Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF NAGATO YUKI-CHAN

A decade ago, the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise was the biggest thing around.  Not surprisingly, its popularity led to a number of spinoffs getting licensed with today's selection being the most recent.  Does it manage to capture some of the original's off-beat charm or is it just a pale copy?

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF NAGATO YUKI-CHAN (Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoshitsu), by Puyo, based on the light novel series by Nagaru Tanigawa and character designs by Noizi Ito.  First published in 2009 and first published in North America in 2012.



PLOT:

Yuki Nagato is a painfully shy, insecure high school who spends her days getting boss around by her friend Asakura, hanging out in the literature club room, and pining from afar for her classmate Kyon.  She gets her chance to finally confess her feelings when they decide to throw a Christmas party.  Will Yuki summon up her courage in time or just die of embarassment yet again?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: GUNDAM WING: EPISODE ZERO

Normally I would be saving this for a future Gundam-themed month, but I'm currently just shy of the midway point of Gundam Wing thanks to a groupwatch with some of the Wave Motion Cannon boys and I'm ready for a good rant so this prequel will have to do.

GUNDAM WING: EPISODE ZERO (Shin Kido Senki Gundam W EPISODE ZERO), written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa & art by Akira Kanbe, based on the Mobile Suit Gundam series created by Yoshiyuki Tomino & Hajime Yatate.  First published in 1997 and first published in North America in 2002.




PLOT:

Before AC 195 and the events of Operation Meteor, there are still stories to tell.  There are the stories of five young boys each suffering through their own personal tragedies, as well as that of a lost princess.  Their pasts not only shaped their appearances and minds, but led to chance encounters with other notable figures from their future and eventually to the Gundams they would someday pilot.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: GENSHIKEN SECOND SEASON

Well well well...look who flaked out last month?

Yeah, thanks to a lot of real-world projects and general household stuff, I was not able to finish up last month's theme month.  That just means I have to double down and make sure I get this month's content going.  With the return of another summer comes another month of manga sequels, prequels, & spin-offs.  To kick things off and to make up for lack of content last month, let's start with the return to everyone's favorite otaku college club.

GENSHIKEN SECOND SEASON (Genshiken Nidaime), by Shimoku Kio.  First published in 2011 and first published in North America in 2012.



PLOT:

While the original club members have mostly graduated, Genshiken lives on (even if the members are largely female and their focus is largely on fujoshi matters).  The club is thrown for a loop when a lovely young lady named Hato walks through their door, only to Hato to be revealed as a boy in drag.  While some members have a harder time than others grasping Hato's situation, they all soon bond over their mutual love of manga and man-love.  Meanwhile, former Genshiken president Madarame is having a hard time coping with transiting to the working world.  He finds himself drawn back into club affairs when his place turns out to be the most convenient place for Hato to change, but will it be enough for him to get over the one who got away?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review: POPO CAN

With E3 having come and gone, it feels appropriate to look at a manga about games.  Alas, like a bad E3 trailer this one promises one thing and offers something else (and something worse) entirely.

POPO CAN, by Masakazu Iwasaki.  First published in 2003 and first published in North America in 2003.



PLOT:

Yasuharu Koizumi was only looking for a weird new video game to play.  What he got was the game's heroine, Popomi, popping out of his TV on a vague quest.  In the mean time, she's content to hang around Yasuharu's house, eat his food, get fawned over by his grandfather, mess with Yasuharu's childhood friend Miko, and generally sow chaos wherever she goes.  That's not even counting the robot housekeeper and the ineffectual villainess that follows after Popomi!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: FUJOSHI RUMI

With con season in full swing, it's time to once again take a look at manga that are all about fandom, otaku-dom, and all things nerdy.  Of course, these days the focus is less on the traditional male otaku and more on their pervy sisters in slashiness, the fujoshi.

FUJOSHI RUMI (Mousou shoujo otaku kei), by Natsumi Konjoh.  First published in 2006 and first published in North America in 2008.



PLOT:

Rumi was simply content to spend her days squeeing over her favorite shows, her favorite man-on-man ships, and especially her own vivid fantasies about class hunk Chiba and his best friend Takahito hooking up.  Then Takahito accepted an invitation to model for her in art club and instead found himself falling head over heels for Rumi.  He might not understand what she's talking about half the time, but he's determined to make his feelings for her known even if he must compete with both his best friend and Rumi's newest fujoshi friend for her time and attention.