Saturday 7 November 2015

xxxHolic Rei volume 1 review

xxxHolic Rei volume 1 Review
by Geordi Demorest

Review:                                Yuko has never really been one of my favorite leads in a manga and this volume spotlights one of her biggest flaws as a protagonist: she takes this whatever will be will be attitude which makes her difficult to root for. Instead she chooses to spend her time talking in circles and indulging in alcohol and smoking to pass the time while her clients fall metaphorically apart. That said, xxxHolic rei’s first volume has an almost hypnotic grasp over its readers and is the perfect book to read before going to sleep.
This new series returns Yuko to being the owner of the wish granting shop while Watanuki resumes being her flunky. While it’s clear something is amiss throughout the entire volume no one cares to explain it to the audience. Plot has never been one of xxxHolic strong suits. The aspect that ultimately compels the reader to continue is the strange relationship between Watanuki and Domeki. Watanuki spends the entire book asking for answers while Yuko would rather be vague and give non-answers that confuse both Watanuki and the reader.
I preferred when Watanuki was the shopkeeper because he was a lot more clear on what his goal was and was much more proactive in helping his clients that Yuko continues to be. In conclusion, I would say, that this would be a good jumping on point for new readers to the series. For those of us who have continued the series until now, well, there’s really no escaping for us at this point.

Grade: B-

xxxHolic Rei is available in print and digitally from Kodansha Comics.

Metamo Kiss vol. 1-3 review

Metamo Kiss volumes 1-3 Review
By Geordi Demorest

Review:                                I think the word “meh” is what best describes Mteamo Kiss ultimately. That isn’t to say the entire series is subpar but in the final book when you  would think the plot would really be ramped up the protagonist just kind stands around absent mindedly happy and the entire series ends with most of its subplots unresolved. In the afterward to the series one the characters are chatting with the “author” of the book and one of them calls the author a hack and, in all honesty, that probably wasn’t too far off.
The first two books have an actual tension but the third (which is also the final) book just goes “oh yeah, right, this a romance” and so in the last two pages the leads are a couple, inexplicably, despite having shared no actual moments or chemistry. And then the audience just walks away without having gained or lost anything. To the credit of the series, the first two volumes feature compelling, colorful characters and interactions and feels like it takes the tired bodyswap premise and uses it creatively. Ultimately Metamo Kiss is bland and forgettable. It starts off well but in the end just kind of fizzles out.

Grade: C

Metamo Kiss is available digitally from Viz Media.