Reflection: Magi volume 1

Magi 1

Most nights before I go to bed I spend some time watching different Vloggers on YouTube, and from some of the Anime and manga channels I get most of my recommendations. Others come from some readers of this blog who have recommended series to me. Magi is one of the series I first heard of from Youtube. I had taken note of the series after seeing several people discuss it online, and when I finally saw volume one in a shop, I had to pick it up.

The first volume of this series introduces the readers to the main characters and brings the story to a start. Aladdin, with his stuck in a jar djinn Ugo, meet Alibaba while travelling in a cart. Alibaba tells Aladdin of the stories of the dungeons which have appeared all around the world. It is said that they all contain great riches which can be collected by whoever can conquer the dungeon. Filled with mysterious beasts and tests, very few have ever returned from a dungeon once they have entered. The new acquaintances agree to team-up in hopes of finding their very own treasure.

My Opinion:
I really enjoyed reading the start of this series. Magi is a classic story of an unlikely duo working together to find riches beyond either of their imaginations. The story really sucked me in from the start, and made me laugh quite a lot while reading. And I mean laugh out loud in the literal sense. It’s the simply things really. One chapter follows Alibaba showing Aladdin around the market as they buy all the equipment they need for their expedition to the dungeon, only for it to be revealed to be across the street from Alibaba’s home. The characters have been introduced very well, giving the readers a reasonable description of the types of people they are. The illustrations as well are simply sublime. Not the best manga illustration, but very well suited to the series in my opinion.

I just ordered volumes two and three today and can’t wait to read them. I think that most manga readers would enjoy this series, and recommend it to anyone who reads this. I will have more posts on this series posted in due course and really look forward to reading more.

As I mentioned above, I get a lot of my recommendations from you guys, so if you have any recommendations, let me know what they are and what you like about it. You can get a reasonable idea of what I’m reading now from my post on my manga collection. I’ll be away for a couple days from now, but I will be back and promise some more manga posts when I return.

Talk to you all soon



Reflection: Maoh: Juvenile Remix, volume 5


For anyone who hasn’t heard about his series or read my previous posts about it, Maoh: Juvenile Remix is a series about a city which is struggling to come to terms with modernity. In the worst possible way. Basically, an American company teamed up with the city’s mayor has forced people from their homes and businesses to shut down so that they can build what they call the ‘New Urban Centre’. The citizens are left feeling the blunt as hundreds are made unemployed as they watch their livelihoods be ripped apart. Feeding off the anger of the people an organisation called ‘the Grasshoppers’ has risen up lead by a young man called Inukai. Inukai aims to destroy the project at any means. Unable to accept the actions of the Grasshoppers, the series’ main character Ando becomes conflicted as he cannot justify the actions of either side.



We kick volume 5 off with members of grasshopper lighting the elderly couple who Anderson has been working for house on fire. A mob gathers to watch Anderson and the couple die, only to see him walk out of the flames carrying the man. Ando and Junya appear on the scene and after some confrontation with the mob they enter the burning house to rescue the woman. Ando uses his ventriloquism power to turn the mob against itself, giving them time to escape.

Meanwhile, Semi’s job of protecting the Mayor becomes more challenging as countless assassins have been sent to kill him. Semi tries his best to protect the mayor, killing his way through his hotel, but in the end it is all for nothing. Another assassin has been waiting for the mayor in his room and using a power of his own convinces the mayor to kill himself by jumping from the top floor of the hotel. Semi comes face to face with this unknown ‘suicider’ and has to fight to resist illusions that have been set onto him by this man.

Following the fire Ando accepts that he can no longer sit back watch as innocent people are put in harm’s way and do nothing. He decrees that he will defeat Inukai using his ability. A short time skip then occurs and he rejoin Ando a month later on the trail of Inukai and planning how he will confront him. Just as he is about to give up Ando discovers that Inukai will be at a Grasshopper rally in six days and decides that this will be when their battle will begin.


My Opinion:

I knew this series had some good potential. The first four volumes were really nothing special, but everything is starting to kick off now, and I can’t wait to see how Ando is going to confront Inukai at the rally. The story lines are all starting to be drawn in together with Ando and Semi once crossing paths once again. Junya has finally had an impact on the story, up until now he was just kind of whining and annoying. The illustrations in this volume are amazing, especially the fight scenes between Semi and the other assassins. Also, the character designs of the people in the mob at the fire was very good too. All in all, I was very happy with volume five and I’m looking forward to the next one.



Reflection: Maoh Juvenile Remix, Volume 3


I picked up volumes 3, 4 and 5 of this series a couple weeks and only getting around to reading it now.



A lot happens in volume three. It begins with the hostage situation at the petrol station where volume 2 left off. Ando and Inukai come face to face and they struggle to each have the situation end they way that they intend. Following the hostage situation Inukai and Ando have a meeting and Inukai tells Ando that he believes that it is his destiny to change the world, and that Ando’s destined to try and stop him. A few new characters are also introduced in this volume. Anderson, the son of Mr. Anderson of the Anderson group (I’ll say Anderson one more time for good measure here) joins Ando’s class while his father works in Japan. Anderson has no interest in his father’s corporation and is much more interested in becoming friends with Ando and plans to open an English tutoring school after finishing school. Another new character introduced towards the end of the volume is the Hornet girl. To say she’s weird is a bit of an understatement. Her sole purpose is to hunt down and kill the grasshoppers, as well as anyone else who gets in her way.


My Opinion:

I’m starting to get a little bored of the series. More and more characters are being introduced and the story is all over the place. There has been so much build up in the first few volumes and nothing really has happened. So many characters keep returning, but none have really been developed. We know Junya is Ando’s brother, but nothing else really. Characters come and go and nothing really happens. There’s so many characters that enter the story then disappear and just leaves you trying to figure out what’s happening.



I’m through three volumes of a total of ten. The story might improve and something actually happening. I have up to volume 5 here so I’ll keep reading but I can’t see myself buying anymore of the series as long as it keeps going the way it is. Give it a shot if you want. The concept is very good, but the execution has really held it back in my own opinion.



Final Review: Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata



My initial thoughts after finishing the final pages of this series… Now what? Since I started reading the series last summer Bakuman I have submerged myself as much as possible into the story. It was the series that solidified my interest in reading manga and now it’s over.



The main story of Bakuman follows two young manga artists working to achieve their dream of being the most successful Mangaka in Japan. The series begins when Junior High students Moritaka Mashiro is invited by his classmate Akito Takagi to become his partner and make manga with him. Initially Mashiro is hesitant; however Takagi wins him over after bringing him to talk to his long-time crush, Miho Azuki. Mashiro discovers that Azuki has a dream to be an anime voice actress and the pair agrees that they will encourage each other to achieve their respective dreams. As added motivation they decide that once Azuki is able to do the voice of the heroine from Mashiro’s manga, they will get married.

From here the series takes off, as Mashiro and Takagi push to achieve their goals. They write up a one-shot which they bring in to show an editor at Shonen Jump and from here they never look back. The pair pushes themselves to the absolute limits to ensure that everything they create is the absolute best it can be. Struggling to be the best they can be while still trying to finish school proves too difficult at times and at one point they even end up having to work out of a hospital. The pair never lose sight of their goals and keep bending the editorial offices rules as they wish so as to achieve them.

All the characters in the series are very well developed and you can’t help but to grow fond of them all. Along with the main characters we are introduced to many others such as editors from Shonen Jump and other artists. Every volume brings more and more characters into the series who each add a little something to the mix. The writers are not afraid to shift the focus away from the main story to build on the story’s of the others. We see plenty of side story’s about the other characters such as Iwase’s depression and the relationship between Hiramaru and Ko Aoki.


The series end really the only way it could have, with a single kiss. Muto Ashirogi’s  series Reversi has been made into an anime and as promised Azuki is doing the voice of the heroine. After the first episode finishes Mashiro picks Azuki up Mashiro builds up the courage to ask her to marry him. She responds simply by saying that the last time they met they agreed they would have their first kiss when they see each other again. The series end with the image of the two sharing in their first kiss.


My Opinion:

One weekend last August I found myself in Forbidden Planet in Belfast looking at manga and deciding which one I would buy. This would be the first time I ever bought manga and had no idea what to get. I had watched Neon Genesis Evangelion with a couple friends a few months before and decided to grab the 3-in-1 volume. When I went to pay the guy working the counter told me that all manga is buy 2 get one free. I looked over at a little stand next to the counter and just grabbed the first two volumes of Bakuman which was sitting on it. This random decision to just grab whatever was closest to me at the time has made me an Otaku. My manga collection is now nearing 100 volumes and that doesn’t count everything I’ve read online. As the first series I ever bought, Bakuman will always hold a special spot for me.

The series truly has been brilliant. Since I bought those first two volumes I havn’t been able to walk in a comic book shop without leaving with the next volume. With every chapter I read, I had to read on. With every volume I read, I had to go buy more. The writing of the series is so perfect in the way it progresses the story and keeps the readers wanting more. The art is fantastic and above all else this series has created a love for the work of Takeshi Obata’s work [DeathNote, All You Need is Kill, Hikaru no go].

All and all, the series is very interesting to read and once you begin you can’t help but to read on. I havn’t heard or seen a single person who has said they started reading Bakuman and didn’t get sucked into the story. It will keep you interested right through until the entire series is over, and even then you want more.



I try not to give a numerical rating for anything on my blog, rather a short note of either recommended, or not. In the case of Bakuman I have no idea how to express just how good the series is. Everyone should read it. The story is great. The artwork is amazing. The character development is fantastic. At twenty volumes it is a great length, not too short to be rushed or to miss on character development, and not too long to be dragging on and lose the readers interest. I honestly can’t recommend this series enough, it holds a special place for me, and if every I find myself recommending a series to get someone interesting in manga, this will be it.



Let me know what you thought of the series, and what was your favourite moment. In my last post I wrote about my favourite characters and in the future will do on the best manga series in Bakuman. SO go check those out and let me know your favourites. I’d also like to apologise to anyone who I’ve left waiting for this post. I actually finished the series almost two weeks ago but had fallen behind on college work so havn’t been posting much lately. I’ll try to get a bit of a stockpile built up of posts so this doesn’t happen again. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading my posts, expect more in the future.




Check Bakuman out for yourself, available at


Top 10: Bakuman Characters


This was intended to be a short little list, but I ended up getting carried away. This entry ended up three times longer than most of my posts, but what can I say. I really like Bakuman.


Number 10: Heishi:

The deputy editor-in-chief, made Editor-in-chief of Shonen Jump. He appears quite regularly and usually gets involved with the debates and arguments that are so common in the office. Why did I pick him as my number ten? Simply put, his reaction to being made editor-in-chief is just fantastic, and for that alone he got bumped up the list enough to make the top ten.


Number 9: Nanamine:

One of Muto Ashirogi’s biggest fans turned manga artist. Once serialized in Jump Nanamine becomes enemy number one for virtually every mangaka in the magazine. His tactics go against everything the magazine stands for and can really only be described as somewhat Fordist. The battle for rankings to try and get rid of Nanamine is very interesting and although I made it very clear I didn’t like the final arc he appeared in, he remains a staple rival for the Ashirogi pair.


Number 8: Miho Azuki:

The story of Miho and Mashiro’s relationship is really the key story line for the entire series. Although I really enjoy the story and the history of this relationship, Miho doesn’t appear that often in the series and when she does it’s usually accompanied by long awkward silences between the two. As an important part of the story and for her efforts to achieve a dream and promise she made, Miho has been made my number 8.


Number 7: Akito Takagi:

One of the main characters and the writer for the Muto Ashirogi partnership, there would be no series without Akito. However, I often found that his character was a little under developed compared to other major characters and this held his ranking down on my list. I didn’t really grow as fond of Akito and several times during the series I started to really dislike him. He has a tendency of going off to work on his own and shutting out everyone close to him in doing so. Overall, he just wasn’t as likable as other characters.


Number 6: Kaya:

In the early part of the series Kaya is simply a legend. She really doesn’t take any shit from anyone. I don’t know how many times she gives Mashiro and Akito a good smack at the start of the series. Later on she becomes a major character in the studio always around tidying and helping the guys with their problems. I quite enjoyed reading the relationship between herself and Akito as well as the friendship she builds with Mashiro as the series goes on. Her presence always made a scene more entertaining throughout the whole series.


Number 5: Akira Hattori:

Muto Ashirogi’s editor as Shonen Jump for most of the series. He’s kind of a funny looking guy, I have no ideas why the artist decided to make his lips the way he did. I quite like how loyal Hattori is to his artists and how much he was willing to go and fight to defend them the many times they caused trouble for the editorial department. Even when he worked with different artists you could see the passion he had for their work and commitment he puts into ensuring they succeed. A true professional in his workplace and the odd time when you see him outside of work, usually having a drink with Yojiro Hattori, his brother, you get another glimpse of just how much he believes in the artist’s he represents.


Number 4: Eiji Nizuma:

Nizuma is so weird, and you can’t help but to be fascinated by him as a result. Another young manga prodigy, Jump wastes no time in giving Nizuma his own series, and before long he has two. Ashirogi identify him early in the series as their main rival and this rivalry continues right until the series ends. His technique for creating manga can only be described as genius and you have to admire the passion he has for his own work. Towards the end of the series when it is revealed just how much manga he was created it is astonishing. A truly fantastic rival for the main characters, I don’t know how many times I stopped reading just to look up and say “Nizuma is so weird”.


Number 3: Shinta Fukuda:

After working with Mashiro as an assistant for Nizuma, Fukuda establishes the so-called ‘Team Fukuda’ made up of all the Jump manga artists who associate with each other. Even if it is only as rivals for most of the time, the existence of the group is great as all the artists encourage each other to succeed. I quite like Fukuda because of how he likes to present himself as such a hardy man’s man but is always the first to jump up to help out his friends. The amount of times he mobilizes Team Fukuda to help each other out is great. Fukuda is a great character and his speech at the end of volume 19 is really good to read and really shows of the kind of person he is.


Number 2: Moritaka Mashiro:

The main character for the series and the narrator, Mashiro is the focus of the story. The change he makes from the shy and timid boy he is at the start of the series to the slightly more outgoing shy and timid man he is at the end is great. Alright, that doesn’t sound like much, but it is. The passion he puts into his work and pure determination to do his best is inspiring. Although he may be the artist for the duo, he quite regularly makes his opinion known about Takagi’s story. He may be the main character for the series, but that doesn’t make him my favourite character by a long shot.


Before I go on to my number one choice, I just want to mention five characters who were up there with the rest, but didn’t quite make my final list;

Aiko Iwase: the middle school rival of Takagi who makes a return to prove that she was better than him then, and is still better than him now.

Sasaki: The editor-in-chief of Shonen Jump who is always there to ensure that Ashirogi aren’t going to get an easy ride through the manga world. He rarely spoke up, but when he does, you know shit’s going down.

Yoshida: One of Jump’s editor’s. I just always found him quite funny in how manipulative he tried to be. I never really understood why such an emphasis was made to cover his face for much of the series though.

Orihara: A long serving assistant for Ashirogi. He was always so easily excited and constantly had something to say. Orihara really made a lot of the studio scenes stand out.



Number 1: Kazuya Hiramaru:

If you have read my previous blog entries, you would have already known that hiramaru is my favourite character in Bakuman. Identified as a manga genius after submitting one of the best one shot story boards to Jump having never read manga before in his life Hiramaru is quickly given a contract to work for Jump. Once finally getting a series Hiramaru uses every excuse he can possibly think off to stop working. The laziness and pure lack of enjoyment of what he is doing is amazing. Hiramaru and Yoshida are truly the perfect team. An artist who will try anything to not work, and an editor who will try every trick in the book to ensure he keeps working. What really made Hiramaru one of my favourite characters is his relationship with Ko Aoki later in the series. The two are almost an older version on Mashiro and Azuki and it is fantastic to read just how awkward he can be. His proposal near the end of the series is hilarious. He plans to propose at the top of the Ferris wheel but then panics and chickens out. After the ride ends he insists they go on again so he can propose. This time he realizes he’s lost the ring and once again panics and, well, pulls a Hiramaru. At this point miss Aoki realizes what happening and encourages his to just ask on a third time around the wheel. I laughed so much during this sequence that I had to keep going back and reading over it.


Let me know what you think of this list and who your favourite character is in Bakuman in the comment space below.



Reflection: Bakuman Vol.19



It’s almost over. The series has been so good I just don’t want it to end now. Volume 19 finished, only one to go.



With the battle between Ashirogi’s Reversi and Nizuma’s Zombie*Gun now in full swing the attention turns to who will get an anime. With one slot open for a new anime series to start and both mangaka wanting to fill it the struggle to fill the opening kicks off. The first part of the volume focuses on this as Ashirogi seek to have their first Anime and for Mashiro and Azuki’s dream to finally come true and Nizuma back stepping his decision to not have an anime simply to best Ashirogi. The stress and agony that they go through as they wait to hear who the editor-in-chief will choose is just painful to read.

However, in the mean time our old friend Ishizawa decides he won’t just sit back and let everything run smoothly. Ishizawa decides it is in his best interest to spread the rumour over the internet that Azuki and Mashiro are in a relationship. The rumour quickly spreads around the internet and into newspapers destroying Azuki’s reputation as a voice actress. The vast amount of hateful messages online and abusive phone calls to Jump quickly spiral out of control. After deciding that he’s seen and heard enough about it Fukuda finally reaches breaking point and announces over the radio that all the rumours are true and the hateful messages must stop. As with everything Fukuda does though, it doesn’t quite go to plan and the result is a major increase in the messages with many people saying that they will boycott Azuki and Ashirogi’s works. The volume finishes with Azuki making her own announcement about the relationship on her radio show.


My Opinion:

Does this really happen? Are voice actresses really idolised to this extent in Japan? I honestly have no idea, when the story about this started I thought it was a complete exaggeration, but now I’m not quite so sure. It just seems abit odd that the fact that a voice actress has a boyfriend could bring so much resentment. Of course, I don’t really know much about the voice actresses in Japan so I don’t know for sure. Maybe someone could let me know in the comment space below.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this volume. It’s so Bakuman, just as everything is starting to go according to plan, something like this would happen. It’s really good to see an old character that we hated at the start of the series return just to be locked away in his room at his mothers house because he failed to reach his dreams. Take that Ishizawa.



Do I really have to say it again? Go read this series. It doesn’t matter what experience you have with manga or what genres you like, you will enjoy this series.




First Impression: Seraph of the End


This is a series that is currently running in Shonen Jump. I know I’m doing reflections on a lot of Shone Jump series right now, but give it some time and I’ll sort out some subscriptions to other magazines in the near future. In yesterdays post I said that Maoh: Juvenile remix had everything you want from a Shonen Manga. There is one thing missing, Vampires.



Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign begins in a future world where a virus has killed off all humans over the age of thirteen. The children who have survived this virus outbreak have been imprisoned by vampires who harvest their blood. The main character, Yu, is a twelve your old orphan who has been living in the Vampire World for four years. Yu is determined that one day he can become strong enough to overthrow the vampires despite his friends telling him it’s impossible. When one of his friends reveals his plans to escape, Yu is talked into joining his escape and lead all the other children from his orphanage out of the vampire’s kingdom.


My Opinion:

In my opinion I think that Seraph of the End has some potential as a series and I look forward to reading on in the future to catch up to the publication. Serialization began early thi

s year in Shonen Jump and it appears to be well received. I’ll give a better evaluation of the series in a couple days once I have a few chapters read over. I’m interested to see what direction the series is planning to take and how the main character can defeat the vampires.



The story is very interesting but I’m not too keen on the artwork. For me though the story is far more important and as such I’m put off at all by the art style. Check this series out, or if you already have leave a comment in the space bellow letting me know what you make of the first chapter.