Monday, 11 December 2017

Manga: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime 2


That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Vol 2
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

As players of Monster Hunter and Dungeons & Dragons know, the slime is not exactly the king of the fantasy monsters. So when a 37-year-old Tokyo salaryman dies and wakes up in a world of dragons and magic, he's a little disappointed to find he's become a blind, boneless slime monster.

Mikami's middle age hasn't gone as he planned: He never found a girlfriend, he got stuck in a dead-end job, and he was abruptly stabbed to death in the street at 37. So when he wakes up in a new world straight out of a fantasy RPG, he's disappointed but not exactly surprised to find that he's not a knight or a wizard but a blind slime demon. But there are chances for even a slime to become a hero...


Rimuru continues to crack me up and be spot on with his assessment of characters and situations. This volume we meet Gaval, Eren and Gido, a familiar trio of adventures! As well as Shizu who's also familiar from the first volume....and happens to be a legendary hero! It's nice to meet some new characters this volume, as they added something extra to the volume, as well as the story! We also briefly meet Leon Cromwell, a demon lord who summoned Shizu from Japan and I'm assuming is going to be one of the bad guys we'll go up against eventually! "Hot guy sounding name" fully cracked me up and had me in stitches, can't lie! 

There's some action this volume, as we fight Ifrit after making a speedy exit from the Dwarven kingdom and the trial. We continue at a fast pace, but other than Rimuru gaining a human body which should prove to be interesting in coming volumes....not that much happens in this volume. We do appear to have a bad guy to facedown and a quest which should mean the next volume picks up some. Oh and Veldora's slime observation journal continues to be hilarious! I'm still not entirely sure which way this series is going to go, I usually have some idea by the second volume but this one has me a bit torn! 

Review: Witchborn


Witchborn
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

It's 1577. Queen Elizabeth I has imprisoned scheming Mary Queen of Scots, and Alyce's mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft. Alyce kills the witchfinder and flees to London - but the chase isn't over yet. As she discovers her own dark magic, powerful political forces are on her trail. She can't help but wonder: why is she so important? Soon she finds herself deep in a secret battle between rival queens, the fate of England resting on her shoulders...

I do love a bit of history, and I do love witches and magic, so of course I had to read this! I still wasn't entirely sure what to expect going in to the book, the back of the proof had a certain amount of information but not too much and I found myself being pleasantly surprised as I was reading! 

The opening was both heart wrenching and slightly thrilling as you could feel the danger of the situation and it set the tone for the rest of the book. The writing was brilliant, and the book in general was fantastically authentic. There was a lot of historical detail, and it was vividly written. The London of 1577 came to life around me, and I was pulled right in to the story. The intrigue helped too as I was determined to try and put everything together and I wanted to know how it all fit. 

There where some interesting and ominous POV's scattered throughout from Hopkins, that provided some missing pieces and yet more intrigue and side information! Most of the book was told from Alyce's POV, and I actually really liked her. She was determined and she was so brilliantly fleshed out, as was Solomon who was quite frankly, a lot of fun. I mean....I'm going to like any character that's an actor let's be real! I was intrigued by Elizabeth and would have liked to see more of her and find out more of her alternate self! Raleigh was a fun addition too! 

Witchborn was fast paced, and the intrigue kept me hooked! It was well written too and I kind of want a sequel to be honest, but at the same time...it ended well and was a fun alternate history that was kind of believable if I'm honest! 


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Manga: Karneval 8


Karneval Vol 8
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy! 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

At Yanari's party, Nai and the crew deepen their friendships and experience the warmth that comes of supporting and encouraging one another. Upon their return to the 2nd Ship, Gareki is summoned to meet with a stranger, who has come aboard disguised as a tree...?!
But back at Chronomé Academy, Kafka launches an attack, sending a swarm of Varuga to lay siege to the prestigious school. And when Tsubame attempts to protect her friends...she ends up a hostage herself! With Gareki back on board the 2nd Ship, who will come to her rescue?!
 


As you all know, Karneval is one of my favourite series, the art is so cute, the plot is fun and yet has darker moments, as well as some mystery, and each volume leaves me wanting more! The series really is a little bright spot! 

This volume, we get baby Tsukumo and how she first met Hirato, which is something I've been curious about. I've been excited to get some more background on her and it finally happens yaaay! 

We wrap up the last arc of the last volume, as everyone from First and Second ships along with Akari go from chilling on the beach to rushing to rescue Tsukumo and Hirato. We nicely wrap up that arc and head off with First ship! 

I'm not going to lie guys, Tokitatsu (Hirato's brother) seems a bit shady where Gareki is concerned. I can't decide whether to trust him or not. Tsubame's brother too. Yotaka is....interesting and we have more shadiness in the form of Keshiki. I figure he's the next bad guy to take down! And...guess who's back? (back again) Uro. He's going to be chilling with shady Karoku and Eliska. I actually didn't mind him as much, I'm more intrigued by him than anything else. 

Gareki is going to be spending some quality time with Akari and the rest of the Research Tower staff as he sets out on a new study course, which is hopefully going to go better for him than the last study course. I'm intrigued by what's happening with Gareki's character, he's changed and developed a lot so far and I'm interested to see where his character is going. 

Things take a sinister turn as Tsukumo and Yogi discover there are Varuga where there shouldn't be...but why? Thanks to Tsukumo we get some potential theories for Kafka and their plans and what they're up to....and why the government kept quiet. The mystery just gets deeper and deeper...the plot thickens as it where, and I end up with so many theories and ideas and I just need aaaaallll the answers! 

We get some more mystery provided by Nai, because something....strange is going on with him. I'm intrigued to see what bearing it's going to have on the plot and how it fits in with everything else. Good Karoku is setting out on his own path too and I'm excited to see him hopefully have a bigger role to play again. 

Heading out on the next story arc as we head to a new territory, Leberganze, and I'm excited to get to explore more of the world that's been created. It's such a vivid and rich world and I love getting to see more and more of it, and how all the characters histories are woven in along with the plot. It makes it rich and a nice series to sink your teeth in to. Interestingly, we get Nyanperona's story which gave me quite a chuckle. 

We end on quite the cliffhanger regarding Yogi and the wait for the next volume is going to be, as ever, completely torturous. The story in general is moving at a nice pace with new elements being brought in to keep it fresh and keep you guessing! As soon as you put something together..something else comes along to puzzle out! 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Manga: SAO Girls Ops 4


Sword Art Online Girls Ops 4
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Lux's dark past with SAO 's Laughing Coffin guild has been revealed-along with the bad blood she shares with Gwen, leader of the Batty Bats. When the girls are sent on a quest to eliminate Gwen, will Lux be able to follow through and betray her former friend yet again...?

The time has come to deal with Gwen, finally! I have to say I really don't like her but by the end of this volume, I felt for her a little bit, I was softening towards her. I feel like she'll be a fun addition to our group and I'm hoping she'll be involved in coming adventures! 

The art is so cute, and it captures the characters we all know and love incredibly well. There's lots of action in this volume too, and I do love an action packed SAO volume, because the action sequences are always drawn brilliantly! 

We get a glimpse of Kirito too, it would be rude not to really wouldn't it!? ;) 

Kirito and Sinon get to have their badass hero moment, because SAO. It's probably the most we've seen of Kirito in this side series, it's actually one of the best side series I've read to be honest. The pace is fast, the art actually looks like the characters without having changed them too much and the plot has been really good. His appearance didn't take away from the girls moment either and it showed that friendship comes first, which was nice to see! 

The volume has a nice pace as we wrap up the story arc with Gwen and her group. It all comes to a satisfying end, as does the volume in general. Whether or not this is the last volume! I'm not entirely sure! If it is then it's all been wrapped up brilliantly, and if it isn't then this story arc has been finished up ready to start the next one! It's such a fun series, I hope it goes on for a bit longer! 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Manga: Kigurumi Guardians 2


Kigurumi Guardians Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hakka has rescued her classmate from the evil invaders, but the Guardians' battle is only just beginning! Strange things are happening around the popular idol, Ranan, and she might be taking people's hearts. But Hakka has other concerns—her brother walks in on her and Ginger in the middle of their kiss! 

The first volume of Kigurumi Guardians was a bit of a surprise for me, I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I was expecting something a little bit ridiculous but fun....I wasn't expecting to end up loving this series so much after just one volume that I impatiently waited for all of the other volumes to be published! It became an instant favourite which rarely happens with me. I've been anticipating this volume so much and I got so happy to finally have it in my hands and read it! 

I've got to say, there's something about Ginger in penguin form holding up a sign saying "wtf are you doing?" after Hakka tries to fight him that had me cackling so hard. I think it was the cute little Kigurumi penguin cursing that did it. 

Unfortunately for Hakka she gets caught with a human Ginger moments after a repart...so she has to pretend he's her boyfriend. I mean.....unfortunate for her, but not for me. My shipper heart was quite happy with this development and I was living for it throughout this volume. I so badly want the two of them to end up together, it's not even funny. There was a lot this volume that fed my shipper heart, I'm not going to lie. 

Nobara and Basilico helping them out was freaking hilarious, and it was really nice to get to know Nobara more in this volume. To see what's under the mask she wears and what her life is like. There's an interesting tidbit about the President (Chigaya) thrown in to, which has me all kinds of curious and provides an interesting mystery and potential plot element. 

I feel like our three Guardians, Hakka, Nobara and Satsuki, all really bond and become a lot closer to each other in this volume. They're helping each other out, boosting each other up, and defending each other. They're being there for each other, and they're going to become quite the team and I'm enjoying watching them bond and get closer and start to come together as a team. 

The fast pace continues as we deal with a couple of different situations and scenarios in this volume, ending with a brand new upcoming battle...and some bitchy girls no doubt out to cause trouble. So we'll have the usual Guardian trouble...and some good old fashioned school drama too by the looks of it! The art is once again, very well done. Cute when it needs to be, and gorgeous at other points! Genuinely, this series is such a lot of fun, even when it's being a little bit ridiculous! The characters are relatable and easy to cheer on, and it's heartwarming watching them working towards becoming a team! Each Guardian has an interesting relationship with their Kigurumi too, and I'm intrigued to see more of the differences between them all! 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Manga: Aoharu X Machinegun 7


Aoharu X Machinegun Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Haruki's spirit is broken once again after his battle with his brother, Haruka. Will Tachibana's offer of assistance reach him in the end? And bewildered Haruka's choice is...

The summer training camp looms ever closer. The members of Toy Gun Gun are trying to overcome their weaknesses in preparation for the next TGC, but even that will bring a tumultuous turn of events...!! 


Yaaaaaaayyyy there's a brand new volume of Aoharu you guyyys! I freaking love this series, I've heard it's a love it or hate it kind of series but I really love it! It's so much fun! 

Haruki is so freaking relatable I can't even! Tachibana is trying to help Haruki this volume, and he winds up back with Toy Gun Gun yaaay! It should be interesting to see how the dynamic changes with a new player. We spend a good chunk of time with Star White in this volume which provided some interesting insight in to TGG's arch nemesis, Ichi specifically. My curiosity about Midori and his past hasn't been sated though! 

TGG are off to a training camp to get prepped for the next competition, and to get used to having four members instead of three. I'm loving the relationship between Tachibana and Haruki, I had my doubts about how they'd work together after everything that's happened. I'm reading the volume like "Go on Haruki...just give in and admit your friends now!". 

If you're worried about the volume not having much action, don't worry. There's plenty to keep you occupied, a nice balance is struck between fun, action and some character backstory. We meet a new team in 11 Dogs....they're not very nice. Our four have a very unfair and shady face off with 11 Dogs and then....something very interesting happens. 

It looks like we might get a White Star/Toy Gun Gun team up next volume and I'm so pumped for it! The volume leaves you with plenty of anticipation for the next. Not to mention poor old Masamune is struggling with Tachibana. Poor guy. It only he'd believed her, he'd have saved himself some angst but his loss is our gain as we get a nice dose of angst with the promise of some romance in the future....and a brilliant reveal! I'm so excited for it. It's going to be priceless. 

The volume and story in general moves along at a nice pace as we're heading towards another TGC, but our group has to do some prep before so they can kick some ass! I'm loving how we're getting more background on the characters, and not just TGG! I guess it's the whole "know your enemy thing", it makes them kind of hard to dislike at points! 

The pace is fast, the art is superb...the fights are drawn particularly brilliantly and I love Tachibana's kind of...other persona when it comes to gun fights. The volume excels at interestingly showing the tactics and strategy to the game, never before have I ever wanted to participate in something so much! I'd probably suck at it though! Things are definitely about to get veeerrryy interesting! 
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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Manga: Kiss Me At The Stroke of Midnight 2


Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hinana prizes her reputation as a serious high school student, too focused on getting into college to pay attention to boys. But she's a secret fairytale romance freak, sneaking away from her studies to see A Roman Holiday and tucking pop idol magazines into her textbooks. When her celebrity crush comes to her school to film a TV episode, she has to pretend to be totally uninterested even as she desperately tries to get close to him. However, she's not the only one who's not what she appears... her dreamboat isn't just a pretty face either!

I'm not going to lie to you guys...there's some juicy drama right from the start of this volume. Rumours abound and Hinana doesn't know what to believe, but it's not long before she and Kaede have everything sorted out...just in time for Hinana to come down sick. Kaede's busy with work but...at least Akira is free to take care of his BFF. I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled Kaede is by this turn of events. 

This volume lets us see another side to Kaede as he gets a wee bit angry and snaps for the first time. But it's not long before he's brushed it off and his back to his usual self, still, we do get a glimpse of his temper. He and Hinana are still trying to get to know each other and navigate their new relationship, it's all still new and things need to be worked out and so on. Shige seems a bit gruff, but this volume makes it obvious he really cares about Kaede and he's like a parent to him. 

The romance between Hinana and Kaede really starts in this volume, as does a potential love triangle. Yep. Akira is totally on to them...and he's about to embark on his role as "the other love interest" as he makes it obvious as he has a bit of a thing for Hinana and he decides he's going to give Kaede some competition. 

Hinana continues to be totally relatable, and it's so easy to empathise with her and you're sitting there like...yep. That's me. I'd totally do that too! She's such a likeable character, and it's really easy to root for her and be on her side. 

Along with the start of the romance in earnest...and the love triangle potentially kicking off...we get an intriguing look at Kaede's old band and how they react to him and I'm really curious as to what went down between them all, exactly! It looks like we might get more on that and his relationships with the various members, in the next volume if the cliffhanger ending is anything to go by! 

This volume, while still having some silly bits, doesn't have nearly as much silliness as the first volume. But it does have plenty of cute scenes and the art is both gorgeous and cute! I really love the way the artist draws the characters faces for certain scenes and reactions. The plot is moving at a nice pace, throwing in some drama with the cute scenes and setting up a couple of other things to look forward to in coming volumes! I feel like this volume started to be a bit more serious, but it's still got it's funny and odd moments to keep it balanced. There's plenty of Cinderella references to keep an eye out for too, and yeah...there's the odd cheesy bit too...but I mean...we all love a bit of cheese at some points! 

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Manga: Fairy Tail S


Fairy Tail S 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

For the members of Fairy Tail, a guild member’s work is never done. While they may not always be away on missions, that doesn’t mean our magic-wielding heroes can rest easy at home. What happens when a copycat thief begins to soil the good name of Fairy Tail, or when a seemingly unstoppable virus threatens the citizens of Magnolia Town? And when a bet after the Grand Magic Games goes sour, can Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza turn the tables in their favor? Come see what a “day in the life” of the strongest guild in Fiore is like in nine wacky short stories! 

If you watch the anime, these stories and chapters will be preeetttyyyy familiar as they're all OVA or omake episodes! Obviously the actual episodes are longer and have additional scenes but still. This first volume was a brilliant collection of humour and heartwarming tales. There's also a lot of fan service, just warning you all. 

Remember how Makarov told the two GMG teams that whichever one won, could get the other team to do whatever they wanted for a day? Well we get to see some resolution to that and it's hilariously ridiculous. We get to learn some more about certain characters like Cana and Bisca which was nice as they don't get much page time in the main series. Welcome Home Frosch is quite possibly one of my favourite episodes and so you know...it was my favourite chapter of this volume! It was nice to spend some time with the Sabertooth members and it was a cute story. Then we have Fairy Tail of the Dead Meeeeeeeen, a hilarious horror comedy chapter, and Natsu faces off with Mavis too, aaaandd we get a nice dose of Christmas! 

Some shippers will be very happy with these stories, especially if you ship Gruvia, Nalu and Jerza...just saying! There's also some fun background on each of the short stories that was interesting to read and gave more insight in to each story and how it came about and how it fit in and so on. The art as usual is detailed when it comes to buildings and backgrounds, and obviously...it's the characters as we know and love them!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Manga: The Isolator 2


The Isolator Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Mysterious objects from space have landed, embedding themselves within human beings around the world and granting them impossible powers according to their deepest wishes. Seventeen-year-old Utsugi Minoru's only wish is to be able to live apart from the world and events around him. But will he remain the same after experiencing his new powers--and new dangers? 

Oh you guys, poor old Minoru would like to live his life "peacefully without anything happening at all"...he's in for a rude awakening. He really starts to come to terms with his new reality in this volume I think, coming to terms with what he is now, and what he can do and what it means and so on. He has to work out what he wants before joining up with the group and it's an interesting thought process from him.

We get a lot of background on Biter that actually made me feel kind of bad for him...very briefly. Very, very, briefly. He's still super creepy and in need of being dealt with I'm not going to lie. So luckily enough, Minoru has his showdown with Biter...again. I was expecting the whole thing with Biter to be drawn out so I was quite surprised to see the turn events took this volume. The Isolator has a really nice pace to it and it keeps the story moving forward. 

This volume is mostly action, and the fights and powers and how they're used are all very well drawn! I'm forever happy when I come across a manga that portrays those scenes well because I've seen a fair few where the art for battle scenes has been...questionable. Shall we say. Minoru is the main focus of the volume and we only see Yumiko and DD briefly towards the end, but we do get to meet Himi, the guy in charge! I liked the focus on Minoru and him sorting everything out, and wrestling the problem around. His price for joining is....interesting to say the least, and I guess we'll see if he sticks with it though. 

Volume 2 is the volume that prepares us for things really getting started. We've been introduced to the world and the main characters, as well as what's going on with it all and our MC has finally decided to suit up and join the fight. There's still so much I want to know, and that we have to discover and I'm anticipating next volume getting us more acquainted with the organisation, as well as introducing us to some more characters as we delve deeper in to the plot. These first two volumes are kind of just the opening chapter, if you will! 
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Friday, 24 November 2017

Manga: Seven Deadly Sins 23


Seven Deadly Sins Vol 23
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

With Meliodas out of commission after his battle with The Ten Commandments, it’s up to Elizabeth, Ban, and the rest of The Seven Deadly Sins to avenge him and bring him back. While Elizabeth, hoping to find the key that will bring Meliodas back to her, visits Meliodas’s memories, Escanor goes head-to-head with Estarossa, the Commandment of Love. Will Escanor’s pride prevail and bring him to victory, or will it lead to his downfall?

After the ending of the last volume, the wait for this one was pretty excruciating, I'm not going to lie! This volume certainly didn't disappoint either. There are some reaaaally nice parallels to how the series started, with a scary knight wandering about and showing up at the tavern. I actually really liked that whole scene, it was such a nice touch, and made me all nostalgic for the older volumes! It kind of gave a sense of how much things had changed too! 

The wandering knight heralds a giant plot twist, and I genuinely screeched "WTF?!" out loud at the reveal. I still can't even. I mean technically it's not a new character, but I can't say much else because spoilers. But said newish character is pretty hilarious and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the character in the coming volumes, as well as a certain reunion! 

With Meliodas down for the count, we get to go in to his memories and see what happened after Danafall, something I've been curious about for a long time. There's still a lot of mystery surrounding Danafall and we get a little piece filled in, as long as some background on Elizabeth. But it was nice to get to see more of Meliodas and his life, and how the Seven Deadly Sins came to be. The world and the characters are getting more and more fleshed out and little bits filled in with each of the volumes. Interestingly we get some more information on Meliodas and his curse and how it works. 

While that's all going on, everyone else is pulling together to try to fight the Commandments. We don't see much of Gil, Ban and Howser but we do get a glimpse. Escanor gets a lot of page time this volume, and he gets his badass moment...sort of! 

It really feels like we're starting afresh in this volume, a brand new chapter is beginning, the parallels to the first volume kind of underline it and it feels like everything is being manoeuvred in to place in this volume for the next stage of the story. Some pieces fall in to place with some revelations and everything's ready for the big showdown that's no doubt coming as our heroes you know...heroically fight back. We also get an intriguing little bonus story too that should prove to be interesting! 


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