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One-to-two sentence reviews!

One-to-two sentence reviews! published on

Not Manga

  • Ash, by Malinda Lo

    Bisexual Cinderella undergoes uninteresting torments, solves the primary plot problem too easily, and selects the sensible corner of her love triangle.

  • Spin State, by Chris Moriarty

    Someone named Moriarty thought it would be a good idea to cross Crystal Singer over with The Continuing Time, and they were right.

    Also contains Cetagandans, physics, and a mostly non-white cast.

  • Does My Head Look Big In This?, by Randa Abdel-Fattah

    A funny and generally non-preachy YA novel about an Australian Muslim girl figuring out her cultural identity. There are a few clunky bits where the author’s desire to educate trumps her sense of how dialog works.

  • Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, and Calling on Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede

    Oh, Suck Fairy, why must you visit so much of my library? I used to love these books.


  • Angel Nest, by Erika Sakurazawa

    Sweet, slickly-drawn short story collection. The title story, about a recently-divorced woman who finds her empty apartment invaded first by an angel, then by her ex-husband’s teenaged mistress, is the best.

  • Between the Sheets, by Erika Sakurazawa

    Depressing, slickly-drawn story about dysfunctional people messing up each other and themselves, which Tokyopop shouldn’t really be marketing as gay-positive. None of the characters are particularly likable.

  • Ode to Kirihito, by Osamu Tezuka

    Osamu Tezuka punches you repeatedly in the stomach.

  • MÄR, by Nobuyuki Anzai

    This manga follows the Shounen Jump formula so closely that, during the three years of its publication, it is written that Yoshihiro Togashi would frequently look over his shoulder in puzzlement and fear, wondering what ghost it was that he felt stepping on his heels. (If Togashi ever got out of bed then, I mean.)

  • Flame of Recca, by Nobuyuki Anzai

    Anzai’s first major work, which strays from the formula occasionally, with some good results and some bad. Compulsively readable up to the end of the tournament arc, but Anzai has major issues with women, and there’s way more fetish stuff than you want to see in a kids’ story.

Having completed MÄR.

Having completed MÄR. published on

I spent a lot of Flame of Recca going, “Man, I would be enjoying this fight scene so much more if Nobuyuki Anzai had not spilled his sexual hang-ups all over it.” Now I know what happens when he doesn’t spill his sexual hang-ups all over things! He makes manga that is kind of perfunctory, with characters he doesn’t really seem to care about. Okay, Anzai, you can have your sexual predators and dominatrices back.

(Not the pedophiles or the thing with the peeing, though. I’m drawing a line there.)

For me the main value of this manga is the knowledge that (spoilers for chapter 107, plus the end of Flame of Recca) Continue reading Having completed MÄR.

Flame of Recca!

Flame of Recca! published on

Man, Kurei, no. You do not break the alternate dimension by punching it really hard.

I mean, there are narrative conventions that need to be observed here. When you are in the alternate dimension, you do metaphysical battle with your soul – or, you know, somebody’s soul, given as how there’s times you may not necessarily have a soul, due to reasons – while solving some kind of riddle. You don’t just punch. There’s a time and a place for punching, just like there’s a time and place for casually disposing of a complaining minion with a small gesture of one hand in the lower right-hand corner of an otherwise empty panel, and a time and place for unexpected shows of vulnerability under a tree branch or a source of thin light.

We’ve got standards in this community, Kurei. Uphold them.


Ichimaru Gin