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Manga Wrap-Up #9

March 29, 2009

Deeper look next. But for now, I’m just going to drop this:

Monster by Naoki Urasawa – A creepy, thrilling murder/suspense series that takes place (so far?) in Germany. A Japanese doctor chooses the life of a child over his career and the repercussions of that action follow him through the next ten years.

Pros: Oh God it’s so awesome.

Cons: …Some of the German characters look fairly comic, no pun intended, but I guess that’s just something you do to say not-Japanese in manga?

Kid-friendly? Noooo, I guess not. Murder, after all. Teen-friendly.

Final thoughts; I love it, I love it, I love it. I want to read all of it. I hope the library has all of it. I bet they don’t.  (I was right.  There are only seven at the library.  Jerks.)

Zodiac P.I. by Natsumi Ando – A girl solves mysteries with the help of some mystical zodiac…stuff.

Pros: Cute as a button.

Cons: This is just me, but I don’t care for the mystical stuff. If this were a “realistic” mystery series, I’d be all over it. But I don’t care about the fairy-like incarnation of Sagittarius. Also, how do people NOT know her “secret identity”? It’s so obvious…like Sailor Moon obvious. Also, I am sick of young male characters who break out into hives around girls. Is this some sort of random disease in Japan, because little boys here just go “Ewwww, cooties!”

Kid-friendly? Like you wouldn’t believe.

Final thoughts: It’s cute, but it’s more my kid’s style than mine. Gonna pass on the rest.

RoadSong by Allan Gross & Joanna Estep – Two boys who look unfortunately alike become brothers-in-law and then find themselves on the wrong side of the law when someone’s looking for revenge on one of them’s father.

Pros: It’s not BAD.

Cons: HER NAME IS “HARLEY KYLE.” WHAT THE FUCK, GUYS? YOU COULDN’T COME UP WITH ANYTHING MORE ANNOYING AND OBVIOUS? I KNOW, WHAT ABOUT SELINA QUINN? OBVIOUS BATMAN REFERENCE ISLEY? Also, I hate the lyrics Monty writes, but supposedly they make him a “genius.” I really can’t tell the main characters apart–I have to look for the one kid’s tie. I think that’s the one that’s not Monty.

Kid-friendly? Sure, but there are so many others things they could be reading. Monty’s a bit of a horndog, but I don’t think there’s anything blatant, except his butt in the second volume. Believe me, I have no clue; this book falls right out of my head like it never wanted to be there in the first place. …Wait, no. In the second volume, there’s something sketchy I wouldn’t want to explain to my kid.

Final thoughts: No thanks.

Gatcha Gacha by Yutaka Tachibana – Crazy romantic hijinks among a very unique foursome. Hirao likes Yuri. Yuri likes Yabe. Yabe…I don’t know, he has a connection to Motoko, but Motoko likes checking out hot chicks. This becomes more disturbing as the series goes on.

Pros: The characters are distinctive and FASCINATING. Yuri’s the cute girl who gives her heart away in an instant, only to have it stomped on by every jackass that comes by. Yabe’s the not-so-bad boy who cheats on girls like it doesn’t matter, and spends what time he’s not napping running from them. Hirao’s the student body president and is so awkward with girls it’s ridiculous–the wrong words are always coming out of his mouth, especially around Yuri. Motoko is a violent tomboy with a complicated past. I love these characters.

Cons: The action scenes (usually where Motoko is beating the crap out of some jerk) are difficult for me to follow. That could be me, though. Also, Hirao’s character basically does the same thing through the first three books and it’s annoying.

Kid-friendly? No. Although there’s not a ton of on-page casual sex, it does seem like it’s there. The assumption is that Yuri sleeps with everyone she’s dated, and she’s dated 11 guys when the book begins, and Yabe seems to sleep with everyone too. A younger reader might not understand their motivations. Also, as the story goes on, Motoko’s past is revealed to be disturbing as heck. Final thoughts: More please. But let Hirao do SOMETHING else in the next book besides ALMOST tell Yuri how he feels.

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