Posted in Reviews

Just Published: The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Volume 2 by Mi Tagawa

Reminder that The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Volume 2 by Mi Tagawa (⭐⭐⭐⭐) published today! Check out the full review here or grab your own copy from Book Despoitory!

Recommended: yes!!
For more heartwarming moments, for a volume looking at some of the other characters in depth, for an interesting addition in the world we see them all in

Summary:
After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can’t have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

Posted in Reviews

Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 2 by Aoi Makino

Not Your Idol, Vol. 2 by Aoi Makino – ⭐⭐⭐
Expected Release: September 1, 2020

Recommended: sure
For a continuation from part 1, for more exploration into side characters

Summary:
A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan. After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

“This is exactly why she got herself stabbed by a fan.” Heartbroken Nina Kamiyama is a former idol. She’s decided to live her life by keeping her past identity a secret, but her situation intensifies when another discovers who she really is. Who can she trust?

Thoughts:
This followup installment was more thoughtful than the first installment, with less action. This section of chapters focuses more on the people and investigating their motivation. As is expected from a second set, we get a look into the people around Kamiyama and dig deeper into her own emotions and motivation.

Continue reading “Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 2 by Aoi Makino”
Posted in Reviews

Review: The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Volume 2 by Mi Tagawa

The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Volume 2 by Mi Tagawa – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Expected Publication: August 18, 2020

Recommended: yes!!
For more heartwarming moments, for a volume looking at some of the other characters in depth, for an interesting addition in the world we see them all in

Summary:
After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can’t have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

Thoughts:
Well, the cliffhanger from Volume 1 is no longer hanging over my head, thank goodness! I was so excited to come back to this story in Volume 2. As ever, the art perfectly complements the story style, in how it’s able to carry so many different kinds of meaning effortlessly. Everything from the funny moments, to the painful moments, to the crying-because-it’s-beautiful moments: the art style is adaptable to all of them.

And yes, no worries: this volume is just as hilarious and cute as the previous, despite it’s darker tones as well. What I loved most about this one was being able to learn more about the characters besides the Senzou and Manpachi. Though we do still have stories with them, we also get to see more about some of the wolves and even about our frenemy the badger. Personally I loved this, in part because the relationship between the wolves are so delightful in their contrasting personality that it was enlightening to see how they each got that way.

We also get to see them in their human forms a bit more, which was a shocker but also a fantastic addition. Their interactions in the human world were still perfectly in character and added a twist element to the plot moving forward. I expect we’ll see a bit more of this weaving between worlds in future volumes as well.

One extra bonus at the end that I loved was the inclusion of some short one-off comics with the characters that were translated into English. Some of these comics have been posted on the author’s social media pages in Japanese, so here I finally got the English versions! And let me tell you, they did not disappoint. It’s always hard to end one of these volumes because I adore the characters so much and want to see more, so it made it a little easier to accept. 😁 Can’t wait for the next volume!

Thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: RWBY The Official Manga Vol.1!

Reminder that RWBY THE OFFICIAL MANGA 1 by Bunta Kinami (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today (well, in English at least). Check out the review here or swing to Barnes & Noble to grab a copy!

Recommended: yes!
For those who like the supernatural-hunter kind of manga, for very clearly defined character personalities, for some intriguing lore and monsters, and of course for anyone who’s seen the Rooster Teeth production it’s based on

Summary:
In the world of Remnant, monsters known as Grimm wreak havoc. They’re kept in check by Huntsmen and Huntresses, highly skilled warriors experienced in monster extermination who utilize their special abilities on the field of battle. Ruby is a ferociously talented young girl who comes to Beacon Academy to hone her skills and serve as a Huntress herself. Alongside her sister Yang Xiao Long, rival Weiss Schnee and newfound friend Blake Belladonna, Ruby leads Team RWBY, the coolest new group at Beacon! Ruby takes her first step on the road to becoming a Huntress by enrolling at Beacon Academy, eager to take on the battery of tests, challenges and difficulties that follow. Ruby knows her talents will take her to her goal, but is she ready to clash with Weiss Schnee, haughty scion of the Schnee Dust Company?

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Not Your Idol Vol.1 by Aoi Makino!

Reminder that Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino (⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble!

Recommended: sure
For an enjoyable short read, for a familiar style, for some questions around heavy topics addressed in light-ish ways, for surprise moments of hilarious dialogue

Summary:
A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan. After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

Posted in Reviews

Review: RWBY The Official Manga 1 by Bunta Kinami

RWBY THE OFFICIAL MANGA 1 by Bunta Kinami – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Great to read, but some visuals that were difficult to parse out into elements and movement.
Expected Release: July 21, 2020

Recommended: yes!
For those who like the supernatural-hunter kind of manga, for very clearly defined character personalities, for some intriguing lore and monsters, and of course for anyone who’s seen the Rooster Teeth production it’s based on

Summary:
In the world of Remnant, monsters known as Grimm wreak havoc. They’re kept in check by Huntsmen and Huntresses, highly skilled warriors experienced in monster extermination who utilize their special abilities on the field of battle. Ruby is a ferociously talented young girl who comes to Beacon Academy to hone her skills and serve as a Huntress herself. Alongside her sister Yang Xiao Long, rival Weiss Schnee and newfound friend Blake Belladonna, Ruby leads Team RWBY, the coolest new group at Beacon! Ruby takes her first step on the road to becoming a Huntress by enrolling at Beacon Academy, eager to take on the battery of tests, challenges and difficulties that follow. Ruby knows her talents will take her to her goal, but is she ready to clash with Weiss Schnee, haughty scion of the Schnee Dust Company?

Thoughts:
I’m in an unusual position I think, as I have been aware of this series since it started with Rooster Teeth. However at that time I didn’t enjoy the animation style they used, and wasn’t able to watch more than a few episodes before being turned off despite what seemed like a promising plot. So when I heard there was a manga version of it… WELL. That sounded perfect – I could finally get the story without the animation!

Continue reading “Review: RWBY The Official Manga 1 by Bunta Kinami”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: The Fox & The Little Tanuki Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa!

Reminder that The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the review here or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble (they deliver so no trip needed 👍🏽).

Recommended: yes ♥
For a sweet light story, for drama mixed with humour, for characters you’ll love

You already know you’ll love it

Summary:
Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers… but not all those animals used their magical abilities for good! Senzou the Fox Spirit in particular grew too brash and arrogant, abusing his strength until the gods imprisoned him for his bad behavior. Three hundred years later, he’s finally been released, but only on one condition– he can’t have his any of his abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become an assistant to the gods. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa

The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Expected Release: March 17, 2020

Recommended: yes ♥
For a sweet light story, for drama mixed with humour, for characters you’ll love

You already know you’ll love it

Summary:
Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers… but not all those animals used their magical abilities for good! Senzou the Fox Spirit in particular grew too brash and arrogant, abusing his strength until the gods imprisoned him for his bad behavior. Three hundred years later, he’s finally been released, but only on one condition– he can’t have his any of his abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become an assistant to the gods. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

Thoughts:
The light and watery art style is a perfect match to this story, because it’s overall pretty lighthearted with some moments of pain and depth for the characters to grow from. It’s pretty irresistible to have the tough bad guy’s heart slowly thawed by the adorable little fluff chub. Yet despite some character changes throughout, they also do stay true to themselves in many ways too; there’s no miraculous conversions or sudden 180s here.

I really need to emphasize how much this made me laugh, too. Not just in terms of how often I laughed, but the force of my laughter. The frog part had me laughing so hard I cried, partly because it was just so unexpected, and I re-read it several times, laughing that hard every time. In fact, I’ll probably go read it again when I’m done writing this, because it was such a pure joy.

Continue reading “Review: The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa”
Posted in Reviews

Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino

Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino – ⭐⭐⭐
I enjoyed it, wanted to read more and was disappointed to get to the end. The story and art felt pretty familiar though, so nothing that really blew me away.
Expected Release Date: May 5, 2020

Recommended: sure
For an enjoyable short read, for a familiar style, for some questions around heavy topics addressed in light-ish ways, for surprise moments of hilarious dialogue

Summary:
A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan. After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

Thoughts:
While enjoyable, this manga didn’t blow me away with anything particularly unique. The setup found here in the first installment was enough to make me interested in the story and want to continue reading it, but didn’t have much I haven’t seen before. It’s worth a read if you’ve got time, but it’s not one that I think adds much new to the existing amounts of manga yet.

What I’m most optimistic about is seeing the story continue, as I feel this somewhat mediocre start could lead to a well-developed and captivating story overall. It just needs the time to get there! The ending seemed like an odd choice – and that’s all I’ll say – but I’m willing to give it a chance to grow into something.

Continue reading “Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino”