Sesho's Anime And Manga Reviews
My main focus is reviewing manga and anime, but I also review Japanese literature, movies, and videogames. Basically, if it has anything to do with Japan, I'll talk about it, along with a dash of Korea and China.

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  • Well, I've developed a bit of a cold so for the moment my voice sounds like that of Darth Vader crossed with a prepubescent gopher so I probably won't make any podcasts for the next couple of days....but I will post some written reviews.

    I should be posting a review for the 1st volume of the anime FLAG tomorrow, but in the meantime, I would advise not wasting your time watching it. It is pretty awful. More on that later.

    Just to mention two websites, or actually two retailers that I've been using ever since my only anime/manga source in Houston, Anime Avalon (See podcast Episode 10--The Death of Anime Avalon) went out of business about 2 months ago:

     www.rentanime.com

    I've been renting anime from them the past two months are so. They're kinda set up like other mail order rental places like netflix, but they specialize in anime. You pay like 20$ to have 3 dvds out at a time, and after a period of around 90 days you can upgrade to 5 dvds for 30$. It's pretty cool and saves a ton of money. I used to buy anime dvds all the time, but a lot of the time I wouldn't like them and it would be money down the drain. Now I can rent, then buy the titles I really like.

    Another problem I had after Anime Avalon closed was trying to buy manga from one retailer. I still haven't found one store where I can buy ALL my manga but

    www.justmanga.com

    is the closest to fulfilling that role in my life. They discount almost all their manga but the only drawback is that your order has to total $39.99 for you to get free shipping. Actually sometimes, the discounts pay for the shipping even if you order less than that. I was glad to see that Seven Seas had finally released the second volumes of Venus Versus Virus, The Last Uniform, and Tetragrammaton Labyrinth today and ordered them very quickly. I find that the podcasts I do about Yuri titles are the most popular for some reason. The biggest ratings for my podcasts have been for The Last Uniform Volume 1 and Simoun Volume 1....and Hayate the Combat Butler Volume 4 (That's not Yuri, but I'm glad so many people like Hayate...brilliant lovable comedy, like Hare + Guu) The cool thing I like about Justmanga is that they always put a written message like "Thanks for the order" on the receipt in the box and they put a piece of Japanese candy in there too. It just seems a bit more personal than dealing with Amazon or another online retailer.

    Hey Seven Seas! Where the Hell are the rest of the Boogiepop novels??!! Is Amazing Doofus Luna really more important?? And what happened to the rest of the Light Novels you were bringing out?

    Speaking of Anime Avalon, I had kinda put off going by the place after it was closed, but sometimes felt I should go lay a wreath at the doorway or something. I drove past it a couple of weeks back after visiting a nearby bookstore and the windows are tinted so you couldn't even see inside it. It's still kinda sad.

    Maybe the fact that it was freezing cold here in Houston (well, cold for Texans anyway, it was like 39 degrees) and my workplace didn't even turn the heat on, didn't really help my health the past two days.  It was actually colder inside the building that it was outside. Or was it perhaps due to the fact that I was outside of Best Buy on Friday around 4:30am with a light misty rain that was a bigger factor? No, it HAS to be my cold job! Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm CDT

    Strawberry 100% Volume 2 by Mizuki Kawashita

    Manga Review for Strawberry 100% Volume 2 by Mizuki Kawashita. Translated and adapted by Yuko Sawada. Originally published by Shueisha in 2002. Published in US by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump Advanced line. Rated T+ for older teen with a "Mature Content" label on the cover, $7.99.

    You would think that Junpei would be quite satisfied with his life these days because his girlfriend, Tsukasa, is the prettiest girl at school and also the owner of the mythical strawberry panties he glimpsed back in Volume 1....or is she?  Even though he really likes Tsukasa and has slightly pervy urges towards her, Junpei is taken aback when she invites him to her house to cook dinner for him and study. Things get even more interesting when he finds out her parents are not going to be home anytime soon! But even in this situation, the poor boy finds himself thinking about Aya Tojo. One of his friends, the studly Okusa, told him that Aya had a thing for Junpei, but he thinks its just because he wants him to break up with Tsukasa so he can hook up with her. While Junpei doesn't know the truth, he does find himself falling for Aya. While all this is going on, he still has to find time to study for high school entrance exams so he can realize his dream of becoming a film director.

    While the second volume of Strawberry 100% was enjoyable on its own terms,  it's starting to slant dangerously close to becoming a harem comedy, especially with the entrance of a new female character in the closing pages of this book. I just don't see how the storyline can sustain itself UNLESS it keeps on adding characters to distract from what is otherwise a very simplistic setup. I really enjoyed the first volume because, for once in this type of book, the main character had no problem getting the pretty girl. Now Junpei realizes that the girl of his dreams is the wrong girl of his dreams. This is what happens when you fall in love based on seeing someone's panties. You have to see the soul and the face to truly judge a person's worth. An aspect of this manga that seems a bit goofy is the fact that Aya can't be recognized by Junpei when she isn't wearing her glasses, a la Clark Kent/Superman. So when he catches a glimpse of Aya without her glasses, he recognizes her as the girl with the strawberry panties, but does not recognize that she and Aya are the same person. It was a bit of a surprise that glasses wearing cute girls are repeatedly categorized as unattractive and plain in Strawberry 100%. I though bespectacled cuties were a common weakness of otaku the whole world over?  I still like the characters and the art is quite good so I hope my fears about it becoming some type of Love Hina castoff are wrong.

    My Grade: B

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 7:17pm CDT

    Cromartie High School Volume 12 by Eiji Nonaka

    Manga Review for Cromartie High School Volume 12 by Eiji Nonaka. Translated by Javier Lopez. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha in 2005. Published in the US by ADV Manga, $10.95, Rated 13+.

    When you read Cromartie High School, you can expect some universe shattering questions to pop up periodically on the nature of life and happiness. In Volume 12, one of the questions is the origin of the "Mawashi", the only garment of clothing that sumo wrestlers are allowed to wear in competition. The Gene Simmons lookalike of the Four Great Ones has his own ideas about it when one of his members joins the Cromartie Sumo Club along with Masked Takenouchi and Kamiyama. But are the guys confident enough to show up everyday practically naked except for the Mawashi that covers their privates? As they learn the ins and outs of sumo training, the new members are shocked to learn that they have been entered into a competition against the sumo club of their hated rivals Bass High School! Meanwhile, Maeda learns about the fun of cellphone emailing as Hayashida begins mailing him weird and cryptic pictures of what appear to be random and meaningless objects.

    With my experience after reading 12 volumes of Cromartie High School, I have realized that it is at its funniest the more episodic it is. When Nonaka dwells on one particular schtick most of the volume, much like the whole adventure in the Planet of the Apes world a volume back, the comedy is dragged down. What makes the good volumes good is Nonaka's ability to write short chapters that focus on one joke which is left behind at the end of that chapter. When I first started reading this series, I was laughing my butt off. Now I'm lucky if I get TWO laughs from the whole volume. While it can still be amusing at times, this series is way past its prime. This could be reversed if Nonaka would focus on short and easily forgettable chapters instead of trying to make overarching story arcs. The characters too have suffered as Cromartie has dragged on. At first, they each had very distinct personalities, but over time, they have ended up all talking and thinking the same, and instead of being characters, have simply become gimmicks that Nonaka uses to convey intellectual jokes that amuse mostly just him. There's always hope with each volume that Cromartie can return to its roots but I'm losing interest in this manga.

    My Grade: C+

    Direct download: cromartie_12.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 11:12am CDT

    Episode 57: Death Note Volume 1

    Podcast Episode 57: Death Note Volume 1 Anime DVD review. Directed by Tetsuro Araki. Series Composition by Toshiki Inoue. Published by Viz for $24.98, Episodes 1-4, 100 minutes.

    Death Note is the story of two beings who are bored with their lives and society. Ryuk, a shinigami, or death spirit, is tired of the lazy and meaningless existences of his fellows in the Shinigami dimension, and decides to spice his life up by dropping his Death Note in the human world. The Death Note has the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in it. A brillant but melancholic high school student named Light Yagami picks it up and begins to test its powers. His first killings are tentative and ill conceived, but he begins to fashion himself a god that will rid society of evil with himself set up as judge, jury, and executioner. Perhaps the only person capable of stopping him is the world's greatest detective, who goes by the alias L. Both L and Light see themselves as defenders of justice and are willing to take extreme measures to make sure it is served to the other.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_57--Death_Note_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:28pm CDT

    Welcome to the NHK Volume 4 by Tatsuhiko Takimoto and Kendi Oiwa

    Manga Review for Welcome to the NHK Volume 4. Story by Tatsuhiko Takimoto. Art by Kendi Oiwa. Translated by Christine Schilling. Adapted by Zachary Rau. Originally published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten in 2005. Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Mature 18+.

    Unlike most otaku, Satou and Yamazaki both find themselves having girl trouble in Volume 4 of Welcome to the NHK. They're both also having parent problems as well. Yamazaki is beginning to make inroads with a classmate named Nanako that he likes but he is being ordered home to take care of the family business. Satou has wants Misaki out of his life and gets another shock when he finds out his old friend from high school, Kashiwa, is getting married, which drags up some feelings that he didn't even know he had for her. Things get even more complicated when Yamazaki invites Nanako to his apartment, the mecca of otakudom. Meanwhile, Satou and Kashiwa are on the cusp of having an affair, which enflames the jealousy of Misaki. Suffice it to say, a lot of hidden feelings come out in this fourth volume.

    While NHK has always had its share of black comedy tinged with despair, you always felt that the writer was never taking it very seriously, almost as if he were laughing with a trace of a tear on his face. But with this volume we get some very serious relationships right out of slice of life shojo, which just adds another layer to an already virtuoso work. Mostly gone are the uncomfortable underage girl fixations and sexual fantasies of earlier books (that's not to say this one is totally clean), but the two guys are finding it hard to work on their hentai game so a lot of that element is missing. Misaki has gone from guiding light and angel to stalking psycho girl and it seems totally out of the blue, unless that is due to the fact that she didn't know she liked Satou until Kashiwa entered the picture. With its brillant comedy bits of gallows giggling, NHK is one of the best titles out there.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: welcome4.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 5:42pm CDT

    Episode 56: Dragon Eye Volume 2 by Kairi Fujiyama

    Podcast Episode 56: Dragon Eye Volume 2 by Kairi Fujiyama Manga Review. Translated and adapted by Mari Morimoto. Originally published by Kodansha in 2006. Released in US by Del Rey, $10.95, Rated 13+.

    After an introduction and overview of the series, it's on to a review of Volume 2 of this promising and quickly improving series. After dealing with a giant chicken Dracule, Issa's command of Squad Zero is in even more danger as his bosses begin to question whether the negatives of him being in charge are outweighing the positives. An observer is sent on Squad Zero's next mission to assess his performance. According to what he reports, Issa could be demoted and/or the squad could be dissolved. Some other Vius from other squads are sent in to back up Zero as they hunt for seveal large Dracule that have been spotted on the outskirts of the city.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: episode_56--Dragon_eye_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:37am CDT

    Episode 55: Naruto Volume 1 by Masashi Kishimoto

    Podcast Episode 55: Naruto Volume 1 by Masashi Kishimoto. Translated by Katy Bridges and adapted by Jo Duffy. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha in 1999. Published by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump line, $7.95, Rated T for Teen.

    Naruto Uzumaki holds a terrible secret even he does not know about. Bound up in his navel is a terrible fox demon that almost destroyed the Hidden Leaf Village 12 years ago. All of the adults are sworn to secrecy but they cannot help hating and despising Naruto and their children have picked up on this. Naruto cannot catch a break. He has already failed the ninja final exam three times. The only way he can earn respect is to become the most powerful ninja, but how is he going to do that when he cannot even pass the test to begin his long journey?

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_55--Naruto_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm CDT

    The Drifting Classroom Volume 7 by Kazuo Umezu  Volume 7 by Kazuo Umezu. Translated by Yuji Oniki. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan in 1974. Published by Viz under their Signature line for $9.99. Rated Mature.

    The kids of the school prayed for rain and they have technically gotten what they wished for. But instead of a gentle rainfall to soothe their parched throats, the water is sent in the form of a Biblical wave of water moving rapidly across the desert right towards the school. Some of Sho's party out in the wasteland get killed as the water turns parts of the desert into quicksand. Sakiko and some of the other students try to form a human wall against the tsunami like wave to protect their newly planted vegetable garden. Even if they stop the water somehow, the kids will have to contend with the warping nature of the world that is mutating and disfiguring the plantlife into weird-looking mushrooms which only the craziest or most desperate of the kids are willing to eat. And the power dynamics of the school soon shift dramatically when Sekiya, the only adult left on campus, and a psycho to boot, regains his faculties. Previously, he had been reduced to the mental capacity of an infant after suffering the shock of dealing with a huge scorpion-like monster. Now that he's got his memories back, he's ready to seize power.

    Ok, here we are on Volume 7 of this series, and there's hardly been any explanation as to what happened to this school and why they are being tortured so. I accept that they are in the future sometime, where at least the surrounding vicinity has been reduced to a desolate wasteland. I also understand that somehow in this world, the student's fears and wants are materialized in sometimes monstrous forms, but the question is WHY and HOW? While the series is creepy and scary, I'm beginning to tire of the endless obstacle course Sho and the others are being put through. Does it have any meaning or end? While Battle Royale was a sadistic exercise in cruelty, there was at least a goal in its plot, a reason to excuse all the blood, gore, and exploitation. We don't have any of that for Drifting Classroom. We just have very bad things happening to normal everyday children for no definable reason like Umezu would just sit at his drawing board and think "What can I do to them THIS week?" Still interesting but is beginning to drag

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: drifting_classroom_7.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 1:37pm CDT

    Episode 54: 009-1 Volume 3

    Cyborg 009-1 Volume 3 Anime DVD Podcast review. ADV Films, Episodes 9-12 plus Bonus Episode, 125 minutes, $29.98. Director: Naoyuki Konno. Series Composition by Shinsuke Onishi.

    Based on Shotaro Ishinomori's 1960's manga, Mylene Hoffman is a trained to kill without blinking cyborg spy for the Western Bloc, but lately, she's found that doing her job isn't good enough anymore. She has beauty, brawn, and a to die for body, but she doesn't have a family. She doesn't have a normal life. She will probably never have children or settle down. Even though she realizes she can never walk away from her job, this doesn't keep her from longing for things she cannot have. This is brought home in the first two episodes of this dvd when she hitches a ride with a nice family and hooks up with a suspected double agent. Then she has to save the world from nuclear annihilation at the hands of child mutants.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_54--009-1_Volume_3.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45pm CDT

    Episode 53: Alice On Deadlines Volume 1 by Shiro Ihara

    Podcast Episode 53: Alice On Deadlines Volume 1 by Shiro Ihara. Translated by Christine Schilling. Originally published in Japan by Square Enix in 2005. Published in US by Yen Press, $10.99, Rated Older Teen.

    Pervert Shinigami Lapan is sent to Earth to retrieve a Shibito, a human who has died but has yet to let go of their earthly existence. Shibitos are also frequently guilty of eating human flesh, which could account for a string of serial murders of young girls. Lapan is more intent on porno magazines than doing his job and is looking forward to taking control of a beautiful girl's corpse on Earth to complete his mission. His boss has other plans to keep his mind out of the gutter. He plans on putting Lapan's spirit into a skeleton. Things don't work out as planned when Lapan is placed in a living girl named Alice and Alice's soul is in turn placed in the skeleton!

    My Grade: F

    Direct download: Episode_53--Alice_on_Deadlines_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02pm CDT

    Episode 52: Simoun Volume 1

    Simoun Volume 1 Anime DVD podcast review. Will be released by Anime Works on 11/13/07. $19.95, Episodes 1-6, 150 minutes. No English dub. Japanese with English subtitles.

    In the world of Simoun, all children are born female and remain so until they are seventeen years old. Then they can decide to stay a girl or become a man. Those that have not made that choice and are good pilots are eligible to become Sibyllae, pairs of priestesses that fly Simoun, extremely advanced fightercraft to protect their home, called Simulacrum, from hostile states intent on seizing their technology. After a vicious battle, the Simoun ranks are depleted and new recruits arrive on the scene, including the cocky Aer, who is spoiling for a fight, and has the ambition to pair up with Neveril, the leader of Chor Tempest, the elite Simoun squadron. Yuri romance ensues.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Simoun_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm CDT

    Shinshoku Kiss Volume 1 by Kazuko Higashiyama

    Shinshoku Kiss Volume 1 Manga Review. Written and drawn by Kazuko Higashiyama, co-creator of Tactics. Translated by Monica Seya Chin. Adapted by Jay Antani. Originally published in Japan by Gentosha Comics in 2004. Published by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.

    Kotoko Kashiwagi has dolls on the brain, and I'm not talking about android girls, I'm talking about dress-up dolls, which have their very own otaku subculture in Japan which counts females and males among their fandom. Kotoko would like nothing more than to spend the rest of her life designing and making them. She's constantly snapping photos of beautiful men and women to use as models for her dolls and she even enters a doll-making contest. Even though she loses, her work catches the eye of Fool, the hottest doll designer out there, who also works in film and TV. On one of her picture hunts, Kotoko spots a suitable bishonen sitting on a bench who has some curious bandages wrapped around parts of his body. When he touches her, some sort of electrical spark occurs and he ends up kidnapping her and taking her back to his apartment, which he shares with another guy named Yuta, who is also a dollmaker. When he asks Kotoko to help him with his work, she flatout refuses, thinking both these guys are creeps, perverts...or worse.  As she makes a move for the door, Yuta calmly tells her she can go but if she doesn't agree to help him, she is going to die!  Kotoko doesn't even have a clue that Yuta is actually Fool and that he wants her to use a new supernatural ability to help him make dolls.

    Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no interest in dolls or doll-making. But I had no interest in the game of Go but I love reading the manga Hikaru No Go and would even like to take up playing it someday. After reading volume 1 of Shinshoku Kiss, I can hazard the guess that you'll never catch me dressing up dolls. This manga reminds me a bit of Paradise Kiss, even to the pushy bishonen who use intimidation, both physical and psychological, to get what they want out of the main heroine. But Yuta (Fool) goes to even more disturbing extremes. He repeatedly threatens to kill Kotoko several times in this first volume. And then you have the trademark bad boy seduction scene with Yuta pushing her against the wall and pinning her arms above her head, putting his lips oh so close to hers. It takes a little of the romance out of things when what looks like the male lead early on makes the female lead cough blood. Kazuko seems at cross purposes most of the book as she changes swiftly and jerkily from horror to romance to comedy. Somehow, she thinks, my female readers won't realize how bad this series is if I throw them a couple of mysterious bishonen. I'm not a devout feminist or anything, actually I'm a man, but I don't appreciate male characters threatening to kill women and chalking it up to bad-boy romance. Obviously, any girl that would fall for a would-be murderer would be psychotic themselves. Hey, but even OJ has a girlfriend, so I can't go too far with this line of thought.

    My Grade: C-  (the only thing that kept it from being a D is that I liked Kotoko, even though she was a bit shallow and only judged people by their appearance)

    Direct download: Shinshoku.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 12:25pm CDT

    Episode 51: Red Garden Volume 2

    Episode 51: Red Garden Volume 2. Director: Kou Matsuo. Series Composition: Tomohiro Yamashita. $29.98, ADV Films, Episodes 5-8, 100 minutes. Release Date: 11/20/07.

    Volume 1 picks up right where Volume 2 left off as Rachel has a breakdown after beating the brains out of a dog man with a baseball bat. She begins to question, along with the other girls, exactly what they are doing with their second lives. What are these beast men? Why are Rachel, Kate, Rose, and Claire having to kill to survive? Who is Lula and who is she working for? What really happened to Lise? There are no easy answers, and now the four girls are not only having to deal with risking their lives on an almost nightly basis, but there nighttime activities are also beginning to derail what little normalcy they have in their daytime lives.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_51--Red_Garden_Volume_2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

    Episode 50: Venus Versus Virus Volume 1

    Venus Versus Virus Volume 1: Outbreak Anime DVD podcast Review Episode 50. Directed by Shinichiro Kimura (also directed Burn-Up Excess, Maburaho, Sugar, and Popotan). Series Composition by Yasutomo Yamada. ADV Films, $29.98, Episodes 1-4, 100 minutes. Release date: 11/13/2007.

    Viruses are demons that are attracted to the few humans who have the ability to see them. They take shapes from the lowliest dark blobs to humanoid/animal crossovers that have superhuman abilities. Those they attack in turn become more Viruses. It's up to the Venus Vanguard to exterminate the Viruses and protect humanity from a threat most of them are ignorant of. Lucia, the cool and beautiful goth-loli gun toting killer, and Sumire, her bumbling partner, are on the front-lines of this battle. Lucia is equipped with anti-Virus bullets and Sumire has the ability to become a living anti-virus, which gives her so much power that she can literally rip Viruses into pieces using her bare hands. The problem is that when she enters this Berserker mode, she cannot differentiate between friend and foe. A stylish action anime that also relies on comedy to get the character's personalities across.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_50--Venus_Versus_Virus_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52am CDT

    Episode 49: Sorcerer Hunters Volume 1

    Podcast Episode 49 Manga Review: Sorcerer Hunters Volume 1. Story by Satoru Akahori. Art by Ray Omishi. Translated by Anita Sengupta. Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen 16+. Originally published in Japan by Media Works in 1993.

    The world of Spoolner is ruled by a small minority of sorcerors who lord it over the rest of the non-magic using population called Parsoners. A goddess named Big Mama has enlisted three siblings to kill the most evil, the most dastardly, of the Sorcerers. There's Marron, the calmest of the three, who uses his Eastern magic in battle. Carrot, his older brother, cannot use spells, but he can absorb them, activating the Zoanthropic magic in his genes to transform himself into powerful giant beasts. Their sister, Tira's, main function is as a healer, but she also becomes a crazy dominatrix in order to tame Carrot's beast genes. Collectively, the three are known as Sorcerer Hunters. A great mixture of comedy, stupendous art, and pathos.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_49--Sorcerer_Hunters_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15pm CDT

    I, Otaku: Struggle In Akihabara Volume 1 by Jiro Suzuki

    Manga Review for I, Otaku: Struggle in Akihabara Volume 1 by Jiro Suzuki. Translated by Nan Rymer and adapted by Ed Chavez. Published by Seven Seas for $9.99. Originally published in Japan 2003 by Square Enix. Rated Teen.

    When you hear about someone "coming out of the closet", if you're like me, you're automatically thinking about Tom Cruise. But maybe that's just me. 18-year-old high schooler Enatsu Sota is a closet Otaku and he's always afraid of someone at school finding out about his secret obsession with the dog eared little girl anime character Papico. You see, Sota is the opposite of the stereotyped otaku we all know and love. He's not fat and smelly or bespectacled. Sota is popular at school, athletic, and he even has a girlfriend named Eri! And no, even she doesn't know his secret. His closely guarded secret life begins to unravel when he visits a store in Akihabara named Otakudo Headquarters, whose slogan is "A store where only TRUE otaku are allowed to shop." Unfortunately for Sota, its owner, Mano Takuro, has appointed himself president of imaginary organization called the Closet Otaku Extermination Committee and right off the bat he has a problem with Sota because after purchasing some merchandise, Sota tries to put the shop bag into a normal brown bag so noone will know where he was shopping. Mano proceeds to close all the safety doors in the shop and plans to hold Sota prisoner until he admits that he is an otaku. When Sota finally does, he is tricked into yelling it very loudly.....right in front of his girlfriend Eri!

    I, Otaku was an enjoyable read but after reading and watching the anime and manga versions of Comic Party and Genshiken and reading the manga series Maniac Road and its sequel Pretty Maniacs, my enjoyment of a series about otaku tends to be a bit muted. For my money Genshiken and Maniac Road did better with the comedy and the educational side of introducing new manga readers to the world of anime and manga fandom in Japan. While I, Otaku did a pretty good job with its comedy bits, I didn't feel drawn into the world of Akihabara with a sense of wonder like I did with some of the other series. The characters didn't have much emotional connect either. I do think that Suzuki's art was very pretty and never became cluttered even during the zaniest moments. This book is better suited to readers that are new to the otaku concept and will not be as enjoyable to those who have read similar works before. Includes two color pages.

    My Grade: B

    Check out Ed Chavez's EXCELLENT manga website:

    www.mangacast.net 

    Also, you can pick up all 3 volumes of Maniac Road and Pretty Maniacs for $2.00 each at:

    www.drmasterbooks.com

    Just click on the manga outlet key on the main page. The two dollar sale also includes volumes of Now, Tomie, Junk Force, Dark Edge,Crayon Shinchan, High School Girls, and volumes of Iron Wok Jan at half off. This is just a smattering of the titles being offered.

    Direct download: iotaku.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 8:53am CDT