Luna’s Manga Reviews #1

newluna4I love Manga’s and have been reading them for a long time but let’s be honest, as a hobby it’s an expensive one. So I’ve decided to split the series between those I think are worth saving up for & those I’d personally wouldn’t recommend.
Enjoy.

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for keeps

Title: Pet Shop of Horrors
Author: Matsuri Akino
Publisher: TokyoPop
Genre: Horror
Volumes: 10
Series Rating: 4 stars

A smoke-filled alley in Chinatown harbours Count D’s Pet Shop. The pets sold here aren’t your everyday variety and the Count prides himself on selling Love and Dreams in the form of magical creatures that come with an exclusive contract. But buyers beware. If the contract is broken the Count cannot be held accountable for whatever may happen. A fascinating and macabre look into the very soul of human nature.

Series Review: Pet Shop of Horrors is the phrase “Be careful what you wish for”. At Count D’s Pet Shop customers don’t always go home with an ordinary pet, even if they and the Count call it a rabbit. Mainly they go home with a lesson, or sometimes their dreams.

The Pet Shop of Horrors books each contain individual stories, each chapter follows another customer. This is a horror series so most of these stories don’t end well but I wouldn’t call Pet Shop of Horrors dark horror. Plus some of the ‘pets’ within the shop are spectacular. With mermaids, dragons and kitsune plus a pet shop owner who swoons over cake this not going to give you nightmares. But I love how this series regularly shows how given a person what they say they want ends up in disaster.

As each volume is essentially a short story collection this series is great for dipping in and out of. Also if you miss a book or read out of sync it’s not that big a deal. There is an overall storyline about the mysterious Count D, which I would keep in mind. Personally I’m all for order but if for whatever reason you have books 1 & 3 don’t worry about skipping 2.

TokoPop published the first volume of Pet Shop of Horrors in 2003, since then I have read the serious so many times. I’m not even sure how many. Frequently I’ll pick a random book and just read a few of the stories. They’re great for bedtime.

petshop

 

worthwhile investing in

Title: Dengeki Daisy
Author: Kyousuke Motomi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Genre: Contemporary / Thriller
Volumes: 16 books
Series Rating: 4 stars

After orphan Teru Kurebayashi loses her beloved older brother, she finds solace in the messages she exchanges with DAISY, an enigmatic figure who can only be reached through the cell phone her brother left her. Meanwhile, mysterious Tasuku Kurosaki always seems to be around whenever Teru needs help. Could DAISY be a lot closer than Teru thinks?

One day at school Teru accidentally breaks a window and agrees to pay for it by helping Kurosaki with chores around school. Kurosaki is an impossible taskmaster though, and he also seems to be hiding something important from Teru…

Series Review: Dengeki Daisy was one of the new series I tried out this year, having been away from manga reading for a while – and it reminded me how great manga’s can be. It’s supposedly a “romantic comedy drama” though you can throw in intrigue, computer hacking, conspiracies and a whole lot of other stuff I’m not going to spoil for you.

The best part is that the characters have depth, not just Teru and Tasuku but also the other’s that get introduced as the story continues. The plot gets darker; there are reveals (and backstories that for the most part I think a woven into the storyline well) plus Teru and Tasuku struggle a lot with their relationship, which makes it more convincing.

As with any long running series Dengeki Daisy isn’t perfect. There a ‘filler’ chapter’s, some volumes feels like they’re dragging the story and there are some clichés. On balance though, these are small compared to all the things that Dengeki Daisy does well. I really enjoyed the series as a whole.

So the reason this isn’t in the ‘for keeps’ section has nothing to do with the story, it’s the amount of books. At 16 volumes Dengeki Daisy isn’t going to be cheap. If you can get it via your library or decent second hand copies that would be the way to go and definitely don’t buy a pristine full price copy of volume 16. I was disappointed by VIZ Media – it’s basically only 1 chapter, the conclusion and some random extra’s. They could have fitted the final chapter into volume 15.

 

not worth it…

Title: Cactus’s Secret
Author: Nana Haruta
Publisher: VIZ Media
Genre: Contemporary / Romance
Volumes: 4
Series Rating: 1.5 stars

Falling in love with a clueless boy would turn any girl into a cactus!

Miku Yamada has a longtime crush on classmate Kyohei Fujioka. But no matter how many times she tries to show him how she feels, clueless Kyohei just doesn’t get it. Frustrated, Miku gives up on him, only to have him start calling her “Cactus” for being prickly when he’s around. Will Kyohei ever figure out Cactus’s secret?

Miku decides to try telling Kyohei her feelings by giving him chocolates for Valentine’s Day. But Kyohei, unaware that he’s the object of her affection, offers himself up as a practice partner for her love confession. Can Miku get through to him that he’s the one she loves?

Series Review: This is what happens when you’re stuck on a train (which is delayed and running slow) and have enough internet to download ePubs and then decide to persist in reading it to the end. Note to self; be less stubborn and just give up.

I do not get this series. Somehow I must be missing something but there is no character depth or development. Miku and Kyohei are not particularly likeable; truthfully I do not get Kyohei at all. As for Miku, well I thought her stubbornness about Kyohei could be potentially endearing but actually it’s not. Also, when new characters are introduced (like Kyohei’s brother) there is this promise of backstory or intrigue but actually nothing happens.

Originally I chose Cactus’s Secret because at 4 volumes it’s a quick read and the artwork is nice enough. I wasn’t expecting this to be outstanding but I thought it be cute and fun. It could be that this story and the characters just don’t translate well but Cactus’s Secret did not work for me.

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