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Manga Reviews

Gimmick! Volume 4 Review

This volume directly continues a previously started arc and builds off of established characters and events. Better to start reading at the beginning.

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Volume 4 starts with the conclusion (parts 6 and 7) of the TB Confidential arc started in volume 3. Strong finish with some more unique tricks from Kohei and a lot of foreshadowing regarding Kohei’s ominous rival.

Having just had a pair of long, complicated arcs we get a number of shorter stories of varying atmosphere and subject matter. There are single chapter tales focusing on Kohei helping Mone with a molester problem, his first meeting with Kannazuki, and a touching pair of chapters set at a local hospital. In the middle of these is a two-part story about an aging actress. All of these packed a lot into short lengths, and ran the gamut from light and amusing to somber and emotional. A great mix. Not all of it works perfectly, but it’s all interesting.

Finally there’s the first three parts of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, in which Kohei meets someone who reminds him of himself. Nice start. Hope it realizes the potential for exploring Kohei’s character both past and present.

Another strong volume. Still really enjoying Kohei’s antics and adventures.

Categories
Manga Reviews

Gimmick! Volume 3 Review

This volume directly continues a previously started arc and builds off of established characters and events. Better to start reading at the beginning.

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This volume starts with the conclusion (parts 5 and 6) of the Over the Rainbow arc started in volume 2. Solid wrap up with a nice look at Kohei’s background to boot.

The majority of the remainder of this book contains parts 1-5 of another long arc, TB Confidential. Kohei finds himself leaving his comfort zone to use his skills as an unlikely bodyguard for a friend of Mone’s. Kanari’s doing a great job with these longer stories, keeping them intriguing and varying the ways Kohei’s skills come into play. The stakes keep escalating as well, giving the entire manga nice progression.

Finally there’s a two-part “Special One Shot Story” named after the manga’s title. It’s a fun side story that backs a couple nice twists for such a short tale and really highlights Kohei’s skills.

I’m really enjoying Gimmick!’s unique setting and Kohei’s adventures. Will definitely be reading more.

Categories
Manga Reviews

Ghost Hunt Volumes 6 & 7 Review

Ghost Hunt focuses on a core cast, but they do a good job of hitting each character’s main abilities and each story stands pretty well on their own. Volume 6 would be an ok place to start reading if you didn’t want to go back to volume 1.

I’m reviewing these two volumes together because they form one complete 10-part arc. Naru and his acquaintances are called to investigate mysterious disappearances in an old mansion. It would be a disservice to the suspense of the story get into plot details, but I can say that it builds nicely and never feels slow despite its length. Important bits of character development are worked in seamlessly, and the creepiness is off the charts. The supporting cast could’ve been used and fleshed out a bit more, but keeping the focus firmly on our main cast and the mystery they’re investigating isn’t really a negative.

Excellent atmosphere and progression in Ghost Hunt’s longest arc yet, keeping this engaging and gripping for two full volumes. This series is a must read for those who can handle disturbing tales of the supernatural.

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Comics Manga Reviews

Prophecy Vol. 1 Review

“Here’s my warning for tomorrow.”

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An unidentified person wearing a newspaper mask is releasing videos announcing his future crimes. His targets receive punishments well disproportionate from the “sins” he repays. A new police division focused on internet related crime struggles to track down the maniac who is fast becoming a hero of sorts to those safely behind their screens who dream of their “enemies” receiving the type of retribution he delivers.

Dark, intense stuff here. It really pushes the limits of creepiness, and its realism makes it all the more disturbing. It does feel a little rushed, as some major reveals have already been blown through. To be expected since the entire manga is only three volumes I guess, but part of the mystery feels like it should have been revealed more gradually.

Volume 1 is a powerful start for Prophecy, and there are numerous directions the other two volumes could go. It gets tough to read given the subject matter, but I’m definitely intrigued enough to continue.

 

Categories
Comics Manga Reviews

Black Detective Vol. 1 Review

“There are two types of people in the world…”

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Pushover Arata Toiro suddenly finds himself playing reluctant assistant to Yoh Kuroba, a young detective with a mean streak, as he investigates a series of mysteries and mishaps.

This first volume of Black Detective is a real mixed bag. The premise and mysteries are mildly interesting, and there’s some indication of an intriguing larger main plot at the end. But the banter and background situations is excruciating. Neither main character is even remotely likable at present, with Yoh simply an ass and Arata doing everything he says so easily he’s impossible to feel sorry for. When a STALKER is the most SYMPATHETIC character there are major problems with the cast.

In addition, the author is still experimenting with approaches to the mysteries. They’re decent, but the first two don’t really develop any of the suspects (which doesn’t allow the reader to really follow along) and the next two only have one suspect in each (which changes the dynamic and has it’s own set of pluses and minuses).

Rough start here. I’m a sucker for mysteries and there’s potential, but these aren’t characters that make me want to accompany them on their adventures.