Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Seven Deadly Sins 12: Ban's Decision by Nakaba Suzuki



The Seven Deadly Sins 12: Ban's Decision by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#12)

Battle intensive! Everything is amped up to another level as the new villain is full out waging war against the seven and even with the holy knights now on their side they have never been up against this magnitude of evil power before. A very fast read!

Noragami: Stray God 10: Back From the Dead by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God 10: Back From the Dead by Adachitoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Noragami: Stray God (#10)

OMG. So intense! This is a turning point. Everything reached a head in the last volume and this one takes up from there and places the story arc at the beginning of its new journey. Bishamonten has a super awesome battle scene and we see why she is such a fabulous warrior god. Loved that battle so much! But she and Yato are on the outs now and he has given her a new nickname which has stuck in a comic way and it is soooo hilarious! Fantastic volume really all round with action, plot, characters and humour! I'm in love with this manga!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson

Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Tuttle Publishing
Source: received a pdf from the publisher

Fun, interesting and useful read, especially if you are an otaku! At first, the tone makes it a little hard to cypher who the book is geared to as the voice starts off a bit immature and I thought this might be a book for children or teens but once it got going it is obviously intended for geeky adults. The author and her husband take in a lot of entertainment that includes alcoholic beverages and adult only entrance. However, there are plenty of places mentioned that can be included on a family-oriented trip, too. Names, addresses, websites and contact information are also provided. From packing and reservations to food and festivals, everything you can imagine is mentioned. Personally, I'm not a traveller but I love Japanese culture and found the book an entertaining and amusing read. A wide variety of readers will enjoy this delightful book.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sons of the Devil, Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

Sons of the Devil, Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 8th 2015 by Image Comics
Source: egalley via netgalley

That was fun. I liked it. A good horror story. The main character has anger issues and isn't very likable but I didn't not like him either. The story is entertaining but is short and ends abruptly. The art's pretty good and matches the atmosphere. Not fantastic, but not bad either.

Apollo: The Brilliant One by George O'Connor

Apollo: The Brilliant One by George O'Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via netgalley

Olympians (#8)

I'm a huge fan of this series and Apollo was all that I expected it to be. O'Connor has changed his narrative style several times with these books and here he switches once more from just telling a narrative tale. The nine muses gather together to tell us several of Apollo's deeds and misadventures through their eyes, letting Apollo speak for himself frequently so we don't miss out on his self-idolatry pomposity. Apollo is only out for himself and it is hard to care for him, especially when a girl would rather be a tree than the next wife on his list, but one person he truly did care for was his son and when Zeus kills him we get shown and understand that bit of half-mortalness inside him. Usually, the stuff that happens in these books is fairly basic for someone who has done a lot of greek myth reading but I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a bit of new information in this one for me. Admittedly, I can't recall Apollo being a big feature in much I've read so I really enjoyed the information on his son, Asclepius. Lovely, exciting, interesting book to add to the collection, as usual! Looking forward to the next one, as usual!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Devil Survivor 2 by Satoru Matsuba & Chi's Sweet Home 12 by Kanata Konami

I've been sick this weekend and just reading and don't feel like writing so just a couple of posts with mini-reviews to both my blogs today.


Devil Survivor 2: Lockdown Blues
by Satoru Matsuba
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Mini Review: This is based on a video game and I'm just not feeling the love. Too much emphasis on the demons and battles, can't say I'll continue this one.














Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 12 by Kanata Konami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mini Review - I've been putting off reading the last volume for a while. It was hard to see this one end. This actually had me choking up, very sweet ending, lots of lovely moments. Dear sweet Chi!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inuyashiki 2 by Hiroya Oku

Inuyashiki 2 by Hiroya Oku
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Inuyashiki (#2)

Wow! This volume made me feel very uneasy. The art is absolutely fantastic for a start. I think he may have used real photographs at certain points to make them look like drawings, not sure it's amazing anyway. The story is disturbing. This volume concentrates on the young man who was present on the hill and needless to say, he is the antithesis to the old man; a serial killer in the making with no moral convictions at all. He doesn't seem to have any humanity left and we have his friend with him to judge his former self with his new machine self. There does seem to be a tiny vestige of what he may have been lurking inside, but we'll have to see. The old man, Inuyashiki gets his fair share of time here too though and he learns more of what he can do and tries out more of his chosen path by using his powers for good; it isn't going to be easy but it makes him feel better than anything in his life ever has so far. An interesting look at what makes us human, good vs evil, man vs machine. This volume is brutally violent, stomach-churningly so and contains an almost X-rated sex scene. I'm apprehensive about the next volume. The story is deep; I want to see how Inuyashiki progresses but I'm uneasy as to where Hiro's sadistic character will plummet. I'll be reading volume three and then we'll see if I go further.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 of 6 by Amy Chu

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 by Amy Chu; illus by Clay Mann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via netgalley

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 of 6




Hmm. Very interesting start to a mini-series! Poison Ivy has herself involved in a mystery. She's back to working in a lab trying to get her credit back as a scientist. Harley drops by unannounced and the two go out for a drink and where Harley goes she finds trouble but Pam tells her she needs to cut ties as work is important. Only when Pam gets back to work next morning trouble has arrived there too. Great start. Poison Ivy is one of my favourite Bat-villains and this is cool to see her in the role of heroine for a change.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vinland Saga 7 by Makoto Yukimura

Vinland Saga 7 by Makoto Yukimura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Vinland Saga (#7)

Nothing can compare with this manga series. An epic historical tale of the Vikings. Book Seven sees King Canute's battle and capture of the Ketil Farm as he seeks revenge. This is a fierce, violent, bloody battle. Very realistic historically. This volume brings a brutal death to a beloved character which shocked me. Thorsfinn has been free to escape but he's honour bound to settle his dues with Canute before he does so. Thorsfinn has become such a complicated, mature character now and he's ready to go back to Iceland. But it isn't exactly as he may have imagined returning a full grown man to a home he left when was only six years old now. An emotional and intense volume.

The Kurdles by Robert Goodin

The Kurdles by Robert Goodin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 60 pages
Published April 8th 2015 by Fantagraphics
Source: ebook via the publisher

This was adorably cute! I've always had a love for stories with stuffed animals and toys as main characters. Sally Bear's owner has a fit and throws her out the car window during a storm. Sally has spunk and wanders through the forest getting muddy, fending off an owl mid-flight and about to stone a dog in the grips of his jaw when she meets a forest community of other stuffed toys. Their house has been taken over by a furry disease and a funny story with lovable, quirky characters ensues. Kids are sure to have a good laugh and love this fun group.The colour changing Pentapus was my favourite.

The Flash, Vol. 7: Savage World by Robert Venditti

The Flash, Vol. 7: Savage World by Robert Venditti; illus. by Brett Booth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

The Flash
New 52: The Flash (Vol 7)

I love it! I haven't managed to get into the DC alternate Earth's but I love the Speed Force. Here in volume 7, Barry finds himself being chased by dinosaurs and high-tech robots when he becomes trapped in the Speed Force. There he finds a community of humans from various time eras past and present with a leader who has an uncanny knowledge of the Speedsters. Meanwhile back on Earth, a future but younger version of Barry Allen in a blue suit has turned up, full of vengeance to capture a killer whom he was never able to catch in his version of the past, called Overload. Lots of action and excitement, the two storylines worked well together and kept me turning the pages. Very exciting end with the return of a new old villain. In the background, we have Patty and Barry's relationship being examined and the book ends with a one-off backstory of The Flash's origin story with the murder of his mother and imprisonment of his father.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Oddly Normal Vol. 1 & 2 by Otis Frampton

Oddly Normal Vol. 1 by Otis Frampton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Image Comics
Source: local library

Oddly Normal (Vol. 1)

A fun fantasy for middle graders that I really enjoyed. It's fairly typical of any comic with monster kids at a monster school but Oddly herself is a charming character. Kids will relate to her issues: being different, bullied and ultimately wishing her parents would disappear in a moment of anger. She has a witty sense of humour and is a down-to-earth kid, sometimes standing up for herself while other times running away from dangerous. I found the story unpretentious in its kid-friendly storytelling and the art is comic and humorous. I was only displeased with the cliffhanger ending. Thank goodness I have book 2 coming up right away!



Oddly Normal Vol. 2 by Otis Frampton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Image Comics
Source: egalley via netgalley

Oddly Normal (Vol. 2)

Oh, I just loved this volume but I can't believe it just ended when it did! Come on, where is Book 3?! I love Oddly so much! She is such a refreshing character! This volume doesn't go too much into her parents disappearance but mostly pays attention to her growing school friendships (and enemies). Also, she is finding out about her mother's past and there are hints at a mystery there. As from the first book, there is a teacher who has it in for her for some reason which seems to have to do with her mother and that along with the bullies she hires for extra credit continues to be the antagonist. I'm loving the art and find the story to be all ages appropriate. Fun!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet; illus by Tony Sandoval

A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet; illus by Tony Sandoval
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 90 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Magnetic Press
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is the creepy kind of disturbing comic art that I just adore. Sandoval reminds me somewhat of Renee French in style though his execution is more detailed. This is not a book for kids even though the main character is 11 years old and the theme is one of coming of age abruptly after a death. I found the story poignant while the violence and blood were shocking. The first read through is surreal as we drift through this dreamland with its odd and nightmarish moments but upon completion I found myself returning to the start and reading again with a fuller understanding and having a more grounded experience within the dream. Just begs to be read more than once! Brilliant! But do note: Not for children.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

UQ Holder Vol. 6 by Ken Akamatsu

UQ Holder Vol. 6 by Ken Akamatsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

UQ Holder (#6)

This series just gets better and better. In this volume, the case they've been working on is wrapped up and the current arc is completed. There is tons of action and battling ... with zombies!!. All our heroes face some serious injuries, these are tough dudes to fight. In the end, the volume finishes with a new member added to UQ and a mysterious woman appears setting the scene for the next arc. Loving this manga. This is one of my 15yo son's current favourites, too.

The Seven Deadly Sins Vol. 11 by Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins 11 by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#11)

I was getting a little tired the last two volumes of the never-ending "saving Elizabeth" plot and wanting the 7th Sin to arrive, so finally behold! this is the volume. The Seven Deadly Sins are finally all together again as the Sin of Gluttony joins them. There is lots of battle action as this arc finally comes to end and we barely get a moment to exhale when the plot of the next arc is thrown at the group right away with a new opponent causing mayhem in the last two chapters. Lots of stuff happening!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Your Lie in April 5 by Naoshi Arakawa

Your Lie in April 5 by Naoshi Arakawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: recieved a review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Your Lie in April (5)

Lovely! This is very different from anything else I read; it is so focused on the music and I wouldn't say I'm particularly interested in classical music. However, it is very interesting finding out about the music competition world in Japan. This volume focuses on the main character Kosei and the battle within himself he has while performing at a competition, with his thoughts going back and forth between his abusive mother and his new love, the violinist. Then a woman from his past turns up, a friend of his mothers, with a little girl in tow, who wants to become involved in his life again. This volume really sings with the feelings of love and the music can really be felt in the poetry of the words and the lines of movement in the art. This is a really beautiful series and the book flows so fast it's so easy to read even though it's quite deep. There's quite a bit of humour added especially with his friend Watari, who is depicted in chibi format very often.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Love Story!!, Vol. 7 by Kazune Kawahara

My Love Story!!, Vol. 7 by Kazune Kawahara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

My Love Story!! (7)

This is just the most absolutely sweetest romance manga I've ever read. This volume takes a different direction and focuses on a very timid, shy girl who has been crushing on and stalking Sunakawa since pre-school. Yamoto and Takeo take her under their wing and teach her how to come out of her shell so she can have a normal conversation with a boy. So cute!

One-Punch Man, Vol. 4 by ONE

One-Punch Man, Vol. 4 by ONE
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss AND preorder print copy via amazon.ca

One-Punch Man (4)

I love One-Punch! He gets fed up with the citizens ad yells at them to take up the damage with the meteor instead of him. LOL! Back to lots of one-punch action, some really neat new bad guys and lots of other superheroes, creeps and nice ones. I like Puri-Puri-Prisoner and his side story. This is a fun action/battle manga with a twist on the superhero angle. Always a treat!

Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji, Vol. 3: by Yoshiaki Sukeno

Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji, Vol. 3: by Yoshiaki Sukeno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: ebook via edelweiss

Twin Star Exorcists (3)

A good volume basically concerned with plot. Benio finds out the truth about both Rokuro and her brother's involvement in the Hinatsuki Massacre. They, and we, also learn more about the curse of the Kegare.This was an informative volume and gets us ready for some action now that the plot has been developed further. Also included some humour with cute scenes between Benio and Rokuro.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Noragami: Stray God Vol. 7, 8, 9 by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God 7 by Adachitoka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Noragami: Stray God (7)

This volume is mostly character driven and deals with identity. Several characters are finding their true identities, or selves, at least they seem to be doing so: Yato, Yukine and Hiyori. A mysterious element is added to the plot which meanders along until the ending where an intriguing and shocking reveal leaves us perplexed as to the meaning. One of my favourite current mangas at the moment!





Noragami: Stray God 8 by Adachitoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Noragami: Stray God (8)

Things are really building up in this volume. While we've known who the crafter is for a bit it has now been revealed to the characters and I'm finding this plotline very creepy, especially with Yato and Stray's involvement and who is their mysterious father. Hiyori is away from the far shore for a while and almost forgets what she promised she never would. This is kind of sad. I used to want her to become a shinki and miss her falling asleep all over the place. Anyway, great ending with the introduction of a new character whom I'm supposing the next volume is named after.



Noragami: Stray God 9 by Adachitoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published December 22nd 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Noragami: Stray God (9)

Ebisu's character evolves in this volume. Some of the Seven Gods want to punish him for what he's done while a few are on his side. Yato and Ebisu are trapped in Yomi, which I guess you can think of as an underworld sort of place. Lots of action and creepy stuff going on in there, plus action in the real world too. This is a great volume; the current arc is coming to a head and certain factions are now being formed but first we need to get the next volume to see who is safe.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dad's Not All There Any More: A comic about dementia by Alex Demetris

Dad's Not All There Any More: A comic about dementia by Alex Demetris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 32 pages
Published December 21st 2015 by Singing Dragon
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is a comic introducing people to Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia, the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer's, but not heard of by many people until the unfortunate death of Robin Williams, whom it was disclosed had been suffering from the disease. A Lewy Body diagnosis cannot be confirmed until an autopsy is done on the brain.

This was a very personal read for me as my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's and we had inquired about LBD and been assured he didn't have it but this Christmas his diagnoses was officially changed to Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia.

The comic is very straightforward and factual, not touchy-feely yet uses humour, which I appreciated. It introduces you to this progressive, aggressive disease then shows what you can expect. It shows a small family (husband, wife, and son) dealing lovingly and sensibly with how this neurological disease ravishes both the body and the mind. The book shows the father always being treated with dignity and respect and that we must always remember that it is the disease, not the person, causing the unpleasantness. I really enjoyed the art as well and felt it carried the same tones of dignity.

While this short book does not go into comparing Alzheimers and Lewis Body very much, it does manage to show the difference. Lewy Body sufferers don't regress instead memory varies from extremes day to day, and they may be very much aware of their hallucinations. In fact, they can often tell you about them in vivid detail. Both are severely debilitating but overall they present very distinctly.

This is a short book that manages to give a large dose of information for those looking for an introduction. It is a personal story and touching but not over-emotional which I appreciated as it was just the right amount that I could take at this stage in my own journey. A good start if you want an introduction to the disease or are ready to hear other people's experiences.