Tag Archives: japanese

Manga Review: I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa

Dark Horse Manga April 26, 2016
Dark Horse Manga
April 26, 2016

Hideo Suzuki is a manga artist that struggles with dealing with reality and his inner thoughts. When the zombie apocalypse unfolds right in front of his eyes, Hideo knows that he will be the hero. 

I normally review a manga when I am either finished or really deep into it. But this series . . . I only made it 3 volumes in. Hideo is an idiot. That is the first word to come to mind, when I think of him. I don’t have an issue with the main character being off and unsure of themselves. I don’t have an issue with the main character being average and struggling with that. I have an issue when the main character has no common sense and considers his selfishness as a heroic move.

I was so frustrated with Hideo that I pushed myself to read to second and third volume. Some may say the third volume is too soon to make a decision on the entire series but I couldn’t read it anymore. Which is a real shame because beyond him, I enjoyed this.

Art work was graphic and realistic. It was really gruesome at times; which is fitting for a zombie manga.  I liked what the author did in regards to the zombies. For anyone that actually wants to read it, I can’t say what it is but it is really cool.

Pace of the manga was good; there was movement that wasn’t just filled with constant action. I had hope for this but couldn’t get passed the idiot.

2.5 Pickles

Manga Review: QQ Sweeper, Vol. 1 (QQ Sweeper #1) by Kyousuke Motomi (UPDATE)

VIZ Media LLC Published Sept. 26, 2014 208 Pages


Kyutaro Horikita is part of the cleaning club at Kurokado High School. Tall, mysterious and good looking, everyone notices Horikita but because of his dark and silent staring everyone stays away from him.

By chance he finds transfer student Fumi Nishioka sleeping in a room at the school’s old dorms. But before he can get her permanently away from the room, she sees a door only the cleaners can see and enters without a glance back. Horikita realizes Fumi is special but he must find her before its too late. 

The creativity in this manga is out of bounds and I really didn’t do the summary any justice.

The idea that there are cleaners that’s mission is to not only clean a home or place spotless but also clean the heart and mind of an individual of negative emotions is just freaking cool.

When this other world is introduced, the art work is actually creepy. Sending tiny shivers up my arm. It was actually really cool. It was more than just black dots around it was an emotional piece of art that I appreciate on every level.

The story was very detailed for the first volume. But this didn’t take away from the mystery, intrigue, curiosity whatever you want to call it from the characters. I fell in love not with the characters, who showed a range of emotions including humor but I really fell for the story. It is perfect and I hope the last two books will be great.

The reason this manga didn’t get full stars is because there is a cliche in the romance. It is typical turmoil from the main character and I was disappointed in that. But . . . .

I am really sad that I have to wait for book 2 (doesn’t come out until February). I really cannot wait for it.

4 Pickles



The third volume has recently been released and it is amazing. I normally do not post updates to a series I am reading but this is fairly important information. QQ Sweeper is a prequel to the series Queen’s Quality. I do not agree with the move because there is only one volume of Queen Quality and it is only available in Japanese -_-

But anyway, the third volume is the turning point to everything. We find out key details about Fumi Nishioka. Not too much about her past but more about her future. The romance is still there but at the moment it is a bit one sided. I am also predicting the worst to happen because Horikita is being selfish and his feelings doesn’t seem to be genuine for Fumi.

There is much more action in this novel than there was in the other two. It was exciting and it had me at the edge of my seat. It was perfect, where as book two was a bit shaky.

Short review, yes, but this is only an update. As stated previously, there isn’t going to be a volume 4 of QQ Sweeper, because it is a prequel :( Queen’s Quality is the next novel in this series. Finger’s cross I can find it in English and the author will continue the series and not leave it off.

5 Pickles

Manga Review: Boku dake ga Inai Machi 1 (Erased #1) by Kei Sanbe

Kadokawa Shoten Published Jan 26, 2013
Kadokawa Shoten
Published Jan 26, 2013

Satoru Fujinuma wants to make it as a manga artist but doesn’t know how to deal with people and relationships. So on top of his art, he works as a part-time pizza delivery boy. Looking from the outside in, Satoru is an average male but he has a special ability called “rerun” that allows him to see things before they happen and potently right a wrong. 

But when one of these incidents opens a long forgotten memory, Satoru average life takes a turn.

I sat on this review for a while. I had to sit and let everything I read process. I know what you’re thinking this must have been a terrible book. No, it wasn’t. It actually was one of the best manga’s I have read that wasn’t a high school romance.

It was complicated, emotional in a if I had a child type of way, it was a novel and I loved almost every minute of it.

I say almost because it started off pretty slow and I didn’t really like how it was ended. The issue with the ending is it didn’t provide the fulfillment that the main character had the ending he deserved. It just ended; not with questions but it simply ended. I still don’t know how I feel about that.

In between the slow beginning and the eh ending, the story was great. It had me at the edge of the seat with each page. Satoru doesn’t have much a personality; he isn’t the most depth person and if it wasn’t for his power he would just be a jerk that doesn’t know how to deal with society. But I don’t mind this because the author did an amazing job with the story. It wasn’t about him. It was about the surrounding characters and their lives. He was a feature; do not get me wrong an important feature (he being the hero and all) but a feature compared to those around him. I loved how the author did this. It focused on the story but it wasn’t short of character development.

Its a complicated story that moved fast but not too fast that you felt that something was missing. There was no predictability. When you realized what was going to happened it was already happening. Completely loved it.

The artwork was great as well because it was far from cliche. Everyone looked different, there wasn’t a subliminal sexual innuendo, and the characters had emotions; varying emotion. They felt human. The story felt real as if it happened before or it could happened.

There is an anime for this series but it isn’t complete. I recommend reading it because you will be upset with the way the anime stops.


4 Pickles


Manga Review: Fatal Frame: Shadow Priestess; Rei – Kage Miko Vol 1 by Amagi Seimaru, hakus (illustrator)

Kodansha Published Sept 17, 2014 160 Pages
Published Sept 17, 2014
160 Pages

College student Sara Washizuki has lived a relatively peaceful life since she left her hometown. But when paranormal photographer, Tousei Ryuuzaki, shows Sara a picture of an incident that occurred when she was a child, Sara has no choice but to face the memories she locked away.

So my latest thing is horror manga. Do not get me wrong I am still a hardcore fan of shoujo but for some reason these horror series have been perfect for me.

This manga in particular is perfect and I am extremely upset it is not complete. For starters, Fatal Frame is based off a Playstation 2 game that released in 2001. Apparently it is still a popular game as they are still being released and is now on Nintendo.

Anyway to story. It was creepy, it was detailed, it was graphic. Sara is a descendant of a shadow priestess, so not only can she see ghosts, demons but she can expel them as well.

But she leaves all of that only for it to come back to her at full force.

The thing that makes this manga great is how everyone and everything is connected. It is like a psycho verison of Clue (I love Clue). The twist and turns were well placed and unexpected. There was slight predictably but I can’t even put full meaning behind that because the story has not finished yet -_-

The artwork was graphic, detailed and perfect in black and white. The characters didn’t all look alike and there was zero cliché in the artwork.

Overall, I loved it and am really anxious to read the rest of it.

5 Pickles


Book Review: Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1) by David Kudler

Stillpoint Digital Press To Be Published June 15, 2016 230 Pages
Stillpoint Digital Press
To Be Published June 15, 2016
230 Pages

Japan has been going through a century long civil war; destroying most of the beautiful land in death. Kano Murasaki also known as Risuko (Squirrel) just wants to climb and forget all that is around her. But as a the oldest daughter in a fatherless family that isn’t a easy feat.

When her mother sells her to a high ranking lady, Risuko feels abandoned but quickly finds herself as a much needed asset in the war between armies.

The cover alone promised a badass girl, with not only the physical skills but also mental skills. No. No. This book did not even deliver based off the summary but that is not to say it wasn’t a decent book.

The book is more for middle schoolers than actual YA. I say that because Risuko is about 12 and for the most part she act as such.  The lack of confidence and self-knowledge is evident from the beginning and the end of the book. This is a coming of age novel, which I don’t have an issue with; I simply feel mislead.

I didn’t like how the book centralizes about how Risuko loves to climb and yet for most of the book she spend most of her time in the kitchen. When she did climb, she either got caught sneaking or was taunted into doing it.  How can someone love something so much and practically stop doing it?

The book was slow and drawn out. The “action” was full of yawns and the ending was i.e. the big twist was un-fufilling and more of ‘I can not believe I read this book for that.’ Despite all of this, I give the author credit for dragging me in against my will. There were things I didn’t understand that I wanted to know more of. There are still things I don’t understand and I am not sure if they are even going to be addressed in the next book.

I wanted more from the book. More passion, action, climbing something other than the promise of something exciting. I felt that the author played it too safe with this book. I also felt that the author did not allow Risuko to have an actual personality. I cannot describe her even if you paid me to.

Overall, it was a decent intro to possibly a better story. I still recommend this read for middle schoolers not young adults or adults reading YA.


2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Nagasaki by Éric Faye

Gallic Books  Published 2010 112 Pages
Gallic Books
Published 2010
112 Pages

Meteorologist Shimura Kobo lives alone and has for years. Everything has its place and order. Kobo doesn’t want it any way.

But when he notices that food is going missing, he sets up a webcam in his home to find the thief. But by doing this what will happen to his life once he discovers the truth? Kobo soon learns you can’t go back after certain decisions in life. 

*Short Review*

When I read the summary to this book I was expecting some huge turn of events that dramatically changes Kobo’s life. Finding out the truth about the intruder in his home was life changing for Kobo but not as spectacular as the summary appeared it to be.

Kobo’s life is as simple as it can get: work, grocery store and the home. He lives alone, doesn’t have any friends, rarely interacts with his coworkers and doesn’t really care to change the situation he is in. When he notices that someone has been in his house, he becomes obsessed with finding out who the person is and when he finds out who the person is, he becomes obsessed with how he has been living his life.

This isn’t an issue with this book. My issue with this book was the lack of passion, the lack of conversation and the lack of some kind of solution. I am aware that this book is based on true events and I am also aware that some people live their lives like this but I wanted more emotion and there was none to be found other than pity for Kobo.

Overall, as quick of a read this was, reading it has done nothing to shape my life in anyway. I loved the idea of the story but I was hoping for more after the thief was found.

2 Pickles

Manga Review: Black Rose Alice Series by Setona Mizushiro

Kazé Editions  Published Nov. 14, 2008 164 Pages
Kazé Editions
Published Nov. 14, 2008
164 Pages

Dimitri escapes death after a accident. When he wakes he finds out that he is a vampire; 100 years later he meets “Alice” and the vampire world is shaken.

The thing about this manga is that it is predictable. The romance is predictable. How it ends is predictable. However, there is something about this series that makes you want to keep reading.

Alice died and came back to life in the body of a woman Dimitri use to love in order to keep the vampire clan alive, Alice must decide which guy (out of five) she can love in order to give up her life to carry their seed. This was an agreement Alice made in order to keep the one she loved alive.

After about a book, this got old. Alice wanted one person but literally led everyone on. She was a brat and they spoiled her rotten. The romance in general was lack luster too. No one really knew anyone. It wasn’t insta love exactly but it might as well be.

Despite all of this Mizushiro can write a really good story. There were twists that I didn’t see coming and they over powered the less than fabulous romance. It showed the importance of the character development and reader engagement.

The art work was alright. Alice herself was a cliche as well as Dimitri. The other vampires seemed more like humans in personality and physical features so yea they were dull.

This wasn’t a bad series. I really enjoyed it because it was different and really thought-out.

4 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: The Night Itself by Zoe Marriott

Walker Books Published July 4, 2013 368 Pages
Walker Books
Published July 4, 2013
368 Pages

15-year-old Mio Yamato steals her family’s heirloom- a katana, to go with a costume for a Christmas party. Little does she know the moment she takes it from its hiding place, she unleashes an evil in London. 

When a nine-tailed demon attacks her, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a warrior boy who popped out the blue. With the help of Shinobu, Mio’s best friend Jack, and Hikaru, a fox spirit, Mio must find the truth about the sword and how to defeat the demons no plaguing the earth. 

I loved the concept of this book but it was boring and there were things I didn’t exactly understand.

Firstly, what I liked about the book was the mythology the author tried to weave into the book. I say tried because there wasn’t much mythology but what was there was rich and understandable. Considering the fact that the book surrounds itself with the ancient myths, I am not sure why there wasn’t much in it to begin with.

I didn’t like Mio. For a girl who loved her grandfather so much she couldn’t remember anything he taught her. Mio didn’t have much depth and she lacked a personality. She had her witty comments here and there but it didn’t stick.

Another thing I really didn’t like about the book was it took too long to build up. When the action did begin for the next 4 chapters nothing was going on but Mio debating if she should let Shinobu kiss her. It was frustrating and annoying.

I do the author credit for having a pretty cool idea even though this book may or may not be inspired by Naurto. Overall this book gets 2.5 Pickles. I am hoping that the second book will have more action and more mythology.

Manga Review: Sankarea: Undying Love by Mitsuru Hattori

      Kodansha Comics   Published June 11, 2013                176 Pages
Kodansha Comics
Published June 11, 2013
176 Pages

This manga is not as creepy as the American cover shows. Chihiro loves zombie movies. So much that he decided to try to raise his dead cat from the grave and tell the most popular girl in school, Sanka Rea who finds out what he is doing, that he only loves zombie girls.

Sanka Rae is unhappy with her life and has made Chihiro vow that if he is able to bring his cat back to life could he bring her back to life when she dies.  Chihiro agrees. By crazy sort of event Sanka Rae dies and is brought back to life by the potion Chihiro creates.

Thus begins a life Chihiro can only dream of.

The story was interesting. Chihiro seems more of an American boy obsessed with zombies more than a Japanese boy obsessed with zombies. Granted this is an Americanized book so that could be a reason why. Sanka Rae is the pretty girl at school with the famous father who also wishes she had a different life because her father is a pedophile.

The cover is misleading. The art is not creepy. It is not scary. It doesn’t leave much to your imagination. But also remember . . .  this is the first volume.

The story itself makes you wonder how Chihiro and Sanka Rae are going to overcome the difficulties they face now that technically Sanka Rae is dead.

Overall this manga gets 8 out of 10. It’s the curiosity that makes me want to keep reading.

Manga Review: Reversal by Karakara Kemuri

Ayame wants to be a hero. But not just any hero THE HERO everyone turns to and everyone always needs. She’s a daydreamer and a Japanese entertainer (no not a stripper) that specializes in traditional Japanese traditions. One day she saves a man from a dog attack and he drops a game console. Instead of finding him or give it to the lost and found she begins to play it and complications begin ten fold.

         Published 2011
Published 2011

This manga was nothing short of perfection. The story grabs you instantly and you just keep wanting and wanting more. Ayame is more likeable than I thought. After reading the summary I really didn’t think the she would be this interesting person! She wasn’t whinny and for a daydreamer she was still pretty grounded.

When she plays this game she gets caught up in a mess that she is completely not ready for but she adapts faster than most people in the game and she still has a heart which I thought was great.

What was also good about the manga was the respect for Japanese traditions as well as the merging modern culture. The art wasn’t whimsical and that was extremely appreciated.

Amazing read and I highly recommend it. Manga gets 10 out of 10. Sadly . . . there has yet to be a second book :'(