07-GHOST Vol. 1

8 06 2008

Tate Clyne had escaped from his military training school after a failed attempt to attack a commander from the military whom he remembered was the very one who killed his “Father” in his orphanage when he was younger. He succeeded in his escape but not without receiving a hit from the commander. Wounded, Tate fled the military school on the air bike to a nearby canyon, where a group of priests were having fun racing air bikes. It was then that Tate fell through the sky and crashed onto one of the most coarse priest you will ever meet.

And while Tate was recuperating in the church, the military was searching for him, determined to nab him. They made use of Mikage, Tate’s best buddy, to infiltrate the church but there was someone else in him. He was there to capture, or worse, kill Tate.

This title has action, something which I enjoy. But I can’t say I am really enjoying the action in this title. Maybe there’s too little or maybe it’s just not my style, I don’t know. The storyline is moderate, not excellent. It certainly needs a better plot to get me hooked. There’s also hints of shonen love in this title, but nothing much really. I’m hesitating to buy the second volume and I’ve read this since long ago. You can see how not tempted I am to continue this book. But I might.

Humor: 4/10
Plot: 5/10
Character Design: 6/10
Overall: 5/10

This title is only available in (as far as I know):
Japanese

Author: 雨宮由樹 & 市原ゆき乃 (Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara)





Psycho Busters Vol. 1

30 04 2008

Psycho Busters Cover #1

Kakeru has just been possessed and led to a dilapidated house where a group of psychics are taking refuge from the organization that they have escaped from. What I do not understand is why Kakeru has to be forced there when the young female psychic appeared in his room, naked. Weird, I thought all men would follow her willingly after beholding such a sight! But anyway… They did not manage to have more than a mere few peaceful moments when the organization surrounded their hideout. In an unlucky turn of events, a gun trigger was pulled at our powerless and harmless protagonist. Whether it was pure luck or Kakeru’s undiscovered power that saved him we do not know yet, but the bullet was deflected by a falling rubble from the ceiling. What are the chances a falling rubble will stop a gun bullet going for you at 300 mph/s? Zero! Kakeru has got to have a hidden power, just like all the other typical mangas out there. I admit I was was quite put off when I realized this. Yet, I was equally pleased to find out that in the rest of Kakeru’s confrontations with the bad psychics, no psychic abilities from Kakeru’s part helped them won the battles (at least in volume one). On the other hand, it reminds me greatly of another series in which the protagonist relied only on his wits and physical mettle to fight unnatural forces and that is… Mx0.

Overall, I find this title to be entertaining thus far and I am curious as to what power is lying dormant in Kakeru, if any. A solid clue that suggests that Kakeru does indeed possess a power would be the leader of the captivators mentioning that he has found a Category Zero. Another thing that might get you interested in reading this would be that this is actually the same author/mangaka as GetBackers. So GetBackers fans, what are you waiting for?

Humor: 5/10
Plot: 7/10
Character Design: 6/10
Overall: 7/10

Author: 青樹佑夜 (Yuya Aoki)

This title is available in:
Japanese
Chinese (超能力少年)





NEEDLESS Vol. 1

4 04 2008

NEEDLESS Cover #1

I apologize for the serious lack of manga reviews these few weeks. I am really sorry, as I have too much on my hands that I don’t even have time for reading mangas anymore! Anyway, I really love this title and what really attracted me was its cover art. Look at its drawing quality! There’s something about it that tells you that it’s going to be an ass-kicking, awesome title to read. You know what I mean. Anyway, the review!

Due to the World War III, many areas in Japan are contaminated and ruined beyond hope. Also known as Black Spots, these places are isolated from the rest of the country by huge walls. As time passes, some people started living in the Black Spots and among them, some discovered powers like controlling fire, wind and other supernatural abilities. People who have such powers like them are called, “Needless”. On the other hand, a drug-making company, Simeon, has gathered a group of only the strongest Needless to begin a plan of what they call Needless Hunting. Needless who were hunted each had a part of their body missing. Rumors has it that the drug-making company is actually holding human body experiments in order to develop a drug that could grant immortality.

A boy who was part of a resistance group against Simeon escaped death when Adam Blade, the protagonist, destroyed the mechanical Needless hunter without use of any form of powers. In order to keep its secrets safe, a Needless was dispatched in order to get rid of Blade. But when that failed, the two personal guards of Adam Arkwright, leader of Simeon Needless group, were sent to succeed the uncompleted task.

All in all, the plot is somewhat decent, not great. However, the plot isn’t what I’m reading this manga for, though I’m not saying the plot sucks, it’s decent. But it’s the fighting scenes that I’m looking forward to! The intense blood and sweat battles between Needless! If you love fighting scenes like a true shonen does, then you’ll do good not to miss this title. The fight between Eve, the heroine on the left side of the picture above, and one of the personal guard of Arkwright at the end of volume one was totally ass-kicking! It was an overwhelming one-sided battle but at last they managed to figure out his trick (but readers were not informed, yet). And that’s when volume one ended on me. God damn, I swear I picked volume two right away when I went down to Kinokuniya after that. There’s a few humorous moments here and there in this title, not much, but when it decides to make you laugh, you would. They weren’t just tickles, they were LOL moments.

Humor: 5/10
Plot: 6/10
Character Design: 9/10
Overall: 8/10

Author: 今井 神 (Kami Imai)

This title only available in:
Japanese





DEVIL Vol. 1

20 03 2008

DEVIL Cover #1


An eternal being, known as the Pale Vampire, is the source of a virus that mutates infected beings into superhumans, or monsters, with special powers. Those whom are infected with this virus are called “Devils”. Decoppa, a 15 years old geek, unluckily happens to encounter one of them which could spawn and control spiders. After being surrounded and cornered by hundreds of the creepy crawlies in a fast food restaurant and robbed of his girl, he has decided to fight back instead of running away all the time. Decoppa realized that monsters, like humans, are mere living creatures, and that they too can be killed. Depending only on his intelligence and his environment, Decoppa defeated the spider Devil and proved to himself that even mere humans can kill Devils without use of any special abilities.

This manga is a little different from the others, in the sense that the protagonist and the heroine only appeared in the later half of the book. I was so sure I was in for some kind of cool fighting action between Devils and Devils but to my surprise, the Devils were killed by a science and mathematics geek. But hey, I’m not saying it’s a bad manga. Looking at a mere human defeating monsters with science, wits and mathematics provides a variety and is more awe-inspiring than looking at monsters fighting their own kinds. What I really like about this manga is the fighting action between the geek protagonist and the monsters. It’s full of action, so if you like action like me, I’m sure you’d like it too. As for the art in this manga, all I would like to say is I was attracted to its cover art and bought it with no hesitations, no regrets! Just for a little bit more information, the author/mangaka of this manga is the same as the one who drew Air Gear. I heard Air Gear is good but I haven’t read it though. It has an anime series, if I am not wrong, so I’m probably going to give the manga a miss and watch the anime instead.

Humor: 4/10
Plot: 5/10
Character Design: 7/10
Overall: 6/10

This title is available in:
Japanese
– Chinese (Heard from a friend, but I can’t find it on Chuang Yi’s website, maybe it’s by another publisher, *shrugs*)





Bloody Monday Vol. 2

19 03 2008

Bloody Monday Cover #2

Fujimaru’s younger sister, Haruka (oh I forgot to mention he had a cute little sister?), was abducted by the group of terrorists, leaving Falcon no choice but to help carry out their evil deeds. Meanwhile, Fujimaru’s father, Takagi Ryuunosuke, sought help from an old friend in order to analyze a base sample extracted from the deadly virus outbreak in Russia. This was when the killer appeared again to assassinate the scientist, pushing an extra murder charge against Ryuunosuke. Fortunately, not all odds are against Team Falcon & Friends. Their high school teacher’s, Ms. Orihara Maya, alibi went crumbling down when the team discovered a flaw in her alibi. However that alone does not prove her to be part of the terrorist organization. Thus, in a quest to find out if their teacher is truly an ally right from the beginning, or a dangerous enemy spying on their every move, Fujimaru has decided to look for clues in the high school teacher’s apartment.

If volume one did not manage to hold your interests (which I doubt so!), then I hope volume two will do a better job. I strongly advise you to read Bloody Monday if you haven’t already! Volume two is when the plot is thickening and things are getting more and more exciting, I believe this is when I got truly hooked to the manga! I curse Kinokuniya for not having volume four even though it was out since such a long time ago! Curse them, curse them, curse them all!! *ahem* Anyway, let’s get going, shall we? In this volume, Falcon does hacking in ways that you’ll never even imagine! With his father driven to a corner, his sister abducted and a possibility that an ally might actually turn out to be an enemy knowing their every step, how will Falcon save his friends, family, and consequently, Japan from the evil clutches of the unknown terrorist organization with his computer knowledge and hacking skills?

Good news to people who are living in Singapore as Books Kinokuniya Singapore is selling this title, otherwise you could import it online at Amazon Japan!





Manga Review: Shining Tears

17 03 2008

Shining Tears #1

Title: Shining Tears シャイニング・ティアーズ
Author: Kanda Akira 神田 晶

After some research, I found out that this manga is an adaptation of its game counterpart. No wonder it felt like I was playing a game while reading it. The story is set in your typical RPG game setting where there exists knights and soldiers, archers and spell-casters.

The Story
After being saved when he was lying unconsciously near a river, Xion lost all his memory and found himself in an inn in a small town called Shildia. Soon, Xion found himself joining hands with the band of mercenaries, that rescued him, in order to defend Shildia from Lungeist’s (I hope I got the name right) assault. It was then that Xion discovered that he had a pair of rings with him; one was with him, strangely irremovable from his finger, while the other was now with the elvish archer, Elwyn, who had save him earlier. After the other ring had a bearer, Xion immediately changed into another person. The wimpy and polite young boy now became uncouth and rude. He jumped into the battlefield without any hesitations and slew every Lungeist solider he met. Meanwhile Elwyn was raining volleys after volleys of arrows into the battlefield. The rings had given the couple power. Power enough to wipe out an entire army on their own. Indeed, what is the origin of the rings and how did it landed in the hands (or in this case, fingers) of Xion? Does the amnesia of Xion has something to do with the rings’ predecessor, a fighter who had once saved the world from darkness with the power of the rings?

The Review
I have to admit. The storyline isn’t that great, it is an adaptation of the game (which received criticisms for its storyline, by the way) after all. There are a lot of fighting scenes in this manga, definitely, but they are very much like a hack and slash game where a large group of enemies dies with a single, large blow from the good guys. But hey, this is one of the easiest to read manga that I’ve came across. The Japanese used in this manga isn’t too deep (just information for people who reads manga to learn Japanese, like me) and you can pretty much scan through the pages, since there aren’t too much dialogues in it. It’s also quite relaxing to read the manga, a good title to kill time when you want to pass time relaxing. Right, one thing I forgot to mention is I felt like playing a RPG game after reading the book. Haha. Maybe those who have the game might feel like replaying the game after reading this, lol. Overall, I would say this title is more suitable for the younger audience (the fact that I’m going to continue on this title proves I’m young at heart!).

Right, judgment time:

Humor: 4/10
Plot: 5/10
Character Design: 6/10
Overall: 5/10

This manga is currently published in:
Japanese
No idea if it’s available in Chinese or English, but I doubt so





Bloody Monday Vol. 1

13 03 2008

Bloody Monday Cover 1

Today, I bring to you the review of Bloody Monday. I had intended to introduce this manga to everyone earlier, however I didn’t want to write a crappy review that the manga certainly does not deserve, so I took longer than expected. I really love this manga and it’s currently one of my two favourite titles, the other being Mx0. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my reviews and hopefully they’re of help to you.

Takagi Fujimaru is Falcon; a young, talented hacker who was employed to work for the government after getting caught. Fujimaru now hacks for the police force of Japan and has helped solved many cases.

It was then that a piece of memory chip was recovered from inside a murdered Russian man’s corpse. Inside it contains what might be a clue to a massive terrorist attack that just occurred in Russia. Falcon was sought in order to decipher the codes and reveal what is hidden in the chip. However, things were not going smoothly for Falcon. Not only was he not able to progress on the deciphering of the chip because his new teacher, Ms. Orihara, accidentally destroyed his super-computer laptop, his father was framed for killing another police officer and is now on the run.

When the deciphering of the chip was finally completed, it turned out to be a home-made video, filmed in Russia during Christmas and titled “Genocide of Christmas” in Russian. It showed a little girl who had blood oozing out of her eyes before a man with his whole body full of pores appearing. A display of the virus’s fatality. Fujimaru made another shocking discovery when he analyzed the video further. A familiar Japanese woman was spotted in the video and it turned out to be none other than his new teacher… Orihara Maya. When confronted, Maya had a solid alibi to prove she was in Japan, and not in Russia on the day of Christmas. Is this purely a coincidence or … is there more than what it seems?

This is a fascinating suspense manga that I think is receiving lesser popularity than it should. I really think this manga should be exposed more and that’s also why I didn’t want to do anything (e.g. a crappy review) that will undermine its popularity. This manga has a deep plot and it is the very reason why I am so interested in it. I just can’t wait for the next volume, Kinokuniya should hurry up and import volume 4, god dammit! And I just discovered that this title has only 5 volumes, if I am not wrong. Oh man, I didn’t think it would end so early.

Humor: 3/10 (Terrorist, virus, blood are no laughing matters, my friend)
Plot: 9/10 (The reason why I can’t let it down once I start reading it)
Character Design: 6/10
Overall: 9/10 (You’d be a fool not to read it)

Very unfortunately for readers who do not know Japanese, once again this title is only published in Japanese.