Title: Dokebi Bride #2
Publisher: Net Comics
Sunbi has moved to Seoul to live with her father and her step-mother. Hopelessly unhappy in her new surroundings, she is soon pursued by evil spirits. Saved from a demon attack by a monk, he informs her that she is drawing the creatures to her, and she must let go of her old fear and not hold it in by herself. Having just lost Solbang, Sunbi is in despair. Who will come when she calls for help?
Sunbi is obviously miserable and having a hard time fitting in at her new school. It doesn’t help that evil demons are following her and trying to possess her! She’s not getting along with her snot step-sister, Mina, and she’s suspicious of the one person who approaches her in friendship. Sunbi’s life is utterly depressing! And I thought working 11 hour days sucked!
Sunbi’s grandmother, in her efforts to protect her, did Sunbi such a disservice. She left Sunbi vulnerable to the very things she was trying to save her from. Those demons are so nasty! Puking maggots and spouting several heads, I’m glad they aren’t sitting in my chair!
Unfortunately, there were many typos in this volume. It is sad when an otherwise great release is marred by sloppy proofreading.
Recommended for readers 13+
Title: Please Save My Earth #14
Author: Saki Hiwatari
On their school trip, Alice worries about the missing Rin and becomes ill. Jinpachi, Issei, and Alice sneak away from their classmates and visit Tamura. They learn that Tamura is aware of their past lives, and that he’s been protecting Haru. They also learn Haru’s true identity; in his past life, he was Shukaido, and not Shion.
Haru confesses Shukaido’s greatest sin; jealous of Mokuren’s love for Shion, he gave the vaccine only to Shion and condemned him to his lonely fate on the moon. He tells them of Rin’s plan to use Tokyo Tower to destroy the moon base. Before they can speculate on whether Rin really means to protect the Earth, Jinpachi angrily confronts Haru for cruel revenge against Shion. Throughout all of the emotional upheavals, Alice’s fever worsens, and she begins to have dreams of the moon…
Finally! There’s no question about anyone’s past identity! Rin is busy plotting his return to Tokyo and Junpachi ponders the purpose of their memories of the past. What good do they serve? Shouldn’t they live for the future?
The story continues to deepen, as the relationships from the past continue to haunt the present. I thought that Jinpachi’s indignation with Shukaido’s past actions was a little extreme, though maybe his own jealousies are surfacing. Alice’s awakening, with the blossoming cherry trees, was very powerful and moving, though being a sap, I’m susceptible to overly dramatic moments like that.
Title: Sweet Revolution
Authors: Yukine Honami & Serubo Suzuki
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Tatsuki and Ohta are transfer students. Their classmates view Ohta as nice but shy, and Tatsuki as a total snob. When class chairman Kouhei observes the overly servile manner Ohta shows toward Tatsuki, he’s determined to save Ohta from Tatsuki’s evil clutches! Little does he understand the relationship between the two; Tatsuki is the successor to the Dragon King, and Ohta is his house spirit
When Tatsuki’s father falls ill, Tatsuki and Ohta must return to their village. Tatsuki must take his father’s place and wed. Wanting none other than Ohta, how can Tatsuki avoid his obligations to his father and the villagers?
This was a sweet romance with slight supernatural themes sprinkled in. Kouhei was my favorite character, with his earnest desire to “save” Ohta from the diabolical Tatsuki. I didn’t find Tatsuki to be a sympatric character until later in the book, when he is torn between his duty as the successor to the Dragon King and his love for Ohta.
The art is on the sparse side, a little rough and unfinished looking. The page layouts had a lot of variety and kept the story flowing along.
There was an unrelated story included about Akihiko, who survived the car accident that killed his father, and the family’s house spirit. Also included was a note from the writer, and a bonus page from the artist.
Recommended for Mature readers.
Author: Yuzuha Ougi
Asuka Momoki has a problem. The 22 year old advertising employee has been impotent since he was caught in a compromising position (complete with a wad of tissues and an x-rated video) by his younger, half-brother, Yui. Yui, a high school tennis champ, goes off to study abroad. Just when Asuka thinks he’s starting to take control of his problem, Yui returns home. On the family’s vacation, Yui and Asuka revisit the secret playground of their childhood adventures, and Yui has a surprising confession for Asuka. He has feelings for Asuka, and they are far from brotherly!
Er…that’s it for the plot. What follows is page upon page of the “brothers” doing the nasty every opportunity they get. Yui is shy and uncommunicative, and Asuka is about as bright as a small pebble. If you’re looking for utterly brainless entertainment, look no further! However, if you’d like a bit more plot with your yaoi, keep searching the store shelves.
The art wasn’t bad, but Yui looked older than Asuka, and it really bugged me. He was supposed to be five years younger! The production quality is very good, as is usual for a DramaQueen book. There’s a color plate included and the paper quality is very nice.
Recommended for Mature Readers (especially those readers that don’t like messy things like plots!).
Title: Berserk #1
Author: Kentaro Miura
Publisher: Dark Horse
Guts is the Black Swordsman. He’s marked by the Brand of Sacrifice, and is chased relentlessly by the forces of darkness. Battling against his fate, he searches for the five members of the Godhand, ruthlessly slaying demons along the way. Why does he carry the Brand? I don’t think we’ll find out until volume 13!
I have put off reading this series until the US release caught up with the end of the anime series. Since Dark Horse sped up their release schedule, we’re one book away from that. I’ll just have to pace myself and slowly read the 13 volumes I have stacked on the bookcase until that magical 14th volume is released!
This is an intense, violent journey through a fantasy world that is besieged by demons. I love Guts’ character; he’s dark and sinister, haunted by the demonic forces that are drawn to the Brand of the Sacrifice on his neck. As he searches for the Godhand, he travels from place to place, destroying the demons that prey upon helpless humans. He wields a gigantic sword that slices and dices enemies (and horses – horrors!) handily in half and has a pretty cool mechanical arm/crossbow/gun.
Puck is good for comedic relief. He’s a new element, as his character was absent from the anime series. His presence keeps everything from being too gloomy and depressing. All of those flying limbs, heads, and torsos can get so overwhelmingly depressing!
The presentation of this book is a little disappointing. There were many typos, including a glaring one on the fourth page. I hope this doesn’t continue through the entire series; it really interrupts the flow of the book when there are that many typographical errors.
Grade: B+ (marked down because of the presentation issues)
Recommended for Mature readers.
Title: Il Gatto Sul #1
Author: Tooko Miyagi
Publisher June by DMP
Riya Narukawa is a talented young musician. He’s also a troubled young man, with two vastly different personalities vying for control. When his other personality mutilates his fingers so he won’t be able to play the violin, Atsushi Ikeda finds him unconscious in the street and takes the bloody high school student. Atsushi tends to his wounds, and gives him a key to his apartment. Riya is welcome there any time if he needs a place of refuge.
At school, Riya is fodder for gossip mongers as the students speculate on his injured hand. He’s confused by his feelings for Kousaka, an upper classman who seems to love to harass him, and questions his reasons for playing the violin. Why is Kousaka so interested in him? And more importantly, why did he kiss him?
I liked the premise of this story, a tortured musician searching for something meaningful outside of his music, but found the presentation a little awkward. The love triangle didn’t seem to flow well; the sections with Atsushi and Kousaka seemed like two separate stories and didn’t introduce the usual tension that’s expected when the main character is torn between two relationships. The competition between the gifted students at an exclusive music school seemed realistic, and I enjoyed that aspect of it. Other than setting up the meeting between Atsushi and Riya, the multiple personalities didn’t seem necessary, but maybe it plays more of a key role in the next book.
The art is very nice, with clean, simple strokes. I really liked the page layouts, and the author’s use of white space, in addition to altering the shapes of the panels. The cover has a soft, dreamy quality, and the production value of the book was very good.
Recommended for readers 16 and up.
Title: Eternal Sabbath #2
Author: Fuyumi Soryo
Publisher: Del Rey
Mine learns the horrible truth behind Isaac’s rampage at the lab from Sakaki. Raised in an artificial womb, Isaac’s sole purpose was to be dissected and studied. Little did the hapless scientists realize that all the years he was developing, Isaac was reading their minds, and was fully aware of their plans for him. On the day he was released from the womb, he took control of the minds of his would be murderers and caused the utter destruction of the lab.
Loose in the world, Sakaki, who was saved by Shuro, fears that Isaac is a threat to society. With no concept of right or wrong, Isaac has the power over life and death, and he enjoys using his powers to kill others. After mysterious deaths occur in the area where they suspect Isaac is hiding, Mine agrees to help Sakaki with his plan to kill Isaac. Little do they realize that Isaac is aware of their plot, and sets a trap for Sakaki. Will Mine be able to persuade Shuro to rescue him?
This is an awesome series! As Sakaki searches for the monster he unwittingly helped to create, Mine is drawn further into danger as she assists him in his quest. Isaac is creepy, killing those that annoy him without a second thought. His godlike powers make Mine and Sakaki’s mission seem impossible, and the plot moves quickly along as they try to piece together clues as to his whereabouts. The art is rather bland, but the story really shines.
Recommended for readers 16 and up.