Senran Kagura Skirting Shadows Volume One Review

Senran Kagura Skirting Shadows Volume 1

  1. SYNOPSIS

To the average eye Hanzou[1] National Academy is a prestigious school. However, unbeknown to the average student this school educates five special female students who are training and learning to be ninjas. Asuka and her friends represent the good ninja and strive to bring justice and peace to Japan. However, Hanzou’s rival ninja school, Hebi[2], have opposite views on this matter. How will Asuka and her friends handle Hebi’s slithering advances?

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[3]
  • Martial Arts
  • School
  • Supernatural
  • Seinen[4]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

I was slightly hyped up for this when I saw the advertisements for the game and after I played the game. It’s one of my favourite games for the Nintendo 3DS. If I enjoyed the game then I would probably enjoy the manga as well. So, I’ve acquired myself the first volume of Senran Kagura.

What I enjoyed the most here is the action and all the girls beating each other to a bloody pulp. Haha. Whilst it’s no secret that there’s heavy fanservice in this manga I do think there is a hidden agenda to this manga. As well as going through physical battles with one another, each character is going through personal battles as well. Katsuragi desires a strong opponent to push her to the limits, Hibari is battling her low self-confidence in her abilities as a ninja and Ikaruga has family issues.

I like all the characters. Katsuragi is your perverted girl who acts like a lecherous old man. Despite her in-your-face attitude she is someone you can depend on and will get serious if she needs to. She also seems to have a bit of a sad history that involves her dog. She also has a kickass fighting style that involves a lot of upside down helicopter kicks. I tend to do very well when I play as Katsuragi in the game. Haha.

Hibari is a very sweet girl, and like Hinata from the Naruto series she isn’t really cut out to be a ninja due to her kind personality. However, much like Hinata from the Naruto series she is determined to hone her skills as a ninja and go beyond. I think that she might be holding herself back because deep down it isn’t in her nature to hurt people. Ironically, I’m not sure if it’s because of her alias with the Rabbit, but she seems to have very heightened senses.

Then we have Yagyuu, who is very cool and very strong. Probably a little bit too over-protective of Hibari but she really rocks that eye-patch. Was she secretly assigned to look over Hibari? Or, is Yagyuu looking over Hibari of her own choice? Asuka is a nice girl, but I would like to learn more about her. It’s funny and quirky that all the girls hide their scrolls in their chests and up their skirts. How does Katsuragi manage to hold the scroll in her skirt in the first? Actually. It would be best that I remain ignorant, so I will withdraw my own question. XD

Finally, we have Ikaruga, the mature and big sister type character. She is my favourite character. Whilst she is mature and dependable I do get the sense that she might be a little bit naïve, almost to the point where she isn’t really that street wise. Perhaps it’s because she was adopted into her family and had a hard time growing up. I also get the sense that she often wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s mature but she’s also very cute when it comes to expressing her emotions.

The students of Hebi, or at least certain ones, invade Hanzou and battle certain students like Asuka and Katsuragi. So far, it seems like it’s a bit one-sided. Kiryuu’s choice of words to his students was interesting. I think his mind was a bit conflicted. I think he was about to praise the girls after they survived Hebi’s onslaught, but thought otherwise. In his mind he probably thought that reassuring them might do more harm than good. So, he decided to give them a bit of tough love treatment. Evidently, it seems like it had the desired effect judging by their reactions.

  1. BONUS

There weren’t really extras at the end, just comments by Mori, the PR and in charge of advertisement and Kinichiro Takaki. There is a postscript and a page describing Yagyuu’s daily activities. That’s worth a read in my opinion. =)

  1. CONCLUSION

Despite the heavy fanservice I do think we have a potential plot on our hands. Haruka appears to be interested in Hibari. It’ll be interesting to see why. When you look at the ‘evil people’ you would think that they are literally evil. However, I think in this case they act pretty normal and some of their reactions to situations are rather comedic, especially Haruka’s.

I must say that it’s pretty much what I’ve expected. It’s just full of girls beating the snot out of each other but with the juicy bonus of exposing skin. What were the odds of that happening? Haha. It’s pretty much like the game but this is the 2D version of the 3D (obviously) haha. I’ve enjoyed this story a lot more than I thought I would but at this moment in time I do think I prefer the game over the manga. Probably because the game has a lot more story material then the manga. I do think that is to be expected though.

One-Thumb’s Up. (My Rating System)

Thumbs-Up

  1. OFF-TOPIC

High School DxD BorN

The airing date for High School DxD 3rd season has been confirmed. It’s going to air in April 2015 and its official title is “High School DxD BorN”. Many theories come to mind why the word ‘BorN’ is present but for now I’ll keep those thoughts reserved. I’m just delighted that we finally have a confirmation date. Hopefully Crunchyroll will air this online. 🙂

Monster Musume Volume 5 is also number one in the New York Times for the second week in a row. I can’t express how happy I am to see MonMusu doing so well in the western market.

I also think that SevenSeas is slowly becoming my favourite manga publishers. They’re practically licensing all the manga that I like and they interact with the fans via Tumblr and Twitter. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Senran Kagura Burst

It’s quite ironic since I never planned to review this manga at all, but all of a sudden I just felt like reading this. Reading Senran Kagura has suddenly tempted me to play the Senran Kagura Burst game.

I really enjoy that game but I gave myself a break as I’m a bit stuck. I’m doing very well playing as Ikaruga and Katsuragi and doing fairly well with Asuka. However, I must say that I’m really struggling getting past the first few hurdles with Hibari. I could go on further with Ikaruga but I want to try and have Hibari catch up and reach her level. At this moment in time thought it’s proving to be difficult. Haha.

On that note, I’m going to play Senran Kagura Burst. I’ll see you folks around. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] Hanzou Academy is named after the famous samurai and ninja of the Sengoku era, Hattori Hanzō. He was credited to saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu and assisted him to become the ruler of united Japan.

[2] Hebi is Japanese translation for “snake”.

[3] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[4] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

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Reviewing Anime, Manga and Film

No Game No Life wallpaper

Konbanwa.^^/

It wasn’t my intention to review my favourite anime and manga when I started blogging, it just sort of happened. I was blogging about how I cope with Autism around the same time when I started to get into manga. It was at this point, I thought, that I could actually add another string to my bow (aka my blog) and review manga. Reviewing my favourite things, such as anime, manga and movies, would be another good way for me to express myself. Most of my friends and family don’t share this common interest with me so I don’t really have anyone to talk about this kind of stuff with. How do I solve this problem? Simple. Share my thoughts through the art of blogging. =)

I didn’t really know how to review a story. Is there only one way of reviewing? Initially I sort of just used my instinct and just spoke about what I enjoyed about that story. I also posted some anime news that I was happy about, especially concerning High School DxD. I could have easily researched previous reviews of anime and manga but I didn’t want to be influenced, so, I just went with my gut instinct. =D

When reviewing entertainment products I did find that I did probably force myself at times, especially when it comes to anime seasons. I felt I had to review every single anime that I watched. Here, I put unnecessary pressure on myself. Because I forced myself I wasn’t as natural as I could have been. It is at that point that I did research some reviews and this seemed to put more pressure on me to get it right. I felt that I ought to try to be more professional in my writing. This detracted my enjoyment of reviewing. It was only after the High School DxD Volume 2 that I had an epiphany… Reviewing manga, anime and films like a pro was never my intention to begin with.

The whole point of my ‘reviewing’ style is to share my enjoyment in manga and film and TV. My intention was to make my style personal rather than professional. After my reviews from High School DxD, I felt that my enjoyment and personality came out more. I actually enjoyed reviewing the latest manga and anime. I never forced myself to bring the words together, they all came together naturally. =)

I already have some anime and manga that I plan to review in the near future, but, I will not force myself to review them. I want to take my time and when I’m happy with it, I’ll share my thoughts on them with you. =) I think, in all honesty, my reviews are more like casual rambles. I feel like I’m a fan just spouting my thoughts on manga rather than analysing its contents.

I also found my own style of rating anime, manga and movies. You can check it out in the blog, My Rating System.

Here is a list of anime that I intend to review

  • High School DxD
  • Locodol
  • Non Non Biyori

A list of manga that I intend to review

  • Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends – Now With 50% More Fail!
  • Nisekoi: False Love – Volume 4
  • No Game No Life – Volume 1
  • See Me After Class – Volume 1

A list of TV series that I intend to review

  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends – Series 1

A list of Movies that I intend to review

  • Iron Man

I originally had a category called ‘Ryan’s Game World’. I intended to review games but I never got round to them. A year has gone by since I started to blog and I still haven’t reviewed a game. I might review the games of Atelier Escha and Logy, Super Mario and Senran Kagura but I’ll see how things go. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I figured this blog would be an appropriate follow up to my First Year Blog Anniversary. I wanted to talk about my reviews in that blog but I deemed it not relevant, hence, why I made a separate blog for this one.

I hope you enjoyed the read, even if it was a short one. =)

See you next time.

Sayonara,^^/

Ryan.

Monster Musume Volume Four Review

Monster Musume Volume Four Cover

Monster Musume Volume 4 has entered into the New York Times top ten manga charts for the third time since its release. The love and niche for monster girls is really spreading throughout the world. Anime when? 😉 Attack on Titan is dominating as usual. It must be over a year now since Attack on Titan volume 1 was released. Time really flies. =) Witch Craft Works volume 1 arrived yesterday morning. I’m going to give it a good read at some point. =)

Let’s crack on with the review. =D

  1. SYNOPSIS

Kimihito has been tangled up in a bunch of problems since he became a host for the special interspecies programme. Now, he has literally been tangled up in Rachnera’s web, an Arachne[1] who has been on the run since her assault on Kasegi! Granted, he deserved to be “punished” but nonetheless, the law is the law and Rachnera has broken it.

Centorea, the proud Centaur, has certainly become wary of Rachnera’s presence since her arrival and understandably so. Like a knight in shining…Well, a tight fitted blouse, Cerea will do whatever it takes to save her master from this Arachne’s grasp!

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[2]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[3]
  • Mature
  • Parody
  • Romance
  • Seinen[4]
  • Slice of Life[5]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

The suspense continues from the previous volume.

Rachnera is the perfect symbol of someone who you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Granted, she’s a runaway and broke the law, but, Kasegi and her former family hosts are what caused Rachnee to do what she did. She didn’t do anything bad though, only tying up Kasegi (some shady geezer) and kidnapped Kimihito (who has become accustomed to being kidnapped. Haha). I can sympathise with Rachnee and understand why she was sceptical of humans. I also like her style; I predicted that she was going to be a lecherous type and I was right. =D

I’m picturing her voice as Shizuka Itou, who is the same VA as Akeno Himejima from High School DXD and is playing one of the main roles in the new Sailor Moon anime. She has a wonderful vocal range and often portrays female characters that are quite sexual in nature. She can also play ladies who are mature yet innocent.

It seems that judging a liminal by a human is common, but for a liminal to be judged by another liminal is rather interesting. I.E., Miia and Cerea judging Rachnee due to her “scary” look. By the way, I’m not sure how Miia lost that quick dual against Rachnee, perhaps she got careless? Oh well! It was funny seeing Miia tied up in the manner that she was.

Speaking of Rachnera, it’s a very good job that Kimihito has got a leg fetish, otherwise I don’t think he would be able to win her over. I didn’t even realise that his fetish for legs were genuine. I thought he said that to settle an argument between Miia, Cerea and Papi. Who would have thought? It makes me wonder though, how does Kimihito feel about Cerea’s legs and Papi’s legs? Rachnee has nice shaped legs though, even if she is an Arachne. I actually like her, I like her much more than I thought I would.  Her heart is in the right place, she loves bondage and she saved Cerea and Kimihito from that gang of thugs.

Mero made me laugh; she mistook Rachnee for a crab! XD

I really liked the swimming chapter as it made me laugh the most out of all three. It was funny when Miia got all cocky since Cerea and Mero put on weight but then stopped when she found out that she was going to get weighed herself. Haha. I didn’t think they would have health checks in this manga, especially since they’re usually done in schools.

My two highlights of this volume are two certain moments. One, when Miia pushed Kimihito into the water shouting “booyah!” The second was when she did that amazing jump but landed really hard on the water. It was quirky how she was able to swim backwards and it’s definitely another benefit of being a lamia. Because she’s a snake and she wiggles and slithers it’s no surprise that she has a toned stomach.

The rivalry between the lamia (Miia) and the mermaid (Mero) resumes in this very volume. Granted, the rivalry is a little one-sided. With Miia, what you see is what you get. She makes it no secret when she gets cross or annoyed with someone. Just look how she is with Kimihito, although I do think she slightly holds back with her advances. Apart from that, what you see is definitely what you get.

Polt is a good character, I wondered if she was going to be inducted into Kimihito’s harem. It turns out that she didn’t, or at least, she hasn’t as of yet.

The last chapter was definitely getting juicy. For some reason I’m always anticipating for Kimihito’s relative to show up, and I honestly thought some relative (perhaps a sister) was going to show up on this “date”. Turns out, it was Ms Smith! She looked like she would make a nice couple with Kimihito. She also looks nice in her casual clothes. Why is she so addicted to coffee/caffeine though?

Speaking of Ms Smith, I feel really sorry for Suu. Miia and the others are making Suu conform herself to accommodate a disguise for the other girls. Her disguise for Papi was quite funny; it was also when she kept stealing someone’s water.

How did Kimihito not figure out their disguises though? Miia called him “darling” and Mero reacted when he said her name.

I really liked the reference to Metal Gear Solid that was made. It was most ingenious. Miia pulls off that costume very well.

It turns out that Ms Smith and Kimihito’s “date” was just a red herring. XD I’ve always wondered how Ms Smith really sees Kimihito, and I anticipated that we were going to get some answers. It turns out; we learn something much more important. Kimihito’s life is now in danger. I wonder who sent that death message. I’ll give you my guess two lines down…

A dullahan.^^/

  1. BONUS

We have a juicy colourful special in which Miia and the others try on different bras, all in different shapes and sizes, literally. 😉 It was pleasant to read. In this technicolour side story there’s an underlining moral which is quite significant…and hilarious. XD There is a bonus chapter and more fun facts about the newly introduced characters.

  1. CONCLUSION

The story is actually getting rather exciting. This story is certainly not shy when it comes to showcasing rudeness but it actually has a solid story line and morals if you look beyond the boobs, bums and legs. Haha. The ending was especially exciting and a lot more dramatic then when Rachnera debuted. It’s making me sweat a lot more for Kimihito’s health and well-being. Haha.

It’s very clever how all the characters use puns which refer to their animalistic side. Like, Rachnee using “itsy-bitsy” in a lot of her sentences. Miia also calls Mero a “watery tart.” Haha, poor Mero.

Its biggest factor is probably its fan-service and perhaps borderline softcoreness, but for me, the charm is definitely in the humour. Even after re-reading this volume for more than five times, I never fail to laugh. Like with Tom and Jerry or Only Fools and Horses– I’ve watched the repeats of those shows for years and they always crack me up. The characters are adorable and if possible, I started to like them even more.

Two Thumb’s-Up! (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

MONSTER MUSUME ANIME

Monster Musume Background

Apparently, the official website of Monster Musume was launched only a month ago.[6] The website has been asking fans for their opinion about what scenes (if adapted into an anime) we would definitely not want to be removed.[7] For me, I would want the anime to stay as true to the manga as much as possible. If anything, I would want them to extend the scenes, not cut them out. I could partake in that discussion but I prefer to just sit back and see what happens. I’m sure whatever happens in the future is meant to be. =)

It all depends on which production company will want to acquire the license of Monster Musume. Not all companies have the luxury when it comes to finance or time. I personally propose Aniplex but I can see someone like Xebec producing it.

They’re also running popularity polls on the main website. Again, I’m tempting to partake in the fun poll, but, I don’t really want to go on that site in case I get spoiled. Whilst browsing the main site I downloaded a few wallpapers; the one above of Miia is my new PC wallpaper. =)

THANKS FOR READING

37121267_m

Boy, I sure went on a tangent towards the end. Haha. Well, I certainly enjoyed my time reviewing this. Now, the question remains… should I buy MonMusu Vol 5, or, add it to my Christmas list? It’s released in November and Christmas is not really that far away. Decisions, decisions…

With that probing thought I bid you all a Sayonara.

Thanks for reading.^^/

Ryan

[1] An Arachne is a half human and half spider.

[2] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

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

[4] The target audience is aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 30.

[5] Every day mundane life.

[6] Monster Musume Official Website. Official Website. Accessed 13 October 2014. <http://www.monmusu.jp/&gt;

[7] Anime News Network. Monster Musume Manga Site Gauges Interest in Anime Adaptatin. Accessed 13 October 2014. <http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-09-12/monster-musume-manga-site-gauges-interest-in-anime-adaptation/.78718&gt;

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.