Recent Reviews: Kurozakuro, Blue Exorcist, Yen Press Manga

I’ve been slow to update on this, but here are a few recent reviews I’ve done around the ‘net.

First was Kurozakuro volume 3, up on The Fandom Post. In this volume we’re starting to get more answers about what is going on, but the story telling is also really weird and clunky at times. And it’s still disappointing that none of the old female characters have returned. Read the rest of what I thought here.

On Real Otaku Gamer reviewed the first volume of Blue Exorcist. This manga had a slow start, but the Shonen Jump story is action packed, and has nice background art and awesome character designs. But it’s a supernatural high school story, and I got sick of that idea fast, so I’m not sure if it’s something I’d carry through with. The whole review is here.

Also on Real Otaku Gamer, I wrote three quick reviews of ongoing Yen Press series: K-ON!, Spice and Wolf and My Girlfriend’s a Geek. Each of them have their flaws, but they’re fun in their own way. And I’m finding myself increasingly biased towards Spice & Wolf. Check out each of my thoughts here.

I’ve also gotten some other blog posts done. On Real Otaku Gamer I posted a news clip on Digital Manga Publishing’s eManga website, and yesterday I had my say on the character of Wakaba for this month’s Cross Game Manga Movable Feast.

What I’m Reading: Swords and Thrones

Didn’t have the time to post this last week. I’m going to try to regularly put this up on Monday, seems like I’ll be a lot more consistent with that than Saturday.

I started going through Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, another book that suggest for my MFA. This book specifically shows you how you can learn to write by reading other people’s work. Prose gives examples from other authors and helps us see how they might have constructed sentences and paragraphs, and figure out what choices they may have made with things like word choice. I’ve only gotten a few chapters in, but it’s very interesting.

I’ve also read the two volumes of Spice and Wolf I bought from the dying Borders near me. Again, I really enjoy this manga series. If I get the chance I want to take a look at the anime and light novels, too.

This is also for the MFA, but I’ve begun Robin McKinley’s YA fantasy, The Blue Sword. I’ve decided I want to look at this, and maybe the prequel story The Hero and the Crown to see what she does right or wrong when it comes to world building. So far, I think The Blue Sword pushes too much information on you right off the bat, and it makes chapter one a bit boring. It gets more interesting after that, though.

I haven’t started it yet, but I want to get to rereading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, since he’s FINALLY releasing the fifth novel in his fantasy series, A Dance with Dragons, in July. I love those books, so I am very, very excited that I’ll get to see what happens next.

What have you been reading? And what’s on your to-read list?

My Great Manga Gift Guide! Plus Short Manga Reviews

Well, I finally got it up yesterday: my Great Manga Gift Guide on Bookworm’s

Sumomomo, Momomo by Shinobu Ohtaka
Sumomomo, Momomo

Corner.  I’ve read a lot of the other gift guides that have come out, and those are more well-written, and often-times more thematic, than mine is, so check out Daniella’s list of 2010 guides if you don’t care for mine.

Before I wrote that, though, I got two sets of short reviews up on Suite 101. First there were Ichiroh! volume 3, Sumomomo, Momomo volume 6 and Black God volume 11. The best in that bunch was Sumomomo, and the worst was Ichiroh! – it’s a comedy manga, but I hardly found it funny.

Spice & Wolf
Spice & Wolf

The next article reviewed two titles, Spice & Wolf volume 3 and Nabari no Ou volume 5. I really enjoyed the characters in Spice & Wolf, and was surprised to find the plot so exciting,but Nabri no Ou was just blah.

I sent in a review for Sumomomo, Momomo volume 4 to Mania yesterday, so that should be up next week, and my next Suite 101 review will be a shojo manga from VIZ Media, Kamisama Kiss.