Thursday, February 7, 2008


!!!Super Manga Blast Edition!!! Reviews from several mangas from January to now!!! New Gunsmith Cats and first volumes of Zombie Fairy, Harukaze Bitter Bop, and Ral Grad from Death Note artist Taseshi Obata. Quick reviews this time out.

Harukaze Bitter Bop Vol. 1

By: Court Betten

Grade: B+

Chiyoharu is an outcast in school after a prank grew lead to a huge fire at his school. His friends expelled while he gets off with a suspension. His life takes a drastic turn for the strange when he encounters an amnesiac muscle man named Souza of the North Wind and Kaede Tsubaki who claims to be a high school detective. Now him and Kaede are trying to help Souza regain his memories.

This series gets right into the story without feeling rushed. Focusing on only the main three characters in the first chapter and Court Betten makes them all interesting. I especially like Kaede whose just funny. As the series progresses more supporting players are introduced and towards the end of the first volume clues about Souza start popping up. It's a brisk pace with some good laughs. Court's art is typical manga comedy. Clean, simple with crazy facial expressions, exaggerations and body language. The design on the characters are very good. This was a fun little book and makes me sad it only runs three volumes.

Zombie Fairy Vol. 1

By: Daisuke Torii

Grade: C-

Aoto Hozuki brings a family heirloom, an ancient coffin, to a TV show to have it appraise. Soon a Chinese Girl pops out making a big mess of things. After she snaps out of her evil trance he brings her home to the family. Soon the Chinese girls old friend Lin-Fa comes knocking with answers and questions for this girl named Chun-Ai. Now it's up to Lin-Fa to help Chun regain her memory and lift a couple of curses.

This one moves too quick. Introducing half a dozen characters early on and basic plot points doesn't help. Even after the story gets through a few chapters most the family comes off as just cardboard and even main character Aoto was rather boring. The two Chinese girls are interesting and the art is pretty. It's softer lines which makes since because it's a shojo style manga. The last chapter gives me hope for more character development in the future so I’ll give it another volume but I thought this read like fan-fiction with nice art.

Ral Grad Vol. 1

By: Tsuneo Takeno & Takeshi Obata

Grade: B-

Ral is a boy imprisoned in a cell of shadows because he is integrated with a dragon made of shadows. He is released from his cage to help in the battle against the shadow monster of Le Noir and their queen. Now free, him and his dragon Grad, fight monsters. Oh, and Ral loves the ladies.

Most anime/manga with teenage boys seem to have them brushing off women or too shy to do anything. Once Ral discovers women, and breasts, he just lunges at them. It's amusing and makes from fun laughs. The character is sort of interesting and his tutor Mio is too, even if she seems a little too dismissive of Rals social manners just because he was locked up with no light. The villainess is creepy and engaging. The arts good. The women are sexy. I think it's generally an entertaining read even if the whole shadow demons and Le Noir mean little to me. I'm checking out the next couple volumes.

Gunsmith Cats: Burst Vol. 3

By: Kenichi Sonoda

Grade: A

Rally Vincent gets a new car to replace her beloved but trashed to hell Shelby Cobra GT500. Now with a King Cobra just in time to get into the illegal V8 race. She needs money as her, and cohorts, deal with Bean bandit hasn't gotten them their cash due to a certain detective out to make Beans life a living hell. These two are also in the race with plans to snuff out one another. It's a bumpy ride.

Fast cars, sexy girls, but not much gun play this time out. Though Rally does instruct some action film fans about proper gun use at a shooting range. still, its fast paced excitement and fun. Twists and turns with Bean and the detective out to finally do him in. Not much to say other then if you like cars, women, and guns then Gunsmith Cats is the best damn action book on the market.

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