First Impressions: Pokemon Black and White

PBW 1

-Pokémon Black and White, volumes 1+2

-Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto

-Vizkids by Viz Media

Hey everyone, I havn’t been able to pos much in the last few weeks as I’ve just moved to London and started a new job. Between settling in and work I’ve not had much time to read manga, and when I have been I’ve mostly been catching up with One Piece which I don’t bother blogging about since I’m so far behind in the series. Anyway here’s a short refection on the start of the Pokemon Black and white series to settle us back in.

I’ve picked up a few volumes of the Black and White series in the short editions (well under 100 pages each) and so far read through the first two. The story follows along the same lines of the Black and White games while at the same time taking its own path. For instance at the start of the series Black, Cheren and Bianca receive their pokemon from Professor Juniper, however, Black already has two pokemon. I didn’t really think that this was necessary and it kind of destroys the whole idea in Pokemon that the trainers receive their first pokemon from the professor. But nonetheless the series gets started very well.

Black begins his journey through the Unova region alone but soon meets White, a pokemon talent agent who trains pokemon to act in films. The two start working together in the second volume where they come face to face with Team Plasma for the first time.

These editions are published by vizkids, same as most other pokemon manga. However, I really think that this series is a lot more childish then the Red and Yellow arcs were. It is quite corny in places, but it is still a pokemon manga and I shall continue to power through it regardless. My recommendation for this series so far would be to not go out of your way looking for it, but if you see it do pick it up, they are very reasonably priced in most places I’ve seen them (retail at US$4.99,) I actually got 3 volumes for £8.

I will try my hardest to have some more postings going up in the near future, but I can’t really commit to a regular schedule at this time which I am sure you all will understand.

Turtle

Check out cheap manga and books with free worldwide delivery at: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=turtlemanga

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Reflection: Btooom! vol. 5

btooom 5

-Btooom! Volume 5

-Junya Inoue

-Yen Press

Volume five of Btooom! starts out with a three chapter background of Himiko. The readers discover the history of her distrust of men, both on and off of the island. It is also revealed why she was sent to the island, by nomination of her ‘friends’ as she mentioned earlier in the series. I didn’t care too much for this part. I think it could have been shorter than the three chapters Inoue dedicated to it and that the graphics in a couple of the scenes at a little too much.

Anyway, the series regular returns after this sort of side story. We rejoin Sakamoto and Himiko in the abandoned medical centre after the fight with Natsume and Miyamoto. They decide it is too late to try and return to their camp where Taira was left waiting for them. The find a safe room to sleep but in the middle of the night Himiko is awakened by what she calls a ‘ghost’. After a long period of time searched the centre the pair finally uncover a hideout occupied by a mysterious woman who cannot be detected by their radar.

Overall, didn’t care much for this volume. I think the extent of the Himiko’s background is a little over the top, but hey that what’s the mangaka wanted, and so be it. Anyway, the series as a whole is still awesome so its not enough at all to make me stop reading it.

Turtle

Find cheap manga and books at:  http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=turtlemanga

FInal Review: Maoh Juvenile Remix

Maoh covers

-Maoh: Juvenile Remix

-Kotaro Isaka and Megumi Osuga

-Viz Media

The whole way through this series I said that it was kind of disappointing but had the capacity to become absolutely awesome. Reading the series you get the sense that something absolutely crazy is about to go down. However, the fact that the madness doesn’t go down until the final volume is bad enough, but then it all falls just short of what, as a reader, I really wanted to see.

From the very beginning of the series the impression that something really good could be getting built up is seen and that is actually what got me wanting to continue reading the series. Throughout the series there are a couple of ‘holy-shit’ moments, but the impression continued that something big is still coming. About halfway through, everything becomes a lot darker as the story shifts between main character and we are introduced to the underworld of Nekota city. However, even the full possibilities of this element of the story aren’t followed up to a great level and soon it too becomes a letdown.

**SPOILERS – Skip to final paragraph for recommendations**

The final volume kicks off with Frauline’s plans to eliminate the threat of both Inukai and Junya. Their snipers take up position to shoot Inukai at his rally and the assassins and cannibals hired by the son of their CO prepair to track down their targets (Junya’s friends).  However, our Junya isn’t just going to sit back and let this happen, and calls in all the assassins he’s met throughout the series. A ‘freak’ earthquake causes the snippers to miss their shot before the pusher end them. Back at Frauline’s bowling alley their hired killers return unable to find their targets, when low and behold there they are bowling with Anderson. Before they are able to get to them Semi appears and has a nice little rampage working his way through each of them, leaving just the COs son alive. In comes he Suicider and on his target list is Semi’s left over. News of his son’s suicide reaches the CO who quickly arrives at the bowling alley, but realizing what is happening tries to leave in a rush, but the pusher arrives for this third kill of the day pushing him in front of his own car. In just a matter of minutes the threat of Frauline is no more.

So all that remains is eliminating Inukai right? Well how about a ten year time skip instead and wait until he becomes the Prime Minister. WHAT? Oh but wait, Junya is now organizing a confrontation with Inukai. Werll Okay maybe some serious shit is going to go down now. But no, not really. All that really happens is that it reveals that the two kids of the Pusher have the power to cause earthquakes (‘shocking’) and Inukai sees Junya standing in the middle of the stadium after the rest of the audience runs away during an earthquake caused by the Pushers kids. And that’s it.

*End of Spoilers*

Overall, I was quite pissed off by the end of the series that it spent ten volumes building up something that never happened. The last volume begins so intense and awesome, and then suddenly we get to the concluding chapter and nothing fucking happens. I really must commend the mangaka on doing a fantastic job of using ten volumes to build up something that wasn’t going to happen. So would I recommend this series? If you can get it o the cheap then buy it, otherwise don’t bother. Don’t bother spending money that could buy better series’. Don’t bother going out of your way looking for this. Don’t bother reading something that ends with such a ‘fuck you’ to the readers. I really enjoyed this series in the four or five volumes before that final chapter, but then, it happened. Or rather, nothing happened. DO not waste your time on Maoh: Juvenile Remix.

Turtle

Check Maoh out for yourself at:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781421540399/?a_aid=turtlemanga

Reflection: Vinland Saga, book 2

Vinland Saga book 2

-Vinland Saga, book 2

-Makoto Yukimura

-Kodansha Comics

Book two of this series starts off just as awesome as the first book did. A Viking Army led by King Sweyn of Denmark has been laying siege to England. Attention has turned to taking down the fortified city of London who’s army is led by the traitor Thorkell. Askeladd’s band is part of the attacking force and sends Thorfinn to down Thorkell. The pair have an intense battle but just as Thorfinn takes the upper hand the Vikings are called back from their attack and Thorkell vows to finish their battle on another day.

With the winter fast approaching most of the Nordics start to make their way north back to the Nordic controlled territories in Northern England. A few hundred remain, under the control Prince Canute, around London to prevent reinforcements from arriving to help the English. Thorkell will not be held for long though and quickly the English army capture the Danish prince and set out on pursuit of the migrating Viking army. Hearing of the capture of the prince Askeladd decides to take matters into his own hands to rescue the prince and be awarded by King Sweyn. With the Prince now with Askeladds band Thorkell grows angry and a hunt begins as the small Viking force attempts to flee through Wales and reach the Nordic territory in the North.

Book two is really tense with several really good battle scenes, but there are also a fair few stand offs which slow the pace of the story own. As with the first book, the action does fade a little throughout, however, it still holds the readers as we slowly learn the intentions all of the sides in the battle and negotiations commence between them.

A note must also be made for the quality of these books as well. I’m reading the hand cover publications which include two volumes of the series in each one. The paper is of the best quality and the books themselves are absolutely beautiful to look at. If you are considering buying this series, these hardcover editions are the way to go.

Turtle

Check out cheap manga with free worldwide delivery at: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=turtlemanga

Random Pick-up 1: Rebound vol. 1

Rebound

-Rebound

-Yuriko Nishiyama

-Tokyo Pop

Lately I have been picking up a few volume ones as they appear in a local used book store just to check out some different series that I wouldn’t usually have picked up. The shop is really good price wise, so I don’t mind buying stuff that I don’t think I’ll like too much because it won’t break the bank or anything. In regard to these volumes I thought I would start a new series just discussing the random stuff I pick up, so here’s the first one.

Rebound is a sequel to another Tokyopop series ‘Harlem Beat’, which I have also never read. The story in the first volume follows a high school basketball team from Tokyo as they travel to Sapporo for a national competition. As a sequel to another series most of the characters aren’t introduced in much detail and as such it kind of puts the reader in the back seat from the set out. It also refers back to other events from earlier, again taking away from the new story.

As far as the story of the first volume goes the team arrives in Sapporo and at their hotel where they immediately come to odds with another team who turns out to be their first round rivals. Coming close to blows in the hotel lobby the coaches manage to ease the teams a little and separate them. The following day the teams make peace and decide to have a slam dunk competition the night before their match. I felt that the background of the players from this other team was built far more successfully than the main characters, but sense that they may not appear for much longer in the series as they are just another team in the national competition which will probably disappear after it ends.

Would I buy more of this series? I probably won’t, or at least not unless I find some volumes of Harlem Beat first and read it over. As far as basketball manga go, Slam Dunk is the most popular and well-known as I would probably read it rather than these series. I think Rebound will just sit on my shelf as an odd one volume.

Turtle

Check out some manga for very good prices and free worldwide delivery at: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=turtlemanga

Reflection: Doubt vol. 1

Doubt volume 1

I never heard of Doubt before I spotted it in a bookstore while on holiday in England last week. The description on the back sounded pretty good so I decided I would pick it up.

The story begins with a group of five teenagers meeting for the first time after meeting playing an online game. For the most part everyone is getting along grand, with exemption of a few small scrapes. The group decides to go to Karaoke where they continue to get to know each other.

However, everything turns when the main character Yuu goes to the bathroom. Whilst in the bathroom he is met by a person wearing rabbit mask who knocks him unconscious. When Yuu comes through he finds himself in a dark room with another of the teens he had met through the game. After a little looking around they discover the body of one of the girls he met hanging from a wall. Once regrouped with all of his friend, they realise they are locked in a building with no escape route a forced to play the game ‘Doubt’ which they had all met through. The game requires the group to interrogate each other to discover who the murderer in the group is. They have to kill their suspect and if they are wrong one of them will be killed again.

The story is a very interesting read. Immediately after I started reading I was trying to solve the mystery myself. It forces the reader into the story to try and figure out who the ‘wolf’ is among them.  The story is complemented very well with absolutely fantastic artwork. The illustrations are very graphic and detailed.

While reading I am reminded a lot of Btooom!, which has a fairly similar idea behind it. Both stories deal with people being forced into playing a real life version of an online video game. Although Doubt takes place on a far smaller scale and is more of a mental game opposed to a strategy game like Btooom!. I don’t think I can say that I like one over the other because although they sound quite similar, they are actually very different.

There’s only two volumes in the series, both being fairly large volumes. If you enjoy series similar to Btooom or Battle Royale I would recommend this to you, and although the volumes are a little more expensive than other series, there is only two so it won’t break the bank to own the series.  

Turtle

Check out Doubt for yourself: http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780316245302/?a_aid=turtlemanga

First Impression: Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderand 1

Manga: Deadman Wonderland
Story/Illustration: Jinsei Kataoka / Kazuma Kondou
Publisher: Viz Media

Deadman Wonderland was recommended to me a couple of months ago by a fellow blogger and follower who has been very supportive of my blog since I started it. As a token of thanks I decided I would pick up Deadman Wonderland and write a couple of posts about it.

The series follows eighth grade student Ganta Igarashii as he enters the crazy world of the death row prison ‘Deadman Wonderland’. After a mysterious red being kills his entire class and leaves him as the lone survivor, Ganta is sentenced to death in a quite trial. The prison is located in a former theme park in the ruins of Tokyo. At the prison inmates fight for survival while providing entertainment for tourists.

The whole idea of the film reminds of the old cult movies from the 70s and 80s like Death Race where people fight and kill in mass numbers as a form of entertainment. A little like Hunger Games too, but a fair bit more awesome. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect as the series goes on, but I look forward to seeing what way the author decides to take the concept.

As I said before, Deadman Wonderland was recommended to me by another blogger, and I would recommend going over to his page and checking out his review of the series and other series. His review is available at: http://manganiche.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/down-a-different-rabbit-hole-deadman-wonderland/

Let me know what you guys think of this series. I’ll post more about Deadman Wonderland after I finish the first volume. Until then

Turtle

Check out Deadman Wonderland for yourself, available from: http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781421555485/?a_aid=turtlemanga