manga series known as “Gangsta.”, written and illustrated by female mangaka KOHSKE. And while KOHSKE is currently working on “Gangsta.”, the mangaka has given artist and assistant Syuhei Kamo a chance to work on a manga and that is to tell an origin story of Marco Adriano and his affiliation with the Hunters who hunt and murder Twilights.

But how did Marco Adriano (then known as “Spas”) become a high-ranking member of the Cristiano Family?  Why is he so powerful?  How did he get his scar?

So, many questions, but with vol. 3 of “Gangsta: Cursed.Ep_Marco Adriano”, we learn how Adriano decided to leave the Hunters.

What is “Gangsta.”?

“Gangsta.” begins with a prostitute being assaulted outside a building. Meanwhile, inside a building are two owners of the business known as “Handymen”, Nic and Worick, two men paid to take on assassination or difficult jobs that police or big business can’t handle.

As Nic and Worick are completing a job with the elder businesswoman inside the building, they see the beaten prostitute going inside the building.

The Handymen are then called for business with the police department and are sent to go after a gang leader named Barry Abbot (the man seen beating on the prostitute in the opening pages). Both Nick and Worick are hired by the inspector to eliminate him and his gang (including his prostitutes) as they are doing business in the restricted zone. They work out a deal that they can take whatever they can in return for killing them.

As Nic and Worick go after the gang and eliminated everyone including the gang leader known as Barry. They run into the prostitute and give her the opportunity to escape. But instead, the prostitute named Alex comes back and instead of killing her, they decide to take her (as in agreement with the inspector) and make her as part of the Handymen as one of their employees.

Meanwhile, as Alex continues to work for the Handymen, she tries to figure both Nic and Worick out. Is Nic an ex-mercenary, does he talk at all? Why does Worick wear an eyepatch?

One day, Alex sees a newspaper article about a massacre of the Arcangelo family 20-years-ago, all were killed except a 13-year-old boy who was 13 at the time. And the perpetrator, said to be a boy hired as a mercenary by the family. And Alex begins to wonder, can the two boys be Worick and Nic? Is Worick the missing boy that was never found?


With the release of “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, the past of Marco Adriano is fully explored.

Reminiscent of Frank Miller’s “Sin City”, where the world has gone corrupt and in the city of Ergastulum, a city overrun by thugs, gangs, mafia, whores and murderers, the police are just as bad and to make matters worse, Twilights, those with special powers are being massacred by a group known as the Destroyers.

Long ago, a massacre took place in Ergastalum and with “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, this series along with the current “Gangsta” manga series from KOHSKE helps build the storyline surrounding Marco Adriano and other families including characters but also how deadly his former teammates of the Hunters are.

With “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, this is a big reveal that Marco Adriano was once part of the Hunters and was involved with the massacre of Twilights, but the question is how he broke away from that group and who sent the Destroyers to massacre Twilights and how that massacre ended? But also, how did Marco and Worrick become partners?

These are all questions that “Gangsta: Cursed” will probably answer, as “Gangsta.” has a complex storyline that needs a lot of questions to be answered. And those answers are rooted in the past and so I like how this latest manga explores Marco Adriano and also other characters and their position way back then.

It’s important to note that this takes places when Marco and Connie were younger and before they were teenagers. How Marco was already a killing machine and how hostile Ergastalum was at the time and that same bloody situation in the past, has come to haunt everyone once again in the present (as featured in “Gangsta.” vol. 7).

With volume 3 of “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano”, Adriano (then known as Spas) has given members of the Cristiano Family a tip to rescue one of their own.  They are shocked that a Destroyer warned them and for Adriano, he starts to see the truth of his former teammates.

And as for the Destroyers, we get to see them in action, taking on the best of these gangster families and how cold and calculating they are, not caring who they kill, young or old, parents, babies, etc.

This is no doubt an action-packed, violence-ladened manga volume but the series goes to great length to show us how evil and f’d up the Hunters really are.

KOHSKE’s storyline and Syuhei Kamo’s artwork is well-done and Kamo compliments KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.” artwork, so there is no major change of how characters look, aside that they are much younger in this graphic novel.

Overall, if you are reading KOHSKE’s “Gangsta.”, then “Gangsta: Cursed. Ep_Marco Adriano” vol. 3 is a no-brainer. Violent, action-packed and an origin story worth reading!

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Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt vol. 5 – Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Prepare for a new threat to both Federation and also Zeon…the Nanyang Alliance and also the debut of Io Fleming’s new Gundam, the Atlas Gundam in vol. 5 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”.

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© 2012 by Yasuo Ohtagaki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 5

STORY AND ART BY: Yasuo Ohtagaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Signature

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2017


On Earth, political turmoil has led the Nanyang Alliance to challenge Federation control. Now in possession of Zeon’s priceless Reuse P Device technology, the Alliance moves forward with its plans. If they can develop the stolen tech, it could make them invincible. Both Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz begin new operations against the Alliance on dangerous missions that are sure to bring them face-to-face once again…


Over a year later, after the Federation and Zeon signed an armistice, the Nanyang Alliance is challenging the peace, considering they have stolen Zeon’s Reuse P Device technology and are now utilizing the technology to become the new invincible force.

As Daryl Lorenz team confront the Nanyang Alliance and engage in a fierce firefight, the Principality of Zeon has a group wanting to secretly work on a suicide mission to destroy what appears to be a newly built Pegasus-Class Federation Battleship.

But the Federation has a secret that will now be unveiled…a new Gundam known as the Atlas Gundam piloted by Io Fleming.

Also, include is the “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Side Story – Sean: The Desert Rat” featuring a story about black market merchants scrounging for salvage of wrecked mobile suits and weapons in the desert.  The Desert Rats and Zaku Pilot Rusty find an MS unit but also vying to salvage is the Desert Hawk Brigade.

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.

The first few volumes focused on Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz, two outstanding pilots on opposite sides.

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.

The fifth volume takes place after the One Year War with an armistice between both the Federation and Zeon and now a new threat, the Nanyang Alliance who have stole Zeon technology that could literally make them invincible.

As, Daryl Lorenz and his Psycho Zaku receive a major upgrade, so has Io Fleming with his Atlas Gundam.

And this issue, we get to see both Io and Daryl in action once again!  So, there is no doubt we may see these two face off each other but for now, there are other pressing matters primarily the threat of the Nanyang Alliance but also rogue Zeon who do not intend to follow the armistice.

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. 5 show the growing threat of the Nanyang Alliance but also showcasing Io Fleming’s new Gundam, the Atlas Gundam.

Vol. 5 also features a lengthy side story titled “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Side Story – Sean: The Desert Rat” about black market desert merchant salvagers and if you thought things were dangerous in space, things are just as deadly in the desert.

Overall, a fantastic volume of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”!

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Imperfect Girl vol. 1 – Story by NISIOISIN and Art by Mitsuru Hattori (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m not sure where this story is going.  If a young girl with a knife will literally have this adult as her hostage that she can toy with and torture, it’s unusual and quite dark.  And while this is only the first issue, I am interested in seeing where this manga goes for issue #2. So, if you are in the mood for something dark and twisted, definitely give “Imperfect Girl” a try!

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© 2016 NISIOISIN/Misuru Hattori. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Imperfect Girl vol. 1

STORY BY: NISIOISIN

ART BY Mitsuru Hattori

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha, Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: 16+

RELEASE DATE: October 24, 2017


“Looking back on it now, I realize that incident is what turned me into the novelist I am today.” An author is someone who creates tales, but an aspiring author is someone who lies, and nothing more.

This incident happened 10 years ago, when I was in college, and merely an aspiring author. If those events never took place I wouldn’t have become much of anything at all, which is why I think I need to thank her, thank that girl…


Nisioisin is a well-known manga writer and novelist.  Best known for his “Monogatari” novels, he already has created many series such as “Zaregoto”, “Ningen”, “Sekai”, “Densetsu”, “Boukyaku Tantei” to name a few.

In 2016, Nisioisin collaborated with Mitsuru Hattori (best known for “Concerto”) for “Imperfect Girl” which was featured in “Weekly Young Magazine”.

The series revolves around an author hoping for a big break, but for each manuscript he has sent, he has not received one reply.

One day, while riding on his bike to get home, he sees two girls walking and one is hit by a truck and is killed.  The other he sees saving her video game and rushing to her friend and then rode on.

The following day, while riding on his bike, the author gets into an accident as a recorder is stuck inside his back wheel and was able to survive thanks to his judo classes.

While the author gets home to check things on his computer, he feels a stabbing pain on his calf.  When he goes to check, he sees the girl (that survived the crash) under his desk and sees her stabbing his calf with a blade.

She explains to him that her name is “U” and because she saw her, she is taking him.  With the blade to his back and repeated punctures, she forces him to her home and has him go into the closet and locks him in there.  As he ponders to get help, he realizes he would be a laughing stock if he told people that a young-girl has kidnapped him.

As the author tries to think of what “U” is trying to accomplish, he overthinks things, about her intention, about his life and by the time he wakes up, he realizes that he hasn’t eaten.

He is thinking it’s probably a game and her parents would come back home and he would be released…but why isn’t her parents home yet?  Why is he being locked in a closet?  What will happen if she leaves him locked up?


As a reader and viewer of NISIOISIN’s “Mongatari” series, there is always something fascinating about his style of work and the characters.

So, I was looking forward to reading his three volume series “Imperfect Girl” and checking out the first issue.  And I found the storyline to be surprisingly wicked.

A story about an author who has limited thinking and hasn’t had a successful novel, sees a girl get killed and her friend checking on her.

But instead of stopping, the author just keeps riding his bike and more or less is an observer that tries to use what he observes to incorporate to a future novel.

But the following day, he gets home and the girl he saw earlier is stabbing his calf with a blade.  And now she has him by knifepoint and forces him to her home and she locks him up in his closet.

I found the whole story interesting and what if it was all in his head, what if he’s too stupid to do anything…break the closet down or whatever.  Why does he just stay in the closet and not fight it?  What is wrong with this guy? But as you read on, you start to realize, this little girl that has more or less kidnapped him, is wicked and unafraid and quite deadly.

There is one action that you see at the end that is something that you can’t conceive but it happens and then you wonder, this young meek guy is probably going to die.  He has no instincts, he is constantly questioning her intentions and his life that this can’t be happening.  It has to be a dream!  Or is it?

As for the story and artwork, the collaboration between NISIOISIN and Mitsuru Hattori is solid.  Some of those experimental art that you often see in NISIOISIN’s work, you tend to see experimentation with artwork and in the pages, while dark in a horror-like way, you also get a few experimental art that really looks cool.

Overall, I’m not sure where this story is going.  If a young girl with a knife will literally have this adult as her hostage that she can toy with and torture, it’s unusual and quite dark.  And while this is only the first issue, I am interested in seeing where this manga goes for issue #2. So, if you are in the mood for something dark and twisted, definitely give “Imperfect Girl” a try!

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Bleach Vol. 71 – Story & Art by Tite Kubo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Bleach” vol. 71 is an action-packed volume and is more geared to the dedicated readers of “Bleach” who have followed the series for the longest time.  Storylines that will no doubt entertain loyal followers who stuck around with the manga series to find out how the Soul Reapers vs. Sternritter war will eventually end.  While featuring two battles, it’s no doubt an exciting action-packed volume worth reading!

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© 2001 Tite Kubo. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Bleach Vol. 69

STORY AND ART BY: Tite Kubo (久保 宣章)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2017


As the war between the Soul Reapers and Quincies heads for a climactic conclusion, Mayuri finds himself up against the weirdest enemy yet. Can his daughter Nemu step in and finish a foe that refuses to die?


In this latest volume, the battle between Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Pernida Parnkgjas continues.

Meanwhile, Captain Shunsui Kyoraku takes on Lille Barro.

Find out what happens in Tite Kubo’s action-packed volume 71 of “Bleach”!

What is “Bleach?”

For those who are not so familiar with “Bleach”, “Bleach” has a strong fan following and since its run began back in 2001, series creator, writer and illustrator Noriaki “Tite” Kubo has been hard at work, continuing to crank chapter after chapter for Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and with the success of the series extending out to films, OVA’s, feature films and video games and other merchandise.

Because of its airing on the Cartoon Network and it being featured on Shonen Jump magazine, “Bleach” has gone on to become a fan favorite in America but also fans all over the world.

A Brief History of what “Bleach” is about

“Bleach” is a story about a guy named Ichigo Kurasaki who has a gift in which he can see spirits. One day, he saw a Soul Reaper (one who can govern the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife) named Rukia Kukichiki who has come to find a Hollow (a lost soul). She ends up being wounded in battle when she tried to defend Ichigo and so she illegally transfers her reiatsu (spiritual pressure) to him, so that he can defeat the Hollow. But during the process, he nearly takes all of her energy and becomes a Soul Reaper himself and defeats the Hollow quite easily. So, the first storyline arc features Rukia now powerless stranded in the human world until she has the time to recover her true powers, while Ichigo fills in and battles Hollows in her place. And with each fight, Rukia starts to notice something special about Ichigo’s abilities.

The second storyline arc of “Bleach” features the Soul Society wanting to sentence Rukia to death for transferring her powers to Ichigo. His friends also begin to develop special abilities. His childhood friend, Orihime Inoue, is given special abilities courtesy of her loving brother who has turned into a Hollow. Yasutora “Chad” Sato is Ichigo’s tall friend (who is half Japanese/half Mexican) who suddenly becomes aware of spirits and develops an ability to have a special armored right arm that has special abilities. And Ichigo’s rival/friend, Uryu Ishida, who is a descendant of a hollow hunting group known as the Quincy and are enemies of the Soul Reapers.

As their adventures have continued, we have seen Ichigo and his friends getting stronger, developing new abilities and taking on their most difficult foes yet but also earning the respect of his friends and the Soul Society, having saved their lives time and time again. But this time around, there comes a new enemy that may be so powerful that Ichigo may not be able to take them on…

Enter the Vandenreich!

The Current Storyline

We have only heard of how the Quincies had perished after a long feud with the Soul Reapers. The Soul Reapers which believed in having the soul of a hollow crossover to the Soul Society, while the Quincies believed in the total destruction of the hollow’s soul. And while the two had tried to work out their dispute, in the end, it let do a war in which the Soul Reapers vanquished the Quincies.

With only Uryu Ishida thought to be the last Quincy alive, in volume 55 of “Bleach”, it was revealed that one of the deadly Quincy’s from the past, Yhwach, was not killed and has assembled a group known as the Vandenreich to eliminate all Soul Reapers and destroy the Soul Society.

Many have gone missing in Karakura Town and while the Vandenreich have made their presence known to Captain Yamamoto by killing 1st Division Lt. Sasakibe. Also, Hueco Mundo Arrancars have been attacked by the Hueco Mundo Army led by Quilge Opie who are trying to force the Arrancars to join them or else be killed.

As Nel goes to the human world to beg for Ichigo to save Hueco Mundo, Ichigo, Kisuke Urahara, Chad and Orihime hurry to Hueco Mundo to see what is happening. And with the distraction caused in that area, Yhwach orders the Vandenreich to attack the Soul Reapers in their home area inside the Seiretei and the top Quincy combatants of the Vandenreich, the Stern Ritter continues their destruction by trying to kill all Soul Reaper captains.

And the battle continues as Mayuri Kurotsuchi (with assistant Nemu Kurotsuchi) take on Pernida Parnkgjas, while Shunsui Kyoraku takes on Lille Barro and we finally learn the truth of Soul Reaper Nanao Ise!


With the latest 71st volume of “Bleach”, these battles between the Soul Reapers and Sternritter have continues.

With a total of 74 issues, we are now nearing the end of the series and whether or not you love or hate how Tite Kubo has extended these battles for many volumes and years, everything is now coming to the final volumes.

And in this volume, Mayuri Kurotsuchi takes on Pernida Parnkgjas and the battle concludes with Nemu Kurotsuchi being sacrificed as a final resort against Pernida Parnkgjas and we see how that plays out.  Very fascinating and as always, a fascinating observation to see how Mayuri plans in advance.

We also see Shunsui Kyoraku in the battle of his life, as one of the most powerful captains, he must take on Lille Barro, but how can you beat someone who is literally unkillable?

But the manga volume finally reveals why Shunsui wears that kimono but most importantly, we learn the truth about soul reaper Nanao Ise and her connection with Shunsui.

It’s quite exciting especially to see how these two battles go all out and seeing Mayuri and Shunsui put their lives on the line against their opponents.

And the artwork and action is always well-done by Tite Kubo.  The problem is that for people who were invested in reading the stories of Ichigo Kurosaki, are surprised to find out that long ago that it became less about Ichigo and the volumes focused on the Soul Reapers.  So, you go through many volumes without full-on stories with Ichigo and friends and this one of those volume.   Are they in this volume… yes.  But probably just a 4-5 pages and that’s it.

“Bleach” vol. 71 is an action-packed volume and is more geared to the dedicated readers of “Bleach” who have followed the series for the longest time.  Storylines that will no doubt entertain loyal followers who stuck around with the manga series to find out how the Soul Reapers vs. Sternritter war will eventually end.  While featuring two battles, it’s no doubt an exciting action-packed volume worth reading!

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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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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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