Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: WITCHCRAFT WORKS

Now that it's October, it's time to take a look at some spooky manga.  What could truly be more spooky than the topic of today's manga: RELATIONSHIPS!

Oh, and witches I guess.

WITCHCRAFT WORKS (Witchikurafuto Wakusu), by Ryu Mizunagi.  First published in 2010 and first published in North America in 2014.



PLOT:

Honoka Takamiya is your standard issue ordinary high school boy, albeit one who always seems to end up at the fringes of the crowds that seem to constantly surround the strapping, silent class idol Ayaka Kagari.  The two begin to connect when a strange new girl attacks them both, forcing Ayaka to reveal herself as a fire-wielding witch.  Ayaka declares Honoka to be her 'princess,' possessing great power that rebellious witches will do anything to possess.  Ayaka is determined to protect him no matter what, teaching him the ways of magic and the world of witches.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Review: GREAT TEACHER ONIZUKA

Let's wrap things up with a classic that's not about students, but a teacher - possibly the greatest teacher in manga history.

GREAT TEACHER ONIZUKA (Gureto Ticha Onizuka), by Tohru Fujisawa.  First published in 1997 and first published in North America in 2002.



PLOT:

Eikichi Onizuka is tired of being just another aimless punk.  He's determined to make something of himself, and he's convinced that he needs to be a teacher.  Not just any teacher, though - he wants to be the greatest high school teacher ever, the sort who whips kids into shape and maybe scores a bit of action on the side!  He manages to barely graduate his certification program, but his first assignment may be his greatest challenge.  He'll have to use all his cunning and street smarts to survive not only a class full of delinquents determined to break him down as well as administrators skeptical of his ability to succeed at life, much less teaching.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review: DRAGONAR ACADEMY

I'm glad that we are well past the 'magic school' trend in manga and anime, the ones about hapless nobodies going to Not-Hogwarts, discovering secret powers and gaining a harem in the process.  Today's selection was just one of many of that time, and it's as good as a representative as any of the general quality of these stories.

DRAGONAR ACADEMY, based on the light novel by Shiki Mizuchi with art by Ran.  First published in 2011 and first published in North America in 2014.



PLOT:

At Ansarivian Dragonar Academy, magically gifted young people are taught how to summon and tame powerful dragons.  Ash Blake is the only exception, a first-year student who is seen as a troublemaker because his own dragon has yet to appear.  On the verge of death, his dragon finally emerges...in the form of a very naked young girl with the power and horns of a dragon,  The dragon-girl, soon dubbed "Eco," is stubborn and autocratic, but their fledgling relationship is put to the test when Eco is kidnapped by nefarious forces determined to discover the secret of her unique form.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL

With it being September, it's time to take this site back to school with a month of reviews about school-related manga, starting with a very silly and satirical one.

CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL (Sakigake!! Kuromati Koko), by Eiji Nonoka.  First published in 2000 and first published in North America in 2005.



PLOT:

Thanks to a promise to a friend that fell through, Takashi Kamiyama finds himself the newest student at Cromartie High School, a place notorious for having the toughest student body around.  What he finds there are yankiis doing things like arguing over the importance of nicknames, a robot student that no one acknowledges is a robot, a rich boy caught up in his own ridiculous lies, a gorilla with a wristwatch and cell phone, and the mysterious man known only as Freddie.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Review: BLAME!

It's a little late - I'm going to blame this on a holiday meant for rest from labor, but I want to save this last spot for an incredible old-school work like this.

BLAME! (Buramu!), by Tsutomu Nihei.  First published in 1998 and first published in 2005.




PLOT:

Killy is a lone man wandering endless levels of destruction, the remnants of some unknown superstructure.  There are rumors of survivors in the levels above, but from where Killy stands all he can see are mutants, killer robots, and a few scattered groups of humans struggling to survive.  All of these parties may be part of a larger conflict with a body known as The Authority, but Killy isn't interested in that.  All he knows is that he needs to find the Net Terminal genes - those from a time before the mutations started - and that he must continue to climb upward if he is to survive.