Manga Review: The Seven Deadly Sins (vol.8)

 

Synopsis:

GIANT STEPS

The seal is broken, and Gowther, the Sin of Lust, is revealed! The ruthless, elite Holy Knights known as the Roars of Dawn have tracked down the mysterious Armor Giant. They seem to have it cornered, but it hides a hair-raising secret! When they learn the truth, the Sins are befuddled, and the princess doubles her resolve! What decision has Meliodas made about the memories entrusted to him? When the countdown to the destruction of their world begins, the Sins rush back to the kingdom. The fuse is lit on the decisive battle!

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

4/5

This volume contains the conclusion of Gowthar’s first appearance and the start of the final stretch of the first arc. Secrets and dastardly plans are revealed in between intense action sequences. Buckle up boys and girls, cuz this roller coaster is speeding up and won’t stop until the end!

In the beginning, we get to see into some of Meliodas’s past and more into his character. Then during the last bit of Gowthar’s appearance there’s a nice moment between Meliodas and Elizabeth. Honestly, I wish that there were more of these moments and a little less action, but alas I don’t think that’ll really happen. At the end of the battle with the Armor Giant we see some into Gowthar’s personality. It seems like his character is going to be a rocky one and that there will be tons of room for growth. After a nice little drunk bonding session we immediately get thrown into the next round of fights that will eventually lead to the final battle of this arc. Everyone converges on the capital and bodies begin to fly, and at the very end we get introduced to King Arthur and his mysterious companion. At the very end is a nice little bonus short story centered around Gowthar, which adds a little fluff to his character and serves as a nice little break before punches really start swinging. If you haven’t picked this volume up yet then get this one and the next two, because this final sequences of battles will span the next few volumes and I’m sure will be super intense!

Details:

Title: The Seven Deadly Sins (Vol. 8)

Chapters: 55-62, plus a bonus story

Written by: Nakaba Suzuki

Artist: Nakaba Suzuki

Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell

Lettering: James Dashiell

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics

Published: May 26th, 2015

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Historical-Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Romance

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Manga Review: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (vol.4)

 

Synopsis:

LOST LOVE?

Just as Komugi and Yū’s feelings begin to reach one another, Komugi is confronted by Yata-sensei. Afterwards, she’s not the same, and drifts through her everyday life while Yū can only watch over her from afar. But…in the depths of Komugi’s memory, a familiar voice calls for her. Can the bonds she’s built with Yū and the gang overcome the sensei’s powers? And what will the future bring for the animal spirits living in Komugi’s world?

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

3/5

The ending was bitter sweet to me. It was sweet because this story ends on a happy note. But it’s bitter because I felt like there was still more to tell and I felt like the mangaka took the easy way out of the situation they created. I’m also disappointed, with how the last volume ended I thought that there would be a lot more gut-wrenching drama that would make me squirm in my seat. Instead, it felt like it flat lined between the end of volume 3 to the first page of volume 4. Everything was too convenient in a way that made it seem unrealistic. I know, that’s kinda stupid sounding for someone to say about a story of supernatural qualities, but everything else about the story should be as realistic as possible so that the reader doesn’t get pulled out of the story for a minor/major discrepancy in the reality you’ve created. At least for me, when a story already has weird elements if reality, for instance the laws of nature, doesn’t function properly it pulls me out of the story and from my experience is mostly due to author laziness more than anything. That’s it, the ending to this story felt lazy and too rushed which also made it feel inorganic, like the mangaka meant to do more but couldn’t.

I think my favorite part of this volume is the bonus story at the end. It’s a cute, but sad story from Senri’s past that really explains his character. After reading it, I feel like his character has more depth than any of the other’s in this story, which is a shame because he didn’t get much attention in the main story!

Note: Expect a review of the series as a whole soon!

Details:

Title: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (Vol. 4)

Chapters: 14-final chapter, plus a bonus story

Written by: Yoko Nogiri

Artist:  Yoko Nogiri

Translation/Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics

Published:  March 21st, 2017

Pages: 180

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Supernatural, Comedy, Romance

Manga Review: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (vol.3)

 

Synopsis:

JUST FRIENDS

After Rin shares some profound insights with Komgi about her crush, she learns it’s easier to bottle up her feelings for the wolf-boy, Yū. As Komugi gets to really know Rin the fox, his cold exterior slowly melts away−and Yū can’t help but be concerned. In order to let someone new into his heart, Yū struggles to confront his emotional trauma from the past. But by the time Yū realizes his true emotions, something unthinkable has happened to Komugi…

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

4/5

Oh my Lord, in heaven! That cliffhanger was really mean, like if I didn’t have the fourth volume already I would be screaming like a mad woman to the closest bookstore to buy it. If you can’t tell, the drama has really shot up in this volume and particularly near the end of it when a lot more of the plot is revealed. And the drama is getting so intense, but not in an uncomfortable way. Instead, I feel more like I’m about to fall out of my seat from sitting to close to the edge. I don’t normally like love triangles, mostly because they’re never done properly, but I really like how the love triangle is being used in this story. Unfortunately, I think the couple that I prefer isn’t going to happen….sigh, oh well!

Anyways, I feel like Komugi has come more to life in this volume but I still don’t think of her as a very present character. It’s really weird, I like her but I feel she’s still a bit watered down compared to the other characters in the story. Sometimes I feel like her two best friends have more of a presence than she does, but I digress.

The comedy, like before was good for a few chuckles in between some really heavy drama. Aoshi, the tanuki, is probably my favorite character because he’s the comic relief and such an instigator of a lot of the drama. Well, if you’d please excuse me, I have to devour the next volume before I die from that cliffhanger. Seriously, though if you haven’t read this volume yet buy it with volume four or you will regret it!!!

Details:

Title: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (Vol. 3)

Chapters: 9-13

Written by: Yoko Nogiri

Artist:  Yoko Nogiri

Translation/Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics

Published:  January 10th, 2017

Pages: 176

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Supernatural, Comedy, Romance

Book Review: Heartbeat (Morta Fox #1)

Note: I got a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which reads as follows:

 

Synopsis:

When I first saw the monster hidden in the dark, teeth sharp and face covered in blood, the first thing I did was jump over Boston’s Wall of Protection to warn the people inside it. Turns out the people already knew, and all I did was turn myself into a delicious little snack for the most terrifying creature to have ever existed.

I was sure he’d kill me. He didn’t. Instead, he turned me into one of them.

Being saved against your own will is no fun, especially when the knight in shining armor is a vampire who calls himself Hammer. He’s arrogant, flirty, and even more stubborn than me. Left with no other choice but to make a deal with him, I soon find out that I’m not just your usual bloodsucker. I’m something far worse. But at least I’m no longer all alone.

Promises are not to be broken in my newfound world, and when my part of the deal is done, Hammer has seven days to complete his.

If he does, I will no longer be alive.

My First Thoughts:

The premise for this story sounded very interesting and I’m always looking for a good vampire story to read. Seriously, it’s hard to find good vampire fiction anymore which is a real shame. If you find the right vampire fiction it can be a whole bucket of angst and drama or a blood bath, anything else jut gets too boring or cliché.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

Warning: Mentions of attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and attempted rape.

For the life of me I could not finish this story and it really upsets me. I really wanted to like this book and I really wanted to read it to the end because it reminded me of a bad movie that people still found enjoyable because of its flaws. Unfortunately, I lost all interest and will to read this book and could only read a few pages a sitting before I got bored or frustrated. So, for the sake of all the other books I need and/or want to read I’ve decided to put this one down and I don’t think I’m ever going to pick it up again. At nearly 20% of the way though the book I had to shelve it.

In the beginning of the story I was a bit intrigued. Dystopians can be hard for me to get into, so most of the time I stay away from them unless they have an interesting story. So far I had never run into a dystopian novel that also had vampires, so that acted as the initial hook for me. However, it kind of dropped from there.

The one thing that really made this story hard to read were all the plot holes that were just so glaringly obvious that it became frustrating. Morta made decisions that made absolutely no sense just so that the author could have her in the right place to progress the story. The author describes how vampires were created, which at first I thought it was clever until I really started thinking about it. The author used a virus to create vampires. When infected, the body’s organs all fail and stop working except for the brain, which needs blood to survive. At first, I thought it was an interesting idea but then I really started thinking about it. If the stomach is no longer functioning, then how does the blood get to the brain? When the blood is consumed it goes down the throat and to the stomach. First thought is that the new blood just gets absorbed into the blood stream and is taken to the brain. However, that’s not how things work. For something to get into the blood stream it must either be immediately be absorbed into muscles, directly supplied by injecting into a vain, or it must be digested by the stomach. If swallowed, blood to my knowledge can’t be absorbed into the muscles so it would have to be digested, if that’s possible, which it can’t be because the stomach is no longer functioning. Also, if the heart stops beating then how would the blood, if it could, get to the brain? The pumping of the heart is the main mechanism for blood circulation, so how does the new blood get to the brain if the heart isn’t beating? There were several other issues I had with the virus approach, but I’ll stop there and spare you from my rant.

The mistakes I found in this book made it obvious that this was a self-published piece. At first they were quite humorous. Occasionally the author would use the wrong verb, ex: “I heard the smell of blood…” Other times there were issues with continuity, one minute a character would be one thing and the next they were doing an action that completely contradicted what they had just done with no real mention of it. After a while the mistakes just kept piling up and it made the story a little hard to follow, all of which could have been avoid if there was an experienced editor involved with this story.

I think I could have gotten past all of the errors in this story, because they really were funny most of the time, if I even liked the characters I was following. I hated Morta and I liked Hammer only a smidgen more than her. Morta is a pessimistic, childish, and frustrating character. It was like the author didn’t want to make her a Mary Sue, or the perfect heroine, but in doing so made an unrealistic character that just became too annoying to even care for. She doesn’t want to be a monster so she tries to commit suicide. At least four times she tries to kill herself within the first few chapters after she becomes a vampire. She is so determined to die that she keeps doing things that may get her killed and honestly I can’t stand those characters. As someone who had to talk a friend out of suicide I was extremely uncomfortable with this and many times pissed with how the author handled it. I can’t imagine what someone who actually has attempted suicide would feel when reading this.

Like I said, Hammer was a little more likeable than Morta but not enough to make me care what happens to him. When you first meet him he’s a cocky show off who just tries to convince Morta to sleep with him. Ignoring the impossibility of vampire sex, it made him come off poorly because he kept insisting until Morta gave him a firm, hard refusal. After Morta told him no though, he dropped the subject completely and then it felt like he was a teacher mentoring a young bratty child which doesn’t scream romance to me. Also, outside those two main characters nine out of ten people were complete scum and completely unredeemable. For instance, for some reason the doctors Morta ran into in the beginning tried doing nonconsensual experiments for no immediate reason. Slightly later, when Morta leaves the city she is immediately set upon by a group of men that try to coerce her into having sex with them. Not even a chapter later another guy tries forcing her to have sex with him and no one tries to stop him. And of course, because it’s a dystopian all government officials and law enforcement are sadistic, murdering scum.

Rating:

I got about 19% of the way through this book and decided to quit. This book needs some serious editing work because it read like the first draft of a manuscript, before an editor takes their red pen to the pages and make them bleed. The characters are unlikable. There are plot holes everywhere that distract from the story. The word building is lazy and reads like the author just took our reality and slapped a bunch of cheap stickers on it. I feel like I could have finished this book if I found that I had even a grain of compassion towards Morta and Hammer. Instead I doubt that I will ever pick this story up again. It’s possible that the story gets better from where I left off, but I have no motivation to find out.

I would recommend this story to anyone who likes dystopian or vampire stories, I feel like people should still give this book a try if they really want to. However, I must warn you that there are mentions of attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and attempted rape. If you are someone who has any experience with suicide I seriously suggest staying away from this book because the main character only wants to die and attempts to kill herself several times. If these things don’t bother you, then by all means give this story a try if you really want to.

Details:

Title: Heartbeat (Morta Fox #1)

Author: D.N. Hoxa

Publisher: self-published

Release Date: October 16, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dystopia, Romance

Pages: 326

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn (vol.2)

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 2)

Chapters: 6-11

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  October 4th, 2016

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

Synopsis:

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

While on the run, Yona and Hak head to Hak’s hometown, where she attempts to heal her broken heart. However, she can’t rest there for long once she discovers that Su-won may soon become king! What will Yona choose to do in the wake of this news?

Rating:

4/5

Right off the bat, this volume brings character development onto the table. For those who didn’t like Yona in the first volume, by the end of this volume I promise you’ll start to see her differently. The writer has done a fantastic job of subtly pushing her in a more active role in this story, and while she hasn’t taken charge yet, I believe that they’re setting her up to do that soon. Other characters get some development as well, though it’s still not clear what their motives are yet. By the end, I wasn’t quite sure what Hak’s motives are in this story, but I have a feeling that they’ll be relieved later on in a big ‘ta-da!’ moment. Other characters get introduced in this volume as well from the various other tribes within the kingdom, though mostly from the wind and fire tribes. The wind tribe characters offer a lot of comic relief for the story and they’re portrayed as easy going, but fierce warriors. The fire tribe characters seem to be setting up to be minor villains for the story, they’re portrayed as hard, scheming individuals.

The action in this volume went up a step. It’s still not as graphic as other mangas that I’ve read, but there’s enough detail to get the point across and still make the fight scenes enjoyable to read. The tone for this volume is pretty serious, though there is some light hearted comedy that give3s you a brief moment of relief before diving right back in. All-in-all I really enjoyed this volume and I was left with quite a cliffhanger that I need to remedy like now!

Manga Review: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (vol.1)

Details:

Title: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (Vol. 1)

Chapters: 1-4

Written by: Yoko Nogiri

Artist:  Yoko Nogiri

Translation/Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics

Published:  August 16, 2016

Pages: 160

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Supernatural, Comedy, Romance

Synopsis:

MONSTER MISCHIEF

After some traumatic experiences, Komugi Kusunoki transferred from the city to start a new life in rural Hokkaido. But on her first day of school, the school heartthrob Yū Ōgami blurts out, “You smell good!” Despite the hijinks, Komugi tries to adjust to her new school, but it’s not long before she stumbles across Yū dozing off under a tree. When she attempts to wake him up, he transformed…into a wolf?! It turns out that Yū is one of many other eccentric boys in her class year–and she’s the only one who knows their secret!

What I First Thought:

The other day I went to Barnes and Noble to kill time before a movie. I perused the manga section looking for more volumes of some of my other series that I haven’t finished yet when this one caught my eye. To my knowledge, there aren’t a lot of werewolf-esque stories in manga so I picked it up. The premise of the story seemed interesting and cute enough that I decided to buy it, especially since I needed something a bit light hearted to help cure my current mood.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

4/5

I normally don’t buy into a new series without doing a little bit of research into it first, so I rarely buy manga on a whim. I’m glad that I didn’t wait to buy this one because it was exactly what I needed! It’s a cute little story about a new city-girl who goes to live with her dad in the country while her mom is away. At the new school, she stumbles upon the secret of some of her classmates and it becomes a story of said students becoming friends with the girl to keep her quiet. It’s a cute little story with sprinklings of lore that I’m sure will become more prominent as the story continues. There were some comedic elements thrown in that made me giggle, but nothing gut splitting yet. The romance so far is a bit light, though I feel like some of it was forced or a little unnatural by the end of this volume, which messed up the flow of the story for me. The characters are pretty likable at the start, though I feel like Komugi is a little weak at the moment but I hope her character improves once we see more of her past so I can better understand her fears. Really, my only complaint was the ending because it felt weird to me, too rushed and unnatural, but oh well! I’m really glad that I bought all four volumes, because I really want to read what happens next!

Manga Review: The Seven Deadly Sins (vol. 7)

Details:

Title: The Seven Deadly Sins (Vol. 7)

Chapters: 47-54

Written by: Nakaba Suzuki

Artist: Nakaba Suzuki

Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell

Lettering: James Dashiell

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics

Published: March 17th, 2015

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Historical-Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Romance, Shonen

 

Synopsis:

The Wrath Awakens

Meliodas escapes the Goddess Amber, but he emerges from his prison strangely silent and with a new look. In the blink of an eye, he wrecks Guila and Jericho and begins delivering an epic beating to Sir Helbram, who somehow manages to stand up to the transformed Dragon Sin of Wrath. What is going on with this new Meliodas? And how is Helbram avoiding being stomped by the overwhelming power of the changed Meliodas?

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

4/5

If you thought that there might be a break in the fighting after the fighting festival than you may be in for a bit of a surprise! After the conclusion of the festival there’s a brief chapter that sets up the big arc for this story. We’re introduced to more characters, both Holy Knights and other minor players that will show up again later. In fact, this volume serves as an intro to some of my more favorite characters and Holy Knights. Though one character, that I really do enjoy, has a bit of an odd introduction that doesn’t really fit with what I remember of their personality from the anime. I understand that things can be different between the two mediums, but you can tell by the end of the volume that you’re first encounter with this character seems to be a little weird and doesn’t fit their personality. There’s also some character development for some of the Sins. You get to see into some of Ban’s inner struggles, more of Meliodas that isn’t slightly perverted, Diana’s awesome strength, and some backbone building in Elizabeth. I wuld say that Elizabeth isn’t quite as strong as I’d really like her to be, but I’m fairly certain we’ll see that soon…I hope. And I was really excited to see just how powerful Diana could be, though I felt like her power was a little cheapened because of some of the resulting outcomes, but oh well! Overall, though I really liked this volume of the story and it again leaves you wanting (or needing) to read the next one. I have a feeling that the story’s pace will really pick up in the next volume!