La Corda d’Oro #1 by Yuki Kure Manga Review

 

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Title:  La Corda d’Oro #1

Author:  Yuki Kure

Publisher:  Viz

ISBN:  1421505835

May Contain Spoilers

Kahoko is a student in the General Education department at Seisou Academy.  Her life is turned upside down when she catches a glimpse of Lili, the fairy that lives on campus.  He gives her a magical violin, and before she knows it, she’s been selected to participate in the musical competition that’s held every few years.  Surrounded by the gifted students of the Music department, what chance does Kahoko, with her lack of musical talents, have to win the contest?

Based on the Koei video game, La Corda d’Oro seems like an excuse to surround a cute heroine with a group of gorgeous guys.  Kahoko’s ability to see the school fairy gets her into a situation where she’s hopelessly over her head.  Even with the magical violin, her efforts to play the instrument yield less than the desired results.  Chastised by Lili for not genuinely appreciating the music she’s attempting to play, Kahoko learns that her emotions are what influences the violin’s music.  If she doesn’t play with a true effort, all the violin produces is ugly noise.

The personalities of the other contest participants are only briefly touched on in this volume.  Ren is an overbearing jerk and Yunoki reminds me of Yuki from Fruits Basket with his fastidious manners and glowering fangirl groupies.  Not much is revealed about sleepy Shimizu in this installment.   Of the contestants, I like the trumpet playing Hihara the best, because he seems like a fun guy.  Oh, and he’s nice.  Unlike Ren, who’s a jerk.  Wait, I said that already.

The art is clean and pleasant, with attractive character designs.  The layouts are easy to follow, and Yuki Kure uses a variety of panel sizes and shapes to keep the pages interesting.  Also included are initial character sketches, character interviews, and a glossary.

While this was a pleasant enough read, I didn’t feel that there was much about it that set it apart from other books in the same genre.  I’ll stick around for a few more volumes, though, to see how the story progresses.

Grade: B-

Rated for Teen

E’s #1 by Satol Yuiga Manga Review

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Title:  E’s #1

Author:  Satol Yuiga

Publisher:  Broccoli Books

ISBN:  1597411191

May Contain Spoilers

Set in the future after the devastation of yet another world war, governments were thrown down and dissolved.  Cities and corporations  rule society, and individuals with psychic powers began to be born. Hated by normal humans, they became known as E’s.  Ashurum is a government entity that takes in the E’s and shelters them from the rest of society.

Kai Kudou was raised in Ashurum, and knows nothing about the prejudice shown to his kind by normal humans.  Working for the military branch of Ashurum, he’s sent on a mission to subdue a violent guerilla group and to save the psychics working with them.  As the mission plays out, Kai jeopardizes its success by rescuing a girl in the supposedly evacuated city of Gald.  His actions threaten the lives of his colleagues, as well as his own, and land him in the hands of the people he’s trying to stop.

E’s is an action title that zips quickly by.  There’s a good amount of fighting, though it’s mainly between Kai and his Ashurum rival, Shen-Long.  Their ideals clash constantly as Shen-Long, knowing first hand about the persecution of psychics by normal humans, hates them with a violent passion.  He doesn’t hesitate to use his powers to kill, while Kai, uneasy with bloodshed, is reluctant to hurt others with his.  When his is threatened by a group of citizens in Gald, he is forced to lash out at them with his psychic powers and then to accept the accompanying guilt of his actions.

Eiji, the head of the Ashurum psychic research facility, seems a little shady.  While he tells Kai that they are saving psychics, he orders the death of a man after Kai leaves.  He is conducting experiments on Kai’s younger sister, Hikaru, and lies about Gald being evacuated.  Both the guerilla group and Ashurum are looking for the Sacrament of Calvarias, a mysterious object hidden somewhere in the ruins of Gald.  We are left with little information about its purpose, and I’m quite curious to learn why every one seems to want it so badly.

Kai seems a little too idealistic.  He doesn’t have much knowledge of the world surrounding him, including Ashurum, where he’s lived all his life.  He doesn’t question his sister’s confinement to the hospital, and blindly accepts the treatment she receives.  He is bullied constantly by Shen-Long, and seems hardly able to defend himself.  Hopefully he’s toughen up as the series progresses.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this title.  The battles were fast and accompanied by explosions, fire, and severed body parts raining to the ground.  Who doesn’t like that?

The art was dark and a little cluttered, but the action was easy to follow.  I thought the character designs were a little bland, but I did like Shen-Long’s evil smirk and the way his braid whipped about when he was using his powers.  And the way he thoughtlessly rendered  hapless humans into unrecognizable blobs.  Brutal!

After reading this volume, I’m left with a lot of questions.  What’s the deal with Kai’s sister?  What’s the Sacrament thingy and what does it do?  Why doesn’t Kai like sweets??  I knew there was something fishy about that guy…

Grade:  B

Rated for 16+

Review copy provided by Broccoli Books.

DramaQueen Acquires New Titles & Launches New Website!


DRAMAQUEEN ACQUIRES NEW TITLES AND LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE.

Houston, Texas, 15th January 2007. Last week, DramaQueen announced a new title at Ohayocon in Ohio.

During the panels at Ohayocon, DramaQueen gave the audience a sneak preview of a new title that they have acquired:

Devil x Devil by Sawauchi Sachiyo

A deliciously sexy comedy about less then angelic angels and the devils who fall for them. This is the first of Sawauchi Sachiyo’s manga to be translated into English, and we at DramaQueen are confident you will enjoy this title as much as we do.

New Website Launch

With a new year starting DramaQueen decided to give its on-line face a through makeover for the new season. The redesigned website has been tweaked and fine tuned to become the ultimate resource for all things DramaQueen, keeping you up to date with current affairs and all the future releases and projects the team is working on to keep you hanging on the edge of your seats.
We hope everyone enjoys the new look and finds it as fun and exciting as we do.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the future as we continue to bring you high quality titles and yaoi from the DramaQueen catalogue.

Until next time….

ABOUT US: DramaQueen, L.L.C. is a publisher founded by manga fans from both The United States and Europe. DramaQueen aims to release the best quality manga and manhwa to the American and European market. Our titles are for the mature and discerning readers who enjoy indulging in life’s little pleasures. For more information on our current and upcoming releases are available at the DramaQueen website (http://www.onedramaqueen.com).

Back On Line!

I can’t believe it!  Our power has been restored and it’s only been a day!  When I called Edison today, they told me again that the best I could hope for was to be back up and running Thursday.  Imagine my surprise when I arrived home to let the dog out and it was on! 

Sadly, most of the food in the freezer met with an untimely demise.  I didn’t think to move the perishables to the garage until this morning, and by then it was too late. 

Now I’m hoping that the wind doesn’t pick up and knock down more power lines.  It is in the teens, and the weather forecast calls for frigid temps for the next few days, so the ice that built up on everything isn’t going anywhere for a while.  This also means an end to the pleasant riding weather we’ve had – it’s just not much fun being at the barn when your fingers and toes are frozen.

Have you ever noticed that even though the power is out, you keep flipping the light switches when you’re entering rooms?  Every time I did it, I’d laugh at the idiocy of my fruitless action.   

Why Winter Sucks

Winter finally roared into the state, in the form of an ice storm.  Naturally, since we seem to live in a power outage zone, we lost power last night.  It’s not scheduled to be restored until Thursday (knowing Edison, it will take longer than that).  Posts, sadly, will be delayed until then.