Thursday 18 December 2014

Terra Formars volume 1 review

Terra Formars volume 1 story by Yu Sasuga, Art by Yu Tachibana Review

From the publisher: “After humanity’s first manned mission to the Red Planet was lost, a second expedition arrives. The explorers prepare to exterminate the cockroaches that were used to transform the Martian environment, but are shocked to discover that the insects have mutated into giant, aggressive humanoids with one overriding goal—exterminate the humans! However, this crew of explorers has each undergone the “Bugs Procedure,” terrifying experimental surgery designed to make them more than human…”

If you ever wondered what a Hollywood movie would look like as a manga than this is probably it. That is not a compliment. Dripping with uncomfortable racism and constant numbing gore, this series is probably not for those with weak stomachs. It isn’t clever enough to be challenging either it really is a big dumb action flick in comic format. I really have nothing good to say about this. They actually have someone who has a big cigar in their mouth at all times. The one Chinese character is little more than a stereo type. I’m not kidding when I say that everyone is a cliché. At the very least the book moves along at a steady clip so I was out of my misery sooner. In conclusion I would say skip Terra Formars; it’s racist mindless garbage. 

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Witchcraft Works volume 1 review

Witchcraft Works volume 1 story & art by Ryu Mizunagi Review

From the publisher: “There is something unusual about the Tougetsu Academy. While on the surface it may seem like just another private Japanese high school; hidden amongst its student body, though, are a few youngsters with some unique abilities. One of them is Honoka Takamiya. He may not know it yet, but inside him lurks something very powerful. And it is the job of the school’s idol, Ayaka Kagari, to protect Takamiya from anyone, or anything, wishing to capitalize on his innate abilities.

Dare to harm her “Princess”, and watch out— you’ll get burned!”

                The first volume is mostly character introductions and some world building. With that being said the comedy is ramped up to 10. The book also boasts stellar artwork. The plot is moving glacially. We see our first major plot development only during the final pages of the book. Pacing issues aside, this is a fun first volume. The humor seldom falls flat. In conclusion I would as perhaps loan this from a library before deciding whether it is for you. It has little reread value and will not be to everyone’s liking but if you enjoy something delightfully mindless this might be up your alley.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

The Diary of Ochibi Chapters 1-37 review

The Diary of Ochibi Chapters 1-37 Story & Art by Moyoco Anno Review

From the publisher: “I can help you laugh, but I can't take away the tears you've shed." In Mametsubu-cho, a town somewhere in the ancient Japanese city of Kamakura, Ochibi lives a relaxed, easy life. With his friend Nazeni the dog, Jack the naughty kitten, and Pankui the hungry dog, Ochibi's year in Mametsubu-cho is filled with encounters and new discoveries! Flower-viewing in spring, swimming in summer, collecting leaves in fall, and eating yummy food in winter. The changing seasons are drawn with a”

   The Diary of Ochibi may very well be the most adorable series you’ll ever read. Anno put a lot of detail into the gorgeous full color artwork. This series is radically different in tone and stylistically from any manga I’ve read before. Honestly I found the protagonist was a character I was able to sympathize with quite a bit. Ochibi is a very easy character to like and the series as a whole is genuinely heartwarming. There really is not overarching narrative per se. The series mostly functions as a series of one page vignettes. IN contrast it becomes apparent that not much effort was put into translating it with dialogue frequently going out of the bubble. In conclusion I would say read Ochibi if you enjoy series which are cute and innocent.  

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Salty Studio Chapters 1-26 review

Salty Studio Chapters 1-26 story & art by Omyo Review

From the publisher: “Togeun used to work for his father’s company without any passion, so he quits his job and moves out from his parents’ house in order to follow his dream in drawing. At the homecoming party (reunion party), Togeun begs Sonagi, a great illustrator, to teach him how to draw.”

Salty Studio has, if nothing else, really nice artwork. Its biggest flaw is the molasses like pacing. The series takes a long time to go from plot point to plot point. Instead the series opts to coast on nostalgia. To be fair the series uses its slow pacing wisely: often having character development mixed in between gags. Which brings me to the humor which is far more miss than hit. In conclusion Salty Studio has a number of flaws whether one is in search of Josei comics might very well be a deciding factor on whether or not they will pick this series up to read.



A Class Of Misfit Students Must Save Mankind From A Destructive Alien Invader Who May Also Be The Best Teacher They Ever Had; New Action Series To Launch In Print And Digitally

San Francisco, CA, December 2, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, delivers to domestic readers today one of the most popular new manga (graphic novel) series currently sweeping Japan – ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM.

This high school alien-teacher in the classroom action comedy by creator Yusei Matsui is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and debuts in print under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM Vol. 1 will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Subsequent volumes for the continuing series are scheduled for print release on a bi-monthly basis.

The digital edition of ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM will also debut on December 2nd for $6.99 (U.S./CAN), across all platforms serviced by and the VIZ Manga App. The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. The digital edition will be similarly available on digital storefronts for the Kindle, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, ComiXology, and Nook.

A humorous and action-packed story about a class of misfits who are trying to kill their new teacher – an alien octopus with bizarre powers and super strength! The teacher has just destroyed the moon and is threatening to destroy the earth – unless his students can destroy him first. What makes things more complicated is that he's the best teacher they've ever had!

“ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM is an over-the-top, action thrill ride that readers will definitely want to put on their manga hit lists,” says Annette Roman, Editor. “The series has drawn widespread acclaim in Japan where it is one of the top titles featured in Shonen Jump magazine. We invite readers to spend their winter semester at a high school unlike any other with a zany class of misfit students upon whom rests the future of humanity!”

Manga creator Yusei Matsui was born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan and has been drawing since elementary school. Some of his favorite manga series are Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and Ultimate Muscle (all published in North America by VIZ Media). Matsui honed his talents working as an assistant to manga artist Yoshio Sawai, creator of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. In 2005, he debuted his original series, Neuro: Supernatural Detective, in Weekly Shonen Jump. In 2007, Neuro was adapted into an anime series. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM began serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan in 2012. An anime adaptation based on the manga series is set to debut in early 2015.

For more information on ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM and other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

Lumberjanes issues 1-6 review

Lumberjanes issues 1-6 Review

From the publisher: “Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things.”

For an all ages comic about being a scout this is maddeningly addictive! The artwork is gorgeous. The LGBT subplot is well executed. The plot becomes nonsensical at times though which can be a major problem. This is probably to appeal to a younger audience but it still feels a touch forced. The series works mostly because of the group dynamic between the loveable cast of characters. In conclusion I would say read at the very least the first issue to see if this is up your alley. If you enjoy series with LGBT elements and a strong core cast this series will be hard to beat!

Monday 1 December 2014

Takujo no Ageha Chapters 2 & 3 review

Takujo no Ageha Chapters 2 & 3 Story & Art by Itsuki Furuya Review

                These chapters basically bring to the forefront Furuya’s knack for comedy. I was bursting into fits of laughter every other page. This series excels in every aspect a shonen series can: comedy, artwork, action, etc. While Ageha makes for a compelling protagonist the supporting cast is equally if not moreso entertaining. It is worth noting that this series will not be to everyone’s liking: the series has rampant problems with sexism. That being said the manor in which it handled makes it easy to forgive to a certain degree. In conclusion I would say read these chapters. The comedy is miles above most Japanese comics’. I sincerely hope we see more of this series in the future in the west.

Gakyu Hotei: School Judgement Chapter 1 review

Gakyu Hotei: School Judgement Chapter 1 Story by Nobuaki Enoki, Art by Takeshi Obata Review

                From the publisher: “The world is experiencing an "era of educational collapse"! In order to combat it, the government has introduced a revolutionary new system into grade schools called the School Judgment System! A system of the children, by the children, and for the children. Students can take each other to court with real-life consequences! One of the toughest lawyers just started school, and he's going to find out just who cut up the classroom pet—a super cute fish! Get ready for some serious courtroom action in the classroom drama!”

                Great artwork? Yes! Entertaining? Most certainly! Well written? Thus far it is impossible to tell. There is so much nonsense going on and it is only the first chapter. I have no idea whether this series is trying taking itself seriously or not. It is clear a lot of effort and passion went into this chapter though. It is awful hard for me to not compare this to the artist’s past successes and how those at least had some grounding in reality. If one is looking for something truly unique and a breath of fresh air in a medium that is known for its overuse of tropes and clichés I’d say read this for those who are huge fans of the artist’s darker work I would say stick with those for the time being. For myself there is no way to avert my gaze from this oddity.