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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 3 by Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

There is much more of a plot introduced and less confusion with the third volume, so I’m hoping things get better as the manga progresses. “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” vol. 3 is finally starting to show some promise!

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© 2011 Sotsu-Sunrise. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 3

STORY BY Katsuyuki Sumizawa

ART by Tomofumi Ogasawara

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Comics

RATED: ALL

RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2017


The Gundams have gathered to put a stop to a planned operation to launch MS Tauruses into space from New Edwards Base. Quatre, Trowa and Wufei attack the base without realizing that the operation is a feint. OZ Commander Treize seizes the chance to launch Operation Pleiades with the aim of dismantling the United Earth Sphere Alliance. As the moderate members of the Alliance attempt to flee to New Edwards Base, Heero’s Wing Gundam alights…


Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.  With “Operation Pleiades” in effect to dismantle the United Earth Sphere Alliance Military, the Gundams have come togther at New Edwards base and with the actions of one, now they may become the enemy of Earth.

And what happens when Chang Wufei and Treize Khushrenada confront each other?

All this and more in vol. 3 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”.

What is “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”?

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.

Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.


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 third volume features all Gundams united at New Edwards base to take on Oz.  But Heero decides to go on the attack to kill anything Oz…problem is, what he thought was Oz were not and now the Gundams will be looked at as the enemy of Earth.

Meanwhile Oz’s Commander-in-Chief, Colonel Treize Khushrenada challenges the Gundams to come at him.

As for Relena, her father tells her the truth of who she really is.  And Wufei confronts Treize in a battle, who will become victorious?

There is a lot of panels of fighting and things are so chaotic that it’s easy to get lose.   Writer Katsuyuki Sumizawa has a tough task of having to write stories about five Gundam pilots, let alone introducing characters from Zechs Marquise side that sometimes the storyline pacing becomes a little incoherent and you quickly realize the different writing stiles and character development when compared with “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin”.

Different writing styles, both mecha/action-driven, many characters but one is engrossing and well-planned, the other is chaotic and incoherent.  In fact, you’ll find pages with a lot of action and then one word bubble.  But things are getting much better, as there is much more of a plot introduced and less confusion with the third volume, so I’m hoping things get better as the manga progresses.

 

“Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” vol. 3 is finally starting to show some promise!

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Witchcraft Works vol. 10 by Ryu Mizunagi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 31, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Vol. 10 of “Witchcraft Works” is another exciting volume with a lot of action, a lot of humor in the first half, but by the second half of the manga, things become darker with the arrival of Kayou Kagari. If you are looking for a fun, sci-fi, action-packed manga series, definitely give Ryu Mizunagi’s “Witchcraft Work” a try!

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Image courtesy of © 2014 Ryu Mizunagi All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Witchcraft Works Vol. 10 (ウィッチクラフトワークス)

STORY AND ART BY: Ryu Mizunagi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha, Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

RELEASE DATE: December 26, 2017


Kazane gets Honoka and Kagari to help rebuild her house (along with the aid of some furry, feral friends.) Since Medusa and her minions moved in next door, Honoka asks for her help in unlocking a mysterious pendant. Inside is a world of memories which reveal forgotten history of the Kagari estate, and a fiery familiar that once terrorized the residents…


In 2010, Ryu Mizunagi’s “Witchcraft Works” was serialized in Kodansha’s “Good! Afternoon” publication. Meanwhile, a 12-episode anime series from J.C. Staff aired on Japanese television in 2014 and was streamed on Crunchyroll.

With a total of eight manga volumes printed in Japan, Vertical has picked up the series and is releasing it in North America.

“Witchcraft Works” revolves around a normal student named Honoka Takamiya. He sits next to Ayaka Kagari, the most popular girl on campus and despite sitting next to her, he has never talked or interacted with her.

And when he does, he is often beaten up by her fanclub.

But one day, Takamiya is attacked by a Tower witch and he is saved by Ayaka Kagari, a Workshop Witch, who reveals to him that she is a witch and her job is to protect him. And it is revealed that the Tower witches are after him for some apparent reason.

But because of the danger he is in, Kagari now spends a lot of time with him, drawing the ire from his fellow classmates and her fan club.

In volume 2, Takamiya becomes an apprentice and tries to learn the basics of witchcraft. But one day, he is attacked by Chronoire Schwarz VI, the Tower Witch for some apparent reason.

Meanwhile, as more Tower Witches try to target both Takamiya and Kagari, Takamiya learns important secrets about his sister and also a family secret that will change his relationship with Kagari.

In volume 3, it’s supposed to be a normal day at school for Takamiya and Kagari but suddenly a building is destroyed and Medusa. What does she want with Takamiya?

But that is not the only person looking for him, so is the faculty adviser, Mr. Mikage, who explains the importance of Kagari.

Seeing how Takamiya will always be a target, there is one way to prevent it happening at school and Kagari has a plan to make that happen!

In volume 5, all hell has broken out as witches take on other witches, while the head of the Academy, Kagane (Kagari’s mother) has been kidnapped and is now powerless due to overusing her power. But as Weekend tries her best to search for Takamiya, can Kagari protect him?

In volume 6, in order to protect Takamiya, Kagari knows she must take on Weekend one-on-one. Who will win between these two powerful witches?

Meanwhile, Takamiya is unconscious and is in the dream world.

Flashforward to vol. 10 and Takamiya tries to get some answers about his mother and why she had a scar on her back and Takami reveals his scar that he endured when he was attacked by Medusa.

Meanwhile, Kagari’s mother wants their help in building her a home, after being kicked out for squatting and being too messy.

As Kagari gets sick, what will happen when Takamiya discovers her secret stash?

And who is Kayou Kagari, the head of the Kagari family and why does Ayake Kagari have a bad feeling about her?

And who is the chained girl that Takamiya has found?


“Witchcraft Works” is a fascinating, humorous and fun manga series from Ryu Mizunagi.

The manga showcases Takamiya, a normal guy who is often protected by a witch named Ayaka and of course, she happens to be gorgeous and very powerful.

In this latest volume, a lot of things are happening with Ayaka for some reason is getting sicker and sicker.  And out of nowhere, a woman calling herself the head of the Kagiri family shows up.  But what is her true purpose and what is she hiding beneath her home?

The artwork by Mizunagi is very good with many characters and good use of closeups and action sequences. But I absolutely love the cover and there are some chapters that feature wonderful artwork.

Overall, vol. 10 of “Witchcraft Works” is another exciting volume with a lot of action, a lot of humor in the first half, but by the second half of the manga, things become darker with the arrival of Kayou Kagari.

If you are looking for a fun, sci-fi, action-packed manga series, definitely give Ryu Mizunagi’s “Witchcraft Work” a try!

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My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 10 by Takuma Morishige (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 31, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

An entertaining and fun manga before Morishige Takuma goes on his extended break to work on other manga. “My Neighbor Seki”, check it out!

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Image courtesy of © Takuma Morishige 2011 All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 10

STORY AND ART BY: Takuma Morishige

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Corporation

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

Available on January 23, 2018


Seki’s desktop renovation is fit for a TV show. He adds turf just to create crop circles, and lures beetles and cicadas… until a larger predator shows up. Seki’s building a kaiju with a secret inside for the school fair. And can Rumi rescue Jun’s doll from the path of vigilantism…?


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

Find out in volume 10 of Takuma Morishige’s “Tonari no Seki-kun” (My Neighbor Seki).

What is “My Neighbor Seki”?

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

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

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

 


I have to give Takuma Morishige a thumbs up for keeping “My Neighbor Seki” going on for so long.

A manga series about classroom antics by Toshinari Seki and the curious Rumi Yokoi, Morishige has decided to take a hiatus from the manga series to work on other manga.

Morishige wrote “This manga started off with small games played out on a school desk.  Even after the games got bigger and wilder, I want to restore things back to their original state.  I want to preserve that balance, so I’d like to carefully think through my ideas.  And so, I’d like to take breaks as I work from now on.”

Morishige also wrote, “If I have a breakthrough, I might be able to draw without breaks again”.

And I think a break is a good thing because there is only so much Morishige could do.  The series maintained it’s humor and I have written that I could only read so many chapters before taking a break and then coming back to it.

Not because I didn’t enjoy it because I enjoy “My Neighbor Seki” a lot, but it could get a bit monotonous reading about school desk pranks over and over.  Sure, the pranks are different each time but I tend to enjoy variety in my manga series and get bored of seeing the same scene over and over again.

So, I took a few days of breaks before coming back to read more chapters.

For volume 10, Seki tries to make crop circles on a grass with a UFO; another chapter features Seki trying to catch bugs for his collection during class; Another features Seki taking the top of his desk to make a stained glass table and another features Seki trying to mess around with his sister’s Rena doll.

But the antics are not limited to Seki and Yokoi in this volume.  We also have Uzawa who likes to destroy things and Seki trying to hide a car he’s building in class from him, while Yokoi observes.We also have Yokoi’s friend Goto (who thinks Seki and Yokoi are in a deep relationship) observing Yokoi and interpreting her observations and interaction with Seki as love.

And so much more!

I enjoyed Morishige’s artwork and his creative ideas of the games Seki plays on top of his desks are fun to read.  But again, there was only so much I could read per day and to avoid things from getting monotonous, I took a break every 2-3 chapters for a few days before reading more. But I would like to see a volume 11 but I also would like to see what kind of manga work Morishige can come up with next.

Overall, an entertaining and fun manga before Morishige Takuma goes on his extended break to work on other manga.

“My Neighbor Seki”, check it out!

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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 2 by Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 20, 2018 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 and it’ll be interesting to see if the manga continues to be more action-driven or will it find a balance with more of a plot to help with the character development.

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© 2011 Sotsu-Sunrise. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 2

STORY BY Katsuyuki Sumizawa

ART by Tomofumi Ogasawara

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Comics

RATED: ALL

RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017


“Our target is OZ!” is the rallying cry of the five young Gundam pilots that fell to earth like meteors. They begin to attack OZ facilities scattered around the globe. Trowa, in the Heavyarms, launches a fierce attack on an MS factory on Corsica, when suddenly the Gundam Sandrock appears, with Quatre in the pilot’s seat, leading a Maganac corps. The battle between these two Gundam pilots, who had been unaware of each other’s existence until they end up engaged in combat, takes an unexpected turn…


Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.  Trowa Barton had come to Earth from the L-3 colonies in the Gundam Heavyarms and launches an assault on the MS production factory on Corsica but there to confront him is Quatre Raberba Winner, pilot of the Gundam Sandrock.

Meanwhile, Heero Yuy, pilot of the Wing Gundam has stolen parts from Duo Maxwell’s Gundam Deathscythe and now Duo wants revenge.

We also learn about Chang Wufei, pilot of the Shenlong Gundam and learn of the struggles from his past.

All this and more in vol. 2 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”.

What is “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”?

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.

Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.  Trowa Barton had come to Earth from the L-3 colonies in the Gundam Heavyarms and launches an assault on the MS production factory on Corsica but there to confront him is Quatre Raberba Winner, pilot of the Gundam Sandrock.  What happens when these two pilots and their Gundam’s confront each other?

Meanwhile, Heero Yuy, pilot of the Wing Gundam has stolen parts from Duo Maxwell’s Gundam Deathscythe and now Duo wants revenge.

We also learn about Chang Wufei, pilot of the Shenlong Gundam and learn of the struggles from his past.

And is a new group being created by Zechs Merquise, when he comes to the aid of Lucrezia Noin?


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 second volume can be described as a volume of chaos.

There is a lot of panels of fighting and things are so chaotic that it’s easy to get lose.   Writer Katsuyuki Sumizawa has a tough task of having to write stories about five Gundam pilots, let alone introducing characters from Zechs Marquise side that sometimes the storyline pacing becomes a little incoherent and you quickly realize the different writing stiles and character development when compared with “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin”.

Different writing styles, both mecha/action-driven, many characters but one is engrossing and well-planned, the other is chaotic and incoherent.  In fact, you’ll find pages with a lot of action and then one word bubble.  And in this volume alone, then you get character development solely focused on Chang Wufei’s character that has much more of a plot going into his history and then leading up to his battle with Lucrezia Noin.

While I found the volume to be entertaining, considering I am a Gundam fan, I also found volume 2 to be a bit hard to follow at times.

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 but for now, it seems the focus is panels with pure action.

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 and it’ll be interesting to see if the manga continues to be more action-driven or will it find a balance with more of a plot to help with the character development.

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

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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Image courtesy of © Takuma Morishige 2011 All Rights Reserved.


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

STORY AND ART BY: Takuma Morishige

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Corporation

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

Available on October 4, 2016


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


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

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

What is “My Neighbor Seki”?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Witchcraft Works vol. 6 by Ryu Mizunagi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

witchcraftworks-6

Vol. 6 of “Witchcraft Works” is another exciting volume as we get to see Ayaka and Weekend go to battle! Exciting and action-packed!

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Image courtesy of © 2014 Ryu Mizunagi All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Witchcraft Works Vol. 6 (ウィッチクラフトワークス)

STORY AND ART BY: Ryu Mizunagi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha, Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

RELEASE DATE: August 18, 2015


School is out! But the Tougetsu Academy’s closing is not due to a holidy. The whole town is currently under siege, and the campus is at the epicenter of this disaster. Now Honoka and Ayaka have to muster all of their strength to overcome what has been their most confounding foe yet.


Kagari knows that the only way she can protect Takamiya is to take on her enemy, Weekend.

Meanwhile, Takamiya is in the dreamworld, not sure why he is seeing images of the past but one thing’s for certain, if Kagari is going to beat Weekend, he will need to be buy her side.

Find out who wins in Ryu Mizunagi’s vol. 6 of “Witchcraft Works”!

What is “Witchcraft Works”?

In 2010, Ryu Mizunagi’s “Witchcraft Works” was serialized in Kodansha’s “Good! Afternoon” publication. Meanwhile, a 12-episode anime series from J.C. Staff aired on Japanese television in 2014 and was streamed on Crunchyroll.

With a total of eight manga volumes printed in Japan, Vertical has picked up the series and is releasing it in North America.

“Witchcraft Works” revolves around a normal student named Honoka Takamiya. He sits next to Ayaka Kagari, the most popular girl on campus and despite sitting next to her, he has never talked or interacted with her.

And when he does, he is often beaten up by her fanclub.

But one day, Takamiya is attacked by a Tower witch and he is saved by Ayaka Kagari, a Workshop Witch, who reveals to him that she is a witch and her job is to protect him. And it is revealed that the Tower witches are after him for some apparent reason.

But because of the danger he is in, Kagari now spends a lot of time with him, drawing the ire from his fellow classmates and her fan club.

In volume 2, Takamiya becomes an apprentice and tries to learn the basics of witchcraft. But one day, he is attacked by Chronoire Schwarz VI, the Tower Witch for some apparent reason.

Meanwhile, as more Tower Witches try to target both Takamiya and Kagari, Takamiya learns important secrets about his sister and also a family secret that will change his relationship with Kagari.

In volume 3, it’s supposed to be a normal day at school for Takamiya and Kagari but suddenly a building is destroyed and Medusa. What does she want with Takamiya?

But that is not the only person looking for him, so is the faculty adviser, Mr. Mikage, who explains the importance of Kagari.

Seeing how Takamiya will always be a target, there is one way to prevent it happening at school and Kagari has a plan to make that happen!

In volume 5, all hell has broken out as witches take on other witches, while the head of the Academy, Kagane (Kagari’s mother) has been kidnapped and is now powerless due to overusing her power. But as Weekend tries her best to search for Takamiya, can Kagari protect him?

In volume 6, in order to protect Takamiya, Kagari knows she must take on Weekend one-on-one.  Who will win between these two powerful witches?

Meanwhile, Takamiya is unconscious and is in the dream world.


“Witchcraft Works” is a fascinating, humorous and fun manga series from Ryu Mizunagi.

The manga showcases Takamiya, a normal guy who is often protected by a witch named Ayaka and of course, she happens to be gorgeous, well-endowed and very powerful.

And while Takamiya is often the target of Tower Witches for some apparent reason, there are major revelations in regards to Takamiya’s sister and also his mother that will definitely change things for the series and will probably bring Takamiya and Ayaka much more closer together, to the chagrin of many of their classmates.

But now, all things have come to a head as Takamiya and Ayaka are once again in trouble as Weekend has kidnapped Kagane and has detonated bombs around the city and chaos has taken over.

With Ayaka wanting to protect Takamiya and to prevent him from using his power (which could lead to the end of the world), Ayaka goes to take on Weekend by herself.

But is Ayaka ready to take on Weekend?  Especially if she has more bombs around the city and is threatening to detonate them?

The artwork by Mizunagi is very good with many characters and good use of closeups and action sequences. But also, I like how he is able to bring out emotion and action through each panel.

Overall, vol. 6 of “Witchcraft Works” is another exciting volume as we get to see Ayaka and Weekend go to battle!

If you are looking for a fun, sci-fi, action-packed manga series, definitely give Ryu Mizunagi’s “Witchcraft Work” a try!

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