Reviews: Lady Kanoko, Beauty and the Squat Bears

You might notice, I’ve changed the name and address of the site. I’m trying something new, and hopefully it works out; I don’t want to have to change the address again.

I’ve mentioned it before, but last week I posted a review on Real Otaku Gamer for The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko volume 1. It’s a really fun shojo manga, and I just can’t get enough of the heroine.

Yesterday I tried something new and wrote a review for a picture book: Beauty and the Squat Bears by Emile Bravo. I was worried I wouldn’t know how to write about this – what the heck do I know about what kids would like, anyway? – but it was really fun! I hope I get the chance to review something like that again.

Next up for reviews will likely be a couple of manga from VIZ Media. I’ve also received an advance copy (by like a week) of a YA novel from Razorbill, which is really neat! Though I don’t know if I’ll have the time to get to it since it’s pretty thick.

Bloggers for Japan, Inspiring Manga Artists

Bloggers 4 Japan

Fellow blogger Daniella Orihuela-Gruber (All About Manga) has taken the initiative to start up her own charity drive for the victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. She’s raising money for two charities, Doctors Without Borders and Shelter Box, and is trying to raise a total of $2,000 altogether. She’s already rather close, and has already discussed raising her goal. In addition, she and Michael Huang are running a website for the charity drive, Anime and Manga Bloggers for Japan. You can go there to learn about Daniella’s drive, and why she thinks it’s important to donate.

I don’t know anyone from Japan personally, or even of Japanese descent. So a lot of my love of Japan comes from the media I enjoy from the country, anime and manga. I also think it’s a fascinating culture, and it’s a place I want to visit someday so I can appreciate it more. I also think it’s important to help because these are people whose lives have been ripped apart, so surely I can spare a few dollars.

I’ve also written a Suite 101 article on what Japanese manga artists are doing to help: namely, making art. There are many words of encouragement, and some artists are even banding together to make a charity dojinshi. There are links to all the art I’ve come across, so check it out.

This Week’s Articles and Reviews: Bunny Drop, More Bunny Drop

Bunny Drop, Josei Manga by Yumi UnitaI got extra hours at work this week, which meant I had less time for writing. But it also meant I actually made more money, so, nice.

On Suite 101 I put up my review for Bunny Drop volume 3. I reviewed volumes 1 and 2 a little while back, and was very excited to read this one. It’s a very sweet, real-feeling story. Go read the review to see exactly why I suggest it.

I also started writing about manga on the website Real Otaku Gamer. My first article was also about Bunny Drop, reporting the news that the manga is ending in Japan. There is also an anime, and a live-action movie, on the way, which I am delighted to hear.

This week I’ll read one of the books I have for, and maybe one of my review copies for Digital Manga Publishing. I also have an article planned for ROG on where to find manga online – legally, of course.

This Week’s Manga Reviews: Slam Dunk and Dragon Girl

Slam Dunk volume 1, Basketball MangaThis week I got up my first post on, a review of the Shonen Jump manga Slam Dunk. I had gotten Slam Dunk from the library, on a suggestion from Deb Aoki. It’s a fun high school sports manga, and I’m excited to get the next one from the library, whenever I have the time.

I also reviewed both omnibus editions of Dragon Girl from Yen Press. This series, a shojo, as fun, though pretty predictable and cheesy. I loved a lot of the characters, but Hasekura was the man.Dragon Girl Manga, Omnibus 2

I have a few manga sitting around that I don’t have a lot to say about, like K-ON! Vol. 2 and a volume of Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolutionfrom Yen Press, so this week I’ll likely have a group of short reviews. Hopefully I’ll have something written for another website I’m starting for, Real Otaku Gamer, as well.

New Manga Reviews: Amnesia Labyrinth, The Millionaire’s Pregnant Mistress & Toradora!

I wrote three manga reviews this week! Damn! I’m tired now.

Amnesia Labyrinth Volume 1The first one I got up was my review of Amnesia Labyrinth volume 1 from Seven Seas Entertainment. This one was kind of dull, and when it wasn’t dull it was grossing me out.

Next I got up a review of a Harlequin eManga from Digital Manga Publishing: The Millionaire’s Pregnant Mistress. The Harlequin manga are generally light, fun reads, but this one was okay at best. DMP has a bunch of new Harlequin manga up on their website right now, so I’ll be pickier with my next read.

Toradora! Volume 1The last review I just got up a little while ago: Toradora! volume 1, also from Seven Seas Entertainment. This manga, a high school romantic comedy rife with wacky misunderstandings, had its issues but it was still fun. It was the best out of the three.

New Manga Reviews This Week: Cross Game 2 and Nura 1

Cross Game volume 2 by Mitsuru AdachiThis week I reviewed two manga titles from VIZ Media. I managed to squeeze in a review of Cross Game volume 2 by Mitsuru Adachi on Saturday last week. This manga is really great: the characters are awesome, and I’m riveted just watching them hit foul balls. Check out the review to see the other reason why you should read this manga about baseball.

Then I read Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, which was considerably less fun than Cross Game. It was just a dull manga about demons, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 1 by Hiroshi Shiibashiwith a lot of problems that add up. Read my review to see what I felt was poor about it.

Nothing new is up for Mania, since I’m still waiting for a package of new review books. But when that comes, I should have reviews for Kurozakuro and Sumomomo Momomo.

New Review: Stolen Hearts: The Love of Eros and Psyche Graphic Novel

I hate being sick. It prevents anything from being done, ever. Only one review made it online this week (though I’m trying to have one done for tomorrow, maybe). Not that I’ve been much more productive than that on my own, but.


Stolen Hearts: the Love of Eros and Psyche
Eros and Psyche

After ignoring the growing stack for a while, I reviewed a new Campfire graphic novel. This one was an adaptation of a Greek myth, Stolen Hearts: The Love of Eros and Psyche. It was a very serviceable graphic novel, but I kept wishing both the writer and artist had done more.


I finished a mania review of Very! Very! Sweet volume 8. I looked at this volume of the manhwa series on Suite 101 before, but this review is a longer version of what I wrote previously.


This Week’s Manga Reviews: Very! Very! Sweet Vol 7, Black Butler 4 & Soul Eater 5

On Tuesday my latest review was posted, Very! Very! Sweet Volume 7. I took a look at the final volume of this manhwa (Korean comic) back in November when Yen Press sent me the last volumes of three series. I’ve read earlier volumes of the manhwa, and I have to say I really, really enjoy it.

I also got two short reviews posted on Suite 101 for Black Butler volume 4 and Soul Eater volume 5. I reviewed the earlier volumes of both  manga series, and gave them similar grades. For this review, Black Butler got a slightly lower score, while I think Soul Eater is improving.

Two manga from VIZ media came from FedEx the other day, Cross Game volume 2 and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 1. Seven Seas Entertainment also sent me digital screeners for two of their manga. I should have a review of at least one, hopefully two, of those manga next week.

New Review! Ayn Rand’s Anthem Graphic Novel


Anthem by Ayn Rand
Anthem Graphic Novel


It’s been a slow week for me. I managed to squeak out one review for Suite 101, the graphic novel adaptation of Anthem by Ayn Rand. I must be on Penguins list of graphic novel reviewers, since this getting sent my way was a surprise. A pleasant surprise, mind you, since I really enjoyed the book! I’ve never read anything by Ayn Rand before, so this was a nice introduction to her philosophy. Be sure to check out my review for all my thoughts.

I wrote a review of Very! Very! Sweet volume 7 for; I sent it in this morning, so it should be on that website some time next week. I just have to review Very! Very! Sweet volume 8, and I’ll have (finally) finished my backlog of Mania books – so I can order more! Heh heh.

Suite 101 Articles and Highschool of the Dead Manga Review

Even with everything I’ve been working on this week for Lesley, I still managed to get three articles written for Suite 101, including a manga review! The first article came from a press release from VIZ Media about Saturn Apartments being placed on the YALSA’s top ten graphic novel list. (If you remember, I also reviewed Saturn Apartments and loved it.) The next article talked about Yen Press’s new manga iPad app.

Highschool of the Dead Manga by Daisuke and Shouji SatoThis week’s review was a Yen Press title, Highschool of the Dead volume 1 by Daisuke Sato and Shouji Sato. It’s a pretty bland zombie apocalypse story, but interesting enough, and unique enough to manga that it might be worth looking into yourself. Check out the review to read everything I thought on it.

Also on Thursday, another review went up: Papillon volume 5-6, an omnibus from Del Rey manga. I hadn’t gotten a review in to Mania in a long while, so I’m glad I didn’t get booted out of the website… I need to get a couple of reviews for Very, Very Sweet written for that as well.

My next review will likely be the graphic novel adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Anthem.