My News and Reviews
The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Manga Moveable Feast concluded last week. I had previously reviewed the first volume of the series for the Feast. This past week, I had some random musings about the inclusion of embalmers and embalming in The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service contrasted with Mitsukazu Mihara's series The Embalmer--Random Musings: Dealing with the Dead in The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and The Embalmer. September's Manga Moveable Feast will focus on Shojo Beat titles. Anna over at Manga Report has already posted the call for participation. Completely unrelated to the Feast, August's manga giveaway is currently underway. The winner of the Read or Dream giveaway will be announced on Wednesday, but there's still time to enter!
20th Century Boys, Volumes 13-16 by Naoki Urasawa. One of my favorite things about 20th Century Boys is the importance placed on memories and the past. Unfortunately, in these volumes, the jumps between the past, present, and future can be a little difficult to follow. The manga also seems to be in danger of losing its direction. Urasawa continues to expand the cast of characters and continues to add new storylines and plot twists, so it is easy to lose track of what has come before. I hope it doesn't all end up being complexity for complexity's sake and that Urasawa will be able to tie everything together. 20th Century Boys is still intriguing, and I want to know where things are going.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Volumes 1-4 by Hirohiko Araki. The English release of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is actually the third part of the series as a whole. Also known as Stardust Crusaders, it begins with the Japanese Volume 13. In it, Araki introduces the concept of Stands--supernatural powers and abilities that manifest in a semi-physical form. The Stands fascinate me, especially as many of the ones introduced so far have associations with the major arcana of the tarot. (Tarot happens to be a personal interest of mine.) I am loving JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It's a great mix of action-adventure and horror with a ton of weird imagery and a touch of deadpan humor and manly tears. Initially JoJo comes across as a standoffish but likeable jerk; his character quickly grew on me.
Rurouni Kenshin, Omnibus 3 (equivalent to Volumes 7-9) by Nobuhiro Watsuki. I'm still enjoying Rurouni Kenshin's more realistic aspects over its more outrageous elements (although they can admittedly be fun). I appreciate that Watsuki continues to include his own interpretations of historical events and figures in Rurouni Kenshin. I also like Watsuki's tendency of turning antagonists into allies of sorts. It creates interesting interactions and character dynamics as their relationships change as the manga progresses. Kenshin is still my favorite character, but I've become particularly fond of Saitō Hajime as well. The third omnibus is the beginning of one of the longer story arcs as Kenshin leaves Tokyo for Kyoto.
The Tyrant Falls in Love, Volumes 5-6 by Hinako Takanaga. Morinaga and Souichi's relationship is so intenesly messed up and their communication skills are terrible. It's no wonder there are so many misunderstandings, but it does seem appropriate for their characters. I am impressed that Takanaga has been able to drag out the development of their relationship for so long without their encounters becoming monotonous. They are mostly variations on a theme and could be somewhat repetitive but they continue to be engagin. The best moments are when Souichi happens reaches out to Morinaga completely of his own free will, whether he means to or not. There are two more volumes in the series and I'm very interested in seeing how things will be resolved.