Nana volume 5

January 6, 2009 at 12|15|am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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…Whew.  I’m kind of exhausted from all that!  I spent last night unable to sleep, reading Nana, and I came to this realization:

Holy mother of cupcakes, I’m Hachi!

Er… right.  Onto the review then.

This series just keeps getting better and better with every volume!  I’m not exaggerating!  I’m just using exclamation points because it is THAT AWESOME!

First of all, maybe it’s just me and my slash-goggles, but is Yazawa-san hinting at some sort of… unrequited Hachi/Nana… thing?!  I mean, it’s kind of obvious with a few of the Hachi monologues at the end of a few chapters.  These are some sixteen-ton-weight size hints she’s giving us here.  (And I’m not even a yuri fangirl.  Sigh.)

The romance plotlines are getting more and more twisted, as well.  Hachi’s hooking up with Takumi, the bassist from Nana O’s rival band; Ren and Nana O reunite after two years; and Nobu is totally pining over Hachi.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave.  Fortunately, all this romantic confusion adds up to some completely amazing scenes, such as when Shin and Nobu (from Nana O’s band Blast) go out drinking after a concert with Ren, Takumi, and Reira from their rival band Trapnest.  This is a day or so after Takumi and Hachi slept together, and Takumi offends poor love-struck Nobu by comparing Hachi to a tail-wagging dog.  (Um, note to Takumi: you probably shouldn’t call the girl you’re screwing a dog.  It’s a bad idea.)

I don’t think I have to mention the art.  If you’ve even read a PANEL of this manga you know that it’s gorgeous.  ‘Nough said.

Art – 10/10
Story – 9/10
Extras – Quite cute, though there isn’t much.  Creator commentary would have rocked my world, but ah well.
Overall – If you’re over the age of 15 and are looking for a manga that will rock your world, this is it.

Punch volume 1

December 27, 2008 at 5|40|pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Title: PUNCH volume 1
Author: Rie Takada
Rating: Older Teen

Elle’s the granddaughter of a Muay Thai boxing champ set to inherit his dojo and marry his best friend’s son.  The problem?  Elle wants nothing to do with fighting.  While the other girls growing up were playing house, she was watching the boys beat eachother up, and she hates it.  All she wants is a normal relationship with a guy who ISN’T her betrothed, Ruo, a long-haired fighting champ trained by all the best coaches.

When Elle meets Kazuki by chance, he catches her eye with his gorgeous face – and then with his rough attitude.  It turns out this guy she thought she might like is a street fighter who’ll mess up anyone in his way.  It only complicates matters when she blurts out his name to Ruo, and it gets worse from there.  What’s a girl to do?

I love Rie Takada’s art style and her chibis are to die for, totally expressive and cute in an offbeat way (I especially liked chibi!Grandpa with his eyepatch.)  The writing’s sharp and definitely shojo-y.  And the heroine isn’t particularly doormat-like either.  I was cracked up by Takada’s Gaba Kawa in Shojo Beat, and Punch doesn’t disappoint.  It’s an above-average shojo manga in a line that’s been rather disappointing lately.  Nice liscensing, SB.

Art – 8/10
Story – 7/10
Extras – None
Overall – A fluffy, fun shojo manga… although what was with the bath scene?

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