Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 2

Hikage's story continues in this second volume right where the first I Am Here! book ends. So in this one we find out who Black Rabbit really is along with a new twist in Hikage's growing world. We also get to see more of Hinata and Teru outside of Hikage, like a flashback to when they first became friends.

This story is a very short one, only spanning the two books containing a total of 19 chapters. But everything I needed was in those 19 little tales! Hikage grows just enough over the course of this story to make it real and give us hope for her future, even becoming a voice of encouragement to others as Hinata and Black Rabbit did for her. And even though there was no real settling of things between Hikage and her two suitors, there was enough of a decision that it gives the reader hope for what her future is going to hold.

I really enjoyed this one! I think I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Toyama's other stories! And encouraging all my other manga lovers to pick this one up.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 1

This is the story of Hikage Sumino, an eighth-grader with incredibly low self-esteem because she has spent her whole life never being noticed. Outside of the two strangers that constantly comment on her blog, she never talks to anyone other than to hear them say they hadn't noticed her there, right after they get her name wrong. But one day, one of the most popular boys in her class takes notice, speaks to her, helps her out, and turns her whole world upside down.

Ok, so I stumbled onto this one because I just finished the newest Attack On Titan and Bunny Drop and you guys know I can't go very long without picking up a new manga! This one is combined into 2 omnibuses so it will be a short read, which I am sure I will regret when I want so much more to the story at the end. However, it might be perfect, because in this first volume alone so much of the story was covered, Hikage grew just like the sunflower she wanted to be and the story is looking so hopeful!

And let me point out right now, this was only partially because of Hinata, the boy that paid attention to her. This isn't a story where the female lead starts dating the popular guy and suddenly gets friends. No, Hikage goes through her share of bullying, by herself. She resolves to be someone worthy of even being friends with a guy like HInata, who is so outgoing. And she makes it a point to work on her people skills and stand up for herself alone. That's why I like this story. Hikage is a very stubborn protagonist who refuses to give up on finding the sunlight, and I love her for that!

As the author notes, there are no really humorous scenes in this one. It is meant to be a more serious story, and I think that not only does it manage to do that with beautiful skill, Toyama does an excellent job of making it real without it being too sad without comedic relief. I really enjoyed this one! If you like manga, don't overlook this one!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bunny Drop vol. 9

Ok guys, I'll be honest, I was not happy with the ending to this story. At the end of the last volume we were handed a very weird and surprising twist to Rin and Diakichi's story that was followed up and "resolved" with this final set of chapters. I don't like the twist and I really don't like the conclusion.

Not only was the ending to this story a bit unsettling, but these final chapters had the feeling of being too convenient, like Unita had and ending they wanted, had very little time to actually plot it out properly, and so they threw together the barest of details. It was too quick, too simple, too unlike the rest of the story for me. It did nothing to help convince me that the way things ended was right.

With that said I do plan on reading the final volume, a collection of chapters "missing" over the years from Rin and Diakichi's story. I already have the volume, it's not much to read these, I might as well.

Guys, the rest of this story is so much better, and I would love for others to read it and tell me what they think of the ending. But I won't push this one on anyone since I know the disappointment this ending put on me and I don't want others to deal with that. But if you happen to read the series, please, tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bunny Drop vol. 5

This is just a short update on the series as I had originally planned on waiting until I had finished the series and could give a final thought on what the series was like and where it went. But with this volume we see a major leap in the time line as it starts ten years after the end of  the last chapter, and I would like to make a note of that.

In this volume we see Rin in high school, preparing for the possibility of college, while trying to figure out the relationships in her life. Most notable is her friendship with Kouki which might or might not be going further. With both of them unsure of things, however, this is a bit slow going but makes for some good moments that have me rooting for Kouki in the long run.

Along this same plot line, the final chapter in this one deals with a little flashback to when Kouki and Rin were in middle school and Diakichi had a moment with Nitani that might hint at the future between these two supporting characters.

I love that we are getting to see more into the growth of these characters, something that was not possible with the anime, and I am really looking forward to what we may get to see in the final volumes of the series. Making it this far, I am of course going to encourage every manga fan to give this one a try. It is such a touching story! If you make it this far, please, let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Attack On Titan v. 21

So this one finally arrived at the library and as soon as I saw it there was no question that I was going to grab it up. I am so involved in this story, guys, I am not sure how I am going to wait another month before the next volume is even published!

Ok, nearly a year ago I started reading this series after having watched season one of the anime and wanting to know how things turned out. At volume 9, we had begun to cover new territory that has now been covered in season 2 recently released. Unfortunately I have been unable to watch the second season thus far, but I have been keeping up with the manga. Here in volume 21 we are finally able to get some more answers! At the risk of getting yelled at about spoilers, I think I can almost safely admit that Eren and the gang has finally! reached his old basement, a scene that had one of the most impressive two page, word-less spread that will probably go down as my favorite art in the whole series. So the second half of this volume was for taking a giant leap backward in time to begin telling the history of the world, the titans, the walls, the people!

While I think some may moan about the lack of forward movement in the plot, as not too much happened in this one truthfully, I firmly believe the event of getting to the basement and the history we are given more than makes up for it. I am really happy with this volume!

So, have you read this far? Have you seen the second season? Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Supernatural: Nevermore

Listening to: Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas
Ok, so I accidentally read this one out of order, not paying attention when I picked up Witch's Canyon and Goodreads informed me that it was book number 2. Oh well, the only impact that really had was that in the epilogue of this one, when the boys are handed the case that they would take care of in the next novel, I suddenly understood a little more. This early in the series, and being a long fan of the show, reading them out of order didn't effect anything.

So, at the start of this book the author so kindly tells us exactly where in the series it fits. Between episodes "Crossroad Blues" and "Croatoan" is where this story takes place. Sam's wrist is still in a cast, having been broken a few episodes back, as they head to New York to take care of a case for Ash as well as a case Sam caught in a paper. As the boys bounce back and forth between the two cases, trying to make their way through the crowded city not only in their car but with the cops keeping a watchful eye out for them, there is a lot of the banter that I have missed in these later seasons. It was also very satisfying to read of Dean flirting with a particular bartender outside his normal standards, and getting just a glimpse a little deeper into him when he is turned down.

We also get a little look into how others saw John Winchester. whereas in the next book we got to see flashbacks from boys about John's strict training that actually proved helpful, in this book we hear from a few people that have worked with John in the past, and found him extremely difficult. It's good to get a little deeper into the story like that.

I really enjoyed DeCandido's writing and look forward to reading the third book in the series, Bone Key, also by him. Let me know what you think of the series if you have been able to pick the books up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Supernatural: Witch's Canyon

July: Books with trees on the cover.

Ok, so I really stretched it on this book fitting into this month's category, but hey, those are trees behind Sam and Dean! Honestly, I have been planning on reading these books for a while now, since a friend gave me a stack of them when she had to downsize her book pile. With the boys back in Vancouver for filming and season 13 right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to revisit the world from a new angle.

This book, the first in the series, takes place soon after t season 1. There are mentions of John Winchester's death (and if that is a spoiler you are far too behind to be complaining) but there is no mention of the major story arc from season 2. It does refer to the few months they have been traveling together to give the reader a little of the time frame. For this particular case the boys are in Arizona to investigate a series of murders that occurs once every forty years. And boy does it turn out to be a big one. Along with leading the boys repeatedly to square one with how little there is to go on, the number of bodies that drop in this book is astonishing. One of the worst cases the boys face if you ask me.

I really enjoyed this book! One of the nice things about this is being able to jump right into the story, it's just a case fic, you don't need to know which big bad they have been fighting up to this point. We also get a bit more backstory through memories that Dean has of training with his father when they were younger. Also included is the quip almost mandatory to the story that brings a little "what fourth wall" humor to the story when a suspect repeatedly calls Sam by his brother's name, insisting that he just looks more like a Dean. Something we got to see a little more of was a look into Dean's personality from how Sam sees it. The way he gives all the credit of solving the case to others, or turning down asking that one girl out with a bravado that Sam sees right through. This book falls right in line with how the show used to be, what drew me to the series in the first place, and what made the story so great.

I look forward to picking up the next book, so look for another post soon enough! Jeff Mariotte did a great job with this one, but one of the things I love about tie-ins are the chances to read different authors while staying with the characters I love. (Also why I love fanfic, but in this case all stories are show approved.) Next up is Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido which now I know is listed as the first novel of the series. (oops)