Monster Musume Volume Five Review

Monster Musume Volume Five Cover

New Year Tidings.^^/

I decided to begin my year of blogging by reviewing one of my manga that I got for Christmas. =D Before I begin I just want to say congratulations to Monster Musume for winning the Best Manga category of 2014.[1] I’m not too bothered about awards but any award that MonMusu[2] wins is always deserved. =)

  1. SYNOPSIS

Kimihito’s life is now in danger. An anonymous someone or something sent him a threatening letter, “Get married and I kill you.” The only clue from the evidence [the threatening letter] is that the writer is named, “D.” In order to draw out the perpetrator Kimihito must go on dates with his liminal guests to act as bait. How will his potential brides to be cope as they go out with him?

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[3]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[4]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • Seinen[5]
  • Slice of Life[6]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

3.1. Technicolor Bathing Beauties

We have four colourful pages right at the beginning. None of which are relevant to the main plot. It’s interesting to note that the bathroom to Kimihito’s house has once again been modified for the sake of his liminal guests. It’s nice that they even have a bath for Suu, since she is technically still residing in Kimihito’s house illegally. Everyone in the story seems to have forgotten about that and accepted her without judgement. Including, I’m assuming, Ms Smith.

3.2. Chapter 19

Miia goes on a date once again with Kimihito, but with a catch… Mero has tagged along. Haha. I wonder if Mero had an ulterior motive to coming along or if she just fancied an outing with Miia and Mr Darling. An aquarium setting did set a good mood and vibe. I mentioned before that Miia is more relaxed if her ‘rivals’ are not present and I feel that this ‘fake’ date represents that. If it wasn’t for Mero, Miia could have smooched with Kimihito. It was rather humorous since Mero misread the mood and situation. Haha. I also learned that eels are actually fish, not serpent. It really does make me curious about Mero’s background. She got into the aquarium for free and she was a special guest on the dolphin show. =D

This is where the drama comes in… I was immediately suspicious and concerned when Miia went out with that… lizard person who turned out to be a Dragonet.[7] Haha. Tionishia, as cute as she is, I don’t think she was the ideal choice for bodyguard duties. She stands out far too much (due to her humongous physique) and took part in the patting of the dolphin. Haha.

Thankfully, Miia was saved, thanks to Kimihito and Mero. I didn’t know she [Drago] was a girl though. I felt that I should have known, given the nature and humour of this manga. The ending was like a light romcom. It was humorous when Kimihito used his jacket to wrap around Miia, but it was already drenched so it was useless. Haha. Buying that serpent pendant for her was a heart-warming moment. They looked like a nice couple in those couple of pages. They looked very natural together and lovey-dovey. I wonder why Mero looked down. It looks like that she’s having second thoughts about being his ‘mistress’. It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen with Mero in future chapters.^^/

By the way, after a few re-reads I noticed that in this chapter Mr Darling wore a T-Shirt that said “Twelve Beast” which is an obvious shout out to Okayado’s other manga, 12 Beast, which is released this coming April. =)

3.3. Chapter 20

I found this to be the funniest chapter of the book. Suu grows big, turning into a slimezilla if you will. This was a highlight for me. It was especially funny when Kimihito and Papi held onto her boobs as if their lives depended on it. I always wanted to see this kind of scene in a manga, and MonMusu delivered my wish. Haha. I’m not sure why Papi needed to hold on though, she can fly. Of course, there was only one way for Kii to shrink back in size and it had to happen in a… sensual way. Haha. Still, good for Kimihito though, he stepped up to the plate and delivered.

That bondage scene at the end… I have no words, only a loud chuckle. XD We found out that Kii is not the one who sent out the threatening letter to Kimihito. So far, we can eliminate Drago and Kii as suspects. At this point, I still think it will be a Dullahan.[8] Let’s see if I’m right. =)

It’s interesting to note that this is the first time that Miia has failed to appear in a chapter.

3.4. Chapter 21

And it’s Cerea’s turn to go out with Kimihito whilst Rachnera lurks behind the scenes. It seems like we have female pairings now, Miia and Mero, Papi and Suu and Cerea and Rachnee. In that regard, it was sort of predictable, but, no less humorous. It was funny to see Cerea gearing herself up in her actual knight’s armour, haha.

I felt a little sorry for Manako as it’s quite clear that she’s conscious of her one eye. I think it’s really cute and enchanting in its own way, but I can see why she would get insecure.

There have been many classical animal puns in this book, since it’s a MonMusu tradition, but my favourite came in this chapter. Cerea blasting the wild boar to save Kimihito, and his response: “Thanks. You really saved my bacon.” …amazing quote and timing. XD

I hate to see Cerea like that though, being insecure. Kimihito did all the right things and said all the right things to wash her insecurities away. She’s more at home when she’s in her knight mode but very awkward when it comes to being intimate. Still, I bet she’s amazing at preparing salads… the ending was most humorous. Miia and Papi didn’t want the salad so they used Suu as a garbage disposal. The other bondage scene was hilarious, Lilith is a masochist, it seems. XD

3.5. Chapter 22

Kimihito’s date with Tio and Zombina were cute and funny. Despite being a giant Tio is very feminine when it comes to personality and taste. It was a nice moment when Kimihito offered to adjust Tio’s dress through the art of sewing. He really is the epitome of the modern man and demonstrated his skills when he sewed Zombina’s hand back to her body. It’s quite evident that Zombina has never been treated like a “normal” girl before. Kimihito is having that effect on all of the liminal girls.

Then we have the date with Manako… I wouldn’t really call this a date but their interaction was nice. It seems that even in the pro office Manako is being victimised because of her one eyeball. It’s quite sad and I can imagine why she would be insecure. Some of the liminals are freakishly strong in various ways but I feel they’re more vulnerable than humans. I’m talking about psychological and confident damage and the likes of Miia, Manako and Zombina, it seems, have all been discriminated in one way or another.

Once again, thankfully, Kimihito breaks the mould and looked Manako straight in the face. This was followed by the person who “secretly” followed Mr Darling.

I was quite surprised that “D” turned out to be Doppel. I felt that I should have seen it coming. It’s interesting to note that Manako is so far the only person who refers to Kimihito by his real name, everyone else gives him a pet name. He received two more in this book. “Snookums” and “Loverboy”.

I was wrong in the end that the “D” represented Dullahan. However, a mysterious person appears right at the end! Then, it turns out that Doppel never wrote that second threatening letter. Then, we’re left at the end where the scythe of some kind was placed right in front of Kimihito’s neck. Eeek! I’m nervous but excited.

  1. BONUS

We learn some interesting facts about Polt and she features in one of the bonus chapters with the new “D” characters. I find her entertaining and I adore her enthusiasm. I’m glad she made a cameo. Speaking of extra chapters, there’s a 4-koma[9] chapter involving the MON squad and some fun facts about Manako’s suitcase gun. Despite what Zombina thinks, I think it’s a genius invention.

  1. CONCLUSION

We finally have a bit of a plot on our hands. It’s all exciting stuff. Dare I say that this is perhaps my favourite MonMusu book yet? Before, I thought the MON squad liminals were just ok. I didn’t give them much thought as I was enjoying reading about Miia and Mero, the main characters. However, they have really grown on me, especially after reading chapter 22.

All the minor suspense moments did get me nervous. I was convinced all the while that the mysterious “D” was a Dullahan. However, my theory was crushed when the D turned out to be Doppel. But, the true threat came in person… I’m 99% now that that person was a Dullahan. =D

All the girls, as expected through time, grew closer to Mr Darling. It’s still probably a bit premature to guess which route this story will go towards. All of his house guests are his potential brides to be, but, who is to say he’ll marry just one? If there’s a horse race (no pun intended) I would say that Miia and Cerea are probably in the lead. Why Miia? It’s because she genuinely seems to have a connection with Kimihito and we see this every time they go out, alone. Why Cerea? Well, she had a lot of moments of affection when she was dating, well, guarding Kimihito. Haha. That and she’s starting to help out with the food preparations, albeit, salads. Haha.

Just thought that I would mention as well, you can find clues in the chapter covers of which new characters will appear in certain chapters. I didn’t notice this until I re-read this book for the fifth time. In the cover of Chapter 22 you will see an emblem of some sort and writing underneath that says “Dullahan”. So yes, I’m 100% certain and correct. =D

It was wonderful to read and I will choose to give this, Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

  1. MONMUSU MISTAKE

I like to take this opportunity to admit a mistake. In my past reviews I stated that MonMusu was the acronym for Monster Musume. This is incorrect. The word I meant to use was actually ‘abbreviation’ not ‘acronym’. I knew what I was talking about but I got the words wrong, haha. I could take this opportunity to rectify the past MonMusu reviews, but I won’t. I want to see all of my blog writings as progress, and the past reviews to the current reviews will highlight that fact. =)

THANKS FOR READING

RA201310_pop_kinoko-cs5

I told myself that I wouldn’t really annotate much about MonMusu, but, I genuinely have a lot of say. I really enjoyed reading this and there’s a lot that I want to speak about. I decided that I will not keep the same style when reviewing each anime, manga and film. I will review them base on how much I have to say and want to say. =D

2015 is very peaceful so far. I’m spending most of the time just watching Football (it’s FA Cup week) and playing Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit. =D

Thanks for reading.
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] Uk-anime.net. The 2014 UK Anime Network Awards. Best Manga. [Accessed 4th January 2015].

<http://www.uk-anime.net/articles/The_2014_UK_Anime_Network_Awards/3&gt;

[2] MonMusu is the abbreviation for Monster Musume.

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

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

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

[6] Every day mundane life.

[7] In MonMusu, Drago Dragonet is a dragon with wings, scales and a long tail. Dragonets, in real life, are actually fish.

[8] In certain mythologies Dullahans are headless knights or headless riders. In some popular culture Dullahans either carry their heads if not attached or the heads are completely absent.

[9] 4-Koma (also known as four cell manga and Yonkoma Manga) consist of comic strips of four panels on each page.

My Christmas Tradition

Father Christmas

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

I have plenty of traditions at this time of year. I watch Christmas films, watch Thomas special episodes, listen to Christmas music and watch football on Boxing Day. My two most important traditions are hanging out with peeps and wrapping presents. You see, I get a thrill wrapping presents on Christmas Eve evening.

However, I’ve come down with a bad cold for the past few weeks. So, I wrapped them early so I could attend my sister’s Christmas Eve gathering. It was a good night and I made sure to work the room and talk to everyone. =) I don’t like feeling sorry for myself so I tend to not tell anyone if I have a cold or when I’m poorly. Someone did point out that my nose was really red. That was no brainer though; it was obvious that I was auditioning to be Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. 😉 Haha.

I woke up really late this morning and we, as a family, opened up our presents quite late. We would all sit in a circle, Dad would pass out the presents, and we would open them one at a time. However, with Santa sacks, we just divulge in them right before we open up the presents from friends and family. Of course, I know Father Christmas doesn’t really bring our presents but me and my Mum still get Santa sacks. It’s all part of the fun, so why not? 🙂

I got a lot of nice presents from Father Christmas and from my family too. From the top of my head, I got…

  • High School DxD Volume 3
  • Monster Musume Volume 5
  • D-Frag Volume 2
  • Marvel Socks
  • Superman and Marvel loungers
  • Marvel T-Shirt
  • Is This a Zombie DVD
  • Lion onesie
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier Blu-Ray
  • Thomas: Tale of the Brave
  • Thomas the Tank Engine Annual 2015
  • Winnie the Pooh the complete collection
  • A very well knitted beard. Haha. =D
  • Non Non Biyori outro music
  • New set of dark striped pyjamas

So far it’s been really positive. Before I set off for my sister’s gathering I saw, what I personally believe was a shooting star. I know I might be unwell and not thinking straight but my eyes never deceive me. =) Well, it was either a shooting star or a comet. However, I’m choosing to believe that it was a shooting star. My face was spread in an exasperated gawp…after 20 seconds I made several wishes at once. I wished for Christmas and New Year to be good for everyone, to over-think less and to be a successful author in 2015. =) If it wasn’t a shooting star then my next guess would have been Father Christmas. Haha.

So far, it’s working, as everyone I know is having a very pleasant Christmas. I keep on falling asleep today as I’m not well but chilling out is the best way for a speedy recovery. =)

I’m planning to go out on several shopping trips and ordering some stuff as well. Through browsing on Amazon I discovered that Seven Seas, my current favourite publishers, have actually acquired licensed for Non Non Biyori manga! I’m extremely excited about this. For the past year I’ve always said to myself that if anyone was going to license Non Non Biyori, it was going to be Seven Seas. It’s not released until 30th June 2015. Aside from my birthday, it’s another reason to look forward to 6 months from now. =)

For those interested, here is the link for confirmation.

<http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1626921482/ref=ox_ya_os_product>

THANKS FOR READING

After the Christmas meal, and breaking the wish bone, I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening watching the Christmas trilogy of Only Fools and Horses and Captain America with my family. Then, I anticipate an early night. Even if I am unwell, I can still think happy thoughts. =D

For the fun of it, here is a picture of me dressing up in my Lion onesie and wearing that fake beard. Haha.

 http://instagram.com/p/xCKDtGu80o/?modal=true

Thanks for reading. =D

Merry Christmas, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

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.

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.

Monster Musume Volume Three Review

36962793

Konbanwa.^^/

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for giving your time to read my reviews on Monster Musume. I’m still learning and developing my own style when writing reviews. I do enjoy expressing my feelings, blogging thoughts about my favourite things like Monster Musume as it makes me feel happy. However, it is a massive bonus when the reader takes their time to read what I have to say. For that, I am truly grateful.^^/

MonMusu[1] Volume 2 seems to be especially popular and it has given me extra impetus to blog about Volume 3. =)

Here it is.^^/

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

1. MY SYNOPSIS

Up till now Kimihito has been a host to four liminals; a passionate Lamia, a playful Harpy, a proud Centaur and an illegal species, Slime. Life has been kind to Kimihito; he has liminal guests who adore him and continue to pursue his hand in marriage. The competition is getting tougher though since the arrival of the courteous and gentle Mermaid, Mero.

In the same breath the darker side of the liminals started to show. A group of erotically charged orcs emerged and caused a commotion at a local otaku shop, offering gratuitous demands. Due to the interspecies Cultural Exchanged Accord the police can’t legally touch the orcs… but all is not lost since Ms Smith has a plan to solve this problem, but whether it will work or not is a completely different issue!

2. STORY

The pace and flow of this story was well thought out and applied cleverly. Not only is the timing of the story good, but the comedy and the quirkiness of the characters are well placed too.

At first glance it appears that Suu is nothing more than a background character that just happens to be there for the sake of adding more humour to the story. But actually she has played many pinnacle moments. Because of her the plot unfolded in certain chapters. I will talk more about this in Suu’s character section.

There are no small parts in a story; even the smallest part in the story can create the biggest conflict. Look at that young boy from Home Alone. When the sister did a head count and mistook the neighbours boy for her brother, it led to Kevin McAllister being all by himself. Thus, home alone.

*

Mero is really growing on me- her development was completely unexpected, in a good way. From our point of view, Mero being up to no good was all just in Miia’s head, since we come to learn that Miia has a very hyperactive imagination. Then, when Mero smiled in an unnerving manner, it made us think that Miia was right to be wary. It came to light that it was all in Miia’s imagination and that Mero isn’t after Kimihito, at least not in the normal sense.

*

It’s rather fascinating how the topic; fairy tales was brought up. Mermaids are probably one of the more popular legendary creatures, look at the book and film The Little Mermaid. I for one would be excited to meet one if they existed in real life. It’s clear in Monster Musume that this manga is very self-aware so it’s quite interesting that they delve into fairy tales- more specifically mermaids.

Mero spoke about how mermaids love the story the Little Mermaid. Miia then confessed that she too likes fairy tales and yearned to have her own prince… we see a flashback of Miia reading her fairy tale books, she looked mighty cute when she was little. All of this deep conversation developed a more one-sided rivalry between Miia and Mero. At the end of the chapter it was established that Mero’s ideal love is rather…unique. Turns out, the entire time, she wants to be a mistress rather than a wife. Haha! That was unexpected but in some ways it makes a lot of sense. XD

*

My favourite part of this volume is when Kimihito holds Miia in her arms, like a damsel in distress. He looks very good too. That’s probably the best image I’ve ever seen of him, he looked cool, strong and you could see his eyes. His eyes are never visible unless he’s part of a serious scene. It was a sweet moment too because Miia’s dream of being held came true, right after she dived in to the water to save him, even though he didn’t need to be saved. It was sweet and brave, considering the fact that she’s not good with cold temperatures, especially Mero’s pool.

*

Chapter 12 focused heavily on Ms. Smith and her new MON squad. You could say that it detracts from the main story but I personally think it’s a nice change of pace. So far we’ve been seeing Ms Smith’s useless side but here we are seeing that when confronted with a crisis, she is on the ball. She can be serious when the situation calls for it. I suppose we see more of her familiar side when she’s with Kimihito and co…

*

The baddies were fairly decent.

I usually prefer baddies or catalysts to be serious but due to the themes and style of this manga, they were perverted. XD You have the Orcs who ransacked a shop with silly desirable demands and a ‘TV crew’ who just wanted to get their hands on Papi’s egg so he can become rich. They were perverted and stupid but it would be inappropriate to expect anything else.

I’m sort of hoping that- if this manga gets serious- we’ll have a proper villain introduced who is not cheesy or perverted. He/she would be allowed to be funny but not cheesy. That’s just me though. XD

*

Up until now we just saw baddies who were narrow minded and purse snatchers but here the author is exploring a darker side of both humans and liminals. It looks like that may continue since the creepy director is on the run.

*

I like how Mero’s fetish side is coming to the surface. I can see her visions becoming animated, like she is daydreaming in her own imagination. Rather funny and cute. It’s also funny how Mero trusted Miia’s cooking and fainted, with a creepy grin on her face. You wouldn’t have thought that someone with a high class background would have such an improper fetish. XD

*

The extras and facts at the back are fun to read, I especially enjoyed Mero’s facts. Kimihito appeared to be very conscious about what food he buys since Papi is half bird (chicken) and Mero is a mermaid (fish). It turns out that it was all wasted worrying since Papi eats chicken and Mero likes fish…all perfectly fine with cannibalism. XD!

*

Chapter 14 was very engaging. It had good pacing with a very solid ending. It’s the kind of ending that makes you want to read Volume 4.

I knew the TV crew were dodgy straight away, so did Kimihito. They felt obliged to comply because of the uneasy tensions between humans and liminals.

Paper was certainly important in this chapter. I was as shocked as the characters in that scene when Papi announced that she was going to lay an egg…later revealed that it was unfertilised…Of course, this announcement led to hilarious consequences, poor Kimihito…

I do wonder how harpies and lamias reproduce. Birds and snakes do usually reproduce through eggs. I did see a documentary that certain snakes do mate. The female snakes’ stomach would turn pink, indicating that it’s going through a lovey-dovey season. 😉

It was a pity that the creepy director went on the run, but fortunately he got his come-uppance by a mysterious Arachne.

I feel quite excited yet nervous for Kimihito. It seems clear that she’s going to come after him…

Maybe she’ll join his ever expanding harem? But on the other hand she might become the latest villain.

From my initial impression I think that she’s cynical. I’m just basing this on her mannerisms and demeanour. Her design also suggests that she is. The art isn’t always about the style but the designs within the style. Her clothes are very bold, dark and suggestive.

3. THEME

  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[2]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[3]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • Seinen[4]
  • Slice of Life[5]

4. ART AND DESIGN

I feel that the art and story blend well together. It’s appropriate for this kind of story with plenty of cheeky situations.

All the characters have glowing presentation to their appearance. Miia is casual, Centorea is formal and Papi is…Papi. XD Mero’s gothic lolita design is pretty cool and gives off the aura of an aristocrat. Her pink hair and mermaid part of the body is very feminine and pleasing on the eye. Pink is definitely a good choice for her, I sort of pictured her fins and hair as aqua/turquoise based coloured, since she’s a mermaid. Pink is definitely the right choice, I feel. =)

I like also how Miia’s headband (representing Lamia’s eyes) varies depending on her hairstyle or what she wears on her head. It sort of reminds me of Sena Kashiwazaki from Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends. She has butterfly clips in her hair, but it changes depending how she styles her hair. Miia is very much the same in this regard.

The colourful pages were especially good. The background in one of them was designed in scales coloured red, obviously representing Miia.

It was a just a cameo but I really like that red haired mermaid that appeared in Mero’s vision. She’s like a carbon copy of Miia.^^

5. CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS

5.1. MIIA

Miia really is a gem of a character and is my favourite from this manga.

She might be a Lamia but she’s cute, sexy, caring and very hilarious. Someone so cute should not be able to show various facial expressions like she does. Before the competition ensued she was portrayed as someone who is passionate, loving, affectionate, shy, a touch naive and lovey-dovey.

Since the arrival of Papi and Centorea we started to see additional sides to her, funny sides. We’re starting to see vices in the form of jealousy, possessiveness and competitiveness. They tend not to show when she and Kimihito are alone together.

In some ways she has a bit of a vindictive and cunning streak. When she comes up with plans to stay as Kimihito’s “number one” it tends to back fire badly, especially when Kimihito had to carry Mero around.

My favourite moments do actually involve Miia, especially her comedic reactions to situations and they’re so easy to visualise. Every time she goes “waaaah?” I can just picture her shouting “naaniiii?” in Japanase. XD

It’s a shame how terrible she is at cooking. We do learn that her speciality is boiling eggs, mostly because eggs are her favourite food- as she is part snake.

5.2. MERO

On the surface Mero is pure and lady-like.

It is suggested that she could be of noble blood. If she is of noble blood then it makes sense why Ms Smith assigned her to Kimihito’s household. She knows that Kimihito treats his guests with utmost respect and affection. Someone of noble blood would probably have to receive the best treatment in the best possible way, and who more appropriate to be her host then Kimihito?

5.3. SUU

Suu is an absolute brilliant character. I was really excited when a character like Suu was introduced but I find that I like her more the more we learn about her. Her quirks in transforming, reading people’s minds, mimicking and general abilities are very unique.

In fact, it is her uniqueness that has provided many pinnacle moments in the story.

  • Her ‘attack’ on Mero led to Miia being saved by Kimihito and a heart-to-heart between Miia and Mero.
  • She was able to enter Kimihito’s room, when ill, without the worry that she will catch his ‘virus’. Of course that led to many comical situations.
  • She read Kimihito’s mind when he was ill. She ‘nursed’ him back to health.
  • She read the creepy director’s mind which confirmed that he was filming with evil intentions. It wouldn’t have unfolded had it not been for Suu.

You will note that in those situations Suu was nothing more than a background character that made a sudden appearance, i.e., a sudden impact which changed the dynamics of the story line.

It was only Chapter 13 that she played a pivotal role. Not only did she play an important part but we also got to see her personality develop.

It was very touching to see her speech and declaration of love for Kimihito. It seems as though every time we see her, there’s more to her personality. Her feelings started to grow more affectionate to, the more she starts to develop a mind of her own. She had her own personality to begin with; we’re just seeing her grow as an individual, even if she is just a Slime.

5.4. MON SQUAD

The MON (Monster Ops Neutralization) Squad are a very good addition to the series.

You have an overzealous captain, Zombina, who is the undead, or zombie. Her specialism is raiding. It’s appropriate for her to charge into dangerous situations since there’s no danger of her dying.

Then there’s Manako, who is a Cyclops. A very shy type of character who cries easily due to her oversized singular eye.

You then have Doppel who can transform into anyone that she desires. This can be very handy for when she goes under-cover. It especially helps when she pretends to be that pinup type character girl as it certainly fooled the orcs.

I especially like Tionshia. I describe her as a gentle giant. I think she’d be more suited to being on a catwalk rather than as part of the MON squad.

5.5. MS SMITH

It’s very easy to take Ms Smith at face value but I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to her than meets the eye. We’ve seen her in bad light plenty of times but she showed that she can be reliable in dangerous situations.

I question her views towards Kimihito. It’s not clear if she harbours a deep affection for him but it’s clear that she sees him in a positive light. Since the young lad became an impromptu volunteer she became very familiar with him and his house. I don’t think this can be swept under the carpet.

Sure, we could say that she’s taking liberties and uses him as an excuse to get away from work and hang out for coffee and dinner. But, she could use any other hosts as an excuse to get away, so why is it Kimihito? She teases him sometimes through flirting. She assigned a noble like Mero to his household. And she turns a blind eye to any wrong doing that involves Kimihito, including the illegal species like Suu. Is she slacking off, or, is she giving him special treatment?

Whatever should happen I think it is worth keeping an eye on Ms Smith’s relationship with him to see if something happens.

6. BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL / SELF-AWARE

We established that one of the many charms of this manga are the puns and its self-awareness. Miia’s “Fire for fire, slime for slime” was one of those glorious puns. And “Get your filthy fins off my darling2.” Haha

Then you have moments where I feel like the manga breaks the fourth wall. In two of the cases it was Kimihito and Miia who broke the fourth wall.[6]

One where Kimihitio said “look, I don’t care how much the fetishists get off on this…!! I still don’t wanna drown!” when Suu is suffocating him, and the one with Miia…

“Anyone who gets that excited over my skin… is the worst kind of pervert!”

I couldn’t stop laughing when I first read that. I initially interpreted that as Miia insulting herself. However, when I read it again, I actually think it’s a joke between the author and the reader. I think it’s implying that we, the reader, have a ‘fetish’ over Miia’s skin which is why we are reading it.

Regardless, I think it’s hilarious. XD

7. CONCLUSION

The pace of the story was very good throughout.

One story focused on Ms Smith and her crew to give us a glimpse as to what she’s like at work. It was good. Certain characters like Suu were important in order to conclude parts of the stories. If Suu and her uniqueness didn’t exist then none of the stories could have unfolded and have a decent ending, even if they appear to be a background character. The one-sided rivalry between Miia and Mero had an unexpected and funny ending and the ending finished in a dramatic way which whets my appetite to read the next volume.

Most importantly though, I laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it and I am most looking forward to Volume 4. If something makes me laugh and smile then it becomes very precious to me.

I give Monster Musume Volume 3 two thumbs-up.(My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

8. OFF-TOPC RAMBLE: 12 BEAST

12 Beast Volume 1

This week I have learned that Seven Seas are going to release the manga, 12 Beast, on 14th April 2015.[7] [8]

12 Beast is another manga by Okayado and by what I’ve heard and seen, it’s somewhat similar to Monster Musume. I would say it looks more of an adventure fantasy rather than a slice of life like MonMusu. I’m very excited about this announcement and it’s something that I’m looking forward to in 2015, that and Avengers: Age of Ultron. 😉 I like Okayado’s work and style of writing and I get the impression that I’m definitely going to like 12 Beast. =D

For those who are interested, it is now available on Amazon.com.[9]

9. OFF-TOPIC RAMBLE: HIGH SCHOOL DXD

High School DxD

I’m also pleased to hear about the news of High School DxD. The TV Anime is going to have a third series and OVA within the next year. Yen Press publishers have also licensed the spin-off of High School DxD starring Asia and Koneko. It’s called High School DXD: Asia and Koneko’s Secret Contract!?[10] It’s released sometime in December so this is going to go on my Christmas list! =D

I’m twiddling my thumbs in anticipating for the novel to be licensed.^^/

I wonder what the DxD stands for in the title. Does anyone know? Judging by the theme and what I’ve read it’s probably something like “Devil x Dragons” or “Dragon x Dragons”… I’m hoping for the latter, it sounds cool. =D

THANKS FOR READING

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I learnt I can’t truly share my thoughts unless I spoil it a little…I know I’m not good at keeping secrets but the only way I can share my thoughts is if I don’t hold myself back. So, I do apologise if you didn’t want to be spoilt but it’s important to me that I annotate my feelings without restraint. =)

From now on a “WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY” will be plastered at the top of each review so that you’re aware of the spoilers ahead. =)

Thank you very much for reading.

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

[1] Acronym for Monster Musume

[2] Risqué and sexy moment or lecherous characters

[3] All young females gunning after one man and/or lady

[4] Target audience for young man

[5] Based on everyday mundane life

[6] On a stage of a room there’s usually three walls. The fourth wall is presumed to be there, but it’s invisible. The audience is watching the TV/play on that fourth wall. The fourth wall is “broken” when the actor/performer engages with the audience through the fourth wall. British sitcoms like Miranda and Mrs Brown’s Boys break the fourth wall through their shows.

[7] http://sevenseasentertainment.tumblr.com/post/93331953770/license-2-from-one-of-our-new-york-times

[8] https://twitter.com/gomanga/status/499262048396910592

[9] http://www.amazon.com/dp/1626921776/

[10] http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-School-DXD-Konekos-Contract/dp/0316334855/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1407950639&sr=8-7&keywords=High+School+DxD