Comic Book Review: Steven Universe (2017-) #3

Synopsis:

When the local business owners in Beach City start to feel the economic pinch during the tourist off-season, Mayor Dewey and Buck come up with a solution: food trucks!

Ratings:

Art: 5/5

Story: 5/5

Overall: 5

This issue was centered more on Mayor Dewey and his son, Buck, rather than Steven and the Gems. I really liked that the story was more on the town itself; don’t get me wrong, I love Steven and the Gems, but I also like the towns folk and I want to see more of them too!

In this story the town is trying to solve a problem of many beach towns during the off-season, drawing in customers. Buck comes up with the idea of bringing in food trucks on the weekends to help bring in more people for the local businesses. Things go off without a hitch…except the local businesses suffer. However, together Mayor Dewey and Buck find a way to both draw in people and help their local businesses, also highlighting the importance of local shops and how just bringing in new people won’t always help.

The story was really simple and you see some sweet moments between Mayor Dewey and his son. While they’re not main or major characters, I thought it was still nice to see more of their relationship together. It was also nice to see that while yes, Dewey is a politician, but he also really cares about the city he watches over.

I think that the artwork has improved a lot since the first issue. The first issue of this run had great art, don’t get me wrong, but it still didn’t feel quite like Steven Universe. However, I feel like the artist has really captured that in this volume while still having their own style. I also loved some of the sight gags in this issue, one that I was not expecting but won’t ruin for anyone else!

Why do I have to wait so long between releases?!? Until next time!

Details:

Title: Steven Universe (2017- )

Issue: 3

Publisher: kaboom!

Creator: Rebecca Sugar

Writer: Melanie Gillman

Illustrator: Katy Farina

Colors: Whitney Cogar

Letters: Mike Fiorentino

Released Date: April 24, 2017

Pages: 26

Genre: Science Fiction, Slice of Life

Manga Review: Nichijou (vol.1)

Details:

Title: Nichijou: my ordinary life (Vol. 1)

Chapters: 1-18

Written by: Keiichi Arawi 

Artist:  Keiichi Arawi

Translation/Adaptation: Jenny McKeon

Publisher:  Vertical Comics

Published:  March 29th 2016

Pages: 178

Genre: Manga, Comedy, Slice of Life, Surreal humor

Synopsis:

(as read on my copy)

Define “ordinary”

In this just-surreal-enough take on the “school genre” of manga, a group of friends (which includes a robot built by a child professor) grapple with all sorts of unexpected situations in their daily lives as high schoolers.

The gags, jokes, puns, and haiku keep this series off-kilter even as the characters grow and change. Check out this new take on a storied genre and meet the new ordinary.

What I First Thought:

            I picked up this manga because of the reaction a friend of mine had to seeing it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. This friend of mine is an exchange student from Japan and is an absolute sweetheart! Anyways, she was so excited to see it that I decided to give it a read.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

4/5

This manga was nothing like I expected! My friend warned me that it was going to be bizarre, but I didn’t think to take her too seriously. I’ve never read a manga like this and I’m glad that I have. The comedy was a lot of dry humor and outlandish events. Something things didn’t really make sense to me, which I believe may be because of error in translation or the joke doesn’t translate as well into English.

Overall though the volume was great! Each chapter or couple of chapters contained individual stories, so at the moment there doesn’t appear to be any overarching plot line. The chapters are headed by different characters or sets of characters, so you never get too cozy before you’re following someone else. The main characters are cute and a little stereotypical, up to a point, and the drawing style really matches the cutesy but surreal feel of the manga. What I loved most about this volume was that every chapter is different, either the cast members were different or the overall writing style was different. One chapter none of the characters said a single word, but the artist really captured the mood and what they were trying to express in each panel. Another chapter one of the main characters just kept coming up with different haikus and played a bystander, and later she kept getting distracted by accidentally making up different poems. Each chapter kept me on my toes and where the humor didn’t quite hit the mark for me the story made up for it; I definitely can’t wait to read the next volume!

 

Manga Review: Kimi ni Todoke (from me to you) (vol.2)

kimi-ni-todoke-vol2Details:

Title: Kimi ni Todoke (From me to you) (vol.2)

Chapters: 4-7

Story by: Karuho Shiina

Artist: Karuho Shiina

Translation/Adaptation: JN Productions

Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

Published: October 6th 2009

Pages: 187

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Romance, Slice of Life, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Rumors start flying about Sadako’s new friends claiming that Yano’s been around the block and Yoshida’s a former gang member. And the source of all this tattle? Sadako herself! Will Sadako retreat to her former life as a loner because of a simple misunderstanding?!

Rating:

5/5

This volume is basically the continuation and the finish of the mini story started in the last volume (~chapter 3). It was beautiful; I loved reading every single page! There’s a lot of character growth for Sadako, who realizes that she can’t just go back to how she was, and that communication is key in all friendships. We get to see a lot more from Yoshida and Yano as they try to figure out what all of this means, stumbling to the realization Sadako meant more to them than they thought. They’re characters get even more fleshed out from chapter to chapter, allowing you to clearly see the difference between the two. There’s a lot of heart and crying in this volume, it’s so beautiful to read and reflect on, and the lessons learned here can be applied to your own relationships!

There’s no real cliffhanger at the end of this volume. There’s a possible peak into who might be the story’s new antagonist, but nothing for sure. This volume is a nice wrap up to the drama presented at the end of volume 1. Final note, I love reading the little blurbs from the author/creator! Her thoughts and stories are so interesting to read about, especially her explanation of one of the events in this volume.

Manga Review: Kimi ni Todoke (From me to you) vol.1

kimi-ni-todoke-vol1Details:

Title: Kimi ni Todoke (From me to you) (vol.1)

Story by: Karuho Shiina

Artist: Karuho Shiina

Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura

Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

Published: August 4th 2009 by

Pages: 205

Genre: Manga, Romance, Slice of Life, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine…for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character–jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor–she’s mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that–she’s about to make some enemies too!

Rating:

4/5

I first read this manga back in high school, and I really enjoyed it but I was never able to get the volumes for myself. When I saw this in the bookstore a while back I got super excited and bought this volume, just to see if it was as good as I remembered, and it is! This manga is really cute and made me squeal hardcore; I’m surprised I didn’t wake my boyfriend up with how much I squealed and giggled, like I was back in middle school or high school.

This manga was a lot of fun to read. The characters are well thought out and easily discernable, and not just by how they’re drawn but their personalities as well. Readers meet a lot of the main characters in this volume, though not much development is seen with the lesser cast yet. Each chapter is like its own little story, but they all connect to a greater plot. This volume contains a lot of introductory material and set up for the story, which just seems to follow the main heroine, Sawako, as she opens up more to the people around her. Slice of life stories don’t always hold my attention, however, I’m desperately waiting to get my hands on the next volume!