My Manga Series Rankings

Nisekoi Volume Five Cover

I was planning on creating a blog similar to my Anime Rankings post but it will be based on my Manga Rankings.

I intended to write down a list of my favourite manga volume books like this:

TWO THUMBS-UP

  • Monster Musume Volume One
  • Monster Musume Volume Two

ONE THUMB’S UP AND A PINKY

  • Nisekoi: False Love: Volume One
  • Nisekoi: False Love: Volume Two

ONE THUMB’S UP

  • Omamori Himari: Volume One
  • Omamori Himari: Volume Two

However, when I actually wrote it like this I didn’t like the outcome. I felt that it looked untidy and unsophisticated. In the end I decided to rank the manga by the series instead of the volume books. It does beat my original idea as I intended to link all of my reviewed manga to this blog, but, at the end of it all it doesn’t really matter that much.

Here is the list of My Manga Series Rankings:

TWO THUMBS-UP

Two Thumbs-Up

  • 12 Beast (Vol 1)
  • D-Frag! (Vols 1 – 3)
  • High School DxD (Vols 1 – 4 plus Spin-Off)
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Vol 1)
  • Is This a Zombie? (Vols 1 – 8)
  • Monster Musume (Vols 1 – 6)
  • No Game No Life (Vol 1)
  • See Me After Class! (Vols 1 – 2)
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Vol 1)
  • Witchcraft Works (Vols 1 – 5)

ONE THUMB’S UP AND A PINKY

Thumbs-UpPinky

  • Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends (Vols 1 – 9 plus Spin-Offs)
  • Nisekoi: False Love (Vols 1 – 5)
  • Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows (Vols 1 – 2)

ONE THUMB’S UP

Thumbs-Up

  • Citrus (Vol 1)
  • Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary (Vol 1)
  • Omamori Himari (Vols 1 – 9)

SO-SO

Thumbs So-So

  • N/A

THANKS FOR READING

High School DxD Volume One

I won’t necessarily stop reviewing volume books of certain manga series but I won’t plan to review them either.

Thanks for Reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Anime Review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon anime

  1. SYNOPSIS

When Bell was little his Grandpa would often tell him tales about heroes and how they always saved the girl from a monster. Bell kept the tales about Argonaut told by his Grandpa close to his heart. When he was old enough he became an adventurer, not only to become strong but to pick up girls in the dungeon. However, he came across a Minotaur which resulted into being saved by a beautiful girl with golden hair and golden eyes called Aiz Wallenstein. His current goal now is to catch up to his saviour and be as strong as the person that he admires.

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[1]
  1. EPISODE THOUGHTS
    • Episode One (LINK)
    • Episode Two (LINK)
    • Episode Three (LINK)
    • Episode Four (LINK)
    • Episode Five (LINK)
    • Episode Six (LINK)
    • Episode Seven (LINK)
    • Episode Eight (LINK)
    • Episode Nine (LINK)
    • Episode Ten (LINK)
    • Episode Eleven (LINK)
    • Episode Twelve (LINK)
    • Episode Thirteen (LINK)
  2. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

I look for certain things in an anime. When I look for slice of life stories with no drama I find stories like Non Non Biyori and Locodol. When I look for humorous comedy I find D-Frag and Sabagebu: Survival Game Club. When I look for good fantasy stories that involve beautiful ladies and chess pieces I find High School DxD. When I look for battles or games that don’t involve physical fighting I find No Game No Life and Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma.

Now, another requirement has been crossed off my list. I have looked for an anime that is based on a roleplaying game like Final Fantasy online but it’s more of a story than an online game. I find that aspect in the form of this anime, Dungeon Girls.[2]

It covers many aspects of online gaming when it comes to conquering certain levels of the dungeon. The adventurers come from all kinds of races from human, to elves, to animal people and so on. They can also buy armour, collect dropped items from the monsters and have weapons and armours made for them by blacksmiths. The biggest shout out to the game aspect is the levelling up. Instead of being part of link groups the adventurers are part of Familias but they can still form their own parties with other adventurers.

I pretty much like everything about this show really, especially the characters and the fights. Bell had a great growth as a character and it wasn’t all down to his Realis Phrase ability. There were times where I wanted him to get a grip but I then remind myself that he’s only fifteen years old. He’s still a young man so it’s natural that he won’t be the bravest dude in the dungeon as he’s still learning about life and the nastiness in the dungeons. However, his growth grew at a tremendous rate as he delved into the dungeon. It was literally thanks for Aiz. Because of Aiz saving him it made him strive to become stronger. He literally went from strength to strength and grew at a quick rate thanks to his ability, Realis Phrase.

His ability made it awkward for Hestia so she hid that fact from him, both to protect him for himself and from other Goddesses who might be watching in secret. She is always severely jealous of the fact that Aiz is the reason why he’s getting stronger, not her. She’s still happy for him by all means but she probably is resentful of the fact that Aiz is the cause of his growth.

I feel that Aiz isn’t the sole reason for his growth. Everyone played their parts really well. Aiz not only gave him a reason to get stronger but she also physically trained him and his combat skills improved as a result. Hestia gave him a reason to protect someone precious and one of his important people is Hestia. Not only does he see Hestia as a Goddess but he sees her as family.

Everyone at the Mistress of Abundance, Syr, Mia and Ryu all played their part by encouraging Bell and being good friends. Eina helped by introducing him to a good shop of armours which led Bell to finding an armour outfit crafted by Welf Crozzo. Lili helped by becoming his supporter, without her, he wouldn’t be able to collect so many stones. Without Welf, whom he eventually meets, he wouldn’t go down to the lower floors to fight the stronger monsters. Welf also crafted him the Ushiwakamaru weapon which was moulded from a Minotaur’s horn.

Freya played her part strongly, albeit, indirectly… if it wasn’t for her, Bell would never have learned the Firebolt move, and if it wasn’t for her, he would never have faced and beat that Minotaur. She was also the reason he overcame his fear of Minotaurs. As a result he also gained the Argonaut special manoeuvre. Freya is a wicked Goddess, yet, she probably is among the characters of this show who contributed the most to Bell’s growth. I really do like that aspect of the story. A villain who is helping a hero get stronger I think is really unique. Is it really for her own gain? Or, does she genuinely want to see him get stronger? It’s no secret that she desires him but it seems as though she’s willing to be patient, until she can get what she wants. I think Bell can feel her gaze from a distance, but he doesn’t necessarily know that she’s the source. Does he know that she exists? It will be interesting to see what happens if or when Bell meets Freya.

Freya is doing good deeds for Bell, but not necessarily for the right reason…

Apart from the nasty men who picked on Bell I do actually like all the characters from this show. I really like Hestia as she’s both cute and very, very funny. I especially enjoy the moments when she gets jealous of the other girls who come into contact with Bell. However, she’s serious when she needs to be. I also find it touching whenever she embraces Bell through comfort and relief. I think she’s the perfect Goddess for Bell. I also really enjoyed when she activated her Arcanum divine power to stop the fighting in episode 12. That was a really cool moment.

I think developing relationship with girls on all levels is the underlining theme of this show as the title is about picking up girls. Haha. Bell’s Grandpa told Bell that he can be a hero and protect girls and I think that really stuck with Bell when he grew up. I think at this moment Bell really does have a pick from all the girls in this anime.

All the ladies are really nice in their own way. Hestia is great. Syr is just really cute and innocent and has a lovely personality. Eina is very considerate but is probably a little awkward at times. The Amazon Twins, Tione and Tiona are really cool and they have really cool Amazonian looks about them. Demeter is a beauty and it’s a shame that she didn’t appear more often. Aiz is strong but very, very innocent in nature. Riveria is really cool and I like her green hair as it gives her that nature look. Ryu is awesome both in appearance and in combat. Mikoto is cute but I can’t help but wonder why she looks sad all the time. Lili was not very nice at first but she eventually came around to be a good supporter for Bell. I even somewhat like Freya… she’s beautiful and all but I do think she has a little bit of a crazy side about her and I think I’m actually intrigued by that crazy side. Haha.

If there’s one thing that I probably didn’t enjoy so much it was the way that Bell screamed every time Aiz or another girl touched him affectionately. Never mind potions or an antidote I think what Bell really needs is a throat lozenge. With the amount of screaming that he does he’s bound to get a sore throat one of these days. In all seriousness, I think it will do him good if he didn’t overreact as much as he already made Aiz sad when he ran away from her. Then again, he is fifteen so will it be expected for a boy to run away?

I think the more girls flirt with him, the more he will get accustom to it and take it in his stride. If a girl wants to show her affection towards you, you should let them.^^/

The fights were pretty awesome too. My favourite ones included the time when Bell beat that monkey to protect Hestia, to beat that Minotaur to show his growth and when he beat that Monster Rex along with Ryu, Welf, Asufi and Mikoto. They were all really intense and in my opinion they showed Bell’s growth as a person and as an adventurer.

I would have like to see Naza more and I definitely would have liked to hear her speak. She sounded like a really interesting person and I enjoyed visualising her voice when reading the Light Novel books. Sadly, the anime didn’t show her as much as I would have liked.

  1. CONCLUSION

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Anime Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Bell, Hestia, Lili and Welf Endcard

In all honesty, I could talk about this forever but I feel that it would be wise if I to make it as concise as I could.

What I would really like to see is a special episode or an OVA about the time when Bell and Hestia first met. I read the epilogue in the first LN[3] book and I really, really enjoyed it. I really hope that that small chapter gets animated someday. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

[1] In this manga all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[2] The correct abbreviation of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is DanMachi. However, I prefer to call it Dungeon Girls. =D

[3] Light Novel.

My Anime Rankings

Locodol Anime

I decided to create this blog to explain how I rank different anime. If you would like a reminder on how I rate shows just see the link here, My Rating System.”

I don’t compare anime with each other I just rank them base on how I feel about them. For example, I would normally rate Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun with a One Thumb’s-Up, but as it has made me laugh a lot I bumped the show up to One Thumb’s-Up and a Pinky. There are some anime in the One Thumb’s-Up and a Pinky that I don’t like as much as the others. I like Gonna Be the Twin-Tail! and Cat Planet Cuties! more than The Testament of Sister New Devil. I like those shows more than One Thumb’s-Up, but not quite enough to give them two. As a compromise I’ve gone half way by giving One Thumb’s-Up and a Pinky.

I decided that I’m not necessarily going to review every single anime that I have watched or am currently watching. With some of them I don’t necessarily have anything to say except that “I think it was good” or “I thought that was ok.” I enjoyed the anime World Break: Aria Curse for a Holy Swordsman but I don’t really have anything to say about the show at this moment in time. I enjoyed it and I liked the concept of the characters remembering what they did in their past lives. However, I don’t have anything to say about it. I just liked it. I may write a review about it in the future but not anytime soon.

Here is my ranked anime list.

TWO THUMBS-UP

Two Thumbs-Up

  • Amagi Brilliant Park
  • Date A Live
  • D-Frag!
  • Heaven’s Lost Property
  • Heaven’s Lost Property Forte
  • High School DxD (Review Part One)
  • High School DxD New
  • High School DxD BorN (Review)
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Review)
  • Is This a Zombie? (Review)
  • Locodol
  • Motto To Love Ru
  • Mushibugyou
  • Naruto
  • No Game No Life (Review)
  • Non Non Biyori
  • Sabagebu! Survival Game Club!
  • Strike the Blood
  • To Love Ru Darkness
  • Witchcraft Works

ONE THUMB’S-UP AND A PINKY

Thumbs-UpPinky

  • Accel World
  • Bleach
  • Campione!
  • Cat Planet Cuties! (Review)
  • Date A Live II
  • Demon King Daimao
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Fate/Stay Night
  • Freezing
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
  • GJ Cub
  • Gonna Be the Twin-Tail! (Review)
  • Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
  • Haganai
  • Haganai: Next
  • HENNEKO – The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat
  • Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny
  • Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians
  • Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor
  • Invaders of the Rokujyouma
  • K-On!
  • KanColle (Review)
  • Lord Marksman and Vanadis
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
  • Maoyu
  • Monogatari Second Season
  • Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun (Review)
  • My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy
  • Nakaimo – My Sister is Among Them!
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • Nekomonogatari Black
  • Nisekoi
  • Nisemonogatari
  • No-Rin
  • Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos
  • Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W
  • Oreshura
  • Queen’s Blade Rebellion
  • Rail Wars!
  • Rio Rainbow Gate
  • Rosario + Vampire
  • Rosario + Vampire Capu 2
  • Servant x Service
  • Soni-Ani: SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION
  • The Comic Artist and His Assistants
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!
  • The Testament of Sister New Devil (Review)
  • The World God Only Knows
  • The World God Only Knows Season 2
  • To Love Ru
  • Triage X (Review)
  • Trinity Seven
  • Tsukimonogatari
  • Unbreakable Machine-Doll
  • Walkure Romanze
  • World Break: Aria Curse for a Holy Swordsman

ONE THUMB’S-UP

Thumbs-Up

  • A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd
  • Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
  • Aiura
  • Arata the Legend
  • Attack on Titan
  • Bakemonogatari
  • Battle Vixens – Ikki Tousen
  • Black Lagoon
  • Black Lagoon – The Second Barrage
  • Chronicles of the Going Home Club
  • Full Metal Panic!
  • Infinite Stratos
  • Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara (If Her Flag Breaks)
  • Love Live! School Idol Project
  • Mai Hime
  • Mai Otome
  • Mangirl!
  • Medaka Box
  • Miss Monochrome – The Animation
  • Muromi-san
  • Momo Kyun Sword
  • Nyankoi!
  • Onee-chan ga Kita
  • Problem Children are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?
  • Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend-
  • Samurai Girls
  • So, I Can’t Play H!
  • Spice and Wolf
  • Spice and Wolf Second Season
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Toradora
  • Wanna be the Strongest in the World
  • Watamote
  • When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
  • Yusibu

SO-SO

Thumbs So-So

  • Himegoto
  • Photo Kano
  • Sparrow’s Hotel
  • Wonder Momo

THANKS FOR READING

No Game No Life wallpaper

From now on when I review anime I will add the link of this blog to each one. I will put it under the conclusion heading of the review and right next to the “My Rating System” link. I don’t know if I will do a separate blog to list my ratings for manga, films and games. I’m happy at the moment just doing this.

Thanks for reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

My Christmas Spirit

Coca-cola-lorry

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

Christmas has an impact on people in different but wonderful ways. For me, it represents a time to spend with family and friends. So far, I’m doing just that. However, it never really occurs to me that Christmas is coming until certain things trigger my realisation…

  1. The Coca-Cola Advert
  2. Putting up the decorations
  3. Home Alone on TV
  4. Advent Calendar
  5. Walking out in the freezing cold
  6. Putting up the Christmas tree

When do you realise Christmas is coming?

The decorations in my house look splendid, and I’ve got a new star to put at the top of the tree. =) I watched Home Alone the other day on Channel 4 +1. I would say that both Home Alone 1 and 2 are probably my favourite Christmas films of all time. I enjoy it now as I did when I was much younger. Even in the days when I in a complete world of my own. I remember my Mum buying the Home Alone soundtrack all the way back in 1992. It’s both wonderful and amazing how time flies. I’ve come a long way since then. =)

I’ve been in a good mood recently. I recently finished my illustration on a picture that I’m quite proud of. I drew and coloured Aoi Sakurai from the anime, ‘Rail Wars.’ I was thinking of doing either Rias Gremory or Takao next. However, I also begin to wonder if it’s more appropriate to draw a Christmas picture with a bunch of anime girls squashed together. That could be a lot of fun actually. If I feel like it, I’ll give them a go.

So far I’ve been doing a countdown to Christmas. Every morning I would eat a piece of chocolate from my Thomas the Tank Engine advent calendar. Then, I would post #day1 for example onto Instagram. I’m finding that a lot of fun. I don’t really eat heaps of chocolate in truth, but when I do, it’s on a special occasion. =D

THANKS FOR READING

Father Christmas

 I still have plenty of presents to wrap and cards to send but it’s all worth it when the 25th December arrives. 😉

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

D-Frag! Volume One Review

D-Frag Volume One Cover

Konbanwa.^^/

This is the first manga that I’m going to review that isn’t Monster Musume. I’m excited as it’s licensed by the same publishers, Seven Seas, and Seven Seas are licensing a lot of good manga as of late. =D

 

Let’s roll.

 

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

 

  1. MY SYNOPSIS

Oh no! A self-proclaimed delinquent has emerged at Fuou High in the form of Kenji Kazama! Is this something to be feared and wary of? …nope.  

Kenji may have decided to live the life of a ‘delinquent’ but in all honesty he is a kind and sincere young man. The Kazama Gang were determined to live up to their reputation so they decided to cause mischief when they came across the Game Development Club…only to discover that they had bitten off more than they could chew.

This club consists of four attractive girls who are incredibly wacky but deceitfully strong. They were able to subdue the Kazama gang due to their aligned ‘elements’ such as lightning, water, earth and fire(?) Kenji is forced to join the club following the ‘pungent torture’. Can Kenji handle the Game Development Club or will he crash and burn?

 

  1. STORY

2.1. Overview

I could tell immediately that this is a gag type story. Straight from the get go it involved over-the-top panels with an eccentric but comical cast.

Whilst I feel that I established what this manga is all about I’m not certain what the overall plot entails. So far I see this manga as a battle of supremacy in terms of winning a game or ruling over the club/school. But these battles and games involve Kenji’s daily escapades of dealing with farcical scenarios from the wacky ladies. He may want to be known as the ‘badass legend’ but with the likes of Roka (club president) and Chitose (school council president) to contend with, his wish won’t come true anytime soon. Especially as his reputation, as well as his gang’s reputation, is little to non existent.

I do question Kenji’s so called status of being a ‘delinquent.’ It’s a unique role reversal since some blokes would pretend to be good but really they’re bad. Why does he want to rule over school? Why does he want to be a delinquent? Does he have hidden traumas that have yet to be exposed? Perhaps something occurred that awoke Kenji’s strive to become the ‘king of the hill.’ He may act tough and emit a cocky attitude but in all honesty he’s as soft as they come. When faced with a crisis, he will be the hero instead of the villain. 😉

 

2.2. Chapter One and Chapter Two

The Kazama gang got a sound introduction and were potentially problematic. If you judge a book by its cover, sure, but if you got to know them personally, you wouldn’t even worry by the likes of them. Through Yokoshima’s proposal they attempted to ransack all the games from the Game Development Club… they went from being heinous to heroes since they put out a brewing fire. Even Kenji was surprised by his own actions…

Kenji and his gang went from being heinous to being heroes to being weak… Kenji especially looked weak since he abandoned his friends to save his own skin. Haha! It was touching when he got caught up in the moment and joined the club willingly… it seems that he was in debt to Roka, Sakura and Chitose after they saved him…. Would a delinquent show gratitude, get caught up in the moment and JOIN a club? Most definitely not!

My highlight is when he tried to escape Roka’s ‘darkness’ and flew right out of the window. That was unexpected. XD

 

2.3. Chapter Three

Kenji was innocently eating his lunch with his gang when who should appear but their good friend since middle school days, Ataru! This chapter was all about Ataru for me.

I could not stop laughing when I read it. I like guys who are cool but I also like guys who are hilarious. I like them especially if they have some kind of odd fetish, in this case Ataru being a masochist. The way he gets off from being mistreated is most funny. It was especially funny when he called Kenji and his gang ‘country bumpkins.’ XD This is where we truly establish Kenji’s status in the school. He’s not even close to being as ‘bad’ as he wants… Chitose being the Student Council President of the school was a bit of a surprise, but it also makes a lot of sense. I wonder what the other delinquents will be like. Are they genuine troublemakers or are they good people pretending to be bad like Kenji?

Hatsudai is cute, even if she is just an extra. 😉

Ahem-

Kenji and Ataru managed to get one over Chitose… but they lost since they entered the girl’s changing room. Of course they never intented to peek but they did it to prove her wrong… I wonder if Chitose did this on purpose.

 

2.4. Chapter Four

The club president of the ‘real’ game development club, Takao, makes her appearance. She offers a challenge to the ‘fake’ club for battle of superiority and pride. Not before meeting Kenji in person though… whilst being dressed in black cloaks! That was one heck of an introduction. The strong pace of good comedy moments and new characters being introduced felt just about right…

Kenji and Takao even share a funny and unequivocal banter between each other, especially about the topic involving boobs. Rumour started to spread by this time that Kenji had a leg-fetish, but then he walked right into the start of that topic when he mentioned that he liked boobs. He wasn’t going to win this argument with girls. Not only will he never beat girls physically, since they all seem unrealistically strong, but he will never beat them through banter or arguments either… XD He was never going to hit her since he’s not the kind who would hurt girls…

Oh! The moment when the cops came and took Yamada away was probably one of my favourite moments in Volume one. Everyone betrayed him by pretending that they’d never seen him before. Then, they all watched as he got arrested and taken to the Police car. It was a glorious moment indeed… I wonder how they were able to spring Yamada free.

 

2.5. Chapter Five and Six

We got a little bit of an insight into the relationship between Takao and Roka. I can understand why Takao would be upset about Roka. It was all Chitose’s fault and Takao knows this but she still can’t help but feel upset. I suppose it’s one of those situations where Takao felt betrayed or dumped to be with someone else other than her. Takao’s challenge was all about her club and the fake club joining forces so she could be with Roka again.

It was sad to see Takao upset and crying (although admittedly it was cute at the same time) but it shows that she does care about Roka despite her claims. I was really pleased that they made up in the end, all’s well that ends well.

The fake club wanted to cheat or sabotage the real club since there was no chance that they could win. In a surprising turn of events Kenji actually solved the problem through wit instead of physical force. Good for him! Games can be just as fun to play  as well as create.

 

2.6. Chapter Seven

The games begin!

Takao was wary of when Kenji invited her to their club’s festival. I think her worries were justified. However, out of all the people, Kenji was the most trustworthy since he would never lay her into a trap. I actually wondered if a trap was awaiting her without Kenji’s knowledge. Turns out, the club’s festival happened in the yard! And it consisted of many, many games to play. Chitose abused her role of authority and the Student Council as well as the rest of the Kazama gang slaved themselves dry into helping with the set. Ataru enjoyed the mistreatment he got  from Chitose… whatever rocks your boat. Haha.

Roka really suits a mustache. I enjoyed her interaction with the Tough Guy and Tough Son act. It seems that they’re extras but they’re brilliant extras and contribute well to the funny situations.

 

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • Parody
  • School Life
  • Slice of Life[1]

 

  1. ART AND DESIGN

I describe the art style to be striking, dramatic but strangely cute. All the characters have lovely designs. The tough guy act father and tough guy son look hilarious with their tough and realistic looking faces.

In the clothing department, minus the school attire, we see that Roka and Chitose are trendy. Minari has to dress smart because she’s a teacher but because of her personality she will wear whatever is comfortable and cosy. She also has that lazy look about her, especially in the eye department which look quite droopy. Sakura is the sporty type. I’m anticipating that Takao will wear girly girl clothes. I look forward to seeing her in her every day wear.

 

  1. CHARACTERS

5.1. KENJI KAZAMA and the KAZAMA GANG

Haha the Kazama Gang… Nagayama and Yokoshima look tough and therefore stand out more than Kenji. I don’t know about you but I can’t take Yokoshima seriously due to his haircut and height. XD

Despite his occasional outbursts of outrage to his club members Kenji actually blends in very well with the club, even if he does vividly deny it.

He comes off as a dude who is tough and rebellious due to his status as a ‘delinquent’. However, deep down, I can’t help but suspect that he’s as soft as a kitten. It seems like for some reason he wants to be viewed as tough so he decided to choose the life of being rebellious. Although to be honest he’s not exactly convincing, especially since most of the time he plays the role of the straight man.[2]

 

5.2. TAKAO

Takao… I could talk about her for ages but I will restrain myself.

I find her to be cute, beyond cute. In the anime world she would be described as a moe.[3] I would describe her character as someone who is awkward, impeccably cute, mature-yet-innocent. She is very responsible, hard-working and is a good role model for anyone when it comes to dealing with club activities. However, when dealing with a confrontation she becomes very sensitive and flushed, to the point where she is on the brink of tears. It can be upsetting to see her cry but this is where we see her cute and innocent side.

I think she displays traces of a traditional tsundere.[4] She is very awkward when it comes to expressing how she really feels. On the surface she challenges Roka and her club and if Takao wins then Roka and her club with merge with Takao’s club. That’s a roundabout way of Takao saying that she wants to be in the same club as Roka again. She was very hostile towards Roka and a little bit towards Kenji but deep down she wants to be with Roka again as she likes her.

No doubt Takao’s boobs will be one of the main focuses in this manga. Normally boobs would be used in a cheeky perverted situation to stimulate or excite the reader. Here though, I anticipated that her boobs will be used for gag purposes as so far they’ve been shown and talked about in a funny manner rather than a perverted manner. I find it quite refreshing. This manga I don’t feel needs cheeky moments, just a lot of humour and entertainment.

Her conversation with Kenji about boobs was entertaining to read. I’m not even sure how they got into that sort of conversation. It all started off when it was proclaimed that Kenji had a fetish for legs until he corrected them and said he liked boobs… that opened a can of worms. XD

I wonder what her first name is. I find it a bit odd that the rest of the cast have a first and last name but Takao is just Takao… maybe she doesn’t have a first name? Perhaps it’s not necessary to unveil her first name yet? It’s piqued my interested, whatever it is.

I like all the characters in this manga but at this moment in time Takao is by far my favourite. =)

 

5.3. ROKA SHIBASAKI

(FIRE TYPE/DARKNESS TYPE)

In the looks department she is very cute but she is probably by far the most eccentric character in the series. Her personality and looks don’t mix, yet, the contrast brings out a really quirky character in Roka. She is very small too and we tend to see a lot her chibi appearance.[5]

Her element is amusing. I wonder if that technique has actually worked on anyone. Her ‘true element’ the darkness, appears to be a lot more effective so she should use this more often.

When Roka comes out of her eccentric shell, she can be serious and either says something cool or does something cool… only to end up looking uncool or saying something daft. … This happened when saving Kenji, when having a heart-to-heart with Takao and talking to Kenji on the rooftop… This tells me that Roka is capable of being serious but ultimately she will bring us all back to reality by being ‘uncool’. XD

 

5.4. SAKURA MIZUKAMI

(WATER TYPE)

Sakura is mightily cute. She’s a zealous athletic type person who never seems to stop smiling. I like happy-go-lucky characters like her. She’s eccentric in the sense that she can’t do anything without her bottled water. I bet she will do well in the Ice Bucket challenge… when she pours the water over Kenji’s head, that is! XD

I would say that she’s very strong but a bit of an airhead. If she could stop Nagayama within a matter of seconds then taking care of Kenji wouldn’t cause her any trouble. She actually caught up with him after prepping herself in a running position. XD

 

5.5. CHITOSE KARASUYAMA

(EARTH TYPE)

Chitose is mean, short-tempered, intimidating and protective… in a way. She is the school council president and she is not afraid to abuse her power whether it’s something big or small. She will abuse her powers but she does have a somewhat caring side, like when she embraced Takao or when she created a fake game development club with Roka. I think she has a bit of a lecherous streak in her, especially when it comes to Takao’s chest. Haha.

I wonder why she is so fixated with sand castles. Does she strive to become a Queen? She’s also the school council president, so she isn’t green when it comes to power and dominance.

She is super strong and probably the strongest out of the entire school. Even if Kenji was capable of hitting the ladies I still don’t think he would be able to beat Chitose in a one-on-one fight.

 

5.6. MINAMI OOSAWA

(LIGHTNING TYPE)

Out of all the girls in the club I actually think that she’s most sane. XD I imagine that she does have some sort of crazy streak in her. What normal teacher would allow such chaos to go on in a clubroom? Perhaps Chitose coerced her to become the adviser of the club with the opportunity for Minami to sleep and slack around?

I think the teacher is normal to some extent because she is not 100 % insane but she’s not 100% sane either. XD Her look and presentation fits her personality to a tea. I like her. She reminds me a lot of the teacher from Non Non Biyori.

It was definitely an interesting twist when it turned out that she was a teacher. The story was making out that she was a student but it turned out that she was a teacher. The revelation of her being a teacher was timed perfectly as it suddenly had Kenji back on the ropes. XD She doesn’t necessarily stand out but I think she will contribute as an underlining character as she’s a teacher and all.^^/

 

5.7. ATARU

Not much to say except that Ataru is a very good character. He’s responsible and mature when it comes to handling duties as the vice president but he’s also mad when it comes to his fetish. The fetish of him being abused and punished… it’s truly utterly hilarious. It’s also good that he still remains close friends with Kenji and his gang…he wants to outdo Chitose since she pipped him to the post of the President of the School Council, but, he always comes up short… perhaps he deliberately loses so she can punish him? Haha.

 

  1. TRAIN STATIONS

What I also like about this manga is that the names of the cast are based on real train stations in Japan. Shibasaki Station, Roka-koen Station, Chitose-Karasuyama Station, Minami-Osawa Station, Sakuragaoka Station, Nagayama Station and last but not least, Takao Station.

 

  1. CONCLUSION

I’ve really enjoyed reading this and no doubt I will re-read this again and again. Even if it does have serious moments like when Roka and Takao have a heart-to-heart it will ultimately conclude itself through something humorous and silly. XD

I feel that all the characters in this manga are genuinely likable. There’s always a manga where I don’t necessarily hate someone but whom I don’t particularly care for. In this manga though there isn’t a single character that I dislike, even the extras in this story contribute some sort of goodness and importance to the manga. Like the Tough Guy and Tough Son characters as well as Hatsudai who has a very cute and feminine design.

All the characters are great, especially Takao.

Without any doubt or question, D-Frag! Volume One gets Two Thumbs-Up from me. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

 

THANKS FOR READING

Double Takao I can’t wait for the release of D-Frag! Volume 2. =)

 Thanks for reading. =D

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] Based on everyday mundane life.

[2] The straight man is usually performed during a double act. When the partner behaves or says something daft the straight man will respond either with outrage or frustration. Usually he will say something to make his partner look daft/funny. The straight man in Japan is usually called Tsukkomi. Morecambe and Wise, an old British Comedy act, use the straight man in their comedy sketches.

[3] It has come to my attention that there are many meanings to the word ‘moe’ but in this case it means a young person who is very cute in appearance and innocent in nature.

[4] Tsundere is a person who is usually involved in romantic circumstances. The tsundere (usually a girl) would act in a hostile and blunt manner towards the other person (usually a guy) but deep inside she usually cares a lot for him. Perhaps more than she realises. Sometimes a tsundere is in denial that she loves that certain person or she is very awkward when it comes to expressing her feelings. “Tsun tsun” means along the lines of to be disgusted, whilst “Dere dere” means lovey lovey. Taiga Asakura from the anime Toradora is a classic example of a tsundere.

[5] A deformed character or a chibi character in anime or manga means small and miniature in a cute way. You will see it a lot in D-Frag!, especially with Roka. You would normally see Roka in her normal appearance but in certain comedic situations you will see a deformed version of her, or a minimised version of her. You can see the casts’ deformed versions on the front and back of D-Frag Volume One.

Monster Musume Volume Two Review

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Konbanwa.^^/

I am delighted to see MonMusu[1] volume 3, which is now on sale, is selling very well. It is now number two in the New York Times, previously number one for three weeks. It was knocked off the top by Dragonar Academy, which is also licensed by Seven Seas.^^/

I’m very impressed with Seven Seas recently, it was announced that they have licensed both D-Frag and No Game No Life. I really enjoyed the D-Frag anime and I get the feeling that I’m going to enjoy the manga. So, I pre-ordered the manga on Amazon. =D

Ahem-

Let’s roll with the review before I get anymore off topic. 😉

 

1. SUMMARY OF THE PLOT… IN MY OWN WORDS

Ms Smith has revealed to Kimihito that the government are looking for test subjects that involve a human marrying a liminal… I’m sure you gather what this will entail. 😉 Basically Kimihito now has the choice of marrying one of his house guests, and likewise, all of his house guests are currently fighting for his affection so they can be his number one lady… alas, things never transpire as smoothly as they or Kimihito would have liked. Until now Kimihito has been holding back his urges since he’s a gentleman and law abiding…but now that he has a choice in the matter, it will beg the question, can Kimihito keep his urges under wraps? You will need to read it to find out.

 

2. STORY

I feel that the story now has a clear purpose. The ultimate plot I suppose was eluded to at the end of the volume one book. That purpose involves Kimihito choosing one of his house liminal guests to be his future wife…if he so desires.

This is definitely in my top five all-time favourite manga, even though I’ve already read two volumes of this franchise. I just connected with this story very quickly. It’s my kind of story and I really love the unique characters and their design. Whilst it’s borderline soft-core I feel that they are used at appropriate times. The stimulating art goes extremely well with the comedy. The comedy is used in both the slapstick comedy (visual) and the funny quips and puns used in dialogue (verbally).

If the comedy elements were absent then I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much. One of the charms of the story is how self-aware it is. The cast often make parody references and puns about their own kind.

At times there was some nail-biting stuff that bought me to the edge of my seat. I was nervous about what was going to happen but by the end of it, my worries soothed. I laughed more than worried when I read this volume.

 

2.1. Harem

Spoiler alert…

Kimihito’s harem is strong and it looks like it’s going to get bigger and stronger than before. Manga that have harem elements usually end with three options.

  1. The main male/female chooses the lady/gentleman at the end.
  2. Open-end
  3. Bigamy or, the main male/female choosing everyone.

It will be interesting to see how the harem route plays out. At the minute Kimihito is opting to go on dates with everyone in order to bond with the girls. So, at this moment in time, it is difficult to tell how this will end. I’m anticipating many more female characters to appear before we have an idea where the story is going.

It showed that the girls are willing to ‘share’ Kimihito whilst under the influence of the full moon.

I personally always prefer either the harem route or the open-ended route. I don’t support the guy being with more than one girl, just because I don’t like seeing any girl get heart-broken.^^

 

2.2. Theme/Genre

  • Comedy
  • Ecchi
  • Fantasy
  • Harem
  • Romance
  • Seinen
  • Slice of Life

 

3. CHARACTERS

3.1. Recurring Characters

I feel that I’ve learned a little bit more about the recurring characters, we got an insight into their hobbies, backgrounds, likes/dislikes and so on. There was quite a bit of extra information plus an additional story at the back of the book.

I really do admire Kimihito for keeping his libido in check but I also admire him for treating the girls very nicely. In this type of harem manga there’s not many guys like Kimihito who would embrace a house full of girls straight away. Yet, he adapted more or less straightaway. He did freak out when it came to marriage but he eventually manned-up and apologised for over-reacting.

Ms Smith is still as useless as ever, but, deep down I know she has a good heart…maybe. XD She was especially funny in chapter 10.

 

3.2. New Characters

3.2.1. Meron Lorelei

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A very gentle lady, the kind of gentle character that I felt was needed. All the female cast can be innocent in their own way but none of them are exactly what you would describe as gentle. Meron fits this bill to a tee.

I had some sort of inkling that she was going to be a mermaid, or at least some kind of sea creature. She looks very pretty, especially her fin-like ears. I found them very cute. I bet Miia is going to see her as extra competition, especially since they have similar body figures. 😉 Perhaps they’re going to be strong rivals at some point?

I noticed that she dresses like a maid. I wonder if this is a cheesy pun because the ‘maid’ is part of the ‘mermaid’. I wouldn’t be surprised since all the cast have puns in their names in one way or another.

I like her. It was a nice twist in chapter ten when it came to the whole illegal species drama involving Suu.

I envisage her voice to be soft spoken, sweet, gentle, and well-mannered and a touch curious. Add humble to the equation too. If this turned into an anime then I would propose she would be voiced by either Satomi Akesaka or possibly Rie Murakawa. They both have sweet and polite voices and they add a calming and soft charisma to their characters. =)

 

3.2.2. Suu

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Everyone on the internet highly anticipated a slime girl to make an appearance in MonMusu, the same slime that appeared in Okayado’s Hentai one-shots. I too wanted to see that very same slime girl in this manga, and we all got our wish, we all got Suu. =D

I simply adore her, her personality, her design and her overall uniqueness. She is definitely one of the most unique characters that I have ever come across. Because she’s a slime, she has the ability to transform into any form. She can shape herself as petite as Papi, or as curvy as Miia and as busty as Centorea.

She can be very deadly, but at the same time, she is definitely the most innocent. It makes me wonder if she actually has a mind of her own or if she just simply imitates what she sees. Thinking and observing is one thing, but, does she actually harbour any feelings? In my opinion, she does. Her reactions are very positive and cute; she reacted strongly when she and Papi were above the water. She was afraid, and being afraid is an emotion. Emotion is a feeling. So, I deduce that she imitates whilst having feelings.

As strange as this may sound, I actually envisage her with a mature voice. Since she imitates others it makes me wonder if she’ll imitate other people’s voices as well. I don’t necessarily picture Suu imitating voices but more like imitating their tones and expressions. If this turned into an anime then this could be similar to the case with Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie? In that show Eu has about 20 different VAs, since Ayumu keeps on visualising her with different voices each time. XD I can’t see Suu being used in this way though.

Her abilities are superbly unique and if she was as smart as Centorea then I bet she could conquer the world… whilst avoiding water.

 

4. ART

The art is such fun to look at. I like the overall design of the characters and style; it matches very well with this kind of story. I mentioned it above but the comedy and the art really go hand-in-hand. They literally bounce off each other. There are many borderline soft-core moments, and one moment which is definitely rude…but that moment is ‘covered’ up by another panel. So, if you’re thinking of reading it you will need to prepare yourself to see cheeky situations. Haha.

I especially like the characters when they’re pulling funny faces, particularly Miia’s. Looking at Miia grimacing and pulling all kinds of faces literally cracks me up every time. For someone so pretty she shouldn’t be capable of pulling funny faces. XD One minute the visuals show her being very silly and the next it shows her being frisky in the bedroom. Wink, wink.

There are a few inconsistences though- like the penultimate page of chapter 8. Miia’s ear is supposed to be shaded (depicting red) but at the bottom panel it’s just a blank. Sometimes the scales on Miia’s face are absent and not drawn on. It’s a similar case to Naruto from Naruto really. He has whisker marks on his face but sometimes his marks disappear.

Still, little stumbles hardly matter though, at least to me. The whole point of this style is to make the girls attractive and titillating and Okayado does this extremely well.

Strangely, I like how he draws Kimihito, especially his eyes. Usually they’re just round and white, but they become visible if he’s experiencing a strong emotion or he’s in a serious situation. It’s as though we are being told when the situation is serious. Perhaps it’s a form of symbolism? Either that or it’s a cop out since Okayado would prefer giving more detail to the ladies then the guys? And if that’s true who can blame him? XD

 

5. ANIME

I’m certain that Monster Musume will get an Anime adaptation at some point in time, possibly next year. However, the more I think about it, the more I get the impression that it will receive commission for an OVA/special instead of an actual TV series.

Really, it all depends on which studio decides to sign up MonMusu as well as there being many other factors to consider. How are they going to animate it? Who will be the artist? How much funds do they have to produce it? Who is going to voice who? Which composer are they going to hire? In some ways, depending on the choice of studio the Monster Musume anime would be either a hit or miss. It’s all pure speculation though, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers that the right people will commission MonMusu.^^

I think Aniplex, same studio as the Monogatari show, would be best suited for MonMusu. However, I get the impression that it will be a toss between Xebec, Studio Dean and Gonzo.

Saitou Hisashi I think could do a good job at directing Monster Musume. He was the same director who directed Heaven’s Lost Property, Bamboo Blade and Haganai. My reason being, his creativity when it comes to directing and animation.

 

6. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM… IF ANY

I don’t think I really have the heart to criticise this manga since I always focus on the stuff I really like, but, I’m giving it a shot!

Although I’m used to it by now I must say I find unfortunate that manga is printed in paperback. It’s very sad to see my manga being bent into unnatural shapes. =( Cue the violin music…

Ahem-

The term ‘monster girl’ has been thrown round quite loosely in the story itself, even by the liminal themselves. So really, there’s no real issue here, especially since it’s not a serious story. However, the term ‘monster girl’ seems to be rather demeaning. It’s like saying that the ‘monster people’ are inferior to humans, both in genes and appearance.

I suppose it’s the kind of society where the humans are still getting to know the liminals. Some welcome them with open arms, others, not so much. In some ways this situation is very similar to the case with the Mutants from the X-Men franchise.

Still, none of the ‘monster girls’ seem to take offence so all is good. Haha.

 

7. CONCLUSION

I enjoyed this just as much as the first volume book. Great art, funny scenarios, unexpected twists and good character development all round. I would have given this score higher then two thumbs if it were possible. Since it isn’t I’m just going to give this two thumbs up. =)

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8. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Okayado., 2014. Monster Musume Volume Two. Los Angeles: Seven Seas.

Okayado Twitter Page., 2014. @Okayado1215. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

Okayado Pixiv Page., 2014. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

 

9. OFF-TOPIC NONSENSE

I just thought I’d share this video that I found on my random browsing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PNr5bYfGBI[2]

This link is actually advertising the Monster Musume manga. It is a rather fun video. Ka-wai-i. XD

 

10. SAYONARA

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Hope you folks enjoyed reading my review as much as I enjoyed writing it. I had to keep on restraining some of my opinions since I don’t want to spoil the story…which is a very bad habit of mine. XD

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] Acronym for Monster Musume

[2] Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou Commercial. Asimofufan. Published 29 Jun 2013. [Accessed 06/06/2014]

Grudges

ImageGood Friday! ^^/

 

Are you the type of person who holds grudges? I was, I had many in fact.

 

Growing up was painful in many aspects, especially if you can’t communicate well. I sometimes would say things that were rude and not realise that they were rude. Or, I said things I knew were rude but I didn’t know how to explain myself. I was a bit scared to explain why I said things in case I was being judged. I didn’t want to do anything that was deemed as “wrong” or do anything to tarnish my ‘polite gentleman’ reputation known to everyone.

 

It did feel that I was often judged because of the things I said. I would receive a stern telling off for being “rude” and “ignorant” and generally having no manners. I was always fighting a losing battle and not being able to explain my actions was extremely painful and it somewhat scarred me. Later on in life I received harsher warnings and criticisms if I made a mistake or messed something up that put everyone out.

 

So, I ended up having a grudge against many people, especially my teachers. From my point of view they showed no interest in trying to understand my needs. Or rather, they thought they knew me but really they didn’t know a thing. I felt they were being cruel for no reason. It was always a losing battle. I would sit back and let them tell me off for being “rude” because I knew if I attempted to explain, or I would be accused of “answering back”.  It always a ‘heads you win, tales, I lose’ situation.

 

They looked from their point of view and never tried to look from mine. Did they think that I wanted to be rude? How did they think I would feel when they were constantly reminding me of my mistakes? It’s not like I ever intended to be rude or deliberately get things wrong. So, why did everyone have to yell at me for doing something or saying something unintentional? Many emotions and many thoughts ran amok through my mind.

 

I think really, because it was an SEN school we were bought up to be polite “ladies” and polite “gentlemen”. When we greeted anyone, we were expected to shake hands as it was the “right thing” to do. But realistically shaking hands would only happen during formal occasions not on a daily basis. All in all I think that they were trying hard to make me into a “man” that they lost sight of me as a person. So, if I said anything “rude” or did anything “wrong” my teachers were quick to let me know.

 

As you can imagine, I had little confidence when I left school. I was scared to have my own personality and make friends with people in case I was judged or I said the wrong thing. This is where some of my grudges came from. I had a grudge towards many people as I felt I was never given the freedom to be myself, instead, I had to act in different ways to meet certain people’s “expectations.”

 

Now I’m a lot older I realised, naturally, that there are many people with many colourful personalities. So, why could I not have my own personality? My confidence sky rocketed towards the latter part of my Uni days and I like to think that I have an identity that I call my own. Many different people accepted me for the person I was and this made me feel more confident about myself.  I gradually relaxed more and made some friends. =)

 

It still felt bitter though, because I felt that I did miss out on making friends in my younger days.  Not now though. How I am right now has nothing to do with my past self. I’m in a good place and I have no need to bear grudges against the “scars” of my past. We can think about the past, we can consider what happens tomorrow but we all actually live for the moment. So that’s why I’m no longer caught up with living in the past. I am here, right now, sharing this story with a smile on my face. I’m in a good frame of mind.

 

It’s important to bear in mind that people who misunderstood me did not necessarily act out of malice, but out of ignorance and lack of consideration. That’s how I see it.

 

Ahem-

 

I’m not thinking about the past (at least until I was writing this blog, haha) I’m thinking; which food shall I eat now? Which new Anime shall I watch now? I hope Date A Live is available on Crunchyroll. Should I re-watch D-Frag? I fancy writing some notes of my story. I partly fancy drawing a fanart of Kirisaki Onodera from Nisekoi: False Love. I also want to watch the Simpsons on Sky One. Haha.

 

What do I feel like doing now?

 

That’s the question I always ask myself, and it’s the question that I’m asking myself right now. =D I felt like writing this blog so I wrote this blog in the given moment. But this moment is going to turn old in ten minutes time. So that’s why I never think about the past or future, I just live for the now. =)

*

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Easter is finally here. =D I’m going to have a hot cross bun for dinner, will you? I wonder if the Easter Bunny will bring me chocolate this year? I guess I’ll find out next week. Haha!

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a wonderful Easter.

 

Namaste^^/

Ryan