Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 4 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi, Hikaru Miyoshi (Illustrations)
The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!
Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the most well-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?
MI6 issues a top secret mission to take the British Empire out of the Afghan War. Moriarty believes Colonel Moran, who once fought in the war, to be the right man for the job. But will old memories from Moran’s past haunt him during the mission? Meanwhile, more dark figures lurk in London’s nobility, spreading further chaos in the country…
Thank you, Viz Media LLC for the review copy.
Review: This is my favourite new series to read. It is plot heavy and visually stunning.
In this volume the main story is side-lined in the beginning as we follow a mission for Moran, one of the team. There is a lot of James Bond references during this part of the story, including that Miss Moniepenny does on the mission with Moran. While it probably is my least favourite so far it was still interesting and certainly helped with character development. I hope that Miss Moniepenny will return in further stories.
The end of the book is back with Sherlock, who is bored because he hasn’t solved the master criminal mystery yet. It does end in a little bit of a cliff-hanger but even if that wasn’t the case, I would be picking up the next volume.
Definitely recommend this series.
Expected publication: July 6th 2021 by VIZ Media LLC
Mao, Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
Teenage Nanako travels back in time to early 19th-century Japan and meets teenage exorcist Mao. What is the thread of fate that connects them? Together, they seek answers…and kick some demon butt along the way!
Nanako passes through a portal into Taisho-era Japan, a world populated by phantom people, monstrous yokai and a surly young exorcist named Mao. When Nanako returns to the present, she discovers she has some new, unusual abilities. So she goes back to the past looking for answers, only to get caught up in Mao’s investigation of a demon crime. As her questions about herself multiply, she learns that Mao is cursed by a cat demon called Byouki—and so is his sword. If anyone but Mao attempts to wield it, they are doomed. But when Mao’s life is in jeopardy, Nanako picks up his blade and swings…!
Thank you, Viz Media LLC, for the review copy.
Review: Having read through Mermaid Saga, Ranma and Inu Yasha I was immediately interested when I saw this manga. One of the things I like about Rumiko Takahashi is that her stories are easy to track, even when they span many volumes and loads of characters. Her books are paced well so you don’t lose track of the story and characters are introduced gradually so you don’t feel like you are losing track of them.
Visually Rumiko Takahashi art style has never been my favourite, but I appreciate how clear the panels are. There is something nice about following the pages without having clustered panels.
I read through the first volume quickly and have feel like I ‘know’ the main characters, even though there is still plenty of mystery. As a first volume I think this book sets up everything nicely. I am looking forward to the next instalment.
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by VIZ Media LLC
RWBY: The Official Manga: The Beacon Arc, Vol. 3 by Bunta Kinami, Monty Oum (Creator)
Monsters known as the Grimm are wreaking havoc on the world of Remnant. Ruby Rose seeks to become a Huntress, someone who eliminates the Grimm and protects the land. She enrolls at Beacon Academy, eager for the tests and combat challenges to come.
Roman Torchwick’s plans have been laid bare, and now it’s up to Team RWBY to save the day! This is everything they’ve been training for at Beacon Academy. Ruby is ready to protect the people of Remnant from his machinations, and Weiss, Blake and Yang are right by her side. The final volume of RWBY: The Official Manga is here, and Torchwick doesn’t stand a chance!
Thank you, Viz Media LLC for the review copy.
Review: After volume two I decided to give this one more go but I really struggled getting through this. I stopped/started a few times and when I eventually finished it, I felt like there hadn’t been any overall progress in the story.
I’m not sure how much having no background knowledge of RWBY is impacting my enjoyment. I would have hoped the manga could have been enjoyed separate from the tv series but I feel like readers are expected to have the context from the show to follow the manga better.
On the whole this entire volume felt like mini filer chapters or side stories that are normally bonus chapters as the end of the main books, not something that was the main story.
Undead Girl Murder Farce Vol. 1 by Yugo Aosaki, Haruka Tomoyama (Illustrator)
The end of the 19th century—a vampire’s wife is murdered, and the detective known as the “cage user” is called in to solve the crime. But there’s more to the detective and the curtained birdcage he carries…after all, when solving a case involving a monster, it might just take one to know one!
Thank you, Kodansha, for the review copy.
Review: Personally, I found the beginning a tad clumpy. Between the character introductions, the info dumping and the set up of the introductory story it didn’t read all that smoothly. Once you get passed the beginning though Undead Girl Murder Farce settles, and you have the first mystery.
In a world where allied vampires can life in peaceful coexistence with humans (except occasional vampire hunters) a prominent vampire has been murdered. The “cage user” detective is called to investigate.
This murder mystery is the central plot. The ‘joke’ about the talking cage got a bit boring and I felt that sometimes the mystery walked over the line of becoming across as condescending to the reader. It is painfully obvious why the cage talks yet the characters remain mystified for much too long. Also, the same cliff-hanger ending is used repeatedly towards the end “it’s one of you” only has impact once, not over and over.
I think the next volume will give a much better idea of how this story works, both in style and plot.