Thank you to the Publishers, Netgalley and Edelweiss for the review copies.
I’m a Villainous Daughter, so I’m going to keep the Last Boss Vol.1 by Sarasa Nagase, Yuzu Anko (Illustrator)
Avoid the BAD END! That’s the goal of the villainess in this plot-twisting story!! She has been reborn into the world of an otome game as the villainess, Irene. Using her memories of her former life, she recognizes flags indicating she’s en-route to the bad end, so she makes a plan to conquer the last boss (the evil king Claude), make him her lover, and see if she can open up a new route!
Review: I’ve only really learned about “light novels” in the last year. I’m a Villainous Daughter, so I’m going to keep the Last Boss is the manga adaptation of the previous light novel. I have not read the light novel, but I don’t think that takes away from the enjoyment of this manga.
We start the story with Aileen, she is the “villainous” and in the first few pages it’s established that she’s in a game after playing in in her former life. There is not a lot of detail on her previous world, but she was ill, and this ‘game’ was her main source of entertainment in the hospital. Having a vague memory of the plot Aileen knows she’s got 3 months to fix her ending.
The first chapter felt a bit choppy but once the plot and characters were established, I really enjoyed this, and I hope to continue with the series. I like Aileen and the Demon King, his companions, and the world building. Also, Aileen is more complex and self sufficient than a lot of characters I’ve come across recently and I appreciated that.
My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over!, Vol. 1 by Tetsu Tsutsui, Koyubi Sugawara (Illustrator)
Chiro-chan is a world-class idol… at least, to Sakiko Manaka, your run-of-the-mill hard-core idol fan. So when Chiro — real name Chihiro — ends up sitting next to her in school, Sakiko’s world is turned upside-down, and all her brain cells vanish. After all, how can she concentrate when her absolute fav is just inches away?! But she needs to be on her A-game, because she may not be the only one who is totally gaga for Chihiro…
Review: In the last couple of years, I’ve taken trying all different types of genres within Manga and have found a few gems. Some are more surprising than others. My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over! is one of them.
While I anticipated a cute, maybe somewhat awkward story I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. The blurb doesn’t mention the third main character, another girl called Maaya. Just like Sakiko Manaka she is a fan of Chihiro, but she feels an entitled ownership of her idol. The direct opposite of Sakiko’s mindset and actions.
I have a feeling that has the story continues there will be more about why Maaya is the way she is but the first instalment sets up the story for her to be redeemable or to be dangerous. I’m interested to see how which direction this takes.
Alongside Maaya’s influence on the story we have the sweetness of Sakiko and the budding friendship between Sakiko and Chihiro. There is definitely a lot of “nice” in My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over!, making it a pleasant read with a good balance of potential darker drama.
Lovesick Ellie, Vol. 1 by Fujimomo
Eriko Ichimura spends her high school days in complete obscurity. Her sole hobby is staring at handsome, smooth-spoken Akira “Omi-kun” Ohmi, and tweeting her daily fantasies under the screenname “Lovesick Ellie.” One fateful day, she accidentally bears witness to Omi-kun’s true self—and if that weren’t enough, he sees her mortifying Twitter, too! Follow along with a plain, perverted girl, a two-faced boy, and their curious romance!
Review: Lovesick Ellie is a cute story about a shy (near invisible) girl who has created her own fantasy love story on twitter. One of the most popular boys being the inspiration. He of course finds out, and she finds out that he isn’t as wonderful as his public persona.
This isn’t a unique premise, but it’s executed nicely. Both main characters are interesting, and their dynamic is fun to weird. I also like this style of artwork.
Hoping to read the next volume.
The Lines That Define Me, Vol. 1 by Hiromasa Togami, Atsunori Horiuchi
Sosuke Aoyama is a college student adrift on his own…until a chance meeting with suibokuga artist Kozan Shinoda brings him into the world of India-ink painting. But though he finds connection with the art and Shinoda himself, there’s more to both the art world and Shinoda’s family than Sosuke realizes…
Review: The first chapter of The Lines That Define Me was confusing. Guy randomly gets fed and taken on a gallery tour by a famous artist – the main character is equally confused. As the story progresses this starts to make sense and, for me, the second half was more enjoyable.
I liked learning about ink art, the pictures that were painted and how the art reflects the characters. I’m not sure where the story is going but I do want to read another instalment to see.